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Music

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2022-23

103 Music and Totalitarianism

In 1936 the official Soviet newspaper Pravda denounced Dmitri Shostakovich’s latest opera as “muddle instead of music.” In 1942 the Party used his “Leningrad” Symphony as propaganda in the Soviet Union’s war against Nazi Germany. Shostakovich’s career demonstrates both the unlimited government support and the unlimited control totalitarian states exercise over their artists. This course explores musical life under totalitarian regimes: the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, the GDR, Socialist Hungary, China at the time of the Cultural Revolution, and North Korea. Classes will center on musical works affected by such control, including Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth and his Symphony No. 5, and the Chinese ballet The Red Detachment of Women. We will watch propaganda films such as Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky and Leni Riefenstahl's The Triumph of the Will as well as films about the perils of totalitarianism such as István Szabó’s Mephisto, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s The Life of Others, and the documentary From Mao to Mozart. Readings will include Hannah Arendt’s analysis of totalitarianism and historical documents pertinent to interpreting musical works in their political context. No previous knowledge of music is required.

Fall semester. Professor Moricz.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

105, 204 African Popular Music

(Offered as BLST 204 [A] and MUSI 105)  This course focuses on twentieth-century African popular music; it examines musical genres from different parts of the continent, investigating their relationships to the historical, political and social dynamics of their respective national and regional origins. Regional examples like highlife, soukous, chimurenga, and afro-beate will be studied to assess the significance of  popular music as a creative response to social and political developments in colonial and postcolonial Africa. The course also discusses the growth of hip-hop music in selected countries by exploring how indigenous cultural tropes have provided the basis for its local appropriation. Themes explored in this course include the use of music in the construction of identity; popular music, politics and resistance; the interaction of local and global elements; and the political significance of musical nostalgia. 

Fall semester. Limited to 30 students. Five College Professor Omojola.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

108 Science and Music

(Offered as MUSI 108 and PHYS 108) Appreciating music requires no special scientific or mathematical ability. Yet science and mathematics have a lot to tell us about how we make music and build instruments, what we consider harmonious, and how music is processed by the ear and brain. This course will delve into the fundamentals of music theory, perceptual psychology, and physics in exploring such topics as scales and tunings, the physical properties of sound, Fourier analysis, organizing principles of musical forms, fundamentals of instrument construction, vocal sound production, and elements of sound recording and music production. We will consider ways in which science can be part of the creative process as well as the role creativity plays in scientific discovery. The course will include laboratories during the usual class times that cover a variety of topics ranging from basic acoustics to the formants of vowel sounds. The semester will culminate in an artistic or scientific project located at the crossroads of music and science. No background in music or physics is required. Students are expected to be well versed in high-school-level mathematics, but no knowledge of calculus will be assumed.

Spring semester. Limited to 20 students. Professors Sawyer and Friedman

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

111 Introduction to Music

This course is intended for students with little or no background in music who would like to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of how music works. Students will be introduced to the technical details of music such as musical notation, intervals, basic harmony, meter and rhythm. Familiarity with basic music theory will enable students to read and perform at sight as well as provide an introduction to the composition of melodies with chordal accompaniment. The music we analyze and perform will draw from folk, popular, and concert traditions. Assignments will include oral and written exercises, and preparation of music for class performance. This course serves as a requisite for many Music Department offerings. Students with some musical experience contemplating MUSI 111 are encouraged to take a self-administered placement exam available at the Music Department website. Students are also encouraged to discuss placement in music theory with a member of the Music Department. Two class meetings and one ear training section per week.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester: Professors Engelhardt and Harper. Spring semester: Professor Móricz. 

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

116 Live Music

Most of us listen to music by putting on our headphones and connecting to the internet, but not that long ago, such a feat was physically and technologically impossible. In the space of little more than a generation, there has been a sea change in how we listen to music. What are some of the implications of this transformation? If we are usually alone when we’re doing it, can listening to music still be considered a communal activity? Have we privatized the musical space? Have we democratized it? Has live music become a quaint vestige of the past?

