Reed College Catalog

Many Reed students are interested in music. To encourage and develop these interests, the music department offers courses in music history, theory, and performance, many without prerequisites. Majors and nonmajors alike are welcome to take classes in all areas of music history, theory, and performance.

Prospective majors should begin their course of study with Theory II (211) and Introduction to Music History (221 and 222) in the first two years. Students should make early inquiry into their preparation for Theory II by taking the placement examination, which is given at the beginning of each year. We recommend that majors also take piano lessons if they have never done so. Majors are expected to participate in performance activities; therefore, fees for private instruction are waived for junior and senior music majors.

Music majors must complete Theory II, two semesters of Introduction to Music History, and at least one other course at the 200 or 300 level in order to make formal application for junior status; still another course at the 200 or 300 level must be completed before the junior qualifying examination. The department strongly recommends that one of these courses be Theory III (312).

For the junior qualifying examination in music, students will write analytical and historical essays about musical selections representing all periods and styles of Western music.

Topics not ordinarily included in the regular curriculum may be offered to juniors and seniors with special interests as independent study courses (481).

Requirements for the Major

  1. Theory courses—Music 211, 312, and 343.
  2. History courses—Music 221 and 222, which should be taken before the junior year.
  3. Four semesters of ensemble from among 104 (orchestra), 105 (chorus), 107 (Collegium), 108 (jazz ensemble), 109 (chamber music); one-half unit to be taken in each of four semesters.
  4. Thesis (470).
  5. Three more one-unit music courses.

Recommended but not required: piano lessons.

Senior Thesis
Students planning to do theses in music must demonstrate their competence, before the senior year, 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, which may be done in a regular 481 (independent study) course. The thesis may be an extended historical or analytical essay or a composition thesis, which must include a printed score and a tape of a performance. To be considered for a composition thesis, a student should have already taken composition and at least one semester of independent study in advanced composition. At the beginning of the senior year, students prepare short written statements describing the nature of their theses and meet with the entire department to discuss their thesis proposals.

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; a band practice room in the commons; a library of scores and recordings, housed in the library; an adjacent music listening room; and 20 instrumental practice rooms (including 15 pianos and a collection of early keyboard instruments) in Prexy, formerly the president’s house. All students have access to the practice rooms. Both the library and Prexy house modest computer music laboratories equipped with computers, synthesizers, and laser printers for students in theory and composition courses. Prexy is open to students from 7 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week. For additional recreational use, students may use pianos in the student union and in the social rooms of several of the residence halls.

Performing Opportunities
Reed attracts many students who are accomplished musicians. Performance activities sponsored by the department are open to all members of the community. A significant percentage of the students participate in music-making on the campus—as solo players or singers, in chamber music ensembles, or in the ensembles conducted by faculty members. Registration procedures for lessons and ensembles are explained in the class schedule each term. A number of student recitals and concerts by the ensembles are held each year. The Friday at Four series, consisting of 8 to 10 concerts each year, usually features students who take private lessons. The chamber 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—Bonnie Garrett, director
Reed offers individual instruction in guitar, harpsichord, piano, voice, and all orchestral instruments, as well as jazz and some 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); Phil Baldino (clarinet and saxophone); Jeff Homan (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); Bill Hunt (violin and viola); Vicki Gunn (viola, violin, and Celtic fiddling); John Hubbard (cello and chamber ensemble); Don Hermanns (double bass); Kevin Deitz (jazz bass); Gordon Lee (jazz ensemble); Scott Kritzer (classical guitar); Scott Pemberton (jazz guitar); Deborah Cleaver, Jeffrey Payne, Susan Smith, and Denise Van Leuven (piano); Bonnie Garrett (piano and harpsichord); Jenny Lindner (harp); Elizabeth Nicholson (Celtic 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, northern classical Indian singing); Jan deWeese (mandolin and banjo); Julia Banzi (flamenco guitar); Charles Pike (percussion); Joseph Janiga (jazz percussion); and Obo Addy (Ghanaian drumming). Instructors of other instruments are added to the staff as need arises.

Fees for private instruction (Music 101) are $432 each semester for twelve 45-minute lessons; some scholarship aid is available. Private instruction fees are waived 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, 107, 108, 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 another two 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 18th to 21st centuries. It presents one or two concerts each semester and sometimes performs at the Reed dance concert.

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. See 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 suitable for a small group. 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. A small jazz ensemble selected by the instructor will rehearse and perform. Rehearsals will include improvisational techniques, soloing, and accompanying. 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 Orchestra (except for keyboard players). 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 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, to be determined by a placement examination given at the beginning of the academic year. Lecture-conference and laboratory.

Music 221 - Introduction to Music History I

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. Lecture-conference.

Music 222 - Introduction to Music History II

Full course for one semester. Beginning with the new philosophical orientation of the Enlightenment, this course will explore the history of art music in Europe from the mid-18th century to the present. We will examine formal features, aesthetic ideals, and social meanings of major instrumental genres such as the sonata, string quartet, concerto, and symphony; and study the musical manifestations of romanticism, modernism, and avant-gardism. Lecture-conference.

Music 234 - 19th-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 18th 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 19th century. Prerequisite: ability to read music.  Lecture-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 2009–10.

Music 256 - Romantic Music

Full course for one semester. This course is a survey of European art music during the 19th 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 2009–10.

Music 257 - Brahms

Full course for one semester. Johannes Brahms (1833–97) was the most prominent composer of the 19th century who did not write operas. He was considered old-fashioned by his contemporaries, but was labeled "progressive" by 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. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2009–10.

Music 263 - Music of the Caribbean

Full course for one semester. With the discourses of identity/alterity and créolité providing a conceptual framework, this course will introduce students to musical styles from the Caribbean region, including bachata and merengue (Dominican Republic), calypso and steel pan (Trinidad), rara and konpa (Haiti), son (Cuba), reggae and dancehall (Jamaica), and the U.S.-based styles Latin jazz and salsa. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2009–10.

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 2009-10.

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. Not offered 200910.

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. Not offered 2009–10.

Music 272 - Music Since 1968

Full course for one semester. We will study representative works of late modernism, avant-garde music, minimalism and postmodernism 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. Not offered 2009–10.

Music 273 - Minimalism and Postminimalism

Full course for one semester.  This course explores one of the most influential and well-known genres of the 20th century.  We will analyze the music of its principal practitioners—Riley, Young, Glass, Reich, Adams, and Andriessen and explore their compositional philosophies will be explored.  We will also place the genre historically, identifying influences and interactions with other arts. Lecture-conference.

Music 274 - Classical Music of Latin America

Full course for one semester.  A survey exploring concert music in Latin America with a focus in the 20th and 21st centuries. Music from the Baroque to the late 19th century in Latin America will be discussed as a preamble to the great works of 20th-century and contemporary composers including Ginastera, Chavez, Villa-Lobos, Golijov, and Piazzola.  Lecture-conference.

Music 312 - 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 211.

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 212 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, ability to read music.  Lecture-conference.

Music 343 - Theory IV: 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 312. Conference. Not offered 2009–10.

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; instrumental works, including those for keyboard instruments, other instruments, and orchestra—will also be considered. Prerequisites: sophomore standing; ability to read music. Conference. Not offered 2009-10.

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.

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 20th-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.

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 Varése’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 2009-10.

Music 372 - Mozart’s Così fan tutte as Musical Work and Cultural Text

Full course for one semester. 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. Conference. Not offered 2009–10.

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.