Fall 2017

Methods of Musical Analysis

Listed in: Music, as MUSI-244

Moodle site: Course


Jeffers L. Engelhardt (Section 01)


This is an upper-level theory course designed for majors or students with experience analyzing and performing music. MUSI 244 may be used to fulfill the second required course in theory for the music major (other courses that may be used to fulfill this requirement are MUSI 242 and MUSI 243).

This course engages music theories from around the world from the perspective of ethnomusicology and analytic approaches drawn from sound studies. The music we analyze will come from popular, folk, and classical traditions around the world, including West African drumming, Caribbean dance genres, East Asian court and religious traditions, American roots music, classical traditions from the Arab world and Indian subcontinent, and several global popular styles. At its core, the course addresses three questions: What do musicians working in the traditions we will be studying hear in and think about the music they make? What methods are available to better understand these kinds of music? How does analysis develop our skills as musicians and listeners? Students will learn methods of musical transcription (notating or visually representing sound) and software-aided analysis to develop translatable ways of approaching timbre, texture, rhythm, groove, meter, harmony, mode, tuning, and musical form. Understanding the ways people theorize music in the process of performance, improvisation, composition, and teaching across musical cultures will give students new tools for creating, performing, and analyzing music. Although not a performance course, class sessions feature hands-on involvement with instruments and singing. Required coursework includes weekly listening, transcription, and analysis assignments; basic projects in composition; and in-class presentations and music making. There will be a number of lecture-demonstrations by visiting artists and scholars.

Requisite: MUSI 241 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Engelhardt.


Artistic Practice


2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017, Fall 2020