Music Course Descriptions
- Private Instruction
Variable credit: either one-half course or zero credit for one semester. Individual instrumental or vocal instruction. Students taking this course for credit are encouraged to participate in at least one student recital. See above for pre- or corequisite for credit.
- Reed Chamber Orchestra
Variable credit: either one-half course or zero credit for one semester. Availability of credit dependent on instruments needed for repertoire to be performed in any given semester. This course is comprised of rehearsal and performance of orchestral works from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. The orchestra usually performs a concert in the Kaul Auditorium each semester. See above for pre- or corequisite for credit.
- Reed Chorus
Variable credit: either one-half course or zero credit for one semester. This course is comprised of rehearsal and performance of choral works from all periods of music. See above for pre- or corequisite for credit.
- Collegium Musicum
Variable credit: either one-half course or zero credit for one semester. This course is comprised of rehearsal and performance of vocal music suitable for performance by a small group. Audition required. See above for pre- or corequisite for credit.
- Chamber Music
Variable credit; either one-half course or zero credit for one semester. Available by audition when there are enough advanced students to form an ensemble of one player per part. This course is comprised of weekly coaching sessions and the chance to perform during the semester. Prerequisite: audition. Corequisite: participation in the Reed Chamber Orchestra (except for keyboard players). See above for additional pre- or corequisite for credit.
- Introduction to Music Listening
Full course for one semester. This course aims to enhance pleasure and understanding of music and to broaden the range of responses to it through active listening. We shall develop a vocabulary for talking and writing about music and learn to identify musical structures that have endured in the European West. Examples are drawn from a wide range of musical styles and historical periods. The relationship between musical structure and expressive power will be a primary focus. Lecture-conference.
- Theory I
Full course for one semester. This course examines notation of pitch and rhythm; scales and key signatures; intervals, triads, and diatonic seventh chords; writing in four parts. It begins with the basic elements of music, but moves swiftly through the contents of a first-semester college-level music theory course. Labs include sight singing, dictation, and keyboard. Lecture and laboratory.
- Theory II: Intermediate Harmony and Species Counterpoint
Full course for one semester. This course continues the laboratory skills acquired in Music 111. Students are introduced to principles of melodic construction, modal counterpoint, and more advanced tonal harmony, applying these principles to appropriate musical examples. Prerequisite: Music 111 or equivalent skill, to be determined by a placement examination given at the beginning of the academic year. Lecture-conference and laboratory.
- Historical Survey of Western Music
Full course for one semester. Beginning with Gregorian chant—the music of the medieval Roman Catholic liturgy—we will explore the development of chant-based polyphony, the rise of secular genres alongside church music in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, the new importance of instrumental music and the origins and progress of opera in the Baroque and Classic eras, and changes in audience and patronage that have influenced musical developments in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Lecture-conference.
- Theory III: Baroque Counterpoint
Full course for one semester. This course is a study of the compositional techniques of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries including recitative, basso continuo, ground bass, invention, variation, and fugue. Class work will consist of compositional exercises, ear-training and score-reading, and analysis of music by Monteverdi, Schütz, Purcell, Corelli, Handel, and Bach. Prerequisite: Theory II and rudimentary keyboard skills. Conference with musicianship lab.
Full course for one semester. This course will introduce works by Haydn, Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Mahler, Shostakovich, Corigliano, and others. Readings will include contemporary and more recent descriptions and criticism, and discussion will focus mainly on the music, but also on such issues as changes in the role of the composer and the character and expectations of the audience. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2006-07.
- Choral Music
Full course for one semester. This course will explore works for chorus from the Middle Ages to the present day, including Gregorian chant, masses and motets, liturgical and non-liturgical Requiems, Passions, and oratorios. Although the emphasis will be on sacred music, secular works, especially those written in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, will also be considered. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2006-07.
- Gender in Music
Full course for one semester. This course is a study of recent struggles to develop a discourse about music that goes beyond the formalist view that music is incapable of communicating cultural values. We shall consider some alternative views: that music conveys character, that its codes reveal masculine and feminine traits, and that it functions as sexual metaphor. We shall also consider music explicitly gendered through its text or performer, or through tensions between the two such as the castrato tradition. Conference. Not offered 2006-07.
Full course for one semester. We will study the way opera marshals myth, history, and literature to portray action and emotion writ large. We will explore the multiple meanings that opera creates from references to earlier opera, to contemporary issues, and to timeless subjects through examples such as the Orpheus myth reworked by Monteverdi, Gluck, and Offenbach’s nineteenth-century satire; the political conflicts portrayed in Mozartian opera and in John Adams's
Nixon in China
; and the eroticism of death explored in Bizet’s
. Conference. Not offered 2006-07.
