Students enroll to run with the devil

Erin McGroarty / Sun Star Reporter
Sept. 13, 2011

University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) professor Morris Palter, sits in his office in the UAF Music Department on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011, while he discusses his most recent class titled "Running with the Devil". A newly created music class this semester, this course will profile the history of good and bad in music throughout the globe. Erin McGroarty/Sun Star

University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) professor Morris Palter, sits in his office in the UAF Music Department on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011, while he discusses his most recent class titled "Running with the Devil". A newly created music class this semester, this course will profile the history of good and bad in music throughout the globe. Erin McGroarty/Sun Star

“Really, it’s a win-win situation,” said Morris Palter, chuckling as he swiveled back and forth on his stool.

Palter is the artistic director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Percussion Lab, an assistant professor and a former UAF Faculty Senate member.

He sat in the middle of his office, surrounded by a plethora of assorted percussion instruments, and explained his new creation.

“This is not a normal class,” he said.

For the fall term, Palter is teaching a free class titled “Running with the Devil: A History of Good and Evil Within Music”. Posters for the class invite students to “explore why and how the Devil, the supernatural and evil has come to influence such a large breadth of musical activity – if you dare…”

If faculty members come up with clever ideas for courses in any subject, they can submit it to a board for approval. When a class is approved, that faculty member can teach it. Students can sign up for free – like guinea pigs – and see if the class is a success.

This will be Palter’s first year teaching this new course, and he encourages students to try out his new class. Not only will they be able to take a course for free, but they will also learn something new.

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