In this course we focus our attention on a few of the most exciting and influential composers of the late twentieth century. Works by such composers as Elliott Carter, Toru Takemitsu, Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez, Alfred Schnittke, Luciano Berio, Charles Wuorinen, Frederick Rzewski, John Adams, John Harbison, Galina Ustvolskaya, Gyorgi Kurtag, Gyorgi Ligeti, Sofia Gubaidulina, Louis Andriessen, and Kaija Saariaho are listened to and discussed in class. The course is open to students from all disciplines and without prerequisites, but a high level of work is required. There are assigned readings and listening assignments. Music students are expected to write a substantial paper on one composer and to make a presentation on that composer in class. They are responsible for helping to explain the musical approaches and techniques we discuss to the non-music students. Students without a music background are also expected to write a substantial paper on a composer and to give a presentation in class, but are encouraged to draw analogies between the music we study and work in the other arts, and to place the music studied in a historical, philosophical, or scientific context.