In this course, we will closely examine what is at stake for performers and listeners in live music settings. Through attendance at rehearsals and performances, as well as lectures and panel discussions by guest speakers, we will engage the communities of musicians and listeners in the region and familiarize ourselves with the rich heritages of music found here. Through reading and writing assignments, we will critically examine how the live music experience changes or stays the same across formats, styles, and cultures: a metal concert in a bar, a hip hop concert in a stadium, a singer-songwriter’s performance in a café, a symphony performance in a concert hall. We will also examine ideas about virtual music that bring into question the very notion of liveness. Coursework includes attendance at roughly one music event per week outside of class.

Limited to 30 students. Spring Semester. Professor Harper. 

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

126 Hip Hop History and Culture

(Offered as MUSI 126 and BLST 134 [US]) This course examines the cultural origins of hip hop and how this small, minority, Bronx-based subculture expanded into one of the most influential styles of music in the world. The course will begin by analyzing the cultural conditions out of which hip hop arose in the mid-1970s; from there it will turn to examining how hip hop music, over the last thirty-five years, has sounded out the identity of its creators as they have grappled with six major questions: What musical elements are crucial components of hip hop’s sound? What does realness in hip hop sound like, and why does it matter? How have artists negotiated expressing their specific geographic origins while simultaneously embracing globalization? How does this genre fit into the music industry, and how has the music industry affected hip hop? Should hip hop be political, and how should artists express their politics? How have technological developments altered hip hop’s sound? Through answering these questions, students will gain an understanding of how hip hop has developed into the styles that we hear today, and how hip hop has radically transformed American racial politics and popular culture more broadly.

Limited to 30 students. Professor Coddington. Fall semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

129H Beginning Voice Class

An exploration of the physiology and acoustics of the human singing voice in a group setting. We will learn the fundamentals of singing including breathing, tone production, and diction. Vocal technique is taught in a group format as a healthy foundation for choral performance in both classical and non-classical singing styles. Learn basic vocal and musical vocabulary.

Lecturer Arianne Abela. Fall and Spring Semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

130H Jazz Ensemble

The Amherst College Jazz Ensemble meets a minimum of 2X per week in rehearsals and gives a minimum of three performances each semester. Membership is possible for those who perform on traditional jazz instrumentation (saxophones, brass, piano, guitar, bass, drums, vibes) as well as vocalists. An exciting opportunity each year is the chance to give a world premiere of a piece composed especially for the membership of the jazz ensemble. This always current piece goes along with other repertoire that is chosen from the last 100 years of jazz. Students are also encouraged to create original compositions and arrangements. May be repeated for credit.

Half credit. Fall and spring semesters.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

131H Jazz Combo

Participation in a jazz combo involves 2 coached sessions per week and a minimum of 3 performances each semester. Players are placed in groups according to their ease with the skill of improvisation. Repertoire is taken from traditional, standard jazz resources as well as more popular music and original compositions. Though prior experience is helpful, we can find a place for virtually all who wish to be a part of this vibrant program. Establised in 2021-2022, Jazz@Friedmann Room provides a club-like atmosphere for our students to share their musical progress. We encourage membership in groups to be the same from Fall into Spring semester. May be repeated for credit.

Half credit. Fall and spring semesters.

 

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

132H Symphony Orchestra

The Amherst Symphony Orchestra is open by audition to all students regardless of major.  It rehearses twice a week from 7-930pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and performs three concerts per semester.  Membership ranges in size from fifty to eighty.  Repertoire includes overtures, concertos, symphonies and tone poems by canonic composers from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern periods in addition to works by a diversity of historically underrepresented artists. The Symphony Orchestra also occasionally performs film music, operas and musicals, and appears on tour at universities such as Stanford and venues such as Symphony Space in New York City. Close listening, collaborative and interpretive skills are developed and refined, and historical, biographical, analytical and stylistic knowledge is acquired. Consistent, conscientious and punctual attendance as well as part preparation is required. 

