Spring 2024

MPP 299: Independent Instruction in Voice or Instrument

Independent instruction in voice or instrument is an intensive immersion in all aspects of recreating music for performance. Lessons are geared towards the development and embedding of solid technique, and the application of this technique to proper style and musical expression. Issues explored include but are not limited to interpretation, stylistic appropriateness, historical context, theoretical/syntactical underpinnings, the avoidance of injuries, audition and performance strategies, and career planning.

MPP 231: Princeton University Steel Band

Originating in the vibrant streets of Trinidad and Tobago, the steel pan has evolved into a global musical phenomenon, captivating hearts and minds with its unique melodies and infectious rhythms. In “Exploring the art of the Steel Pan,” you will embark on a journey through rich history, cultural significance, and global influence.Through a combination of lectures and hands-on rehearsals, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the instrument’s construction, playing techniques, and its role in various music genres, including calypso, reggae, pop, classical, and more.

MPP 219: Opera Performance

This course will explore Mozart’s singspiel, Die Zauberflote. It is open to singers, orchestral players and 2 piano accompanists. The final project will be a full production of the opera with costumes, stage scenery, and orchestra. For this production, the musical selections will be performed in the original German language and the dialogue will be performed with revised/updated translation performed in English.

MPP 216: Techniques of Conducting

The course focuses on four areas: 1. Preparation and Rehearsal (score study and analysis; developing interpretation; rehearsal planning), 2. Gesture (fundamentals; advanced essentials; the vocabulary of movement), 3. Sound and Repertoire (listening critically to the choral sound; constructing a value system for analyzing and creating sound; building a personal library of diverse and exciting choral repertoire), 4. Essence (What do we do? the art of non-verbal communication; sustaining a community of singers)

MPP 213: Projects in Instrumental Performance: Chamber Music

Instrumental chamber music of the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, both canonic and non-canonic. Preparation for performance of ensembles. Each ensemble’s repertoire will be determined in consultation with the instructors during the first week of classes. Students will be required to participate in a culminating performance on May 1, 2024, followed by a brief written assignment that is due on Dean’s Date.

MPP 208: Music for Large Chamber Ensemble Drawn from Less-Performed Works

An exploration of music for large chamber ensemble of lesser performed repertoire. The course culminates with a Spring performance.

MUS 209B: Transformations in Engineering and the Arts

STC 209 examines ‘transformations’ within and between visuals, sound, structure and movement as art and engineering forms. The course explores generative art and design that leverages parallels and interplay between design processes in engineering and the arts. Students will learn to work as artist-engineers, and will create ambitious open-ended design projects exploring these themes. Taught by faculty from CST, COS, MUS, CEE along with visiting artists, and guest faculty from the Lewis Center for the Arts.

MUS 561: Music Cognition Lab

Under the direction of a faculty member, and in collaboration with an interdisciplinary group of students, visitors, and postdocs, the student carries out a one-semester research project chosen jointly by the student and the faculty. Open to any graduate student in Music, this course provides a hands-on opportunity to learn the tools, skills, methods, and perspectives of music cognition research.

MUS 545: Contexts of Composition: Performing Electronic Music

Strategies for performing electronic music live. We go through different technical and philosophic approaches to performing electronic music and walk through different scenarios such as playing through a small PA stereo vs multichannel performances.

MUS 209A: Transformations in Engineering and the Arts

STC 209 examines ‘transformations’ within and between visuals, sound, structure and movement as art and engineering forms. The course explores generative art and design that leverages parallels and interplay between design processes in engineering and the arts. Students will learn to work as artist-engineers, and will create ambitious open-ended design projects exploring these themes. Taught by faculty from CST, COS, MUS, CEE along with visiting artists, and guest faculty from the Lewis Center for the Arts.

MUS 542: Instrumentation and Performance

Collaborations with varied ensembles and performers from around the world and here at Princeton, presented in concert on the Princeton Sound Kitchen concert series.

MUS 534: Ends and Means: Issues in Composition

This seminar explores the historical and current repertoire for string quartet, accumulates a set of best practices, and applies them to regular sketching assignments to be read by a visiting string quartet. The culmination is a concert in the following semester made of string quartet music produced by the members of the class.

MUS 532: Composition

Emphasis is placed upon the individual student’s original work and upon the study and discussion of pieces pertinent to that work.

MUS 528: Seminar in Musicology: What Makes Music Good? Aesthetics, Value, and Taste

This seminar considers various arguments for what constitutes good music. Emphasis is placed on modern aesthetic theory and its legacies, elaborations, and critiques.

