• MUSC 100: Music and Advertising

    How can music persuade us to buy that expensive iPhone, drink Coca-Cola, or wear those new Nike sneakers? This A&I seminar will focus on music and its role in advertising in the electronic media. In this class, we will explore how music is produced for advertising spots in radio, television, and the internet, and how audience reaction determines the success or failure of ads in the marketplace. As part of the class, we will create our own video ads with music. We will also cover methods of analysis and criticism of music in advertising by exploring scholarly and critical writing on music in advertising, all leading up to a final research project.

    6 credits; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Ronald Rodman
  • MUSC 101: Music Fundamentals

    A course designed for students with little or no music background as preparation and support for other music courses, ensemble participation and applied music study. The course covers the fundamentals of music notation, including notes and chords in treble and bass clefs, key and time signatures, and the realization of basic rhythmic patterns. 

    2 credits; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2022 · Alican Camci
  • MUSC 103: Musicianship I

    A course in aural skills, focusing upon sight reading using solfège (movable do, la-based minor), and short melodic dictation exercises of up to four bars in length in major and minor keys.

    Prerequisites: Music 101, or permission of the instructor as assessed by a diagnostic exam administered at the start of the term 2 credits; Arts Practice; offered Winter 2023 · Alican Camci
  • MUSC 104: Musicianship II

    Continuation of Musicianship I, with an emphasis on singing and dictation skills. More advanced solfège is introduced, including melodies in minor keys and chromaticism. Longer melodic dictation exercises which introduce standard four-and eight-bar melodic schemas will also be covered. Some harmonic dictation will also be included.

    Prerequisites: Music 103, or permission of instructor as assessed by a diagnostic exam administered at the start of the term 2 credits; Arts Practice; offered Spring 2023 · Alican Camci
  • MUSC 108: Introduction to Music Technology

    A course in using the computer to make meaningful interventions into our practices as musicians. We’ll explore a number of approaches to composing, producing, and hearing music, among them coding, visual programming, and working in a digital audio workstation. Students will ultimately combine and hybridize these different methods in order to create unique, individual systems, using them to make new work. Open to all interested students; no prior experience with music, programming, or production required.

    6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2022 · Andrea Mazzariello
  • MUSC 109: Choir & A Cappella Arranging

    Arranging music for vocal groups is a unique balance between artistic integrity, expressivity, and practicality. This balance will be explored experientially first by broadening student’s compositional skills and then by applying these skills to their own vocal arrangements for choirs and a cappella groups. Class activities will include studying vocal ranges, scoring for vocal ensembles, and arranging/transcribing music for various combinations of vocal groups.

    Prerequisites: Music 103, Music 110 or instructor consent 3 credits; Arts Practice; offered Spring 2023 · Matthew Olson
  • MUSC 110: Theory I: The Principles of Harmony

    An introduction to the materials of western tonal music, with an emphasis on harmonic structure and syntax. It covers basic harmonic syntax (through secondary dominants), melodic phrase structure and cadences, and small musical forms, along with related theoretical concepts and vocabulary. Student work involves readings, analysis and composition exercises, and short essay assignments.

    Prerequisites: Music 101, or permission of the instructor as assessed by a diagnostic exam administered at the start of the term. 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis; offered Winter 2023 · Justin London
  • MUSC 111: Music and Storytelling

    Western music, especially classical music, is often called a “dead” genre. Part of this has to do with its associations with wealth, its aging audience base, and its seeming loftiness. But is this music really dead? In this class we will explore the history of Western music, with classical music as a starting point, but will examine the numerous ways music functions throughout cultures to tell different kinds of stories. We work from the assumption that no music (or art in general) is apolitical; because of this it behooves us to examine the ways the music of the past is deployed in service of social and political values today, whether it is to convince us to buy pizza or to incite revolution.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Brooke McCorkle
  • MUSC 115: Listening to the Movies