Lecturer Swanson. Fall and Spring Semester. May be repeated for credit.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

133H Chamber Music Performance

Many young musicians find the close collaboration and artistic give-and-take of chamber music to be uniquely rewarding. Possible chamber music configurations include but are not limited to string quartets, piano trios, woodwind and brass quintets, and other ensembles with piano. Both self-formed and instructor-suggested groups are feasible, and enrollees are permitted to select repertoire from an array of choices recommended by the instructor. Groups typically meet twice a week for at least an hour per session--once on their own and once with a coach (either the instructor or another member of the Music Department faculty). Opportunities for coaching by visiting professional artists on the prestigious Music at Amherst series are often also available. Culminating performances of selected movements or entire works are presented in varying venues both within the Department and on campus, as well as off campus. Consistent, conscientious and punctual attendance as well as part preparation is required. Participation in Symphony Orchestra by auditing or registration is a co-requisite, except for pianists. Lecturer Swanson. Fall and Spring Semester. May be repeated for credit.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

211 Exploring Music

Through composition, analysis, listening practice, and performance, we will build a solid working understanding of many principles of music common in Western musical traditions. The course aims to develop comfort and dexterity in engaging with music via listening, analysis, and creative work. Assignments include harmonizing melodies, writing short melodies and accompaniments, creative representation and listening projects, and annotated analysis. On several occasions we will use our instruments and voices to bring musical examples to life in the classroom. Two class meetings and one ear training section per week.

Students who have not previously taken a course in music theory at Amherst College are encouraged to take a self-administered placement exam available on reserve in the Music Library and on the Music Department Website (www.amherst.edu/~music/TheoryPlacement.pdf ). Students are also encouraged to discuss placement in music theory with a member of the Music Department.This course or MUSI 213 is considered a point of entry to MUSI 341, and serves as a prerequisite to many other Music Department offerings. Requisite: MUSI 111, or equivalent ability gained by playing an instrument or singing. Limited to 18 students. Fall semester: Visiting Professor Pukinskis.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

215 Musical Theater Analysis

Musical theater tells its stories through a blend of spoken words in scenes and text in song. In combination with music, words blur the edges between “real life” and “song” in a performance, clouding our understanding of where reality begins and ends in the theater. Text can communicate a message; it can become the driving force for musical motives. Each week in Musical Theater Analysis, we will look at musicals such as The Color Purple, Waitress, Ragtime, Hadestown, and Rent to unpack how music helps tell the story and shape characters through harmony, melody, motivic development, text, and text setting, all working together to shape the overall structure, content, and resultant effect of a performance. We will emphasize musicals written in the past thirty years (or revived after 2000), with a focus on diversity of stories, styles, and composer representation. The musical as a primary source will be supplemented by listening, score study, as well as readings on reception, poetry, and other critical analyses.

Requisite: Must be able to read music and have a basic understanding of music theory. MUSI-111 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Pukinskis.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

221 Voices from a Bygone Time

(Offered as MUSI 221 and EUST 221) Monks living in monastic seclusion, troubadours serving their ladies and fighting wars, mad princes writing complicated polyphonic music, male castrato singers celebrated as the pop-stars of opera houses are just a few of the fascinating characters who participated in music making from the Middle Ages until the middle of the eighteenth century in Europe. The music they produced is frequently called "early music," a falsely unifying label that hides the kaleidoscopic nature of this fantastic repertory, ranging from monophonic chant to opera. In this course we will study how the invention of musical notation affected the development of music, turning an oral tradition of chant into a written tradition of complex polyphonic textures unimaginable without the help of notation. Reading historical documents and listening to selected pieces of music, we'll visit the soundscape of this bygone time that still influences our thinking about music. Assignments include listening, reading, and short papers. Knowledge of musical notation at least at the rudimentary level is recommended.

Requisite: MUSI 211 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Móricz.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

222 Music and Culture II

(Offered as MUSI 222 and EUST 222) One of three courses in which the development of Western music is studied in its cultural-historical context. Occasionally we will attend concerts in Amherst and elsewhere. Composers to be studied include Beethoven, Rossini, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Mussorgsky, and Brahms. Regular listening assignments will broaden the repertoire we encounter and include a wide sampling of Classical and Romantic music. Periodic writing assignments will provide opportunities to connect the music with historical-cultural interpretation. Readings will focus on Gibbs/Taruskin Oxford History of Western Music with additional historical documents and selected critical and analytical studies. This course may be elected individually or in conjunction with other Music and Culture courses (MUSI 221 and 223). Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: MUSI 111, 211, or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Schneider.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

