The Department of Music offers introductory and advanced instruction in the history of music, the theory of music, composition, music technology, and performance. The Music major provides a general music program in the humanities, as well as preparation for graduate studies or for careers in music.
Courses for Nonmajors and Majors
Introductory courses, numbered from 100 to 199, are open to all undergraduates and require no previous experience in music.
Qualified students, whether majoring in music or not, may offer up to four terms of instruction in performance for academic credit toward the 36-course-credit requirement for the bachelor's degree. Of these four course credits, only two may be applied to the major in Music. Auditions for lessons are held at the beginning of the fall term; students sign up at the School of Music auditions site. Students who audition for lessons are placed into one of three groups: 1) noncredit instruction for a fee; 2) lessons for academic credit at the 300 level, graded Pass/Fail; or 3) lessons for academic credit at the 400 level, graded A–F. Only students with exceptional proficiency are placed into 400-level lessons.
Students accepted for noncredit instruction are charged $550 for ten hours of lessons per term or $350 for six hours of lessons per term. The fees are added to the Student Financial Services bill and are not refundable after the first two weeks of lessons each term. Declared music majors in their junior or senior year may receive noncredit lessons at a discounted rate: six hours of lessons per term at no charge or ten hours of lessons per term for $275.
Introductory courses are numbered from 100 to 199. Intermediate courses, numbered between 200 and 399, may require prerequisites or a familiarity with music notation. Advanced courses, numbered between 400 and 494, are intended for students who have completed intermediate courses in the relevant field. They are intended primarily for students majoring in music, but they may be elected by others who meet the stated prerequisites.
Corequisites and Lessons
Students taking MUSI 345 or 445 are required to be concurrently enrolled in an introductory or intermediate music theory or musicianship course (MUSI 100, 110, 200, 210, 211, 218, or 219) for two terms, or they must complete one term of the theory/musicianship requirement before enrolling in MUSI 345 or 445 for the first time, and another before enrolling in MUSI 345 or 445 again. MUSI 345 is taken Pass/Fail; MUSI 445 and the corequisites are taken for a letter grade.
Students must take the Music Department's music theory placement test to determine their placement in the theory/musicianship sequences. Advanced Placement test scores do not satisfy the music theory prerequisites for performance instruction. Although the faculty of the School of Music attempts to accommodate those who qualify for credit instruction, it cannot guarantee that they will be enrolled with the teacher of their choice.
Requirements of the Major
The major for the Class of 2020 and previous classes With DUS approval, the following changes to the requirements of the major may be fulfilled by students who declared their major under previous requirements.
The major for the Class of 2021 and subsequent classes Thirteen courses are required, two intermediate courses and one advanced course in each of four groups, plus the senior requirement. Group I (MUSI 200–219; 300-319; 400–419) includes music-theory and technology courses focused on the materials and structures of musical works and repertoires. Group II (MUSI 220–249; 320–349; 420-449) includes composition, technology, and performance courses with a practical focus on techniques of artistic production. Group III (MUSI 250–274; 350-374; 450–474) includes lectures and seminars taking a research- and writing-based approach to the Western art-music tradition. Group IV (MUSI 275-299; 375-399; 475-494) includes lectures and seminars taking a research- and writing-based approach to popular or vernacular music or to music of non-Western traditions.
Credit/D/Fail Courses taken Credit/D/Fail may not be counted toward the requirements of the major.
Each student majoring in Music must satisfy the senior requirement by completing a senior essay, composition, or recital in a course from the range MUSI 496–499.
The standard major Students must submit a completed Senior Project Form to the director of undergraduate studies by the end of the course selection period in the term during which the project will be completed. The Senior Project Form, available in the departmental office, includes a brief description of the project and a timeline for completion. The form must be signed by the project's primary and secondary advisers, at least one of whom is a member of the faculty of the Department of Music.
