The music department offers a wide range of courses and performance opportunities for majors and nonmajors, as well as private instrumental and vocal lessons. Many courses have no prerequisites.
Pursuit of the music major prepares students for a senior thesis in music history or analysis, ethnomusicological research, or composition. Majors should complete two units of music theory (200 level or above), Music History I and II, and one unit of ethnomusicology before beginning their junior year, and take the junior seminar.
Majors are expected to participate in performance activities; therefore, fees for private instruction in one instrument or voice are waived for junior and senior music majors.
For the junior qualifying examination in music, students will write analytic essays on a selection of notated and/or recorded examples of music from different historical periods and cultures.
Independent study courses (Music 481) in subjects not offered in the regular curriculum are available for junior and senior music majors.
Requirements for the Major
- Theory courses—two units at the 200 level or above;
- History courses—Music 221 and 222, which should be taken before the junior year;
- One unit of ethnomusicology;
- One unit of ensemble from among 104 (orchestra), 105 (chorus), 106 (contemporary ensemble), 107 (Collegium), 108 (jazz ensemble), 109 (chamber music);
- One unit of private instruction (vocal or instrumental);
- Junior seminar;
- Three additional one-unit courses in the department (at the 200 level or above);
- Thesis (470).
Students planning a thesis in ethnomusicology should take two units of anthropology for Group X.
The following courses of study are recommended, depending on the nature of the senior thesis:
Music history or analysis: Music 150, Music 211, Music 221, Music 222, Music 343, junior seminar, three additional courses, at least one unit of private instruction, at least one unit of ensemble, thesis.
Ethnomusicology: Music 150, Music 211, Music 221, Music 222, Music 312, junior seminar, two units in anthropology, three additional units in ethnomusicology, at least one unit of private instruction, at least one unit of ensemble, thesis.
Composition: Music 150, Music 211, Music 221, Music 222, Music 312, Music 314, Music 343, junior seminar, Music 481 (independent study in advanced composition), at least one unit of private instruction, at least one unit of ensemble, thesis.
Before beginning their senior year, students planning to do a thesis in music must demonstrate their competence in the particular area in which they wish to work. That is, they may not use the thesis as an occasion to explore an entirely new area. The thesis may be an extended historical, ethnomusicological or analytical project, which may include a performance; or a composition thesis, which must include a printed score, a recording of a performance, and an analytical essay. At the beginning of the senior year, students prepare short written proposals describing the nature of their theses for discussion with the entire music department prior to submitting proposals to the Division of the Arts for approval.
Music department facilities include Kaul Auditorium, where the orchestra, Collegium, and chorus perform; the chapel, which is used for Friday at Four concerts and other chamber music; the IMC, a library of scores and recordings with an adjacent listening room in the library; the Prexy building (a former Reed College president’s home) which contains 20 instrumental practice rooms (including 15 pianos and a collection of early keyboard instruments) and several teaching studios, rehearsal spaces, and a computer lab. Students have access to the practice rooms in Prexy from 7:00am until midnight, seven days a week.
Many Reed students participate in performance activities sponsored by the department as solo players or singers, in chamber music ensembles, or in the ensembles conducted by faculty and staff members. Registration procedures for lessons and ensembles are explained in the schedule of classes. The Friday at Four series, consisting of 18–20 concerts each year, features performances by students, faculty, and guest artists. The orchestra, chorus, and Collegium perform concerts in Kaul Auditorium each semester.
The department also helps organize and coach chamber and jazz ensembles, which are available by audition for students interested in playing together in small groups. In addition, coaching sessions with members of the music performance staff can sometimes be substituted for private lessons with department approval.