227, 344 Jazz History After 1945: Experimentalism, Pluralism, and Traditionalism

(Offered as MUSI 227 and BLST 344 [US]) One of two courses that trace the development of jazz from its emergence in early 20th-century New Orleans to its profound impact on American culture. This course explores the emergence of bebop in the 1940s, the shift of jazz's relationship with American popular culture after World War II, and the dramatic pluralization of jazz practice after the 1950s. We will also look at the emergence of fusion and the jazz avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s, and theorize the reformulation of "tradition" during the 1980s. Central to our examination will be the phenomenon of "neoclassicism" common in jazz discourse today, measuring that against the radical diversity of jazz practice around the world. Many figures central to the development of the varied post-bebop directions in jazz will be discussed: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Ornette Coleman, the New York Downtown scene, and many others. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Robinson.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

229H Glee Club

The Amherst College Glee Club, founded in 1865, is the fifth oldest collegiate choral ensemble in the United States. In this course, the ensemble will meet twice a week to develop the skill and knowledge to perform a wide range of musical styles and genres. Participation in this course will help singers develop their vocal ability in a positive environment, interact with living composers on newly composed repertory, as well as engage in the study of repertory from the Western and non-western choral canon. The ensemble frequently interacts with other choral ensembles, visiting instructors and guests, locally and on tour, both domestically and internationally. Students enrolled in this course must have some experience with music notation and the ability to match pitch, though experience singing in a choral setting is not required. 

Lecturer Arianne Abela. Fall and Spring Semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

230 Rhythm

What is musical rhythm and why does it matter? How is rhythm perceived, measured, notated (or indicated) and performed in different musical cultures and what does rhythm “mean” within each system?  In this course we will examine rhythmic traditions within their historical, social, and cultural contexts, develop ways of understanding rhythms across cultures and traditions, and learn how to hear and perform rhythms of various traditions. We will use staff notation of Western music as an analytical tool and comparative model to investigate rhythmic complexity, polyrhythm, cross rhythm, mixed and odd meters, groove, incremental repetition and ecstaticism induced by rhythm, as well as pedagogical and conceptual models from musics beyond the Western tradition, such as solkattu from South Indian Carnatic music, but also concepts like quantization in MIDI programming, transcription, and time unit box notation systems (TUBS). Coursework will include reading, listening, and viewing assignments, learning and performing rhythmic exercises discussed in class, brief writing and class presentation projects, and a final project. While there are no course prerequisites for this class, students should be familiar with basic rhythmic concepts of Western staff notation.

Spring Semester. Professor Robinson and co-instructor TBD.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

232, 233 Listening, Hearing, and the Human

(Offered as MUSI 232 and ANTH 233) If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? A provisional answer from the field of sound studies is: no, the falling tree produces vibration, but does not make a sound absent a listening, hearing human subject. Take another step, and we arrive at ethnomusicologist John Blacking’s time-honored (but not unproblematic) definition of music as “humanly organized sound” and “soundly organized humanity.” In this course, we linger at the intersections of sound and music, listening and hearing to learn about the human. What happens as we encounter music, sound, and voice as forms of vibration available to our senses rather than as texts and sonic objects? How are listening and hearing culturally specific practices shaped by particular histories, identities, technologies, hierarchies of the senses, capitalist desires, human ecologies, concepts of ability and disability, and the work of performers, scholars, and sound artists? In addressing these questions through listening exercises and readings in music, sound, media studies, and anthropology, and listening exercises, we will employ what Pauline Oliveros calls “Deep Listening” (an ethical practice of listening to other humans and non-humans and to music) as a research methodology. Ultimately, this course will attune us to the urgency of listening to the sounds of protest, hearing voices speaking and singing across differences of power and privilege, and attending to what the sounds of the Anthropocene signal.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Engelhardt. 

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

238, 239, 312 Soundscapes of the Connecticut River Valley

(Offered as MUSI 238, ANTH 239 and FAMS 312) This course is about exploring, participating in, and documenting the musical communities and acoustic terrain of the Connecticut River Valley. The first part of the course will focus on local histories and music scenes, ethnographic methods and technologies, and different techniques of documentary representation. The second part of the course will involve intensive, sustained engagement with musicians and sounds in the Amherst vicinity (and beyond). Course participants will give weekly updates about their fieldwork projects and are expected to become well-versed in the musics they are studying. There will be a significant amount of work and travel outside of class meetings. The course will culminate in contributions to a web-based documentary archive of soundscapes projects. We will also benefit from visits and interaction with local musicians. Two class meetings per week. Visit http://www.valleysoundscapes.org/ for more information.

