Music Department

Courses

Academic Credit for Music Performance

All students participating in music performance courses (Music 101, 104, 105, 107, 108, and 109) must be registered; 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.

Fees

Fees for private instruction (Music 101) are $500 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.

Courses Description

Music 101 - Private Instruction

Variable credit: either one-half course or zero credit for one semester of individual instrumental or vocal instruction. Students taking this course for one-half credit are encouraged to participate in at least one student recital. See “Academic Credit for Music Performance” 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, open to all members of the Reed community, rehearses and performs works from all periods of music, often with the orchestra. (No audition required). See “Academic Credit for Music Performance” above for pre- or corequisite for credit.

Music 107 - Collegium Musicum

Variable credit: either one-half course or zero credit for one semester. The Collegium rehearses and performs vocal music from many historic periods suitable for a small group. Prerequisite: audition required. See “Academic Credit for Music Performance” 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 “Academic Credit for Music Performance” 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 “Academic Credit for Music Performance” 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 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.

Not offered 2017–18.

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 213 - Locating East Asia in Avant-Garde Music

Full course for one semester. The term “avant-garde” was applied to music by composers who rejected tonality and searched for new sonic territory and a new form of art. In the class, we will explain how the avant-garde’s use of timbre, temporality, and organization of sound was influenced by the music, art, literature, and philosophy of world music cultures and, in particular, East Asian cultures. We will trace these influences in compositions by Edgard Varèse (France), John Cage (United States), and Jonathan Harvey (United Kingdom). Furthermore, we will investigate the practices of avant-garde music as reflected by Eastern composers, such as Toru Takemitsu (Japan), Yun Isang (Korea), and Chou Wen-Chung (China). Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Music 221 - Music History I: Unexpected Encounters in Early Modern Europe

Full course for one semester. French composer Christoph Willibald Gluck’s 1765 opera La rencontre imprévue (The Unexpected Encounter), a story of star-crossed lovers set in the Middle East, offers evidence of Europe’s ambivalent yet continuous fascination with Ottoman Turkish culture throughout the early modern period.  This course will study the history of music in early modern Europe through focus on European entanglements and cultural exchanges with the Islamic world, particularly the Ottoman Empire. Memory of the Crusades, repercussions from the Fall of Constantinople, and imperial confrontation and diplomacy reverberated in music produced in Europe from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries, encompassing the wildly popular song-and-dance parodies of the Moors in the Renaissance (morescas) and Mozart’s “Turkish Rondo.” How did encounters with the Ottoman Empire during this period, as represented through music composition, shape ideas about European culture, mapping of the world, and racial and ethnic difference?  How were understandings of the language of “classical music” constituted and reaffirmed through imagination about the Ottomans and Islam? Conference.

Music 222 - Music History II: Enlightenment, Romanticism, Modernism

Full course for one semester. This course will study of selected examples of art music cultivated in Western Europe and the United States since the mid-eighteenth century, with particular focus on the philosophical and aesthetic features of Enlightenment thought, romanticism, and modernism. We will study major genres spanning the transition from late baroque to classical style and the distinctive iterations of the modern in music produced in the United States during the twentieth century. 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. Conference.

Music 230 - 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 238 - Music and the Cold War United States

Full course for one semester. Post–World War II negotiations of anticommunism, national identity, and global membership reverberated throughout U.S. musical life in the 1950s. These sociopolitical developments impacted the careers of musicians as disparate as Aaron Copland, Hank Williams, and Dizzy Gillespie; shaped the reception of repertories ranging from experimental music to the Broadway musical to rock and roll; and transformed the meanings of ethnic assimilation, the civil rights movement, and ideologies of modernism and populism. Through study of selected music examples and relevant historical literature, this course will examine the performance, composition, and consumption of music in the United States during the early Cold War period. Conference.

Music 242 - Opera

Full course for one semester. Although the orientation of this course is largely historical, its primary focus will be listening to and viewing some of the greatest and most enduring operas in the repertory—works by, among others, Monteverdi, Mozart, Wagner, Verdi, Puccini, and Britten. Students will be required to see the Portland Opera production of Bizet’s Carmen during the spring semester and at least one of the Metropolitan Opera's HD videocasts; those who plan to take the course should also, if possible, attend the Metropolitan Opera videocasts of Verdi’s Macbeth and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in the fall. Successful completion of writing assignments will not depend on the ability to read music. Lecture-conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Music 249 - Race, Sexuality, and Empire on the Operatic Stage

Full course for one semester. This course will focus on three operas that premiered during what some European historians have called the “Age of Empire”: Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida (1871), Georges Bizet’s Carmen (1875), and Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (1904–07). Set in Egypt, Spain, and Japan, respectively, these works are famous for their scores, which feature some of opera’s best-known music, but also for the complex, romantically doomed, and racially marked women who are the title characters: Aida the enslaved Ethiopian princess, Carmen the “gypsy” femme fatale, and Cio-Cio San the tragic geisha. Students will be introduced to opera as a genre, to late romantic musical aesthetics, to the literary origins of these works, and to relevant scholarship theorizing empire and representations of difference. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Music 252 - History of the Madrigal

Full course for one semester. This course will trace the development of the madrigal from its origins in the fifteenth-century Italian frottola to the Elizabethan madrigal school in England. The madrigal was the most important genre of secular music in the sixteenth century and represents a springboard for the treatment of dramatic text which would help set the stage for the birth of opera in the early seventeenth century. Looking at the span of madrigal composition over roughly 150 years, students will be asked to analyze stylistic changes in both musical and poetic composition. Class meetings will be a combination of lecture, conference, and rehearsal of this repertory. Students will be expected to read music, and the course is open to singers and instrumentalists. Lecture-conference.

