AS.376.111.  Rudiments of Music Theory and Musicianship.  3 Credits.  

This course introduces written and aural music fundamentals including notation, scales, intervals, chords, rhythm, meter and sight-singing. Students will compose melodies and short pieces and complete listening projects. Course does not count towards the completion of the minor.

AS.376.123.  Freshman Seminar: Composer Biographies in Film.  3 Credits.  

This freshman seminar focuses on the lives of Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, and Chopin and the depictions of their lives in film during the 20th century. The course provides both an introduction to film analysis and music history biography.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.166.  Star Trek Music- The Franchise Frontier.  3 Credits.  

Music defines the Star Trek experience. Through their continued reuse and repetition, Star Trek’s many musical themes go beyond their original audiovisual frameworks to operate as learned musical-cultural texts. As Star Trek has expanded its content into a myriad of installments and media platforms, this musical symbolism has proved vital in articulating both these differences and “sameness.”This online, asynchronous course uses Star Trek’s music as a tool to investigate musical branding and the creation of meaning in the media we consume every day. Through close viewings—and listenings—of film, television episodes, video games, computer games, commercials, and other media, we will explore the meaning(s) these media construct and acquire as they are re-used and re-purposed in audiovisual contexts. Your work will include studying media clips, television episodes, and some feature-length films; short readings in which we interact with both current and classic scholarly literature; regular discussion posts and responses to our content; a weekly reflection journal of short posts; and a final paper/project on a Star Trek music topic of your choice (1500 words). In so doing, we will hone your analytical skills by learning to critically evaluate filmic media and craft arguments about the roles of music/sound in film.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.190.  Learn Music by Writing It.  3 Credits.  

This course uses composition and song-writing projects to introduce music fundamentals to students with little or no musical background. Topics will include rhythm and meter, pitch and intervals, scales, chords, and harmony, and how to read and write music in both traditional and popular presentations. We will cover standard classical music notation (score, Roman numerals, traditional theory terminology) as well as popular (lead-sheet notation and performance conventions). This course has no prerequisite.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.211.  Music Theory I.  3 Credits.  

Introduction to basic principles of tonal music through listening, analysis and music making. Students study melody, harmony, voice leading, figured bass and dissonance treatment, and will also undertake short composition projects. Must have taken the qualifying examination or AS.376.111. Recommended to be taken concurrently with AS.376.221.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.212.  Music Theory II.  3 Credits.  

This course continues the aural and written work of the previous course, but focuses on chromatic harmony while continuing the study of melody, counterpoint, and figured bass. Prerequisite: Music Theory I.

Prerequisite(s): AS.376.211

Area: Humanities

AS.376.214.  Music Theory III - Formal Analysis.  3 Credits.  

An examination of the musical forms of the Common Practice Period and the logic of their structures. Forms studied will include variation, binary, rounded binary, ternary, rondo, sonata-allegro, and sonata-rondo. Recommended Course Background: AS.376.212

AS.376.215.  Theory III - 20th Century.  3 Credits.  

This course teaches compositional approaches to and analytical techniques for twentieth-century music, including modes, synthetic and exotic scales, set theory, serial theory, and geometric proportionality.

Prerequisite(s): AS.376.212

AS.376.216.  Theory III - Counterpoint.  3 Credits.  

A study of contrapuntal music, emphasizing composition in both the sixteenth- and eighteenth-century styles as epitomized by Palestrina and Bach.

AS.376.217.  Music Theory III - Song.  3 Credits.  

An examination of text-setting and song-writing in a variety of eras and styles. Topics will include art song, lieder, jazz standards, and pop tunes.

AS.376.221.  Musicianship I.  2 Credits.  

An introduction to basic musicianship skills. The course is divided into performance skills (sight singing, rhythm reading, basic piano, and improvisation) and aural skills (recognition of pitch, chords, rhythms, melodies, and other musical structures). Topics include major and minor keys and simple time signatures. Emphasis is placed on developing effective practice techniques. Pre-requisite: AS.376.111 (Rudiments of Music Theory and Musicianship) or placement exam.

AS.376.222.  Musicianship II.  2 Credits.  

A continuation of the skills developed Musicianship I. The course is divided into performance skills (sight singing, rhythm reading, basic piano, and improvisation) and aural skills (recognition of pitch, chords, rhythms, melodies, and other musical structures). Topics include minor keys, chromatic melody and harmony, compound time signatures, and syncopation). As in Musicianship I, emphasis is placed on developing effective practice techniques. Pre-requisite: AS.376.221 (Musicianship I) or placement exam.

AS.376.231.  Western Classical Music.  3 Credits.  

