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Graduate Theory & Musicology Electives Fall 2014

Temperament and Western Tuning Before 1900

MU 519-01
Credits: 1
Prequisite: Graduate Theory (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Monday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: James Dalton

Course Description

The objectives of this course are to develop an understanding of the ways in which Western tuning systems have influenced the trajectory of music history by focusing on key composers and works. We will examine the consequences of the Pythagorean, meantone, well-tempered and equal-tempered tunings from ancient times up to 1900.


 

Renaissance Counterpoint

MU 519-02
Credits: 1
Prequisite: Graduate Theory (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Monday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: Dr. Stephen Halloran

Course Description
This course will analyze, emulate and critique works in the Renaissance chronologically with an emphasis on contrapuntal techniques. Students will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of different styles and their development by inventing imitative passages and describing the individual approaches by the masters such as Du Fay, Tallis, Josquin, Palestrina and Gesualdo, among others.  



Understanding Phrase Structure and Form:
An Analytical Study of Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words

MU 519-03
Credits: 1
Prequisite: Graduate Theory (proficiency exam or review course)
Meetings: Monday 11:00–12:50
Instructor:  Dr. Siu Yan Luk

Course Description
The course will explore the innovative features of Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words, which are typically viewed as conservative pieces.  Specifically, we will 1.) examine Mendelssohn's transformations of basic phrases, such as phrase expansion and manipulation of hypermeter, 2.) make analytical reductions, and 3.) study the interaction between phrase and overall form.  



Bartók

MU 519-04
Credits: 1
Prequisite: Graduate Theory (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Tuesday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: John Murphree

Course Description
Beginning with analysis of Bartók’s first harmonized folksongs, and finishing with his final works including the Concerto for Orchestra, this course will focus on his pitch content, as found in folk melodies and outlined by Bartók himself through readings from his Harvard Lectures, his use of phrase, cadence, and larger constructions which will inform classroom discussion placing Bartók’s work in the greater context of concert music, and his pioneering use of folk rhythm.

 


Free Jazz and Avant-garde Improvisation

MU 519-05
Credits: 1
Prequisite: Graduate Theory (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Tuesday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: Dr. Curtis Hughes 

Course Description
The course will survey seminal recordings and musical characteristics of important figures in avant- garde jazz and other forms of “free improvisation” since the late 1950s. The core focus of the course will be the work of American “pioneers” in Free Jazz during the 1960s and 70s, including Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Anthony Braxton and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. European figures to be examined in addition include Derek Bailey, Mats Gustafsson, Han Bennink and Peter Brötzmann. Consideration will also be given to the use of improvisation in works by concert composers (including Karlheinz Stockhausen and Cornelius Cardew), free improvisation in pop music of the same period (including Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead), and important figures in improvised electronic music (including AMM). Finally, the course will culminate in case-studies of improvised music scenes in specific cities and an overview of avant-garde jazz and improvised music from the 1980s through the present, including performers such as Myra Melford, John Zorn, Charles Gayle, Susie Ibarra, Matthew Shipp and Ken Vandermark.

 

The Music of Toru Takemitsu

MU 519-06
Credits: 1
Prequisite: Graduate Theory (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Tuesday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: Dr. Marti Epstein

Course Description
Toru Takemitsu was a true iconoclast; one of the most important Japanese composers of the 20th century. This course will examine pieces from his entire output including works for traditional Japanese instruments, solo piano music, orchestral music, chamber music, music for film, and transcriptions of popular music. We will also discuss his essays on art, music, and nature. an integral part of the grade.

 

European Traditional Music

MU 519-07
Credits: 1
Prequisite: Graduate Theory (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Wednesday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: James Dalton 

Course Description
This course provides the means and the vocabulary to understand and discuss traditional music of a number of European countries. We will also examine the contributions of itinerate cultural groups such as the Roma and styles that exist across boundaries such as Klezmer. We will study the relationship of music to function in sacred and secular ritual, bardic traditions, song, dance, instrumental music etc. and the influence of these styles on concert music.

 
 

Set Theory

MU 519-08
Credits: 1
Prequisite: Graduate Theory (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Wednesday 11:00–12:50
Instructor: Dr. Stephen Halloran 

Course Description
The objectives specific to Set Theory include the ability to understand, describe, analyze and diagram 20th century literature to the present using established techniques of pitch organization. A comprehensive understanding of its applications will be achieved with an emphasis on listening, analyzing, historical development and writing passages demonstrating proficiency of specific topics. Concepts such as pitch-class sets, centricity, referential collections and twelve-tone topics are studied through various composers.



TBD

MU 519-09
Credits: 1
Prequisite: Graduate Theory (proficiency exam or review course)
Meeting: Wednesday 11:00–12:50
Instructor:

Course Description



Score Reading 1

MU 519-10
Credits: 1 
Prerequisites: Graduate Ear Training (proficiency exam or review course), and a piano placement test given by the instructor
Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday 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.

 

 

 

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