Music 255 - Beethoven and Schubert

Full course for one semester. This course is an introduction to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) and Franz Schubert (1797–1828), who shared overlapping heydays in Vienna during the age of romanticism. Read against each other, the careers of Beethoven, commonly identified with the monumentality of the symphony, string quartet, and sonata, and Schubert, who earned fame as a master of such “small forms” as the art song and the piano miniature, illuminate the politics of genre and the interpenetration of public and private spheres in early nineteenth-century Europe. Students will critically assess constructions of “genius” in Viennese musical culture and the gendered aesthetics of the “heroic” Beethoven and of Schubert, famously characterized by one critic as “the feminine Beethoven.” We will also consider Schubert’s “Beethoven Project,” his conscious effort at self-rebranding as a composer of large-scale works in “Beethovenian” genres toward the end of his short life. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Conference.

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. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Music 268 - Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, and the Sixties Soul Era

Full course for one semester. This course will explore the sound and cultural politics of popular music after World War II through study of the lives and careers of three African American male vocalists: Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, and Otis Redding. All three singers died tragically before the age of 45, but they continue to be celebrated as paragons of a style—soul music—linked to the energies of a 1960s black pride movement that positively asserted African American cultural identities. Yet their bodies of work as performers, songwriters, and producers also exhibit a diversity of stylistic orientations—encompassing gospel, pop, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, doo-wop, jazz, rock, and Tin Pan Alley—that suggest broader artistic and professional aspirations. Operating out of Los Angeles, Detroit, and Memphis, respectively, Cooke, Gaye, and Redding also enable us to assess the dialogue between “soul” discourse and the postwar popular music industry from a regional perspective. Students will assess the music-historical significance of these three artists through close scrutiny of recordings, critical analysis of primary and secondary sources, and committed investigation of the historical moment. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

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 performance, (re)production, and consumption of popular music. Seeking to develop listening skills and drawing on both field-defining work and new scholarship, the course will explore topics including the analysis of recorded music, the politics of style and genre, the role of technological and social mediation, the production of intersectional identities, and fan reception. Though the focus will be music originating in the United States, students will also consider the circulation of popular music in international contexts. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Music 277 - Music and Politics

Full course for one semester. This course will examine the relationship between music and politics in a variety of historical and cultural contexts, exploring how and why music has been such a powerful carrier of ideology. Grounded in core readings on the politics of music and the arts, we will address themes of musical nationalism, censorship, cultural policy making, the cultural industries, musical activism and social movements, and the broader expediency of musical culture in the global era. Conference.

Music 280 - American Folk Music of the Twentieth Century

Full course for one semester. This course will examine the origins, development, and function of traditional folk music in North America during the twentieth century. Modern American folk music traces its roots through a wide array of cultures and traditions. Beginning with the inherited folk repertoire of an immigrant nation, students will be asked to examine how America’s national identity can be traced through its folk music during a time of great cultural transformation. By using examples of crossover into pop, rock, country, blues, and classical genres, we will explore the boundaries between the major categories of folk, pop, and art music. Finally, we will examine how the recording industry has created an odd marriage of folk culture and commercialism. Students will be encouraged to sing, compose, and play as they are able in order to bring the class material alive through performance. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

Music 302 - Sound Studies

Full course for one semester. This course will provide an introduction to sound studies, an emerging field of inquiry situated at the intersection of critical music scholarship, anthropology of the senses, science and technology studies, and a wide range of sonic practices, artistic and otherwise. Students will read foundational texts in the field (including R. Murray Schafer, Steven Feld, Jonathan Sterne, and Emily Thompson, among others), listen to and discuss a wide variety of sonic practices (musical performance, sound art, acoustic ecology, etc.), and conduct original research projects on current issues regarding the making, experience, meaning, and power of sound in social life and history. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

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, anthropology, and related disciplines. Combining critical readings on ethnography from music scholarship, anthropology, and 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. Conference. Cross-listed as Anthropology 305.