    We all watch movies, whether it’s in a theater, on television, a computer, or a smart phone. But we rarely listen to movies. This class is an introduction to film music and sound and how it changed based on technological and stylistic developments from the silent era to the present day. Throughout the term, students will watch, speak, and write about a variety of films in order to develop literacy in theories of film music and sound. Class assignments including quizzes, cue charts, and short essays will culminate in a final project that may take the form of an analytical term paper or creative project designed by the student in consultation with the instructor. An ability to read music not required.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Brooke McCorkle
  • MUSC 123: The American Film Musical

    A survey of film musicals from their beginnings in the 1920s to the present. The course will cover the definition and attributes of film musicals, how a film musical differs from a film with music, and then continue with a historical survey of various eras of musicals, such as early sound film musicals, the film musical at its zenith, the adaptation of Broadway musicals to the screen, and current postmodern musicals and animated musicals by Disney and Pixar. The course will also discuss how musicals convey evolving cultural attitudes of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, as well as good vs. evil.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Ronald Rodman
  • MUSC 124: Hip-Hop in the 1980s

    This course will consider the musical elements of early of hip-hop. Using guided listening and student responses, we will focus on a single album each week through the term, traversing the entire deace of the 1980s. 

    2 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 125: Listening to Rock

    This course will consider the musical elements of Rock. The instructor will create a theme for the term focusing on a subset of rock history (girl groups, concept albums, etc.). Using guided listening and student responses, the class will focus on a single album (or other group of tracks) per week throughout the term. No theme will repeat during any four-year period, allowing students to take the course multiple times. This course may be offered as a stand-alone class or as a coordinated trailer to “History of Rock.”

    2 credits; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022, Spring 2023 · Andy Flory
  • MUSC 126: America’s Music

    A survey of American music with particular attention to the interaction of the folk, popular, and classical realms. No musical experience required.

    6 credits; Writing Requirement, Literary/Artistic Analysis, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Andy Flory
  • MUSC 128: Conducting

    Learn the fundamentals of instrumental and choral conducting including gesture, beat patterns, score reading, and beginning rehearsal techniques. Students in this course will form a laboratory ensemble that participants lead as a means of gaining conducting experience and experimenting with the relationship between gesture and sound.

    Prerequisites: Ability to read music and active participation in a faculty conducted ensemble, or permission of instructor. 3 credits; Arts Practice; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 130: The History of Jazz

    A survey of jazz from its beginnings to the present day focusing on the performer/composers and their music. 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 131: The Blues From the Delta to Chicago

    A history of the Delta blues and its influence on later blues and popular music styles, tracing its movement from the Mississippi Delta in the 1920s to Chess Records and the Chicago Blues of the 1940s and 50s (especially Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters). Music and musicians discussed will include the classic blues singers of the 1920s, early country music (Jimmie Rodgers), and the legacy of Robert Johnson. Issues of authenticity and “ownership” of both the music and its cultural legacy will also be discussed. The course involves readings, listening assignments, and some transcriptions of early recorded blues. No prerequisite, although the ability to read music is helpful. 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 136: History of Rock

    This course is an introduction to the history of rock music, emphasizing primarily the period between 1954 and the present. Mixing historical and cultural readings with intense listening, we will cover the vast repertoire of rock music and many other associated styles. We will focus on the sounds of the music, learning to distinguish a wide variety of genres, while also tracing the development and transformation of rock and pop styles. The lectures will use a wide variety of multimedia, including commercial audio and video, unpublished audio and video sources, print materials, and technological devices. Knowledge of a technical musical vocabulary and an ability to read music are not required for this course. 

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Andy Flory
  • MUSC 137: Rock, Sex, & Rebellion

    This course will develop critical listening skills and an understanding of musical parameters through an introduction to select genres within the history of rock music. Our focus is on competing aesthetic tendencies and sub-cultural forces that shaped the music. The course includes discussions of rock’s significance in American culture and the minority communities that have enriched rock’s legacy as an expressively diverse form. Examined genres include blues, jazz, early rock ’n’ roll, folk rock, protest music, psychedelia, music of the British Invasion, punk, art rock, Motown, funk, hip hop, heavy metal, grunge, glitter, and disco. Lectures, readings, careful listening, and video screenings. Students will also argue for the best rock song of all time. 

