This course has been quite the experience for me this semester. Going into the class I did not have a lot of expectations about what it would be like, but I certainly was not anticipating being as overcome as I was by the sheer vastness of the subject. This class has been the first time that I’ve felt completely overwhelmed by a subject matter and felt completely lost within it. I had never really considered just how intertwined religion and music truly are. The history of religion is so integral to the history, development, and meaning of music in profound ways that had never overtly occurred to me and that is probably one of the biggest takeaways I have from this course, on a broad level.
I will always appreciate having started the class with the Marci Sorce Keller reading about how we understand and examine music. It put into words and a coherent argument something that had been on my mind on the issue of musicology for a long time now, and I felt that it was a very important way to start off this course, because it was even more applicable here, where we looked more closely at musical works and tried to place our understanding of them in more specific and detailed contexts.
I think this course has taught me most how to narrow my focus of study above all. On a larger scale, the broad scope of this course has shown me how important it is to have a clear direction with my studies in order to have a more focused outcome in what I have learned. On a more micro level, my work in my projects has shown me how to keep my scope narrow and concise, because sometimes you can only say so much about a certain subject in the context of certain assignments. This will be an invaluable lesson for me moving forward, as I have always had difficulty reigning myself in, and the podcast projects have greatly aided me in getting better at this.