Music 308 - Music as Material Culture

Full course for one semester. Questions of materiality are surprisingly absent in scholarly accounts of music, which tend to emphasize ideologies of ephemerality and performance, on the one hand, and the transcendent monumentality of “the work,” on the other. Nevertheless, modern musical culture is saturated with things: sheet music, sound recordings, audiovisual materials, digital file formats, and the articulating equipment they require, to name only a few objects of everyday musical consumption and engagement. How can we account for what Jane Bennett (2010) calls the “vibrant” materiality of these musical objects? How do the different materialities of music relate to one another across affective networks of style, genre, and media production? How do musical materials become subjects of knowledge regarding the past? How is that knowledge mobilized in the practice of collecting and managing historic material culture? How might ongoing practices of remediation challenge our assumptions regarding the stabilities of material forms? Employing a variety of methodological perspectives and drawing upon a wide array of listening examples, this course will introduce students to debates regarding music as material culture and question the ontological presuppositions of contemporary music scholarship. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. 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 316 - Songwriting

Full course for one semester. Students will develop skills in song composition in a range of genres and styles, including rock, rap, blues, music theatre, folk, protest, and jazz standard. We will examine relevant models of these styles to inform composition, and hone musicianship skills in hearing melodies, rhythms, and harmonic progressions and in setting different kinds of lyrics. Students will notate songs as lead sheets and then make arrangements for performances at a final concert. Prerequisite: Music 211 or consent of the instructor. Conference-studio.

Music 324 - The Power of Genre

Full course for one semester. Jazz, country, hip-hop, dance, classical, salsa, rock: the list could go on and on. But what is genre? How does it work? What does it do? This course will examine recent scholarship on genre in critical music studies and related disciplines, exploring how genre shapes musical production, circulation, consumption, and meaning. How do artists use genre in the process of creation? How does genre frame our affective response to music? What role does genre play in the formation and maintenance of affinity networks? How does it shape musical markets, channels of musical circulation, and the structure of musical institutions? How is it shaped by those same forces? Employing a variety of methodological perspectives and drawing upon a wide array of listening examples, this course will introduce students to contemporary debates regarding the power of genre in music and explore how this understanding of genre informs musical practice more broadly. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

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.

Music 344 - Junior Seminar: Ideologies of Improvisation

Full course for one semester. This junior seminar will examine improvisation as a musical practice, analytical object, and subject of critical discourse in a variety of historical and cultural contexts, attending to the musical techniques and artistic ideologies of improvisational performance in equal measure. Case studies will engage a diverse selection of historically significant improvisational practices in world musical culture and reflect the scope and range of critical music scholarship on these issues. Students will also conduct and workshop significant research projects on an improvisatory practice of their choice, together developing the methods and skills needed to undertake substantial independent projects. Prerequisite: Music 150, 221, 222, 312, and junior standing. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

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.

Not offered 2017–18.

Music 354 - Vocal Chamber Music in History and Practice

Full course for one semester. Designed for experienced singers, this course will focus on the historical study, analysis, and one-on-a-part ensemble performance of selected repertory. The course will address some of the unique challenges of vocal chamber music, including balancing techniques of solo and ensemble singing; expanding musicality through exposure to a diverse repertory; performing without a conductor; and making collaborative musical choices in moving from score to performance. Reading, conference discussion, research, and writing assignments on composers, texts, historical contexts, and social functions will be based on course repertory, which students will be expected to learn efficiently outside of class for study and execution during conference. Conference. Prerequisites: concurrent enrollment in Music 105 or Music 107, and consent of the instructor. Conference-studio.

Not offered 2017–18.

Music 360 - Music and the Black Freedom Struggle, 1865–1965

Full course for one semester. The civil rights movement in the United States, demanding full citizenship for African Americans, is most commonly associated with the momentous sociopolitical developments of the 1950s and 1960s. Increasingly, scholars have situated this “classical” period of the movement within a broader historical arc encompassing an ongoing “black freedom struggle” that dates to Reconstruction. Over the course of this century of struggle and resistance, music has continuously been a terrain on which U.S. citizens conceptualized, articulated, and negotiated the terms of an equitable society. Through close study of primary and secondary historical texts and musical repertory that will include the spiritual, jazz, and concert music, this course will explore ways in which ideas about musical sound and musical performance, from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of World War II, articulated the stakes of the black freedom struggle and the meanings of freedom. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. Conference. Cross-listed as History 390.

Not offered 2017–18.

Music 361 - Junior Seminar: U.S. Music in 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.

Not offered 2017–18.

Music 363 - Mahler and His Influence

Full course for one semester. Although he died in 1911, Gustav Mahler exerted a wide influence on the music of the twentieth century, both as a composer and as a conductor. In this course we will explore how aspects of Mahler’s compositional style were appropriated and developed by composers as different as Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, Alban Berg, Kurt Weill, Aaron Copland, Dmitri Shostakovich, Benjamin Britten, Leonard Bernstein, Luciano Berio, George Crumb, and Uri Caine. We will attempt to discover the historical and political circumstances that favored, or discouraged, a Mahlerian legacy, and also examine how composers negotiated such a powerful precedent in formulating their own styles. Prerequisite: ability to read music. Conference.

Not offered 2017–18.

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 interpretations of the “blues aesthetic” as a cultural signifier, as reflected in music criticism, documentary film, literature, its production and consumption, and international reception. Conference.

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.

Not offered 2017–18.

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.