Courses in Music Theory, Composition, and Music Technology

MUS 204: Music Technology II

This course is designed to further develop skills and applications of music technology as introduced in Music 104. It explores modern recording, microphone techniques, music composition, midi sequencing and digital audio editing using advanced computer hardware and software. The course is projects-based, using industry standard digital audio workstation software, Pro Tools.
Prerequisite: MUS 104

Instructor(s): Christopher Badami

MUS 222: Music Theory II

This course continues the study of advanced diatonic harmonic practices, with introductory keyboard assignments and some correlated sight-singing and ear training. Concepts covered include: inverted triads in four-part harmony, harmonic cadences, dominant seventh chords in four-part harmony, non-harmonic tones, harmonic analysis and extended chords in jazz harmony. One-hour laboratory.
Prerequisite: MUS 121 or permission of instructor

Instructor(s): Skip Wilkins

MUS 249: Introduction to Composition

This course introduces students to the processes and techniques of musical composition. Students will study major compositional techniques and compose short pieces in those styles. A final project will allow students to combine these techniques as needed. Emphasis will be placed on listening to the works of other composers so as to explore the technical and aesthetic issues these works present. Students will work in acoustic media, and will utilize the Williams Center Computer Lab. Students should have an interest in or experience with contemporary concert music.
Prerequisites: MUS 222 or permission of instructor

Instructor(s): Kirk O’Riordan

MUS 290: Ear Training and Aural Skills

This course is designed to improve the student’s ability to recognize, notate, and reproduce vocally fundamental musical gestures such as melodies, rhythm and meter, basic chord progressions, cadences, and modulations. To achieve this goal, students will work on a variety of exercises, including but not limited to sight singing (using solfege), harmonic and melodic dictation, and error detection.
Prerequisites: MUS 222 or permission of instructor. MUS 323 is recommended.

Instructor(s): Kirk O’Riordan

MUS 323: Music Theory III

This course furthers the study of the “Common Practice Period” with chromatic language since the eighteenth century, with correlated sight-singing, ear training, and keyboard assignments. Concepts include diatonic 7th Chords in 4-part harmony, borrowed chords and augmented 6th chords, chromatic and enharmonic modulation, secondary sub-dominants and passing chords, jazz analysis and keyboard voicing, chromatic improvisation, and topics in form and analysis.
Prerequisites: MUS 222 or permission of instructor

Instructor(s): Kirk O’Riordan

MUS 324: 20th-Century Harmonic Practice

This course continues the study of chromatic harmony of post-Romanticism and begins the study of 20th century idioms. Students will compose short works in 20th century styles for small ensemble settings. Students will also analyze important works by Stravinsky, Bartok, Schoenberg, Copland, and others.
Prerequisites: MUS 222 or permission of instructor

Instructor(s): Kirk O’Riordan

MUS 325: Composition Seminar

This course is designed for advanced and highly motivated composition students interested in writing music for ensembles or individual instruments and voices. Students will compose works in genres largely of their own choosing and will organize and rehearse ensembles appropriate to their compositions, with musicians chosen primarily from the College community. Additionally, students will research various composers, examining a range of publications produced by the selected composers themselves.
Prerequisites: MUS 249, 324, or permission of instructor

Instructor(s): Kirk O’Riordan

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