Music Course Descriptions

Music 101 - 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. 

Music 103 - 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. The orchestra rehearses and performs works from the eighteenth to twenty-first centuries. The orchestra performs a concert each semester and performs each semester at the Reed dance concert. See above for pre- or corequisite for credit.

Music 105 - Reed Chorus

Variable credit: either one-half course or zero credit for one semester. The chorus rehearses and performs works from all periods of music often with the Chamber Orchestra. See above for pre- or corequisite for credit.

Music 107 - Collegium Musicum

Variable credit: either one-half course or zero credit for one semester. Collegium rehearses and performs vocal music suitable for a small group. Audition required. See above for pre- or corequisite for credit.

Music 109 - 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 consists 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. 

Music 110 - 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.

Music 111 - 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.

Music 112 - 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.

Music 121 - Historical Survey of Western Music

Full course for one semester. This course will explore the history of art music in Europe from the early polyphony of the medieval Roman Catholic Church to the late Baroque music of Bach and Handel.  Among the topics explored will be the relationship between music and language, the characteristics and development of major vocal genres such as chanson, mass, madrigal, cantata and opera; and the growing prominence of instrumental music. Conference.

Music 212 - Theory III: Advanced Harmony

Full course for one semester. This course will examine the development of harmonic resources in 19th and 20th century musical idioms through compositional and analytical exercises.  In particular we will study the chromatic styles of Schubert, Chopin and Wagner; impressionist harmonies of Debussy and Ravel; modernist idioms of Stravinsky, Bartók and Schoenberg; and contemporary jazz harmony. Conference with musicianship lab. Prerequisite: Music 112.

Music 234 - Symphony

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.

Music 238 - 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 2007-08.

Music 241 - 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 2007-08.

Music 242 - Opera

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 Carmen and Wagner’s Tristan and Parsifal. Conference.

Music 244 - Song

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 Lieder; 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 2007-08.

Music 246 - Mozart

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 2007-08.

Music 247 - 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 Show Boat, Porgy and Bess, The Cradle Will Rock, Lady in the Dark, Oklahoma!, Kiss Me, Kate, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Cabaret, Into the Woods, Rent and Urinetown. 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. Not offered 2007-2008.

Music 248 - 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 2007-2008.

Music 251 - 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 2007-2008.

Music 256 - 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. Not offered 2007-2008.

Music 257 - Brahms

Full course for one semester.  Johannes Brahms was the most prominent Austro-German composer in the second half of the nineteenth century who did not write operas.  He was considered old-fashioned by his contemporaries, but at the centenary of his birth he was labeled "progressive" by Arnold Schoenberg.  Can both descriptions be true?  Why has Brahms's music remained beloved by audiences and performers alike? We will explore his life and music, listening to works in all the genres in which he composed—symphonies, chamber music, piano music, choral music, Lieder, and others.  Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference.

Music 258 - Beethoven

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. Not offered 2007-2008.

Music 261 - Composition

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.

Music 262 - History and Memory in African American Music

Full course for one semester. This course will examine the relationship between history, memory, and cultural identity in various styles and genres of African American music.  The principal, though not exclusive, focus will be two bodies of music that have long been sites of cultural memory within American culture: the blues and gospel music. Lecture-conference.

Music 263 - Music of the Caribbean

Full course for one semester. This course will examine the music and cultures of the Caribbean including such genres as bachata and merengue (Dominican Republic), calypso and steel pan (Trinidad), rara and konpa (Haiti), son and canción (Cuba), reggae (Jamaica), zouk (Martinique and Guadeloupe, and Latin jazz and salsa, which were developed by Spanish-Caribbean immigrants to the United States. Lecture-conference.

Music 264 - Modernism

Full course for one semester. This course is an introduction to the music of Strauss, Mahler, Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Bartòk, Hindemith, Weill, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Ives, Varése, Crawford, Gershwin, and Copland. We will approach this music from the perspective of modernist aesthetic theory. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2007-2008.

Music 266 - 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.

Music 268 - Bebop

 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 2007-2008.

Music 272 - 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, John Adams, Arvo Pärt and Alfred Schnittke. Lecture-conference.

Music 311 - 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. Not offered 2007-2008.

Music 343 - 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. Not offered 2007-2008.

Music 470 - Thesis

Full course for one year.

Music 481 - Independent Study

One-half or full course for one semester. Prerequisite: approval ofinstructor and division.




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