Spring 2014 Courses

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MUS 1011. Holy Songs in a Strange Land.
Judith Casselberry.
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.
Anthony Antolini.
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 1241. Music of the Middle East.
Mary Hunter.
A survey of music in both Arab and non-Arab countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Students learn the fundamental melodic and rhythmic features of music of this region and then address a variety of topics like music and Islam, music and dance, and the music of particular regions or histories. Includes live demonstrations by professional musicians.
MUS 1281. History of Jazz I.
Tracy McMullen.
A socio-cultural, historical, and analytical introduction to jazz music from the turn of the 20th century to around 1950. Includes some concert attendance.
MUS 1451. Introduction to Audio Recording Techniques.
Christopher Watkinson.
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 2401. Tonal Analysis.
Mary Hunter.
Through a survey of music from Bach to Chopin, the student learns to recognize the basic processes and forms of tonal music, to read a score fluently, and to identify chords and modulations.
MUS 2501. Introduction to Composition.
Vineet Shende.
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 2503. Interdisciplinary Performance-Making.
Kathryn Syssoyeva.
A course for actors, gymnasts, writers, dancers, visual artists, media designers, composers, singers, and musicians. Working from a short story by Kurt Vonnegut (“Harrison Bergeron”), students from across disciplines will collaboratively create an original theatre work combining circus acrobatics, dramatic text, physical theatre, dance, clowning, original music, singing, instrumental ensemble, visual composition, and technological design. The project will build upon the talents and skills of those who enroll, and offer participants opportunities to design, compose, arrange, choreograph, write, and/or perform. Culminates in a fully staged production in Wish Theatre in spring.
MUS 2769. Middle Eastern Ensemble.
Vineet Shende, Amos Libby, and Eric LaPerna.
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 does one performance per semester and often collaborates with the Bowdoin Belly Dance Club. 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.
Robert Greenlee.
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.
Anthony Antolini.
An ensemble of students, faculty, staff, and community singers. Entrance by audition. Group collaborates fall semester with other singers to form Rachmaninoff Choir. Participation in Rachmaninoff Choir is voluntary. Fall semester repertoire: “Black Nativity,” in Gospel style. Spring semester: music of Mendelssohn and Stravinsky. Rehearsals are Thursday and Sunday evenings.
MUS 2773. Chorus.
Anthony Antolini.
An ensemble of students, faculty, staff, and community singers. Entrance by audition. Group collaborates fall semester with other singers to form Rachmaninoff Choir. Participation in Rachmaninoff Choir is voluntary. Fall semester repertoire: “Black Nativity,” in Gospel style. Spring semester: music of Mendelssohn and Stravinsky. Rehearsals are Thursday and Sunday evenings.
MUS 2775. Concert Band.
John Morneau.
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.
George Lopez.
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 9:00 p.m., and chamber ensemble coachings will be scheduled on an individual basis.
MUS 2781. Afro-Latin Music Ensemble.
Michael Wingfield.
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.
MUS 2783. Jazz Ensembles.
Frank Mauceri.
Groups of four to six students, formed by audition, and performing both modern and classic standards, plus some original compositions by students and faculty. They perform one concert a semester on campus, and appear occasionally in other venues. Rehearsals are arranged to suit the players’ and coach’s schedules.
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 3103. Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Music.
Tracy McMullen.
Employs gender as a theoretical tool to investigate the production, consumption, and representation of popular music in the United States and around the world. Examines how gender and racial codes have been used historically, for example to describe music as “authentic” (rap, rock) or “commercial” (pop, new wave), and at how these codes may have traveled, changed, or re-appeared in new guises over the decades. Considers how gender and sexuality are inscribed at every level of popular music as well as how music-makers and consumers have manipulated these representations to transgress normative codes and open up new spaces in popular culture for a range of sexual and gender expressions. Juniors and seniors only; sophomores admitted with consent of the instructor during the add/drop period.
MUS 3260. American Indian Powwow Culture.
Susan Taffe Reed.
Advanced seminar exploring the history and vibrant contemporary practice of American Indian powwow music and dance. Students study how Native people simultaneously maintain and reshape their musical traditions at powwows through reading current scholarly literature, participating in seminar discussion, and conducting an original research project. The course focuses on how ethnomusicological methods of inquiry shed light on the differences in song structure and dance style, as well as the differences between competition (contest) and traditional (non-contest) powwows, and how powwows influence contemporary American Indian identity.
MUS 3805. Advanced Individual Performance Studies.
MUS 3806. Advanced Individual Performance Studies.
MUS 3807. Advanced Individual Performance Studies.