The intensive major The intensive major is for students of high standing who are qualified to do sustained independent and original work in music research or in composition. Students wishing to elect the intensive major must register for the senior project in the fall term of their senior year (MUSI 497–499). A plan for progress must be included in the project proposal at the beginning of the fall term, specifying a deliverable end-of-term product with approximately the same scope as a one-term senior project. Upon satisfactory completion of this work, a student may be admitted to the intensive major, which consists of a second term of registration for the senior project (MUSI 497–499). The additional course for the intensive major is supplementary to the thirteen term courses that constitute the standard major.
Simultaneous B.A./M.A. program Undergraduates with exceptionally strong preparation in music history or music theory may complete a course of study leading to the simultaneous award of the B.A. and M.A. degrees after eight terms of enrollment. Students may not enroll in Yale College for more than eight terms to qualify for the simultaneous award of both degrees. Declared majors in Music may apply for the program until the last day of classes in their fifth term of enrollment, if they have completed at least two graduate courses in the Department of Music, at least one numbered 700 or higher, with grades of B+ or above, and if their overall grade average is A– or above. Applicants must demonstrate progress toward proficiency in a foreign language examined by the Department of Music.
Students in the simultaneous program fulfill the requirements for the intensive major in Music. They also take eight graduate courses in the Department of Music, with average grades of B+ or higher and grades of A or A– in at least two of the courses. They satisfy the Yale College requirements for the program (see "Simultaneous Award of the Bachelor's and Master's Degrees" in section K, Special Programs, in the Academic Regulations), and they pass a departmental examination in a modern foreign language.
B.A./M.M. program The Bachelor of Arts/Master of Music program is designed for students with outstanding abilities in performance who are also interested in a liberal arts education. Admission to the B.A./M.M. program is through acceptance into Yale College as well as a separate, successful audition through the School of Music, either before matriculation into Yale College, or after the third year of the B.A. program.
B.A./M.M. students usually complete requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in their first four years and for the Master of Music after one year of the Master of Music program in the School of Music (fifth year). Before their fourth year students should have completed, at a minimum, four terms of performance (MUSI 345 or MUSI 445) and four courses at the intermediate or advanced level in Groups II, III, or IV.
Students cannot accelerate the undergraduate program in the B.A./M.M. program.
In their fourth year, students must take MUS 540 and MUS 544 each term, and they are advised to take two terms of a performance ensemble if schedules permit. B.A./M.M. students who major in an orchestral instrument are required to participate in the Yale Symphony or the School of Music Philharmonia. Guitarists and keyboard players should consult with their major teacher about requisites beyond the lessons and seminar.
By the end of the fifth year all students participating in the B.A./M.M. program must have met the School of Music’s standard in musicianship and music history either through testing or course work. They must also have completed language and keyboard proficiency requirements.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Number of courses 13 term courses numbered 200 or above (inc senior req)
Specific courses required None
Distribution of courses 2 courses from each intermediate group I–IV; 1 course from each advanced group I–IV
Senior requirement One-term senior essay or project in MUSI 496–499
Intensive major Two-term senior essay or project in MUSI 497–499; additional course is supplementary to the thirteen term course req
The Department of Music offers courses in ethnomusicology, music history, music theory, music technology, composition, and performance. Students may take most introductory courses without prerequisite. The department also offers first-year seminars without prerequisites.
First-year students with appropriate preparation are also welcome in more advanced courses. Courses at the 200 level assume familiarity with music notation; many courses at the 300 and 400 levels assume the ability to read music.
Students interested in music—whether or not they are considering the Music major—are encouraged to take courses in music theory. Students are assigned to the appropriate course through the music theory placement test, which is given at the beginning of both the fall and spring terms. Students who have taken the AP tests in music must still take the placement test.
Voice and instrument lessons are available to qualified students. Students who want to take lessons must audition in the fall. Advanced students are eligible to take lessons for credit beginning with enrollment in MUSI 345 or MUSI 445. To qualify for credit, students must play at a sufficiently high level and be taking or place out of (by the music theory placement test) the appropriate theory course, as described in Yale College Programs of Study. Please see the Music Lessons page on the departmental website for more details.
FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC
Professors Kathryn Alexander (Adjunct), Richard Cohn, Michael Friedmann (Adjunct), Daniel Harrison, Paul Hawkshaw (Adjunct), James Hepokoski (Chair), Richard Lalli (Adjunct), Patrick McCreless, Leon Plantinga (Emeritus), Ian Quinn, Ellen Rosand (Emeritus), Gary Tomlinson, Michael Veal (on leave [Sp])
Associate Professors Robert Holzer (Adjunct), Brian Kane, Gundula Kreuzer (on leave [Sp]), Markus Rathey (Adjunct), Anna Zayaruznaya (on leave)
Assistant Professors Konrad Kaczmarek, Henry Parkes
Lecturers Daniel Egan, Andrew Gerle, Grant Herreid, Annette Jolles, Sara Kohane, Joshua Rosenblum, Wendy Sharp, Maho Ishiguro, Marissa Moore, Scott Frankel, Nathaniel Adam
* MUSI 007a, Noise Brian Kane
The topic of noise as an introduction to the problems of sound and signification. The surplus of information in white noise, and the meaning perceived when noise is filtered. Contexts in which noise has become filtered for political and aesthetic ends. Topics include sound poetry, literature, electronic music, noise pollution, and consumption.Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. WR, HU
MUSI 110a or b, Introduction to the Elements of Music Staff
The fundamentals of musical language (notation, rhythm, scales, keys, melodies, and chords), including writing, analysis, singing, and dictation. Intended for students who have no music reading ability.
MUSI 150a / MUSI 030, Faith and Doubt in Western Music Henry Parkes
An exploration of spirituality, ideology, and philosophical worldviews in the great works of Western classical music. Religious and philosophical backgrounds of famous composers; the role of spirituality as a stimulus for creativity; the manner in which belief has shaped the reception of composers and works; the degree to which musical works communicate spiritual ideas or philosophies. This course is open to all undergraduates and requires no previous experience in music, nor does it require or presuppose affiliation with a particular faith. All that is required is an open mind and an open ear.
MUSI 175b, Listening to Music Marissa Moore
Development of aural skills that lead to an understanding of Western music. The musical novice is introduced to the ways in which music is put together and is taught how to listen to a wide variety of musical styles, from Bach and Mozart, to Gregorian chant, to the blues. HU
MUSI 180a, History of Rock Music Daniel Harrison
A survey of major styles, genres, and artists in popular commercial music ca. 1960–2010. Analysis of individual songs, albums, and repertories, supported by study of cultural contexts, careers and biographies, and developments in the recording industry. HU
* MUSI 183a, Cultural Appropriation and the Ethics of Musical Representation Marissa Moore
This course uses music as a lens to investigate cultural appropriation and the ethics of representation, providing students with a critical perspective on contemporary debates about music and culture. By exploring examples across Western art music, popular music, and world music, students gain a nuanced understanding of the dynamics of exchange, and the potential effects of individual actions on larger cultural and economic systems. RP
* MUSI 185a / THST 236a, American Musical Theater History Daniel Egan
Critical examination of relevance and context in the history of the American musical theater. Historical survey, including nonmusical trends, combined with text and musical analysis. WR, HU
Intermediate Courses: Group I
* MUSI 210a or b, Elementary Studies in Analysis and Model Composition I Staff
Practical investigation of the basic principles of tonal harmony, counterpoint, and composition through exercises in analysis, motivic development, phrase rhythm, texture, form, performance, and model composition. Recommended to be taken concurrently with MUSI 218 or 219. Admission after MUSI 110 or by the music theory placement test. See the Calendar for the Opening Days or the Music department Web site for information about the placement test. To be followed by MUSI 211. HU
* MUSI 211a or b, Elementary Studies in Analysis and Model Composition II Staff