Private Instruction—Denise VanLeuven, director
Reed offers individual instruction in guitar, harpsichord, piano, voice, and all orchestral instruments, as well as jazz and a variety of ethnic instruments. Our teachers, all of whom are accomplished performers, are selected from the best available in the Portland community. Some are members of the Oregon Symphony, the Portland Opera Orchestra, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and various chamber, jazz, and ethnic ensembles in the area, and have appeared as solo artists with these groups. Our private music instructors include Craig Jones (jazz piano); Alexis Howard (clarinet); Kim Reece (saxophone); Jeff Homan (jazz saxophone and jazz flute); Marcy Lohman (flute); Pablo Izquierdo (oboe); Lyle Dockendorff (bassoon); Joe Berger (French horn); Craig Gibson (trumpet); David Bryan (trombone); Aaron Lavere (euphonium); Greg Ewer (violin); Bill Hunt (violin and viola); Vicki Gunn (viola, violin, and Celtic fiddling); Eddie Parente (jazz violin); John Hubbard (cello and chamber ensemble); Don Hermanns (double bass); Andre St. James (jazz bass); Gordon Lee (jazz ensemble); Allen Mathews (classical guitar); Scott Pemberton (jazz guitar); Deborah Cleaver, Jeffrey Payne, Gina Pruitt, and Denise VanLeuven (piano); Bonnie Garrett (piano and harpsichord); Jenny Lindner (harp); Lee Garrett (pipe organ); Gayle Neuman (recorder and other Renaissance winds); Timothy Scott (viola da gamba); Barbara Irvin and John Vergin (voice); Nisha Joshi (sitar, tabla, and northern classical Indian singing); Jan deWeese (mandolin and banjo); Julia Banzi (flamenco and classical guitar); and Charles Pike (percussion). Instructors of other instruments are added to the staff as need arises.
Fees for private instruction (Music 101) are $450 each semester for twelve 45-minute lessons; some scholarship aid is available. Private instruction fees are waived in one instrument or voice for junior and senior music majors, who are expected to enroll in private instruction for at least two of their final four semesters.
Academic Credit for Music Performance
All students participating in music performance courses (Music 101, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, and 109) should register; these courses are graded on a credit/no credit basis. The courses carry variable credit: either one-half course or zero credit for one semester. To qualify for credit, students must have taken or be currently enrolled in a one-unit course at level 111 or above at Reed, for which they can receive two half-units of credit for a music performance course, one-half unit per semester (the only exception is Orchestra, Music 104; see the description below). No more than one-half credit may be earned per semester. A second one-unit course at level 111 or above qualifies the student for two additional half-units of credit for music performance. No more than two units may be received for the same music performance course. A third one-unit course at level 111 or above qualifies the student for two more half-units of credit in a different music performance course. These credits in music performance may be used toward the quantity requirement of 30 units for graduation, though not toward the Group A or Group X requirements. If the accompanying classroom course is dropped, credit for music performance must also be relinquished.
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 104 - Reed Orchestra
Variable credit: either one-half course or zero credit for one semester. Availability of credit is dependent on instruments needed for repertoire to be performed in any given semester. Because there are two rehearsals per week, the pre- or corequisite of enrollment in other music courses to earn credit is waived, although the restrictions on the amount of credit that can be earned still apply. The orchestra rehearses and performs works from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. It presents one or two concerts each semester. Prerequisite: audition required.
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 orchestra. (No audition required). See above for pre- or corequisite for credit.
Music 106 - Contemporary Ensemble
Variable credit: either one-half course or zero credit for one semester. Offered when there are enough qualified students interested in performing chamber works from the contemporary classical repertory. Performers on any wind, string, percussion, or keyboard instrument are welcome to audition. This course consists of coaching sessions and performances during the semester. Corequisite: participation in the Reed Orchestra (except for keyboard players). Prerequisite: audition required. See above for pre- or corequisite for credit.
Music 107 - Collegium Musicum
Variable credit: either one-half course or zero credit for one semester. Audition required. The Collegium rehearses and performs vocal music from many historic periods suitable for a small group. Prerequisite: audition required. See above for pre- or corequisite for credit.
Music 108 - Jazz Ensemble
Variable credit: either one half-course or zero credit for one semester. Jazz ensembles selected by the instructor rehearse regularly and give several performances each semester. Rehearsals include improvisational techniques, soloing, and accompanying. Prerequisite: 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 several performances during the semester. Prerequisite: audition. Corequisite: participation in the Reed Orchestra (except for keyboard players). Prerequisite: audition required. See above for pre- or corequisite for credit.