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 140: Ethnomusicology and the World’s Music

    This course introduces the world’s musical diversity and the discipline of ethnomusicology through scholarship and music-making. We will study the history, theory, and methods of ethnomusicology, as well as contemporary critiques. Students will receive group instruction (instruments provided) and learn through playing rudimentary musical material from one or more traditions. No musical experience necessary. 

    6 credits; Arts Practice, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2023 · Melinda Russell
  • MUSC 144: Music and Migration

    Throughout history, people have relocated for a variety of reasons, both voluntarily and forcibly. What sorts of consequences do mass movements of people have on cultural practices? This course will examine the legacy of the slave trade with relation to African-influenced music developments throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. We will first consider the nuances of West African music practices and beliefs before and during the slave trade. Then, we will explore a variety of sacred and secular traditions that developed in the New World as a result of the African Diaspora, including spirituals, the blues, jazz, rock and roll, and hip hop in North America; tango, blocos afro, cumbia, and candombe in South America; and Santería, reggae, timba, rara, and steel pan in the Caribbean. As part of this exploration, we will consider difficult questions, such as what is “black music”?; What ethical considerations must we think about in relation to who can/should play black music?; and What sorts of similarities and differences exist between African-influenced music styles in the Americas, and why? Lastly, we will consider how music in Africa has changed in more recent times due to a return of African-Americans back to their ancestral roots as well as other points of contact between the Americas and Africa, especially in relation to genres like Afrobeat, highlife, and gumbe. No previous musical experience required.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 204: Theory II: Musical Structures

    An investigation into the nature of musical sounds and the way they are combined to form rhythms, melodies, harmonies, and form. Topics include the nature of musical pitch, the structure of musical scales and their influence on melody, what gives rise to a sense of tonality, the complexity of rhythmic patterns, and the architecture of musical form. Student work includes building a musical instrument, programming a drum machine, writing computer code to create harmonies and timbres, and an extended music analysis project using empirical methods.

    Prerequisites: Music 101, or permission of the instructor as assessed by a diagnostic exam administered at the start of the term 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2023 · Justin London
  • MUSC 208: Computer Music and Sound

    This course surveys computer techniques for analyzing, synthesizing, manipulating, and creating musical sounds. We’ll study the basic components of digital sound: waveforms, oscillators, envelopes, delay lines, and filters. While we’ll explore the techniques and concepts of computer music in detail, our focus will be putting them to work in our creative practice, using open source computer music languages as well as digital audio workstations, according to the strengths and limitations of each music-making environment. We’ll show how computer music composition takes shape in a wide variety of styles and aesthetics, free to choose among them or create our own.

    Prerequisites: Music 108 or Computer Science 111 or Instructor permission 6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Spring 2023 · Alican Camci
  • MUSC 209: Interactive Music Systems

    Technological tools assist and mediate a great diversity of musical compositions and performances. This course focuses specifically on the dynamic uses of technology, and systems that require significant interaction between composer/performer and software/hardware. The course will focus especially on dataflow programming in the Max environment, creating custom software for use in performing original work, informed by our investigation into relevant model compositions as well as the principles of digital audio. 

    Prerequisites: A willingness to perform original music on an instrument or voice and Music 108 or Computer Science 111, or instructor consent 6 credits; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 211: Western Music and its Social Ecosystems, 1600-1830

    The social, political, economic and cultural ecosystems in which “Western” music evolved provides a framework for understanding the relationships between composers, works, performers, and listeners both at the time of a work’s premiere and today. This course concentrates on music ecosystems from around 1830 to present and is organized around broad themes and genres in music history. Through a variety of assignments including quizzes, blog posts, score analyses, creative responses, and a final project, students will develop critical thinking, research, and communication skills to help them be successful in their various musical endeavors.