Limited to 12 students. Spring semester. Professor Engelhardt.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

254, 264, 332 Impulse/Imagination/Invention: Experiments Across Media

This studio course is designed as an interactive laboratory for students interested in imaginative experimentation to discover and access multiple ways to generate material in different media (dance, theater, visual /digital art, text and/or sound). The course emphasizes a practice of rigorous play and a dedicated interest in process and invention. Also, the course will be informed by a view that anything and everything is possible material for creative and spontaneous response and production. Working individually and in collaborative groups, students will construct original material in various media and delve into multiple ways to craft interesting exchanges and dialogues between different modes of expression. A range of structures and inspirations will be given by the instructor but students will also develop their own "playlists" for inspiring creative experimentation and production. We will have a series of informal studio showings in different media throughout the semester. A final portfolio of creative material generated over the course of the semester will be required. This studio seminar requires instructor permission; interested students need to contact the instructor before registering.

Limited to 15 students. Spring Semester. Professor Woodson. The course will also incorporate instruction from guest artists.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

269 Composition I

What does it mean to compose? What do you need to know in order to do it? We will investigate the practice of music composition across recent decades and create original work inspired by the music and techniques we encounter. We will study the use instruments and voices, how to provide a clear musical score for interpretation by performers, and how improvisation and technology can inform and become part of a composition. Students may bring any style or tradition to the table. The class will focus especially on three lineages through the twentieth century into the twenty-first: modern Western art music, instrumental music from the African-American tradition, and the gamut of American popular song. Each composition will be presented in class, with the assistance of performers from inside and outside the class. We will develop the skill of providing one another constructive feedback. The class will culminate in a concert performance of final compositions.Two class meetings per week.

Requisite: MUSI 111, some background playing an instrument or singing, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Fall semester. Professor Sawyer.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

329H Concert Choir

The Amherst College Concert Choir is the premier performing and touring ensemble at Amherst College. Singers will learn to refine aural and vocal skills while singing challenging music from all genres and styles in this chamber setting. Participation in the Glee Club is a co-requisite for Concert Choir. Meets twice a week for 90 minutes and once a week for 30 minutes. Lecturer Arianne Abela. Fall and Spring Semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

341 Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint

As musicians, we sometimes forget how powerful harmony is. We casually drop the term in conversation. We think of it as common knowledge. Well, in a way, it is. Emerging in the 17th century in Western Europe and eventually spreading to many places around the world, this musical system has come to play a tremendous role in our perception of musical structure and our emotional experience as listeners.We find harmony in concert halls, coliseums, and coffeehouses, jazz clubs, movie theaters, and mosh pits. Inextricably bound to our digital-download algorithms for "happy", "focus-flow", and "lo-fi cool down", it is built into our playlists. Through composition, analysis, dictation and performance, we will develop theoretical and practical tools to cultivate a deep understanding of the conventions of tonal harmony across a variety of styles. We will use counterpoint - the combination of melodic lines - to amplify our examination.

This course is the first of the required music theory sequence for majors. Three class meetings and two ear-training sections per week. Students who have not previously taken a course in music theory at Amherst College are encouraged to take a self-administered placement exam available on the Music Department Website (https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/music/theoryexam). Students are also encouraged to discuss placement in music theory with a member of the Music Department.

Limited to 18 students. Professor Coddington. Fall and Spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

342 Form in Tonal Music

How can a piece of instrumental music with no words tell a story? How can a song with words convey a sense of perfect abstract design? Musical form is an interaction of melody, harmony, rhythm, and other musical parameters that can be used to structure a temporal experience into a narrative experience. We will consider several genres across musical eras and traditions, including Baroque counterpoint, classical sonata forms, and American popular song forms, seeing how the shaping of common practice harmony gives voice to many shades of individuality within each tradition. Students will have the opportunity to get inside of each stylistic language by writing guided compositions inspired by the models we study. Fulfills one of the required music theory sequences for majors. Two lectures and one ear-training section per week.  Requisite: Music 341 or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Sawyer.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

343 Jazz Form and Analysis

An upper level theory course designed for majors or students with prior jazz performance or theory experience. Students do not need a background in jazz to enroll in this course, and this course may be used to satisfy one of two required courses for the theory and analysis requirement for the music major.

