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 website. 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 intermediate level (MUSI 345), graded Pass/Fail; or (3) lessons for academic credit at the advanced level (MUSI 445), graded A–F. Only students with exceptional proficiency are placed into MUSI 445.
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 enroll concurrently 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 With the approval of the director of undergraduate studies (DUS), 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, and 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.
The standard major Students must submit a completed Senior Project Form to the DUS 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 Academic Regulations, section K, Special Programs, "Simultaneous Award of the Bachelor's and Master's Degrees"), 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 during the third year of the B.A. program. For details regarding the B.A./M.M. program, please consult the Yale School of Music Bulletin.
Students cannot accelerate the undergraduate program in the B.A./M.M. program. Students in the Class of 2022 and prior class years may fulfill the Yale College requirements that were in place when they were accepted into the B.A./M.M. program.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Number of courses 13 term courses numbered 200 or above (incl senior req)
Specific courses required None
Distribution of courses 2 intermediate courses and 1 advanced course from each group I–IV
Senior requirement One-term senior essay, composition, or recital in MUSI 496–499
Intensive major Two-term senior essay or project in MUSI 497–499; additional course is supplementary to the thirteen 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 department 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
Associate Professors Robert Holzer (Adjunct), Brian Kane, Gundula Kreuzer, Markus Rathey (Adjunct), Anna Zayaruznaya
Assistant Professors Konrad Kaczmarek, Henry Parkes
Lecturers Nathaniel Adam, Daniel Egan, Scott Frankel, Andrew Gerle, Grant Herreid, Maho Ishiguro, Annette Jolles, Sara Kohane, Marissa Moore, Joshua Rosenblum, Wendy Sharp
* MUSI 035b / CPSC 035b, Twenty-First Century Electronic and Computer Music Techniques Scott Petersen
Exploration of twenty-first century electronic and computer music through the diverse subjects and issues at the intersection of technology and new music. How computers have changed and challenged the analysis, composition, production, and appreciation of music over the last fifty years. Knowledge of basic music theory and the ability to read Western musical notation is assumed. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.
MUSI 100b, Melody, Rhythm, and Notation in Global Context Ian Quinn
This course develops skills in singing, hearing, and writing music through repertory-based case studies of improvised and written melody in global ritual song traditions. Modern Western music notation is introduced through a study of its historical development as a tool for vocal literacy. Topics include mode, scale, rhythm, meter, and form. Lectures introduce theoretical concepts in their epistemological, cultural, and historical contexts, and small-group recitation and improvisation sessions turn these concepts into musical intuitions. Principles of modal and tonal organization are introduced by modeling repertories including Vedic chant, Torah cantillation, Byzantine psalm intonation, and Carolingian chant. Interdependencies between melodic design, musical meter, and poetic prosody are explored through immersion in a repertory of folk hymnody from the Second Great Awakening, a major site of antebellum musical contact between Americans of European and African descent. Willingness to sing is essential for this course, though talent is not a prerequisite. No experience with musical notation is required.
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 131a, Introduction to the History of Western Music: 1800 to the Present Gundula Kreuzer
A survey of nineteenth- and twentieth-century composers, genres, and styles of music in Europe and America, with an emphasis on ways of listening. No prerequisites. HU
MUSI 180b, 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 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 200b / PHYS 118b, The Physics of Music Sarah Demers
Basic concepts in physics introduced through study of the interplay between physics and music. The mathematics of harmony; tone production by musical instruments; sound propagation through spaces such as concert halls. QR, SC
* 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 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 229b / THST 226b, Musical Theater Performance II Staff
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 233b, Cultures and Performing Arts of Central Java Maho Ishiguro
This course explores how music and theatre traditions engage with culture, history, and tradition of performing arts in central Java with a particular focus on the role of the gamelan ensemble. Students gain first-hand experience in Javanese Wayang theater, a traditional shadow puppet performance in which the gamelan serves as a musical accompanist. This course is designed to not only give performative and practical experience of central Javanese gamelan in the traditional style, but also presents opportunities for students to examine cultural and historical aspects of the shadow puppetry tradition and gamelan music in central Java. We focus specifically on 1) the musical language and structure of central Javanese gamelan music in the context of shadow puppetry performance, 2) the historical tradition and practice of shadow puppetry, and 3) livelihood of traditional performing arts in contemporary sociocultural and religious contexts. Prerequisite: MUSI 232 or permission of the instructor.
* 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 email@example.com. HU RP
* MUSI 320a, Composition Seminar I Kathryn Alexander
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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 Jeanine Tesori
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 350a, History of Western Music: Middle Ages and Renaissance Henry Parkes
A detailed investigation of the history of musical style from A.D. 900 to 1600. Preference to Music majors according to class. HU
* MUSI 351b, Music in European Court, Church, and Theater, 1600-1800 Staff
A detailed investigation of the history of musical style from 1600 to 1800. Preference to Music majors according to class. HU
MUSI 370b / ART 371b, Sound Art Martin Kersels
Introduction to sound art, a contemporary artistic practice that uses sound and listening as mediums, often creating psychological or physiological reactions as part of the finished artwork. The history of sound art in relation to the larger history of art and music; theoretical underpinnings and practical production; central debates and problems in contemporary sound art. Includes creation and in-class critique of experimental works. Materials fee: $25. HU
Intermediate Courses: Group IV
Advanced Courses: Group I
* 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 email@example.com. 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 427b / CPSC 432b, Computer Music: Sound Representation and Synthesis Scott Petersen
Study of the theoretical and practical fundamentals of computer-generated music, with a focus on low-level sound representation, acoustics and sound synthesis, scales and tuning systems, 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 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 445a or b, Advanced Lessons Richard Gard
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. Prerequisite: Basic understanding of Jazz nomenclature and some experience improvising is advised. Admission by audition only. Permission of the instructor is required. ½ Course cr
Advanced Courses: Group III
* 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
Advanced Courses: Group IV
Individual Study and Senior Projects
* MUSI 495a or b, Individual Study Staff
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 Staff
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 Staff
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 Staff
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 Staff
Preparation of a senior essay under faculty supervision. Admission by permission of the director of undergraduate studies.