    Prerequisites: Ability to read music preferred, but not required 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; offered Winter 2023 · Brooke McCorkle
  • MUSC 212: Sex, Music, and the Virtuoso

    From Paganini to Esperanza, Liszt to Lang Lang, Wieck to Hahn, audiences have long adored and obsessed over musical virtuosity.  But what do we mean when we call someone a musical virtuoso? How is virtuosity enmeshed with ideas of genius, race, and gender? How have both historical and contemporary discourses conflated musical and sexual prowess? This class explores the above questions, concentrating on music and figures operating within the world of Western art music along with references to jazz and popular music. An ability to read music is required.

    Prerequisites: Music 110 or 204 highly desirable 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 213: J-Pop: Listening to Music in Modern Japan

    Japanese popular music encompasses a wide variety of genres, from World War II propaganda tunes to anime soundtracks. But how does this music relate to the history of modern Japan? What is “modern” (or post-modern) about this specific music? This class will examine the creation and consumption of Japanese popular music from around 1945 to present, focusing on how popular music worked in the cultural and political milieu. Through the study of Japanese folk, jazz, rock, hip-hop, bubble gum pop, and film music, students will engage with broader historical trajectories in society. We will discuss music as it relates to issues of race, gender, and pop culture in Japan and around the world.

    6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Brooke McCorkle
  • MUSC 215: Western Music and its Social Ecosystems, 1830-Present

    This class expands students’ understanding of Western music by concentrating on the social ecosystem of performers, musicians, and consumer-listeners of both past and present. Students will explore broad themes in music history, such as concepts of sound, materiality, religion, politics, embodiment, and narrative. Through a variety of assignments including listening analyses, creative responses, and a final project, students will develop critical thinking, research, and communication skills to help them be successful in their various musical endeavors.

    Prerequisites: Ability to read Western Music Notation recommended 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 217: Opera: Stage, Screen, Recording

    Pure pleasure or pure torture? Opera is said to be both. This course is an introduction to opera based on its 400-year history from 1600 to the present. Over the term, we will explore several topics including how music conveys characters’ feelings, singers and the allure of the voice, race, gender, and opera, opera in film, and the experience of live performance. We will deal with a wide variety of pieces and investigate the social and cultural functions of opera via creative research assignments. No previous musical experience necessary.

    Prerequisites: None, ability to read music is not necessary 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 218: Listening to Dance Music

    This course explores the relationship between western art music and social dance, staged productions, or stylized concert genres based on social dance and staged productions. Students will examine how bodies have moved to music by asking the questions: which music? and which bodies? Repertoire will range from sixteenth-century French court ballets, to the un-danceable waltzes of Chopin and Brahms, to Hamilton, where hip hop meets colonial American country dance.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 219: The Musical Avant-Garde

    “Piano Piece for David Tudor #3: most of them were very old grasshoppers.” –La Monte Young (1960). What is an avant-garde? How can music be “ahead of its time”? In this class, students will explore the histories, aesthetics, and socio-cultural contexts of musical avant-gardes and musical experimentalism post-WWII. While the course focuses on art music of the 1950s-1970s (from concert pieces by Stockhausen and Cage, to the “intermedial” art forms promoted by Fluxus, to the avant-jazz of Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane), students will also consider what a musical avant-garde in 2020 might sound like, look like, or act like.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 220: Composition Studio

    This course focuses on creating new music, through several exercises as well as a substantial term composition. Class meetings reinforce key concepts, aesthetic trends, and compositional techniques, as well as provide opportunities for group feedback on works in progress. Individual instruction focuses on students’ own creative work in depth and detail.

    Prerequisites: Music 110, 204 or instructor permission 6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Winter 2023 · Andrea Mazzariello
  • MUSC 221: Electronic Music Composition

    This course focuses on creating new electronic music. We will use digital audio workstations for composition and production, grounding their use in the fundamentals of digital audio. We will listen extensively, in many genres of electronic music, applying this critical listening to our own work and our colleagues’ work. Frequent composition assignments build fundamental skills in melodic creation and development, drum programming, synthesis, and audio production. The course culminates in a term project, a stylistically unrestricted, substantial original composition.