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; and 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 130 - Tango: Music, Culture, History
Full course for one semester. Tango is a rich and diverse cultural practice. Focusing on music and its connections to other expressive forms, especially dance and verbal art, this course will examine tango in its cultural and historical contexts. We will develop a detailed knowledge of the history and stylistic development of tango as a global genre, and explore how musical debates within tango have both reflected and contributed to the broader transformations of twentieth-century society, culture, and politics in Argentina and beyond. Lecture-conference.
Music 141 - Introduction to World Music
Full course for one semester. This course will examine a variety of world musical cultures, including those of West Africa, the Middle East, India, and Latin America. The musics we study will be described locally, in society, religion, politics, and identity. They will also be considered in relation to larger political, technological, and economic changes taking place at the global level. Themes we will explore include the tensions between traditional and modern musical forms and meanings, relationships between music and the nation-state, and the impact of recording technologies and the global circulation of local musics; we will also emphasize the development of critical listening skills. Lecture-conference.
Not offered 2011–12.
Music 142 - Latin American Popular Music
Full course for one semester. This course examines Latin American popular musics within their social, political, and cultural contexts. Musical genres to be studied include tango, samba, son, nueva canción, tropicália, rock nacional, and funk carioca, among others; themes to be discussed include music and the nation, music and dictatorship, and the crisis of cultural inclusion and exclusion in contemporary Latin America. Understanding how these musics are framed by broader assumptions regarding race, class, gender, and ethnicity will be a key concern of the course. Our focused listening will be complemented with analytical, critical, and contextual readings, including relevant selections from Latin American literature in translation and occasional film screenings. Lecture-conference.
Music 150 - The Cultural Study of Music
Full course for one semester. Music carries a tremendous range of meanings and functions, serving as both a symbol and generator of other forces in social life and history. Taking a comparative approach to a variety of world musical cultures (including selected examples of folkloric, popular, and art musics from Africa, the Middle East, India, Asia, the Americas, and Europe), this course will examine how music communicates and is made meaningful within specific historical and cultural contexts. We will focus on developing the critical vocabulary and listening skills needed to account for music as a cross-cultural phenomenon. Lecture-conference.
Music 211 - 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 them to appropriate musical examples. Prerequisite: Music 111 or equivalent skill, determined by a placement examination given at the beginning of the academic year. Lecture-conference-laboratory.
Music 221 - Music History I
Full course for one semester. This course is an introduction to the study of music history, through focus on repertories of sacred and secular music cultivated in Western Europe from the medieval period to the mid-eighteenth century. The course is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of European art music. Rather, students will develop the listening, analytical, and critical skills necessary to formulate and engage music-historical questions relating to aesthetics, social context, and intellectual history. Lecture-conference.
Music 222 - Music History II
Full course for one semester. This course is an introduction to the study of music history through focus on selected examples of art music cultivated in Western Europe and the United States since the mid-eighteenth century. We will study the features of major genres of concert music and of popular song forms, while also considering manifestations of Enlightenment thought, romanticism, modernism, and avant-gardism in music. Students will develop the listening, analytical, and critical skills necessary to formulate and engage music-historical questions relating to aesthetics, social context, and intellectual history. Lecture-conference.
Music 234 - Nineteenth-Century Symphony
The symphony emerged as a recognizable genre in the early 1700s, but only attained its status as the preeminent form of European orchestral music toward the end of the eighteenth century. Focusing on selected works by composers that include Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Dvořák, and Tchaikovsky, this course will examine the development of the symphony as a musical genre and as a site of discourse on social, cultural, and aesthetic ideals in Europe from the French Revolution to the end of the nineteenth century. Prerequisite: ability to read music. Lecture-conference.
Not offered 2011–12.