Among the topics to be explored in the course will be melodic, harmonic and formal concepts from: hot jazz of the 1920s, big bands of the 1930s and 1940s, bebop of the 1940s, the post-bop legacies of hard bop, cool jazz and their manifestations today, as well as the jazz avant-garde and fusion of the 1960s and 1970s. Students will gain an understanding of the formal principles of various types of small and large ensemble jazz composition and improvisation.

Required coursework will include melodic, harmonic and formal/structural analysis of compositions, arrangements, and improvisations from various historical and stylistic periods within the development of jazz. We will carry out these investigations through listening, transcription, and composition/writing projects. This is not a performance course; however, certain assignments will require basic performance exercises on piano and/or another instrument with which the student is familiar (including voice).

Requisite: MUSI 341, a background in jazz, or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Robinson.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

355 Solo Performance: Movement, Text, Sound, Video

In this studio course, we will explore different skills and approaches towards creating solo performance. We will examine examples of historical and contemporary solo performances in theater, dance, video, music, radio plays, street, stand up and in political/social arenas to inform and ask what makes these effective (or not). We will use what we learn from these examples to inspire our own solo material. We will also develop additional techniques (through improvisational trial and error) that enliven and engage our different voices, stories, imaginations and emotions. An emphasis will be placed on exploring and crafting dynamic relationships within and between different media and modes of expression in order to create confident and compelling solo presentations for live and virtual arenas. We will consider the solo as both a personal vehicle of expression and as a means of giving voice to experiences of others. In the process of making compositional choices, we will consider the personal and social implications of these choices. The semester will culminate in public performances of final solos.

Requisite: Previous experience in performance and/or video--whether in the arts or public presentations in other disciplines/contexts. Open to juniors and seniors. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 10 students. Spring semester. Professor Woodson.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

371 Seminar in Composition I

Immersive composition projects tailored to the needs and experience of the individual student, deepening the experience gained in creative courses like Music 269. One class meeting per week and one individual meeting per week. Group meetings will include discussions on compositional topics, study of repertory from a wide range of styles and traditions, and sharing of music by students and visitors in a workshop environment. The semester includes partnerships to write for professional musicians, as well as a final class concert. This course may be repeated as topics and projects change each semester. Music 387 and Music 388 need not be taken in order.

Requisite: MUSI 269 or the equivalent, or consent of the instructor. Fall semester. Professor Sawyer.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

372 Composition Seminar II

A continuation of MUSI 387. One class meeting per week and weekly private conferences. This course may be repeated. Spring 2023 will focus on song covers and arrangements.

Requisite: MUSI 269 or the equivalent and consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Pukinskis.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

385 Hip Hop Production

How is hip hop made, and why does it sound the way it does? In this course, we will examine the history of hip hop production by creating hip hop, analyzing how technological inventions and changing aesthetic practices have contributed to the sound and style of hip hop’s beats. Through close listening, together with reading first-person accounts, critical reviews, musical instrument manuals, ethnographies, and musical analyses, students in this course will develop a historical understanding of the aesthetics and musical contributions of important hip hop producers and how these producers have embraced new technologies and instruments. Informed by this historical background, students will compose hip hop beats using a variety of instruments and software and using celebrated tracks by producers such as Rick Rubin, the Bomb Squad, the Dust Brothers, Organized Noize, J Dilla, and Metro Boomin as models for their compositions.

Requisite: MUSI 126/BLST 134 or the equivalent, or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Coddington.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

390, 390H, 490, 490H Special Topics

Independent reading course. A full course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020

439 Seminar in Improvised Music

Functioning as a combined seminar and performance workshop, this course explores the theory and practice of musical improvisation. Rather than focus on one specific musical style, we will define “improvised music” in an inclusive way that draws equally from American and European experimental musics, various approaches to post-1965 jazz improvisation, and several musical traditions from around the world that prominently use improvisation. Students will be encouraged to develop new performance practices drawn from and in dialogue with these diverse musical traditions. Reading, listening, and video assignments will help familiarize students with the burgeoning field of improvised music studies and will serve to guide class discussions. Students with any musical/stylistic background are encouraged to enroll. Two class meetings per week. Fulfills the departmental seminar requirement for the major.

