Spring 2021

MUS 225: Instrumental Music: The Symphony from Haydn to Stravinsky

Consideration of the symphony from the eighteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century, in terms of musical procedures and cultural significance. Repertory studied includes symphonic voices beyond the traditional symphonic canon. The course is designed primarily for non-concentrators, and the ability to follow musical notation is helpful. The focus is on listening. Supplemental readings reinforce technical discussion and broaden historical context introduced in lectures.

MUS 212: Improvisation and Interpretation in African American Folk-Based Music

Whether through work songs, field hollers, spirituals, ragtime, blues, jazz, soul music, or gospel music, the African American folk music tradition is a distinct reflection of the African American experience throughout the history of America. It is the individualized approach to storytelling, the societal and cultural influences upon the artist, and the function of the music for both the artist and community that has cultivated a legacy of core musical elements, values, and performance practice that exist within these diverse styles. This course will explore these characteristics through historical inquiry and practical application.

MUS 210: Beginning Workshop in Musical Composition

A workshop that fosters individual students’ composing within a community of peers. We’ll consider familiar musical styles, and we will open our ears as well to non-traditional instruments, collaborative and improvisatory approaches, and technological opportunities. The focus is not on music theory “rules” but on each student’s musical imagination, explored through the tools available to us, whether in person or online. Several short projects during the semester, final composition at the end of the semester.

MUS 106: Music Theory through Performance and Composition

A continuation of Music 105, with an emphasis on the harmonic and formal principles of classical music. MUS 106 casts its net wider than MUS 105, also considering the various guises of tonality and modality in Medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, Modern and Minimalist music.