Music 240 - The Study of Ethnomusicology
Full course for one semester. Ethnomusicology is the study of music as both aesthetic form and social practice; its goal is to account for the power of music in all its forms and contexts. This course will provide an introduction to the discipline and some of the key theoretical, analytical, and methodological issues facing it today. Our discussions of major issues in ethnomusicology will be informed by work in related fields, including anthropology, historical musicology, folklore, and cultural studies. We will listen to and analyze a wide range of musical examples from around the world, although the course is not a geographic survey of musical cultures. Our goal is to develop a critical understanding of how music functions and is made meaningful in specific cultural contexts, serving as both a symbol and generator of other forces in social life and history. Conference.
Not offered 2011–12.
Music 243 - Music and Globalization
Full course for one semester. Music presents something of a paradox. On the one hand, no expressive form is taken to articulate cultural identity, tradition, and roots more immediately than music. On the other hand, recorded music has circulated widely since the late nineteenth century, when recording technology first enabled sound to be separated from its source. These dual trends have only been exacerbated by developments in digital technology over the last quarter century, such that music is now at the center of claims regarding cultural globalization and its consequences. In this course, we will examine the changing relationship between music, place, and cultural identity at a time when almost any sound can be heard almost anywhere. Discussions and readings will be paired with close analytical listening to significant musical examples from around the world. The goal of the course is to help students develop a critical vocabulary and historical framework for engaging the ethics and aesthetics of music in our global era. Conference.
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 2011–12.
Music 260 - History of Jazz
Full course for one semester. The course will trace the development of jazz from the early twentieth century to the present day. We will pay particular attention to the contributions of Sidney Bechet, Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Art Tatum, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Charles Mingus. Readings will address their music from the points of view of biography, musical analysis (though no music literacy is required as a prerequisite), and cultural history. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference.
Not offered 2011–12.
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, 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.
Not offered 2011–12.
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 theatre, and religious music. Lecture-conference.
Music 271 - Studying Popular Music
Full course for one semester. This course is an introduction to some of the key aesthetic, theoretical, and methodological concerns in the burgeoning field of popular music studies, which has explored the ways in which meaning is produced through the performance, (re)production, and consumption of popular music. Among the topics the course will address are popular music as creative expression, as recorded sound, and as a field of sociocultural discourse, focusing primarily on popular music in the United States. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference.
Music 277 - Music and Politics
Full course for one semester. In this course we will examine the relationship between art music and politics from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. In an effort to understand how and why music has been such an important carrier of ideology, we will study both ostensibly “apolitical” works that have been appropriated for political purposes as well as music composed specifically for political causes. Composers whose works we will investigate will include, among others, Lully, Handel, Beethoven, Verdi, Wagner, Copland, Eisler, and Shostakovich. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference.
Not offered 2011–12.
Music 305 - Musical Ethnography
Full course for one semester. This course will introduce the theory and practice of musical ethnography, the key mode of ethnomusicological research and representation, to advanced students in ethnomusicology and related disciplines. Combining critical readings on ethnography from a variety of disciplines with hands-on projects (including the production and analysis of field recordings, musical transcriptions, and various forms of qualitative ethnographic data), the course will prepare students to both conduct and critically reflect upon ethnographic research. Prerequisites: the ability to read music notation, junior standing, Music 150, or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Music 312 - Theory III: Advanced Harmony
Full course for one semester. This course will examine the development of harmonic resources in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century musical idioms through compositional and analytical exercises. In particular we will study contemporary jazz and popular harmony; the impressionist harmonies of Debussy and Ravel; and the early modernist idioms of Stravinsky, Bartók, and Schoenberg. Prerequisite: Music 211. Conference with musicianship lab.
Music 314 - 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 211 or consent of the instructor. Conference.
Music 338 - Choral Music
Full course for one semester. We will trace the long tradition of Western choral music from its beginning in Gregorian chant to the present day. Emphasis will be on listening to works both sacred and secular especially loved by singers (and orchestral players) such as Bach’s St. John Passion, Haydn’s Seasons, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Brahms’s Requiem, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, and others. Prerequisites: sophomore standing and the ability to read music. Lecture-conference.
Not offered 2011–12.