Full course for one semester. This course is a survey of European art song from the late Renaissance to the present, with a focus on the historical milieu, the texts, and the specific ways in which the genre's principal composers set those texts. Primary emphasis will be on nineteenth century German
; other types of solo songs considered will include English lute song, seventeenth century cantatas, and solo song in the twentieth century. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2006-07.
Full course for one semester. Survey of representative works from his symphonies, chamber music, piano concerti, and operas. We will consider the roles of Enlightenment ideals, irony and humor in Mozart’s works and also examine the social settings of classical music, particularly the rise of public concerts. Conference. Not offered 2006-07.
- American Musical Theatre
Full course for one semester. We will study the development of American musical theatre as exemplified mainly but not exclusively in the Broadway musicals of the past 80 years. Shows to be studied will include
Porgy and Bess
The Cradle Will Rock
Lady in the Dark
Kiss Me, Kate
Guys and Dolls
My Fair Lady
West Side Story
Into the Woods
. We will look at the construction of individual songs and scenes and study the evolving ideal of integrating music and drama. Conference. Cross-listed as Theatre 247.
Theatre 247 Description
- Music and Religion
Full course for one semester. Does sacred music differ musically from secular? What is the role of music in the religious service? What kinds of religious feeling does music convey? This course will study selected sacred music traditions, primarily Western, inspired by religious beliefs and spiritual feeling. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2006-07.
- Musical Aesthetics
Full course for one semester. Music’s power to represent, imitate, depict, and narrate will be explored through musical examples and writings about music from the Greeks to the present. Topics will include the Greek notion of ethos, music in the medieval cosmos, musical mimesis in the Renaissance, the Baroque “Accents of Passion,” Enlightenment views of imitation and expression, and the Romantics’ controversy over instrumental music’s power to express extramusical ideas. Musical examples will be supplemented by readings in both contemporary and recent philosophical criticism. Conference. Not offered 2006-07.
- Romantic Music
Full course for one semester. This course is a survey of European art music during the nineteenth century, with a focus on the historical context and on listening to works in a variety of genres by many of the principal composers of the era, including Schubert, Berlioz, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Wagner, Brahms, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, and Dvorák. Lecture-conference.
Full course for one semester. This course is a survey of Beethoven’s works in historical context, with analysis of important compositions in the principal genres of sonata, symphony, and string quartet. Principal biographical events and influence on later composers will also be a significant focus of this course. Lecture-conference.
Full course for one semester. This course is an introduction to contemporary composition. Students will compose and perform short works. The course will deal with problems of instrumentation, notation, and performance, as well as the larger aesthetic issues of coherence and gesture, within a broad range of styles and media. Prerequisite: Music 212 or consent of the instructor. Conference. Not offered 2006-07.
Full course for one semester. This course is an introduction to the music of Strauss, Mahler, Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Bartók, Hindemith, Weill, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Ives, Varèse, Crawford, Gershwin, and Copland. We will approach this music from the perspective of modernist aesthetic theory. Lecture-conference.
- The Music of Duke Ellington
Full course for one semester. As composer, arranger, songwriter, bandleader, and pianist, Duke Ellington (1899–1974) stood at the center of American music. His works mirror the development of jazz from ragtime, to hot jazz, swing, bebop, and beyond. We will trace the development of Ellington’s style, the evolution of his orchestra and the influence of its players on his music, and his collaboration with Billy Strayhorn. We will also examine Ellington’s exploration of different genres, including extended jazz compositions, musical theater, and religious music. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2006-07.
Full course for one semester. In the late 1930s and the 1940s jazz underwent a stylistic revolution that altered its idiom, format, and social function. We will study the music of the leading figures of this bebop movement: Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Max Roach, Kenny Clarke, and Miles Davis, and investigate the sources of bebop in earlier jazz and its influence on the course of jazz history. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2006-2007.
- Music since 1968
Full course for one semester. We will study representative works of late modernism, avant-garde music, minimalism and post-modernism by Elliott Carter, Olivier Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, György Ligeti, Witold Lutoslawski, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, George Crumb, Arvo Pärt and Alfred Schnittke. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2006-07.
- Medieval and Renaissance Music
Full course for one semester. This course is a study of the origins and development of a specifically Western tradition of musical thought from its liturgical function in the early Christian church to the sacred and secular works of both Franco-Flemish composers (Dufay, Ockeghem, Obrecht, Josquin) and Italian composers (Marenzio, Gesualdo, Palestrina, Lassus, Monteverdi) in the sixteenth century. We will look in close detail at the development of notation, transcription, performance practice, and principles of editing. Prerequisite: ability to read music. Conference.
- Form and Analysis
Full course for one semester. This course is a study of the forms of the Classical and Romantic periods and an introduction to the analytic ideas of Schenker, Reti and Schoenberg. Prerequisite Music 212. Conference.
Full course for one year.
- Independent Study
One-half or full course for one semester. Prerequisite: approval of
instructor and division.
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