Continuation of MUSI 210. Recommended to be taken concurrently with MUSI 218 or 219. Admission after MUSI 210 or by the music theory placement test. See the Calendar for the Opening Days or the Music department Web site for information about the placement test. HU RP
* MUSI 218a or b, Elementary Musicianship I Staff
Exercises in melodic and harmonic dictation, sight-singing, keyboard harmony, and aural analysis Admission after MUSI 110 or by the music theory placement test. See the Calendar for the Opening Days or the Music department Web site for information about the placement test RP ½ Course cr
* MUSI 219a or b, Elementary Musicianship II Staff
* MUSI 315a, Fundamentals of Music Technology Konrad Kaczmarek
Fundamental principles of music technology including sound recording and reproduction, digital audio, digital signal processing, audio synthesis techniques, musical acoustics, and psychoacoustics. Emphasis on the theory of music technology through investigations into the tools used to analyze, perform, and create electroacoustic and computer-generated music. QR, SC RP
* MUSI 316b / ENAS 344b, Musical Acoustics and Instrument Design Lawrence Wilen and Konrad Kaczmarek
Practical study of musical acoustics. The physics and design of musical instruments, with attention to all aspects of sound, from the origin of the vibration in the instrument to the perception by the listener. Student teams design and construct novel instruments and produce relevant applications. Requires a basic knowledge of physics, including concepts of kinetic and potential energy and Newton's laws. QR, HU, SC RP
* MUSI 318b, Intermediate Musicianship Richard Lalli
Training in advanced aural perception, sight-singing, and keyboard skills. Prerequisite: MUSI 219 or equivalent.
Intermediate Courses: Group II
* MUSI 220a and MUSI 221b, The Performance of Chamber Music Wendy Sharp
Coached chamber music emphasizing the development of ensemble skills, familiarization with the repertory, and musical analysis through performance. Admission by audition only. May be repeated for credit. For audition information e-mail email@example.com. Credit for MUSI 220 only on completion of MUSI 221. ½ Course cr per term
* MUSI 221b, The Performance of Chamber Music Wendy Sharp
Preparing and performing chamber music works, including rehearsal techniques, leading, developing musical concepts, learning to work effectively in a small group, and performing. Weekly coaching and rehearsals, bimonthly studio classes, and end-of-term recitals. Open to qualified Yale College instrumentalists and pianists by audition only. Prerequisite: MUSI 220. May be repeated for credit. For audition information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. RP ½ Course cr
* MUSI 222a or b, The Performance of Vocal Music Richard Lalli
A course for singers and pianists that emphasizes the analysis and musical preparation of classical solo song and operatic repertoire. Examination of structure (poetic, harmonic, motivic), discussion of style, exploration of vocal techniques, and introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet. Students are strongly encouraged to supplement the course with individual voice instruction. Admission by audition only. May be repeated for credit. For audition information e-mail email@example.com. HU
* MUSI 228a / THST 224a, Musical Theater Performance I Andrew Gerle
The structure and meaning of traditional and contemporary musical theater repertoire. Focus on ways to "read" a work, decipher compositional cues for character and action, facilitate internalization of material, and elicit lucid interpretations. For singers, pianists, and directors. Prerequisites: MUSI 211 and 219, or with permission of instructor. Admission by audition only. May be repeated for credit. For audition information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. HU RP
* MUSI 229b / THST 226b, Musical Theater Performance II Annette Jolles
The collaborative process and its effect on musical theater performance. Choreography, music direction, and origination of new works. Analysis of texts, scripts, and taped or filmed performances; applications in students' own performance. May be repeated for credit. For audition information e-mail email@example.com. RP
