Integrating folklore, American history, and songwriting, this course examines American culture through the lens of American folk songs-songs written by others and songs we will write ourselves. Readings, recordings, and class discussion illustrate the importance of love songs, protest songs, work songs, and ballads as resources for understanding and expressing American life.
MUS108 - Blues: Harmony & Theory
This course develops an understanding and appreciation of music, covering genres including blues, pop, and jazz. Music theory, blues theory, harmony, and chordal theory are examined. Through a combination of listening to recordings and live examples, students apply their knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of music.
MUS202 - Fundamentals of Music
This course is designed for students who are interested in mastering basic music literacy and its application in basic piano skills. The course is appropriate for those who already read some music and would like to develop their written music skills; it is also appropriate for those who have little or no experience reading sheet music. Topics include musical notation, rhythm, and basic piano skills including but not limited to scale building, intervals, and chords. This course fulfills the Area of Inquiry – Aesthetic [AI(A)].
MUS215 - History of Jazz
This is an in-depth study of the history of Jazz with an overview of the influences of African traditions and the development of the blues. Students gain insight into the various jazz idioms through recordings of significant artists and compositions. Topics covered range from Dixieland to contemporary styles with an emphasis on swing and bebop.
MUS101 - Music Appreciation I (KP)
This is a survey course in which students acquire listening skills and learn how to talk about music. The Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods of European music (1450-1800) are covered, with an emphasis on the history and development of music in its social and historical context. Students will learn to identify music from these three periods and will gain a more general understanding of music that can be applied to all eras and styles. Composers include Ockeghem, Palestrina, Byrd, Gabrieli, Purcell, Telemann, Bach, Handel, Haydn, and Mozart.
MUS102 - Music Appreciation II (KP)
In this course, students will explore the role of music in various contexts, in order to better understand its role in culture and in society. The hands-on curriculum calls for lots of listening and active participation; students will develop their listening skills, their awareness of the elements of music, and their understanding of the musical experience.
MUS201 - Musical Comedy
This is a survey of the rise of the musical theatre from origins in England in the eighteenth century (Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera) through the 1920s in the United States. Works by Weill, Kern, Hammerstein, Rogers, Gershwin, Bernstein, Porter, Lerner and Loewe, Wilson, and others are studied.
MUS203 - Popular Music (KP)
The years after World War II found American society and culture evolving in ways that both led to and mirrored the birth of rhythm 'n' blues, rock 'n' roll, and soul music, creating a new popular music that has indeed taken over the world. Yet it is impossible to understand fully modern popular music without exploring its roots in blues, jazz, hillbilly, ragtime, Afro-Caribbean, and other styles. In this course, we survey the history of American pop from its birth in the early nineteenth century up to 1970; by this crucial year, most of the styles reflected in today's music had been established. We pay special attention to the ways in which American music synthesizes African and European elements in a myriad of new forms.
MUS207X - Songwriting: Craft & Creation
This course is designed for both experienced and first-time songwriters. We will study basic music theory and engage in ear training, melody writing, and lyric writing as we consider songs in a variety of contemporary and traditional styles. Class completion will include the study of songs within their musical, historical, and social context, and the creation and simple performance (live or recorded) of at least four original songs.
MUS107 - Understanding & Playing the Blues
This course formally introduces students to the blues through theoretical study and practical application. As a result, students not only become familiar with all the basic blues elements (e.g., rhythm, harmony, form) but also learn how to play the blues on keyboards. (Prior keyboard or piano experience is NOT necessary.)
MUS104 - World Music
This course introduces students to the world of music through analysis and examination of music and culture from different ethnic groups. The musical characteristics of India, the Middle East, Indonesia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Native American Indians, Ethnic North America, and the musical culture of Europe are addressed. Students listen to a selected repertoire and analyze the music and readings about music in class.