Spring 2015

  • The College Catalogue has a class finder tool to search for courses by title, instructor, department, and more.
  • Login to Blackboard. Instructional materials are available on a course-by-course basis.
MUS 1011. Holy Songs in a Strange Land.
Examines Black American sacred music from its earliest forms, fashioned by enslaved Africans, through current iterations, produced by Black global actors of a different sort. What does bondage sound like? What does emancipation sound like? Can we hear corresponding sounds generated by artists today? In what ways have creators of sacred music embraced, rejected, and re-envisioned the "strange land" over time? Looks at musical and lyrical content and the context in which various music genres developed, such as Negro spirituals, gospel, and sacred blues. Contemporary artists such as Janelle Monáe, Beyoncé and Lupe Fiasco included as well.
MUS 1051. Fundamentals of Music.
For the entry-level student. Explores the fundamental elements of music—form, harmony, melody, pitch, rhythm, texture, timbre—and teaches basic skills in reading and writing Western music notation for the purposes of reading, analyzing, and creating musical works.
MUS 1260. American Indian Musical Traditions in Eastern North America.
An introductory course exposing students to the diversity of American Indian musical traditions in Eastern North America, and demonstrating the importance of music in the lives of Native people, particularly those in Maine and the Northeastern United States. Through assigned readings and listenings, class discussion, events, quizzes, writing a final paper, and delivering a presentation, students engage in critical analysis of issues that impact Native music, such as the complexity of categorizing music, stereotypes, and music revitalization.
MUS 1292. Issues in Hip-Hop I.
Traces the history of hip-hop culture (with a focus on rap music) from its beginnings in the Caribbean to its transformation into a global phenomenon by the early 1990s. Explores constructions of race, gender, class, and sexuality in hip-hop’s production, promotion, and consumption, as well as the ways in which changing media technology and corporate consolidation influenced the music. Artists/bands investigated will include Grandmaster Flash, Run-D.M.C., Public Enemy, De La Soul, Queen Latifah, N.W.A., MC Lyte, Snoop Doggy Dogg, and Dr. Dre.
MUS 1302. Introduction to Opera.
Opera has the reputation of being a ridiculous and unnatural entertainment for the elite. There’s something to that; but for the 400 years of its existence opera has also had audiences from many walks of life who have been essentially addicted to its pleasures. In addition, it is a genre that chronicles the preoccupations and anxieties of the places and times in which it is written and produced. We think about what opera is and where it fits in society; we examine a number of representative works and excerpts; and we think about how phenomena like the Metropolitan Opera’s HD broadcast affect opera’s place in society.
MUS 1451A. Introduction to Audio Recording Techniques.
Explores the history of audio recording technology as it pertains to music, aesthetic function of recording technique, modern applications of multitrack recording, and digital editing of sound created and captured in the acoustic arena. Topics include the physics of sound, microphone design and function, audio mixing console topology, dynamic and modulation audio processors, studio design and construction, principles of analog to digital (ADA) conversion, and artistic choice as an engineer. Students will create their own mix of music recorded during class time.
MUS 1451B. Introduction to Audio Recording Techniques.
Explores the history of audio recording technology as it pertains to music, aesthetic function of recording technique, modern applications of multitrack recording, and digital editing of sound created and captured in the acoustic arena. Topics include the physics of sound, microphone design and function, audio mixing console topology, dynamic and modulation audio processors, studio design and construction, principles of analog to digital (ADA) conversion, and artistic choice as an engineer. Students will create their own mix of music recorded during class time.
MUS 2101. Asking Questions about Music-Making: Musicological Methods.
Provides students with the ways to ask questions about music by examining it from a number of perspectives – follow the music, follow the musicians, follow the audiences, follow the ways it is discussed, follow the ways it makes money or the technologies used to create and disseminate it; examine its history, the lives of its practitioners, the trajectories of the institutions that sustain it, the multiple musical influences that inform it, and the way it influences new hybrid musical forms. Case studies to be examined by students may include Bach or Beyonce, a rock concert or a ceremony of religious chant – or the recital of an on-campus a capella group. Using methods from cultural studies, the social sciences, ethnomusicology, and historical musicology, students will carry out their own music research projects.
MUS 2261. Holy Songs in a Strange Land.
Examines Black sacred music from its earliest forms, fashioned by enslaved Africans, through current iterations, produced by Black global actors of a different sort. What does bondage sound like? What does emancipation sound like? Can we hear corresponding sounds generated by artists today? In what ways have creators of sacred music embraced, rejected, and re-envisioned the "strange land" over time? Looks at musical and lyrical content and the context in which various music genres developed, such as Negro spirituals, gospel, and sacred blues. Contemporary artists such as Janelle Monáe, Beyoncé, Bob Marley, and Michael Jackson included as well.
MUS 2293. Rebel Yell: Punk Music Inside and Outside the Mainstream.