    Prerequisites: Music 108, Music 110 or instructor consent 6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Winter 2023 · Andrea Mazzariello
  • MUSC 222: Composing for Ad Hoc Ensemble

    In this composition course, we will create music for ourselves to perform. The members of the class constitute the Ad Hoc Ensemble; we will begin by writing small studies for individual instruments or voices in this group, and methodically build to composing for the entire ensemble. We will focus on idiomatic instrumental writing and orchestration, and will explore both traditional and experimental approaches to notation. 

    Prerequisites: Music 110 or instructor permission 3 credits; Arts Practice; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 223: Vocal Counterpoint

    In this composition course, we will write for (our own) singing voices, anchoring our writing to various traditions of vocal part writing while developing our own idiosyncratic approaches. We will move methodically from singing single lines against drones, to creating two-, three-, and four-part compositions, culminating in a substantial composition for multiple voices per part. We will sing constantly to reinforce key concepts and to hear our works in progress, and will base our analysis of our own compositions as well as more canonical works on bringing the music to life through vocal performance.

    Prerequisites: Ability and willingness to sing from score, and Music 110 or instructor permission 3 credits; Arts Practice; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 224: Collaborative Composition in Community Partnership

    In this composition course, students will co-create music with youth at The Key, a youth-led, youth services organization in downtown Northfield. Members of the class will visit regularly to make and share music, and will work towards a substantial collaborative composition, while also creating smaller projects throughout the term. To support this work, we will study model compositions that leave key parameters open, such as instrumentation and ensemble size, or that use alternate notation systems, or that depend on structured improvisation. We will also explore various technological tools that can extend our collaborative capabilities and that can assist us in documenting and presenting our collaborative work.

    Prerequisites: Music 108 or Music 110 or instructor consent 6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Spring 2023 · Andrea Mazzariello
  • MUSC 225: Performing with Electronics

    Performing with Electronics is both a survey and a creative course. We will explore historical and contemporary examples of performing with live electronics that incorporate both analog and digital technologies, such as use of turntables and sampling, microphones and speakers, synthesizers, no-input mixing, digital processing, among others. Taking cue from these different approaches to working with electronics in real time, we will investigate ways of approaching a live scenario, designing hardware and software interfaces for performance. Our goal will be learning to perform with our setups, ultimately looking into the possibilities of performing as an ensemble. 

    3 credits; Arts Practice; offered Fall 2022 · Alican Camci
  • MUSC 227: Perception and Cognition of Music

    Covers basic issues in auditory perception and cognition with an emphasis on the perception of musical pitch, including sensory discrimination, categorical perception, roughness and dissonance, absolute pitch, and auditory streaming. Other topics to be covered include the processing of language and music, and emotional responses to music. A grade of C- or better must be earned in both Music 227 and 228 to satisfy the LS requirement. Prerequisites: A previous course in Music or Psychology, or instructor permission; Concurrent registration in Music 228 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Science with Lab; offered Fall 2022 · Justin London
  • MUSC 228: Perception and Cognition of Music Lab

    An introduction to the methods of experimental and observational research in music perception and cognition. Student teams will replicate/extend classic experiments in music perception, which will involve reviewing historical and current literature, creating stimuli, running experimental trials, performing statistical analyses of data, and giving a poster presentation of their results. A grade of C- or better must be earned in both Music 227 and 228 to satisfy the LS requirement. Prerequisites: Concurrent registration in Music 227 2 credits; Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2022 · Justin London
  • MUSC 232: Golden Age of R & B

    A survey of rhythm and blues from 1945 to 1975, focusing on performers, composers and the music industry.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 239: The Philosophy of Music

    What is Music, and what exactly is a “musical composition,” especially in the age of recorded music and sampling? Can music tell a story, express an emotion, or convey a proposition? And if music can do any of these things, how does it do it? Last but not least, how are we to judge the value of musical pieces and musical practices? Do we need to judge popular music differently from so-called “art” music?  To address these questions we will listen to a wide range of musical examples, from Bach and Mozart to the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, and we will read a wide range of writings about music, from Plato, Rousseau, and Kant to current philosophers, including Scruton, Kivy, Davies, Carroll, and Gracyk.

    Prerequisites: Previous music or philosophy course or instructor permission 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; offered Winter 2023 · Justin London
  • MUSC 240: Music in Health, Disability, and Disease

    We’ll investigate music’s relationships to health, disability, and disease using scholarly articles, documentaries, historical archives, and current events. How does musical activity promote or enhance health in everyday life? How do various disabilities shape musical experience? How can music intervene in disease processes? Our inquiry will include the many musical responses to and adaptations necessitated by COVID-19. We will consider the place of sound and music as interventions in systemic racism, increasingly recognized as a public health threat. Students will complete a research paper and presentation on a topic of their choosing, guided throughout the term.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2023 · Melinda Russell
  • MUSC 241: Music of Latin America

    This course is designed to increase your awareness of musical styles in Latin America within particular social, economic, and political contexts. We will cover topics related to popular, folkloric, classical, and indigenous musics spanning from Mexico to South America’s Southern Cone. The course will include elements of performance and dance instruction in addition to a critical examination of lived experiences across the region. No previous musical experience is necessary.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, International Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 246: Music in Racism and Antiracism

    Music has a long, ugly history as a tool for the transmission of racism, and a vital one as a weapon against it. We will survey important instantiations at the intersections of music and racism in blackface minstrelsy, western classical music, Dalit music, the U.S. national anthem, white nationalism, and the anti-apartheid movement, among others. Centering racism and antiracism, we will investigate the careers and music of Paul Robeson, Hazel Scott, Charity Bailey, and Janelle Monae, among others. Students will complete an original guided research project on a topic of their choice. No musical experience required.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Melinda Russell
  • MUSC 247: 1950s/60s American Folk Music Revival

    Through scholarship and music-making, we’ll explore the historical bases of musical style, the role of recorded music, the social construction of a “folk music” milieu, and the music of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Odetta, et al. No musical experience necessary; you need not read musical notation. Section 1 (beginning folk guitar–instruments provided) only for those with no guitar experience; Section 2 (folk workshop –provide your own instruments) if you have any experience on guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, ukelele, Dobro, viola, cello, or bass.

    6 credits; Arts Practice; offered Spring 2023 · Melinda Russell
  • MUSC 248: Music of South Asia

    This course focuses on South Asian musical traditions including qawwali, folk and popular musics, and the classical Hindustani and Carnatic traditions of North and South India. We will consider the historical and cultural contexts of several genres, read the work of scholars from various disciplines, and study relevant audio and video. Students will learn rudimentary theory of Indian classical music, understand its twentieth and twenty-first century developments, and develop listening skills to enable recognition of major genres, styles, and artists. One day a week will be devoted to applied study of Indian vocal raga. No musical background required.

    6 credits; Arts Practice, International Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 308: Seminar in Music Analysis

    An introduction to advanced analytical techniques for larger formal structure in Western Art Music repertoire from the classic, romantic and early twentieth century. Musical forms to be considered are binary, ternary, rondo, and variation forms, with particular emphasis on theories and analyses of sonata forms of eighteenth and nineteenth century music.

    Prerequisites: Music 110 or 204 or Instructor consent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 313: Video Game Music: History, Interpretation, Practice

    Over the decades, video game music has evolved from simple beeps and boops into a genre that has garnered millions of fans worldwide. This course traces the history of video game music aesthetics and technology. We will consider how it relates to a variety of musical traditions and engages with broader social issues. We will learn to listen for loops, styles, structures, and function in games via direct engagement with primary sources: the games themselves. The course culminates in the practical application of knowledge via a creative project. 

    Prerequisites: Music 110 and/or Music 204 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2023 · Brooke McCorkle
  • MUSC 334: Marvin Gaye

    This is a research-based course focused on the music and creative practices of Marvin Gaye, one of the most famous and successful popular vocalists of the 1960s and 1970s. We will begin with a furious survey of Gaye’s life and music, and move quickly into more critical readings. Along the way, students will develop individual research topics with the assistance of the instructor, and present findings to the group on a weekly basis. The seminar will culminate with individual student research presentations and a well-crafted research paper on a topic related to Gaye.

    Prerequisites: The ability to read music and a previous music course, or instructor consent 6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 337: Music in Social Movements

    How, specifically, is music instrumental in social change? What musical choices are made, and by whom? How are new musics made, and old musics repackaged, to help mobilize social movements and create collective identity? We’ll approach these questions through the work of diverse scholars and participants, through focused listening, and ultimately through guided student research projects. Among the social/musical movements we’ll consider: Nueva cancíon, Rastafari, anti-Apartheid; the labor, civil rights, women’s, anti-war, anti-nuclear and environmental movements, the Black Arts Movement, American Indian, Jesus, Hippie, and white nationalist Movements, and Black Lives Matter. No musical experience or previous coursework required.  

    6 credits; Writing Requirement, Literary/Artistic Analysis, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 338: Sonic Spectacles in Minnesota and Beyond: Music as Heritage

    In the last fifty years, governments and transnational entities such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have increasingly called to safeguard cultural practices and historic buildings around the world. Through trial and error, social scientists and policymakers have realized that such cultural heritage preservation programs come with unforeseen consequences, especially regarding musical performance and the communities that practice such traditions. This course is divided into two sections. First, we will concentrate on case studies from around the world, considering the advantages, detriments, and best practices for recognizing and celebrating music as heritage. We will debate questions such as: What is heritage? How can something ephemeral such as music be ‘conserved’ for generations to come? What role does the West play in shaping musical practices around the world, and for who do we want to ‘save’ the music? Who makes decisions of what music should or should not be safeguarded, and what are the implications for local practitioners? Second, we will explore music festivals and other music heritage projects specifically in Minnesota. Learning from the mistakes of the past, the course will culminate with a collaborative class project that will contribute to a sensitive yet productive endeavor to document oral histories of musicians, or plan a festival/performance on campus that highlights musical life in and around Northfield.

    6 credits; Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 341: Rock Lab and Lab

    This class combines performance and academic study of rock music. In the first half of the course, we will learn to perform simple songs in small-group coaching sessions with a polished public performance as a midterm goal. During the second half of the course, we will make recordings of these performances. Throughout the term, we will accompany performance and recording activities with readings and discussion about aesthetics, performance practice in rock music, and mediation of recording techniques, all extraordinarily rich topics in popular music studies. No performance experience is needed. The course will accommodate students with a range of experience. Students will be grouped according to background, interest, and ability. There is a required hands-on laboratory component, which will be assigned before the start of the course. In these smaller groups, students will perform, record, and work with sound in small groups. Work will include experimentation with electric instruments, amplifiers, synthesizers, microphones, recording techniques, performance practice issues, musical production, mixing, and mastering.

    6 credits; Arts Practice, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • MUSC 342: Creative Music Performance Seminar

    Over the course of the term, each student will prepare the performance of a solo work, informed by the exploration of sources, comparison of recordings, score analysis, and performance science. Group meetings explore the pedagogy of musical, psychological, and intellectual preparation, and will guide improvement in technical and musical consistency during performance. Open to performers of all genres of applied music taught in the Carleton music department.

    Prerequisites: One term of 2 credit juried lessons on any instrument/voice or permission of instructor 3 credits; Arts Practice; offered Winter 2023 · Hector Valdivia
  • MUSC 400: Integrative Exercise

    Required of senior majors. The integrative exercise may be fulfilled by completion of a significant composition, performance, or research-paper project. Students who wish to fulfill Music 400 with such projects must meet department-specified qualifying criteria. 

    6 credits; S/NC; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023 · Andy Flory