* MUSI 230a, Composing for Musical Theater Joshua Rosenblum
Introduction to elements of music- and lyric-writing for theater songs. Focus on the development of compositional proficiency in the musical theater idiom and on the refinement of each student's compositional voice as composer and/or lyricist. Prerequisite: MUSI 110 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 12. HU RP
* MUSI 232a or b, Central Javanese Gamelan Ensemble Maho Ishiguro
An introduction to performing the orchestral music of central Java and to the theoretical and aesthetic discourses of the gamelan tradition. Students form the nucleus of a gamelan ensemble that consists primarily of tuned gongs and metallophones; interested students may arrange for additional private instruction on more challenging instruments. The course culminates in a public performance by the ensemble. No previous musical experience required. RP
* MUSI 240a or b, The Performance of Early Music Grant Herreid
A study of musical styles of the twelfth through early eighteenth centuries, including examination of manuscripts, musicological research, transcription, score preparation, and performance. Students in this class form the nucleus of the Yale Collegium Musicum and participate in a concert series at the Beinecke Library. Admission by audition only. May be repeated for credit. For audition information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. HU RP
* MUSI 320a, Composition Seminar I
Intermediate analytic and creative projects in music composition, instrumentation, and scoring for visual media. Study of compositional procedures and techniques in different genres and styles. Group and individual lessons to supplement in-class activities. Enrollment limited to 20. Students with questions should contact the instructor at email@example.com. Prerequisite: MUSI 210 or 211 or equivalent. WR, HU RP
* MUSI 321b, Composition Seminar II Konrad Kaczmarek
Intermediate analytic and creative projects in music composition and instrumentation, with a focus on jazz harmony and voice-leading. Study of compositional procedures and techniques in different ensemble settings. Group and individual lessons to supplement in-class lectures. Enrollment limited to 20. Students with questions should contact the instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prerequisite: MUSI 210 or MUSI 211 and/or MUSI 312. RP
* MUSI 328a, Introduction to Conducting William Boughton
An introduction to conducting through a detailed study of the problems of baton technique. Skills applied to selected excerpts from the standard literature, including concertos, recitatives, and contemporary music.
* MUSI 329b, Intermediate Conducting William Boughton
Intermediate studies in baton technique and score preparation. After MUSI 323.
* MUSI 330b, Musical Theater Composition II Scott Frankel
Intermediate and advanced project-oriented studies in composition of musical theater. Prerequisite: MUSI 210. May be repeated for credit. Enrollment limited to 12. HU RP
* MUSI 340b / THST 318b, Analyzing, Directing, and Performing Early Opera Grant Herreid and Toni Dorfman
Study of a seventeenth-century Venetian opera, with attention to structural analysis of text and music. Exploration of period performance practice, including rhetorical expression, musical style, gesture, dance, Italian elocution, and visual design. Production of the opera in conjunction with the Yale Baroque Opera Project. Open to all students, but designed especially for singers, instrumentalists, and directors. Admission by audition only. May be repeated for credit. For audition information e-mail email@example.com. HU RP
* MUSI 345a or b, Lessons Richard Gard
Individual instruction in the study and interpretation of musical literature. No more than four credits of lessons can be applied towards the 36-credit degree requirement. Auditions for assignment to instructors (for both credit and noncredit lessons) are required for first year and some returning students, and are held only at the beginning of the fall term. For details, see the Music department's program description in the YCPS.
Intermediate Courses: Group III
* MUSI 351a, Music in European Court, Church, and Theater, 1600-1800 James Hepokoski
A detailed investigation of the history of musical style from 1600 to 1800. Preference to Music majors according to class. HU
* MUSI 352b, The European Art-Music Tradition, 1800-1950 James Hepokoski
A detailed investigation of the history of musical style from 1800 to the present. Preference to Music majors according to class. HU
Intermediate Courses: Group IV
MUSI 276a / AFAM 241a / AFST 262a, Traditional and Contemporary Musics of Sub-Saharan Africa Michael Veal
A survey of the traditional and popular musics of black Africa, organized both by nation, such as Ghana, and by region, such as Senegambia. Introduction to the fundamental musical principles, materials, and performance contexts of African music. WR
* MUSI 375b / AFST 353b, Introduction to Ethnomusicology Marissa Moore
A critical introduction to selected cultures of world music. Specific cultures vary from year to year but generally include those of Native America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. Preference to Music majors according to class. HU
* MUSI 376a / GMAN 261a / LITR 243a / THST 351a, Cabaret Lynda Paul
This seminar explores cabaret as both a historical and a contemporary form of musical-literary-theatrical performance, approaching it from historical, theoretical, and practical perspectives. We read about famous historical cabarets; watch films based on cabaret; read plays, short stories and novels; listen to cabaret songs; learn about the lives of cabaret performers; and analyze the works of contemporary American cabaret artists. More broadly, we examine the values and aesthetics underpinning cabaret’s central themes as a form, and explore the music-theatrical predecessors to the manifestation of these concepts in contemporary cabaret. These thematic explorations will lead us around the world and back and forth in time. In order to put our discussions of cabaret into a wider theatrical context, we will also explore a number of other performance genres related to cabaret, including commedia dell’arte, vaudeville, burlesque, circus, and minstrelsy. Historical and theoretical discussions will be combined with creative, performance-based assignments. HU
* MUSI 377b / THST 333b, Stephen Sondheim and the American Musical Theater Tradition Daniel Egan
The musical theater of Stephen Sondheim, both as a popular phenomenon of the contemporary Broadway stage and in relation to models and forms employed in the past. HU RP
Advanced Courses: Group I
* MUSI 404a, Nineteenth-Century Music: Analysis and Model Composition Richard Cohn
Studies in the theory, analysis, and composition of music of the nineteenth century. Prerequisite: MUSI 211. Enrollment limited to 18. Preference to Music majors according to class. HU
* MUSI 405b, Twentieth-Century Music: Analysis and Model Composition Patrick McCreless
Studies in the theory, analysis, and composition of music of the early and mid-twentieth century. Prerequisite: MUSI 211. Enrollment limited to 18. Preference to Music majors according to class. HU
* MUSI 414b, Instrumentation and Orchestration Kathryn Alexander
A study of instrumentation and orchestration in a variety of musical periods, genres and styles including arranging and scoring for visual media. Related creative project work. MUSI 210 or equivalent.
* MUSI 418a, Advanced Musicianship Michael Friedmann
Development of students' ability to recognize and generate structures and processes particular to music of the twentieth century. Student composers and advanced performers of post-tonal music expand their perceptive skills. Course activities include singing (and playing), dictation, identification, improvisation, and recognition. Musical examples from the works of Schoenberg, Bartók, Debussy, and Stravinsky. Enrollment limited to 14.
Advanced Courses: Group II
* MUSI 420a, Composition Seminar III Konrad Kaczmarek
Advanced analytic and creative projects in music composition and instrumentation, with a focus on writing for chamber ensembles. Ongoing study of evolving contemporary procedures and compositional techniques. Group and individual lessons to supplement in-class lectures. Admission by audition only. May be repeated for credit. Enrollment limited to 10. To audition, students should upload two PDF scores and MP3 recordings in a single zip file by 4 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the semester, to the designated Music 420 audition assignment page at the Canvas site. Students with questions should contact the instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prerequisites: Both MUSI 312 and 313. RP
* MUSI 421b, Composition Seminar IV Kathryn Alexander