MUS 525: Topics in Music from 1400 to 1600: Changing Styles in Sacred Music, 1420-1560

A hands-on encounter with sacred music of the Renaissance, covering the 160-year period 1400-1560. In the Renaissance, the word “music” was synonymous with counterpoint. What wasn’t counterpoint was either Gregorian chant or else a confused din of sounds. Like the word “language” can be synonymous with English in remote parts of the world, and other tongues sound like mere grunting. But within the English language, and within the art of counterpoint, there are vast worlds of meaning and expression to explore. We will be travelling a journey that leads us past some of the most glorious music in history.

MUS 521: Topics in Global Music Theory

What is “global” about global music theory? What does this subfield promise for the wider discipline of music studies, for the traditions making up the global musicscape, and for the people behind those musics? This course examines the key questions, methods, and stakes of global music theory through the lens of recent scholarly discourse, with coverage on topics including translation practices, music theory pedagogy, and the perennial debate between universality and cultural relativism. To contextualize the emergence of this subfield, we also discuss relevant literature in world music analysis and comparative musicology.

MUS 501: Musicology as a Profession

This seminar seeks to enhance and refine the skills required for the successful preparation of the general examination in musicology and the oral defense. The seminar also takes up, in hands-on fashion, archival research methods, digital research (including AI tools), interview methods, the writing of the dissertation prospectus, grant applications, conference abstracts and proposals, articles, reviews, and the broader publication process. The seminar is interactive, based on weekly assignments that address both the requirements of Princeton’s graduate program and the challenges of the entire profession.

MUS 365: Practices and Principles of Rhythm

This class is centered on the exploration of rhythmic practices and organizational principles in a wide variety of musical contexts: West African Drumming, European Classical Music, Caribbean Traditional Music, American Pop Music, Jazz and Contemporary Experimental
Music. The course will toggle between two major components: 1 – “Hands-On” performance practice 2 – Analysis and comparison of organizational principles of rhythm in a variety of musical traditions.

MUS 348: Xulgaria: Music, Theatre and Contemporary Ritual Practice

This class will mount a developmental performance of the musical story-work “Xulgaria” inside an intensive ensemble setting. We will research classic Greek choruses and the Eleusinian Mystery rites and explore diaphonic singing. We will use multidisciplinary practices- theatre, experimental movement, symbol-making and more- to explore global mythologies of the “underworld” and devise performance and ritual that can provide a community container for discussing issues around mental health and healing. Performance experience is not required. All who are interested are encouraged to apply, as well as singers, instrumentalists and creatives.

MUS 344: The Ceremony is You

An exploration of ritual and ceremony as creative, interdisciplinary spaces imbued with intention and connected to personal and cultural histories. A broadening and deepening of knowledge around historical and contemporary ritual, ceremonial, and community-building practices of queer and trans artist communities from around the world, with a deeper focus on the extraordinary history of the queer trans shamans of early 20th century Korea.

MUS 338: Music in the Global Middle Ages

Moving from Baghdad to Paris, Jerusalem to Addis Ababa, Iceland to Dunhuang, this course examines the musical cultures of some of the most vibrant centers of the Middle Ages. We consider what it means to study medieval music “globally,” focusing on key moments of cultural contact (trade, pilgrimage, conflict), while remaining attuned to the particularities of specific places. Emphasis is on the physical traces of premodern music, and we encounter the distant musical past in a variety of materials and formats (paper manuscripts, papyrus fragments, parchment rolls, stone steles), meeting weekly in Special Collections.

MUS 330: Composing for Film

Composing for Film is a hands-on, practical introduction to film scoring. The course is designed to help the students develop the skills required in a contemporary professional setting by modeling the assignments after a realistic scoring process. We will take a brief look at the rudiments of film scoring, then dive right into the main focus of the course – the electronic and compositional tools and techniques. All examples are drawn from media music from the 21st century.

MUS 329: The Composer/Performer

MUS 329 explores connections between composition and performance in group and solo contexts. Student will find his/her optimal and personal balance among concerns including but not limited to: abstract compositional technique and practical performance values; organization and spontaneity, surface and structure, strengths and obligations, material and effect, aural and visual. Class activities include analysis, study of compositional techniques, performing, improvisation, collaboration.

MUS 316: Computer and Electronic Music Composition

A composition workshop class, in the context of the modern sound studio and electronic music production. Emphasis will be on the student’s creative work, composing both electronic and electroacoustic pieces to be presented in class.