Music 343 - Theory IV: Form and Analysis
Full course for one semester. This course prepares students to analyze the fugue as exemplified in the music of J.S. Bach and the sonata forms found in the music of Beethoven; as well as later examples of both genres. Prerequisite: Music 211. Conference.
Not offered 2011–12.
Music 352 - Johann Sebastian Bach
Full course for one semester. We will investigate Bach’s life and music, with attention to works he wrote for the conditions of his employment at different times in his career. The histories of the genres in which he composed—Lutheran church music and other vocal works; and instrumental works, including those for keyboard instruments, other instruments, and orchestra—will also be considered. Prerequisites: sophomore standing and the ability to read music. Conference.
Music 361 - Music in the United States during the 1950s
Full course for one semester. Despite its reputation as a period of American conservatism, the 1950s presented listeners with an array of music exhibiting the widespread fascination with “new sounds,” expressed in jazz (Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman), pop recordings (Sam Cooke, Patsy Cline, and Tito Puente), art music (John Cage and Igor Stravinsky), and musical theater (The King and I and West Side Story). Through study of selected examples from these repertories and relevant literature, this course will examine the performance, composition, and consumption of music in the United States during the 1950s, as well as the contribution of music to broader discourse on the cold war, race and ethnic relations, national identity, and ideologies of modernism and populism. Conference.
Music 362 - History and Memory in African American Music
Full course for one semester. This course will consider the ways in which African American musical expression has offered critical perspectives on the past. Topics to be explored include the reception of the spiritual during the Harlem Renaissance; historical consciousness in sample-based hip-hop; resonances of southern history in soul music; and the “blues aesthetic” in literature and the visual arts. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference.
Not offered 2011–12.
Music 364 - The Blues: Forms, Styles, Meanings
Full course for one semester. In this course we will study one of the most important wellsprings for twentieth-century popular music, the blues, proceeding along three lines of inquiry: musical elements that characterize the blues, focusing on formal and harmonic structure, melodic and poetic ideals, and improvisational strategies; stylistic manifestations of the blues, including country blues, “classic” blues, postwar commercial styles, and influences on gospel music, rock, and jazz; and hermeneutic approaches that probe the “blues aesthetic” as a cultural signifier, as reflected in music criticism, documentary film, literature, its production and consumption, and international reception. Lecture-conference.
Not offered 2011–12.
Music 365 - Avant-Garde Music
Full course for one semester. The term “avant-garde” was applied to music, such as Schoenberg’s "Pierrot Lunaire" or Varèse’s "Ionisation," that broke with techniques of the past, but also to works like Satie’s "Relâche," which challenged and destabilized the very notion of an art work. These tendencies flowered after World War II with the music and ideas of Cage, Boulez, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Berio, and Feldman; this course will primarily study this literature. We will also study composers of the American “maverick” line, such as Ives, Cowell, Harrison, Partch, and Lucier. Conference.
Music 372 - Junior Seminar: Mozart’s Così fan tutte as Musical Work and Cultural Text
Full course for one semester; junior seminar. The focus of this course is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Così fan tutte, an opera that, since its premiere in 1790, has received copious scholarly attention. Through close study of Così from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives, the course will explore topics that include late classical style, Mozart’s collaborations with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, Enlightenment philosophy, the sexual politics and orientalism of Mozart’s Vienna, approaches to the opera’s production, and, in light of Così’s complex reception history, critical and analytical interpretations of the work. Prerequisites: junior standing, Music 211, 221, and 222. Conference.
Music 374 - Junior Seminar: Bach's B minor Mass
Full course for one semester. Intended primarily for music majors, the focus of this course is Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B minor, a work that for him represented the culmination of a long career of composition of music for the church and which many scholars and performers consider the greatest choral work ever composed. We will explore topics including the history of settings of the Ordinary, the historiography of this work, its significance in Bach’s oeuvre, late baroque musical style, performance practice, and scholars’ and our own criticism and analysis. Prerequisites: junior standing, Music 211, 221, and 222. Conference.
Not offered 2011–12.
Music 470 - Thesis
Full course for one year.
Music 481 - Independent Study
One-half or full course for one semester. Prerequisite: approval of instructor and division.