This course is an introduction to the rich tradition of Western "Classical" music. We will examine this music from a variety of perspectives, including: 1) its historical, intellectual, and cultural background; 2) the biographical background of its composers; 3) its stylistic context; and 4) analysis of the music itself. We will approach these perspectives through a variety of activities, such as lectures, readings, writing, exams and in-class discussion.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.242.  Introduction to Popular Music.  3 Credits.  

A survey of the stylistic features and social contexts of American popular music since the 1950s.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.244.  Electronic Music Production.  3 Credits.  

Students will be introduced to electronic music production techniques and software, and how both can be used to produce a wide range of genre specific results. Skills such as beat matching, intricate use of quantization, virtual instrument editing, automation, sampling, mixing, mastering, effect usage and use of plugins will be explored.

AS.376.245.  Introduction to Sound, Audio, and Recording Arts.  3 Credits.  

In this course we will undertake a comprehensive survey of sound, audio and the related technology. While covering sound recording from an historical perspective, we'll touch on related material in physics, music, psychology and acoustics. In lab exercises and assignments, students will have the opportunity to learn in a hands-on environment as practical applications of the lecture material are explored. Assignments will include critical listening, in addition to basic recording, editing and mixing of audio. The course will culminate in a comprehensive final project.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.250.  Introduction to Computer Music.  3 Credits.  

Introduction to Computer Music is an opportunity for people with no specialized training in music to explore electronic art music as a long-standing, if obscure, body of art, then to participate in creative work in the style. Participants will gain a heuristic understanding of forms of musical composition that operate outside the conventions of regular rhythm and harmony as they record and manipulate sound to sculpt it into original musical works. The lecture portion combines an historical overview of electronic music, rudiments of acoustics and musical perception, and instruction in compositional techniques and in using computers as creative musical tools. The laboratory portion, given at the Digital Media Center, serves as a workshop for creative exploration and for the completion of assigned creative projects including original works of digital sound art.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.252.  Jazz History.  3 Credits.  

Survey, investigation, and study of Jazz music and how it shaped American history from it's origins to current times.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.258.  Jazz Improvisation and Theory.  3 Credits.  

The primary focus of this performance/theory course is designed to help students acquire and develop basic language for improvisation in a collaborative environment. Throughout the semester, the course will develop these skills through songs drawn from standard jazz repertoire, examining improvised solos by master musicians, and understanding the application of fundamental theory concepts in performance situations. Enrolled students should be comfortable with theory rudiments such as note reading, scales, and intervals. No textbook is required, but students should have access to an instrument (singers are welcome).

Area: Humanities

AS.376.259.  Theory of 20th Century Popular Song.  3 Credits.  

This class will explore the way harmonic concepts codified in the western classical tradition over the last few centuries are represented and expanded upon in 20th and 21st century popular music. We will examine a number of harmonic techniques using a wide array of genres, ranging from jazz to Broadway to rock to pop to R&B/soul to hip-hop. This course will focus on listening, analysis, and composition techniques.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.303.  Musical Theater from Aristophanes to Leonard Bernstein.  3 Credits.  

This course examines the birth of musical theatre from Greek tragedy through the liturgical and secular plays of the middle ages and Renaissance, to the classical and romantic singspiels, operettas, and zarzuelas of the modern era, by such figures as Aristophanes, Adam de la Halle, Hildegard of Bingen, Angelo Poliziano, Juan del Encina, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gilbert and Sullivan, Ernesto Lecuona, Igor Stravinsky, and Kurt Weill. These will serve as a backdrop for a closer examination of the musicals of Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, Frank Loesser, Leonard Bernstein and others. In addition to studying and placing the works of these Broadway giants into a social, political, and economic context, we will study and perform from representative musicals and attend a performance at the Lyric Theatre. Student will be expected to write a capstone project.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.376.304.  Voice and Contest: Historical Approaches to Singing Competitions.  3 Credits.  

This course examines voice contests across time. While contests such as American Idol have received widespread attention, these competitions must be understood in terms of a much broader trend towards the proliferation of music prizes, both within and outside the so-called classical music tradition. Our course examines the deep history of the current obsession with voice contests, with examples drawn from the medieval period to the current day.

Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences

AS.376.305.  Operatic Technologies.  3 Credits.  

Operatic Technologies offers an introduction to opera via a series of case studies about the materials used to produce it. With a particular focus on the Italian case, we will trace issues such as how auditoriums have historically been illuminated; orchestras directed; machines used to create and sustain illusion and operas simulcast. Students will leave this course with a clear sense of how the look and feel of the operatic experience has changed over time; how technological practices established in the past continue to determine productions now, and how the cinema can be considered an extension of opera. Our course includes a visit to the cinema to see a Metropolitan Opera simulcast. Ability to read music is not required.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.376.330.  History of Opera.  3 Credits.  

A basic course in the origin and development of opera and its dissemination throughout the Western world.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.332.  Arranging for vocal ensembles.  3 Credits.  