Explores the significance of punk music from the 1970s to today. Addresses punk music in relation to: transnational identity; the individual in late modernity; music vs. noise; sound and meaning; “selling out”; youth culture; subculture; “genre trouble”; music and fashion; rebellion and insurrection; the abject; constructions of the body and disease; and race, class, gender, and sexuality codes. Enables students to communicate about sound and music. Bands/artists discussed may include: The Bags, The Germs, Nervous Gender, The Sex Pistols, The Bad Brains, Nirvana, The Runaways, Patti Smith, Television, X-Ray Spex, and The Clash.
MUS 2303. Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Classical Music.
Both Romanticism and Modernism, in different ways, have encouraged the idea that “classical music” transcends the particularities of gender, race, and sexuality, and that it exists in a “pure” realm, largely unmediated by the social circumstances of composers, performers, and listeners. This idea has been thoroughly questioned in the past several decades. Addresses topics such as why female composers are so poorly represented in the canonic repertory, whether a composer’s sexuality makes a difference to his or her music or to the way we listen to it, and the places of African Americans and Asians in classical music culture.
MUS 2501. Introduction to Composition.
An introduction to the art of combining the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, form, and orchestration to create cohesive and engaging music. Students learn techniques for generating and developing musical ideas through exercises and four main compositional assignments: a work for solo instrument, a theme and variations for solo instrument and piano, a song for voice and piano, and a multi-movement work for three to five instruments. Students also learn ways to discuss and critique their own and one another’s work. Ends with a concert of student compositions.
MUS 2769. Middle Eastern Ensemble.
Meets once a week on Monday evenings, and performs pieces from the Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, and Greek traditions. Coached by oud player Amos Libby and percussionist Eric La Perna, the group performs one concert per semester. No experience is required to join; students have the option of singing, learning new percussion instruments, or playing an instrument with which they are already familiar.
MUS 2771. Chamber Choir.
An auditioned group of about thirty-five student singers. Repertory ranges widely, from Renaissance music to American contemporary music and folk music of the world. The choir performs at festivals and society meetings in the U.S. (American Choral Directors Association and Society of Composers), and it tours abroad during some spring breaks. Recent trips have taken the ensemble to Germany, Ireland, England, Chile, Hungary, and Slovakia. Monday through Thursday late afternoons must be reserved, but the choir usually rehearses only three of those days.
MUS 2773. Chorus.
An auditioned ensemble of students, faculty, staff, and community singers. At least one of the semesters features a large-scale work for chorus and orchestra. Recent tours have included all the major cities of New England, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece. Rehearsals are Thursday and Sunday evenings. Sight reading ability is desired but not required.
MUS 2773. Chorus.
An auditioned ensemble of students, faculty, staff, and community singers. At least one of the semesters features a large-scale work for chorus and orchestra. Recent tours have included all the major cities of New England, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece. Rehearsals are Thursday and Sunday evenings. Sight reading ability is desired but not required.
MUS 2775. Concert Band.
An ensemble open to all students with wind and percussion experience that performs several major concerts each year on campus, along with performances at campus events and ceremonies. Repertoire consists of a variety of literature, from the finest of the wind band repertoire to light classics, show tunes and marches. Students have been featured as soloists and conductors, and student compositions have been premiered by the ensemble. Rehearsals are Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
MUS 2777. Ensemble Performance.
Ensemble Performance is for instrumentalists who play orchestral instruments or piano and would like to play in chamber ensembles and the chamber orchestra. Participants (except pianists) must reserve Sunday evenings from 7:00 p.m. until 8:55 p.m., and chamber ensemble coachings will be scheduled on an individual basis.
MUS 2781. Afro-Latin Music Ensemble.
Performs the musical forms of black populations in Latin America and the Caribbean, with particular emphasis on the marimba and drumming traditions of Afro-Colombians. May also include Afro-Cuban, Afro-Peruvian, Afro-Puerto Rican, Afro-Dominican, and other musics. Students learn and perform multiple instruments, drumming, singing, and dance, culminating in a concert every semester. Occasional texts and audiovisual materials supplement musical learning by offering cultural and aesthetic contextualization. Rehearsals are Monday and Wednesday evenings.
MUS 2805. Individual Performance Studies.
MUS 2806. Individual Performance Studies.
MUS 2807. Individual Performance Studies.
MUS 2808. Individual Performance Studies.
MUS 2809. Individual Performance Studies.
MUS 3501. Topics in Music Theory: Orchestration.
An in-depth examination of factors to consider when writing for modern orchestral instruments. Students become familiar with all such instruments and arrange and transcribe works for ensembles such as string quartet, woodwind quartet, brass quintet, percussion ensemble, and full orchestra. Students also study scores by composers such as Brahms, Mahler, Ravel, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and Takemitsu in order to further their knowledge of the techniques of instrumentation.
MUS 3551. Computer Music Composition and Sound Synthesis.
Covers advanced topics in computer music. Focuses on algorithmic composition and sound synthesis. Discusses the significance of these techniques with reference to information theory, cybernetics, and cultural critiques of media technology. Students design projects in computer- assisted composition, video sound tracks, and live (real time) media applications.
MUS 3805. Advanced Individual Performance Studies.
MUS 3806. Advanced Individual Performance Studies.
MUS 3807. Advanced Individual Performance Studies.