Requisite: Basic instrumental or vocal proficiency. Limited to 10 students. Fall semester. Professor Robinson.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

444 Formation of the Self in Twentieth-Century Music

How can we recognize a composer's voice in different pieces of music? How do composers develop a personal style? In this seminar we will study what constitute composers' personal style. Our primary text will be compositions by strong personalities from twentieth-century music, among them Claude Debussy, Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, and Olivier Messiaen, whose style had a disproportionately large influence on composers coming after them. We will learn to read and understand their complex scores and to write about them in a way that explains both their compositional technique and captures the particular sonic world of their music. For their final projects, students will analyze the style of a composer of their choice or of their own developing compositional voice. Two class meetings and two ear-training sections per week. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.

Requisite: MUSI 341 or 342, or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Móricz. 

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023

449 Seminar in the Anthropology of Music: Voice

(Offered as MUSI 449 and ANTH 449) This seminar explores the sound and significance of the human voice in broad perspective. What do we communicate with our voice? Why are certain voices powerful or unforgettable? How are voices culturally shaped and constrained? How do people use their voice along the continuum between speech and song? What happens when the voice turns text into sound? What does it mean in terms of politics and personhood to have a voice? How does vocal sound relate to knowledge of the body and ideas about race, gender, and identity? To engage these questions, we will begin by examining the classic premise that the voice is a sonic medium for music, language, and other forms of communicative expression whose production (singing, speaking, vocalizing) and uptake (listening, recognizing, empathizing) are basic to social life and inhabiting one's environment. Throughout the term, we will push this premise in critical new directions by remembering that song and language affect us because the voice is not merely a medium. What Roland Barthes famously describes as "the grain of the voice" is its profound, compelling sonic presence beyond its role as a medium. Thinking about the significance of vocal sound and timbre in this light, we will explore a host of voices and vocal styles from throughout the world, including how we use our own creativel, in performance, and relative to the constraints of a voice-impacting global pandemic. We will listen and read widely, benefiting from each others' experience and insights as well as those of singers and scholars who will join us. Fulfills either the departmental seminar requirement or the comprehensive exam requirement for the major.

Fall semester. Professor Engelhardt. 

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

498, 498D, 499, 499D Senior Departmental Honors

Advanced work for Honors candidates in music history and criticism, music theory, ethnomusicology, composition, or performance. A thesis, a major composition project or a full-length recital will be required. No student shall elect more than one semester as a double course. A full course.

Fall semester. The Department.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

Music Lessons

151H Piano Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in piano with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

152H Voice Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in voice with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

153H Violin Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in violin with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

154H Viola Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in viola with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

155H Trumpet Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in trumpet with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

156H Percussion Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in percussion with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical or jazz tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

157H Saxophone Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in saxophone with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical and/or jazz tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

158H French Horn Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in French horn with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

159H Clarinet Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in clarinet with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

160H Cello Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in cello with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

161H Classical Guitar Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in guitar with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

162H String Bass Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in string bass with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

163H Flute Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in flute with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

166H Fiddle Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in fiddle with a focus on repertoire chosen with the instructor. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

168H Jazz Piano Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in piano with a focus on repertoire from the jazz tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

169H Jazz Voice Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in voice with a focus on repertoire from the jazz tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

170H Jazz Guitar Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in guitar with a focus on repertoire from the jazz tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

171H Jazz Bass Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in bass with a focus on repertoire from the jazz tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

172H Bassoon Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in bassoon with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

173H Organ Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in organ with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

174H Tuba Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in tuba with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

175H Trombone Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in trombone with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical and/or jazz tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

176H Harp Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in harp with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

177H Oboe Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in oboe with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

178H Mallets Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in mallets with a focus on repertoire from the Western classical and/or jazz tradition. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

179H Recorder Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in recorder with a focus on repertoire from traditions from that era. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

180H Harpsichord Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in harpsichord with a focus on repertoire to be determined by the instructor. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

181H Improvisation Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in improvisation with a focus to be determined by the instructor. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

182, 182H Digital Music Production and Recording

(Offered as MUSL 182H and THDA 182H) This course provides individual performance instruction in digital music production and recording including sound capture, mixing, mastering, and use of Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) to create music. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Fall and spring semesters.

2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2023
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022

183H Balalaika Performance Instruction

This course provides individual performance instruction in balalaika with a focus on repertoire to be agreed upon with the instructor. Students have weekly lessons with the instructor with an expectation of five hours per week of practice. The course is open to students of any level, beginning to advanced, and it may be repeated. Half Credit. Fall and spring semester.

2022-23: Offered in Spring 2023