Students will learn how to arrange pre-existing melodies or songs for various vocal ensembles. Music theory I as a prerequisite recommended but not required.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.334.  World Music & Cultures.  3 Credits.  

A study of world musics and cultural contexts.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.336.  Beethoven and the Transformation of Musical Style.  3 Credits.  

A survey course focusing on the life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven, whose compositions transformed and revolutionized music of the 19th century. Students will become acquainted with Beethoven's major works, including piano sonatas, string quartets, and symphonies. No previous musical background is necessary. NOTE: The year 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.342.  Caribbean Music.  3 Credits.  

This course will explore several genres of traditional and popular music from the Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. We will examine the social, political, and economic issues that have shaped these musics, with migration, colonization, race, and tourism especially informing our studies. Students will read about a variety of musical experiences and listen to representative examples of each music genre in order to think critically about music, culture, and performance in Caribbean contexts.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.344.  Powerful Women in Opera.  3 Credits.  

Many opera scholars have noted that opera abuses its female characters. Many operatic heroines die, whether from violent acts or chronic diseases. However, women in opera also wield great power through their voices as ambitious queens, cunning servants, magical beings, and femmes fatales. In this course we will examine how these female characters operate through explorations of the operas’ historical context, their texts and scores, and modern performance practice. Spanning from the 17th to 21st centuries, the repertoire studied in this class will provide an introduction to opera history. At the same time, we will delve deeply into different ways to do close analyses of opera through the lens of gender, reading the work of such thinkers as Carolyn Abbate, Naomi Andre, Adriana Caverero, Catherine Clément, and Wayne Koestenbaum.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.348.  The Symphonic Century.  3 Credits.  

The symphony occupies a prominent place within the history of Western classical music in the “long” nineteenth century. At once a canvas for daring innovations in style and form and a genre strongly allied with notions of “tradition,” the nineteenth-century symphony brings together a complex set of issues that illuminate the broader history of music and musical culture of the past 200 years. This course introduces the iconic works of the symphonic tradition, with a focus on music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bruckner, and Mahler. As we aim to discover what made this music so remarkable in its time and why so many people still care about it today, we will consider each symphony both as a timeless work of art and as a particular moment in cultural history. Close attention will be given to the techniques of musical listening, and our work will be deeply rooted within the historical, philosophical, and political contexts of the time. There are no pre-requisites for the course apart from a willingness to open one’s ears and to engage creatively and critically with some of the most extraordinary music ever written.

Area: Humanities

AS.376.371.  Introduction to Music Cognition.  3 Credits.  

What underlies our aesthetic response to music? How and why are we able to identify certain sounds as music? To what extent are music and natural language similar? What is it about music that evokes such powerful emotions such as happiness and sadness? What is unique to musical creativity? Examining such questions from cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophical perspectives, this course explores relevant research and theory in the emerging domain of music perception and cognition. Students will complete a final research paper on the topic of their choice that integrates the course material.

Area: Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences

AS.376.372.  Topics in Music Cognition.  3 Credits.  

This course explores the similarities and differences between music and language, the effects of musical training on cognitive development, and the expressive power of music, with an introduction to music and its role in film. We will read relevant research and theory on these topics from cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, musicology, and philosophical perspectives.

Area: Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences

AS.376.404.  History of Musical Instruments.  3 Credits.  

The history, technology, and performance of Western European musical instruments, their precursors, and their non-western counterparts, addressed by experts and explored on visits to historic collections.Recommended prerequisite: AS.376.231 "Western Classical Music".

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.376.407.  Music and Evolution.  3 Credits.  

This course will examine the bio-cultural evolution of music in light of recent interdisciplinary research on the social bases of human cognitive evolution, and explore its implications for current debates in musicology, ethno- musicology, psychology of music, and human cognitive evolution.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.376.428.  Mozart Operas.  3 Credits.  

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote his first opera in 1767 at the age of 11. By the time of his death at age 35, he had written 22 full-length operas. Many of these operas are still performed today in opera houses around the world. In this course, we will discuss the enduring popularity of these works. We will discover how these operas were created, delving into the many important collaborations Mozart had with singers, librettists, impresarios, and patrons. We will analyze the words and music of the operas and how they combine to create three-dimensional characters for which his operas are known, such as the melancholy but determined Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, or the cowardly but loyal Papageno in The Magic Flute. Cultural norms have shifted dramatically between Mozart’s time and ours, and we will examine how Mozart’s operas have been received from their premieres through to today. We will think about how the operas have been translated, adapted, and circulated to different audiences in different eras and locations. Finally, we will reflect on our position as modern audience members, watching recent productions of the operas which reinterpret the works in alternative settings or times and studying the ways in which opera companies promote Mozart’s works.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive