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Undergraduate Theory & Musicology Electives Fall 2013

Transcription of Vernacular Music

MU 319 01
Credits: 2
Prequisite: Harmony & Counterpoint 4
Meeting: Monday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: John Murphree

Course Description

Each week we will be listening to and transcribing excerpts from major American popular music genres including Blues, Jazz, Country, Progressive Rock, Doo-Wop, and Rap. Excerpts will be chosen to focus attention on particular technical aspects of transcription such as mixed and changing meters in progressive rock, and irregular subdivisions of the beat in rap. Students will present and perform (when possible) excerpts from their transcription assignments for the class.

The course material will be drawn from music available on iTunes and other online resources. Students will be required to download, or otherwise purchase assigned tracks.


Atonal Ear Training

MU 319 02
Credits: 2
Prequisite: Ear Training 4
Meeting: Monday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: Dr. Stephen Halloran

Course Description
This course is based primarily on the non-tonal vocal works of Debussy, Schoenberg, Berg, Ives, Bartok, Stravinsky, and Webern. This literature, as well as Edlund’s Modus Novus, will provide a structured and comprehensive instruction in solfège, dictation, and oral analysis.


Lars Edlund
Beekman Books, 1990
ISBN: 978-0846441564 

Complexity in Rhythm

MU 319 03
Credits: 2
Prerequisite: Harmony & Counterpoint 4
Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday 11:00–11:50
Instructor: Rudolf Rojahn 

Course Description
A calisthenics-based approach to gaining fluency in a wide variety of 20th- and 21st-century rhythmic languages. The course will examine the origins and development, largely foreign to music pre-dating 1900, of unconventional beat subdivision (quintuplets, septuplets), irregular meter, metric modulation, additive rhythm, indeterminacy/graphic notation, and irrational rhythm through the music of composers such as Olivier Messiaen, Elliott Carter, Morton Feldman, and Brian Ferneyhough – among others. The goal will be to develop useful strategies for executing complex material while as well as providing a historical and theoretical context for this development. Course requirements include performance of exercises from literature and the textbook, graded sight-reading, several reading assignments, and a final project.

COURSE PACKET available from the Music Division Office

Late Stravinsky: NeoClassical and Serial Music from 1935–1966

MU 319 04
Credits: 2
Prerequisite: Harmony & Counterpoint 4
Meeting: Tuesday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: Dr. Curtis Hughes

Course Description
A consideration of Igor Stravinsky’s oeuvre focusing on the final four decades of his life, including works composed before, during, and after his transition from a neo-classical idiom to a serial idiom. Background reading, formal analysis of large works and detailed technical analysis of selected shorter works will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the stylistic and technical elements in Stravinsky’s music that changed during this period, as well as those that remained constant.

Major works by Stravinsky to be considered will include Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, Concerto in D for string orchestra, Mass, Agon, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, and Requiem Canticles.


Eric Walter White
University of California Press, 1979
ISBN: 978-0520039858

Igor Stravinsky
Boosey & Hawkes
ISBN: 1458421953


Music of Africa

MU 319 05
Credits: 2
Prerequisite: Harmony & Counterpoint 4
Meeting: Tuesday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: James Dalton 

Course Description
Africa is a large and diverse continent with many distinct and vibrant cultures and musical styles. This course will serve as an introduction to that diversity by examining representative styles from larger groups organized geographically. The West, East, Central, South and Saharan (North) regions each have musical styles that are influenced by religion, contact with other cultures, history (including colonization) and other factors. We will explore drumming styles of several kinds, choral styles of the south and of the Central African Pygmies, and other vocal and instrumental music including the more recent Afropop styles.

Topic areas
• African Conceptions of time and rhythm
• instruments of the mbira, kora and akonting types
• Pygmy polyphony
• Mbube choral style
• “Afropop” styles and African “repatriation” of blues and jazz

Ruth M. Stone
Oxford University Press, 2004
ISBN: 978-0195145007

Kofi Agawu
Routledge, 2003
ISBN: 978-0415943901

Scott L. Marcus
Oxford University Press, 2006
ISBN: 978-0195146455


Score Reading 1

MU 319 06
Credits: 2
Prerequisite: Ear Training 4, Piano Class 2, and a piano placement test given by the instructor
Meetings: Wednesday and Friday 9:00–9:50
Instructor: James Dalton

Course Description
This class serves as an accelerated continuation of the ear training sequence with an emphasis on score reading. Beginning with a focus on singing in various clefs and transpositions, there will be a gradual increase in sight-reading and transposing at the keyboard as the semester progresses. Beginning repertoire consists of a combination of drills and a cross-section of works for small ensembles, from Renaissance motet, Bach chorales, Monteverdi overtures to Classical string quartets.

R.O. Morris and Howard Ferguson
Oxford University Press
ISBN: 978-0193214750

Georges Dandelot
Editions Durand

Franz Schubert
Dover Publications
ISBN: 978-0486214634


The Theory and Practice of Sonata Form

MU 319 07
Credits: 2 
Prerequisite: Harmony & Counterpoint 4 
Meeting: Wednesday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: Dr. Jan Swafford  

Course Description
This course will be a thorough study of the most significant formal model in Western classical music, sonata form. We will begin with works by Haydn and Mozart, then go on through Beethoven and the 19th century to end with Brahms. The goals of the class are to understand the great flexibility with which the composers handled their formal outlines, the way attitudes toward the old forms changed over time, and to get a larger sense of how musical form works: the relationship of material to shape. The course will begin with descriptions of formal outlines by way of graphic form charts, and move toward a more sophisticated analytical approach, to understand the thematic and harmonic logic in pieces. There will be one movement of a work assigned each week, and the course ends with a paper on a complete work of the student's choice.

TBC SONATA/VARIATION ANTHOLOGY available from the Music Division Office


The Tone Poem

MU 319 08
Credits: 2
Prerequisite: Harmony & Counterpoint 4
Meeting: Wednesday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: Dr. Dalit Warshaw 

Course Description
In this course, we will survey the genre of the tone poem, tracing its evolution from origins in earlier instrumental program music through its heyday in the mid-19th through early 20th centuries, most notably in the hands of Richard Strauss. We will also examine its influences and legacy on later composers and subsequent perspectives on form. Representative works by composers including Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Smetana, Wagner, R. Strauss, Janacek, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Skryabin, Dukas, and Debussy will be explored.

Purchase of the following scores is recommended
• Beethoven: "Pastoral" Symphony
• Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
• Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night's Dream
• Schumann: Manfred Overture
• Wagner: Faust Overture
• Liszt: Années de pèlerinage, Mazeppa, Faust Symphony
• Rimsky Korsakov: Song of the Nightingale
• Skryabin: Le poème de l’extase, Prométhée
• Debussy: Prelude à L'apres-midi d'un faune
• Dukas: The Sorcerer's Apprentice
• Ravel: La Valse
• R. Strauss: Don Juan, Tod und Verklärung, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Also sprach Zarathustra,
   Don Quixote, Ein Heldenleben
and Symphonia domestica

Jazz Harmony

MU 319 09
Credits: 2
Prerequisite: Harmony & Counterpoint 4
Meeting: Thursday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: Pierre Hurel

Course Description
In this course we will study harmony in the context of the Jazz idiom. We will learn chord symbols, modes, jazz voicings and reharmonization techniques. While we will analyze and understand what such jazz greats as Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson or Bill Evans would do with a given melody, we will then do it ourselves, guided by the learned techniques combined with our own sense of aesthetics. This course will give students a deeper understanding of jazz harmony but also and more importantly, a great sense of freedom in the fascinating art of building chords and harmonizing a melody.

Analysis of Medieval Music

MU 309 10
Credits: 2 
Prerequisites: Harmony & Counterpoint 4
Meeting: Friday 9:00–10:50
Instructor: Dr. Stephen Halloran 

Course Description
This course will explore, diagram, and discuss works in the Middle Ages chronologically from antiquity to Du Fay. Isorhythmic motets, the Ars Nova, and the early polyphony of Perotin are some areas that will be studied in depth. Students will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of various stylistic tendencies by composing imitative
passages. Medieval notation and performance practices will also be considered to help facilitate a deeper understanding of the genre.

Oliver Strunk
W.W. Norton & Company, 1966
ISBN 978-0393096804

Richard H. Hoppin (ed.)
W.W. Norton & Company, 1978
ISBN 978-0393090802



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