Advanced analytic and creative projects in music composition and instrumentation, including short exercises on scoring for performers with interactive audio and visual media playback. Individual lessons to supplement in-class lectures. Admission by audition only. May be repeated for credit. Enrollment limited to 10. To audition, students should upload two PDF scores and MP3 recordings in a single zip file by the first Friday of the semester to the designated Music 421 audition assignment page at the Canvas site. Prerequisites: Both MUSI 320 (formerly 312) and 313. RP
MUSI 426a / CPSC 134a, Programming Musical Applications Scott Petersen
Topics in computer music, including musical representations for computing, automated music analysis and composition, interactive systems, and virtual instrument design. Use of domain-specific programming languages and libraries to explore how the principles of computer science can be applied to music to create new interfaces, instruments, and tools. Recommended preparation: the ability to read music or play an instrument. QR
MUSI 428a / CPSC 431a, Computer Music: Algorithmic and Heuristic Composition Scott Petersen
Study of the theoretical and practical fundamentals of computer-generated music, with a focus on high-level representations of music, algorithmic and heuristic composition, and programming languages for computer music generation. Theoretical concepts are supplemented with pragmatic issues expressed in a high-level programming language. Ability to read music is assumed. After CPSC 202 and 223. QR
* MUSI 429a, Mozart Chamber Music: Analysis and Performance Michael Friedmann
The class relates analysis to performer of 3-4 Mozart chamber works such as either/both of the piano quartets, the quintet for piano and winds, sonatas for piano and violin, piano trios, clarinet trio. Issues such as articulation, harmonic design, phrase structure, and hypermeter provide focus. Light readings, such as Marty's book on Mozart tempi and Charles Rosen's books. A short paper is required. Students are required to know the scores of all works studied and to participate in discussions. The class culminates with a concert. Open to pianists, violinists, violists, cellists, oboists, clarinetists, bassoonists, and French hornists by audition/interview. Prerequisite: MUSI 211 or the equivalent.
* MUSI 445a or b, Advanced Lessons Staff
Individual instruction for advanced performers in the study and interpretation of musical literature. No more than four credits of lessons can be applied towards the 36-credit degree requirement. Auditions for assignment to instructors (for both credit and noncredit lessons) are required for first year and some returning students, and are held only at the beginning of the fall term. For details, see the Music department's program description in the YCPS.
* MUSI 449a or b, Jazz Improvisation Wayne Escoffery
In this course students study basic, intermediate, and advanced concepts of improvisation and learn the essentials for the Jazz Language through solo transcription and analysis. Students learn how to use vocabulary (or musical phrases) and a variety of improvisational devices and techniques over common chords and chord progressions. Upon completion of the course students have a deeper understanding of what it takes to become a great improviser, what to practice and how to practice it, and how to go about expanding their Jazz Vocabulary in order to naturally develop a unique improvisational voice. Students are required to bring their instruments to class. Admission by permission from the instructor. Prerequisite: Basic understanding of Jazz nomenclature and some experience improvising is advised. ½ Course cr
Advanced Courses: Group III
* MUSI 451a / FILM 428a, Approaching Film Music Gundula Kreuzer and Marc Ladd
An introduction to the sonic dimensions of film from historical and critical perspectives. The seminar addresses key terms and concepts in the study of film music, covering major historical developments and theoretical concerns in European and American cinema from the silent era to the digital age. Includes occasional evening screening sessions. No musical background is required, but in case of doubt, contact instructor. Projects are tailored towards each student’s discipline. HU
* MUSI 452b / EDST 478b, Music, Service, and Society Sebastian Ruth
The role of musicians in public life, both on and off the concert stage. New ways in which institutions of music can participate in the formation of civil society and vibrant communities. The potential influence of music on the lives of people experiencing political or social oppression. HU RP
* MUSI 453b / RUSS 308b, Russian Opera Patrick McCreless and Julia Titus
This is an introductory course to Russian opera, from its first masterpiece in 1836 (Glinka’s Life for the Tsar) to the first widely popular Soviet opera (Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, 1930-32), which Stalin’s regime condemned in 1936, exactly 100 years later. Along the way we also study Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (1869), Chaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (1877-78) and The Queen of Spades (1889), Prokofiev’s The Gambler (1915-17), and Shostakovich’s The Nose (1928). We analyze how each opera unfolds dramatically and musically—attending, on the one hand, to the libretto and its source in Russian literature; and on the other, to the expressive import and formal structure of the music. Throughout the course we endeavor to understand the Russian culture that gave birth to these fascinating musico-dramatic works. HU RP
Advanced Courses: Group IV
* MUSI 476a / EAST 405a / THST 326a, Chinese Opera Kelsey Seymour
This course introduces students to varieties of Chinese opera through plays, Chinese theories of music and acting, modern scholarship, and recorded media. Furthermore, students learn strategies to evaluate written and performed aspects of Chinese opera in a manner that can be extended to Western opera, film, and other performed genres. HU
* MUSI 477a / AMST 485a / HUMS 354a, The Question of Music: Music, Critique, and Humanistic Theory Michael Denning and Gary Tomlinson
The European project of the “human sciences”—broadly speaking, of an anthropology or critique of human sociality—took off in the eighteenth century and, from there, saw a continuous unfolding through the next two hundred years. From the first, this project was attached to a musical thinking that is evident in such foundational voices as Vico and Rousseau. But the role of music was not a static one. Instead we can trace the shift from an eighteenth-century view of music as a universal human activity to a nineteenth-century privileging of the European musical achievement (Hanslick, Wagner, Nietzsche), and then, in the twentieth century, to a struggle between Eurocentrism and the reassertion of the postcolonial, global view, in figures from Adorno and Suzanne Langer to Edward Said and Paul Gilroy. Throughout this history, the shifting roles of music posed a challenge to disciplines and modes of thought reliant first and foremost on language. This course examines the dilemmas of music’s position in the human sciences, at once foundational and marginal, and aim to point the way forward to a truly musical human science of the twenty-first century. HU RP
* MUSI 478a / FILM 420a, Radio Brian Kane
Introduction to selected topics in the social history, technique, and meaning of radio in America, with a focus on music and mediation. Topics may include: the nature of the "radio archive;" early radio listening (DXing); the formation of the networks; advertising; the rise of audience research; African-American radio; the origins of the DJ and format radio. Workload may include: short papers, book reviews, radio building, archival research, and end-of- semester project. HU
* MUSI 479a / WGSS 479a, Feminisms in Popular Music Marissa Moore
The term feminist was once considered a dirty word, however more and more current popular music artists are claiming the title as a badge of honor. But how did the “F-word” transition from activist identity to popular label? And what do artists mean when they say they are—or aren’t—a feminist? In this course, we investigate how popular music artists have interacted with theories of feminism. Each week, we juxtapose feminist theory with writings on popular music, so that students can engage with the range of positionalities that feminism encompasses. Through this intersectional approach students gain a nuanced understanding of a variety of feminisms, in order to explore how artists bring the political aspects of their personal experience into their music, performances, and media appearances.
Individual Study and Senior Projects
* MUSI 495a or b, Individual Study Ian Quinn
Original essay in ethnomusicology, music history, music theory, or music technology and/or multimedia art under the direction of a faculty adviser. Admission to the course upon submission to the department of the essay proposal by the registration deadline, and approval of the director of undergraduate studies.
* MUSI 496a or b, The Senior Recital Ian Quinn
Preparation and performance of a senior recital and accompanying essay under faculty supervision. Admission by permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Prerequisite: MUSI 461.
* MUSI 497a or b, The Senior Project in Composition Ian Quinn
Preparation of a senior composition project under faculty supervision. Admission by permission of the composition faculty of the Department of Music. Prerequisites: MUSI 312, 313, 412, and 413.
* MUSI 498a or b, The Senior Project in Musical Theater Composition Ian Quinn
Preparation of a senior composition project in the field of musical theater under faculty supervision. Admission by permission of the coordinator of the Shen Curriculum. Two terms of MUSI 314 or equivalent.
* MUSI 499a or b, The Senior Essay Ian Quinn
Preparation of a senior essay under faculty supervision. Admission by permission of the director of undergraduate studies.