Courses

e.g. AR or AR-211
e.g. Film or "Bass Lab"

PSW-235

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: PERC

In this course for non-percussion principals students focus on the development of basic techniques and sound production using the North African tar frame drum. The mathematical rhythm system from South India is explored to create phrases in 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 with an emphasis on independence, ankle bells, and spoken drum vocables. Rhythms and concepts will also be rendered using harmonic time.

PSW-335

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: PERC

In this course for percussion principals students focus on the development of basic techniques and sound production using the North African tar frame drum. The mathematical rhythm system from South India is explored to create phrases in 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 with an emphasis on independence, ankle bells, and spoken drum vocables. Rhythms and concepts will also be rendered using harmonic time.

PSW-341

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: PERC

A study of traditional music and culture chosen from the ten regions of Ghana, West Africa. Dance music, from various ethnic groups such as, Ewe, Asante, Dagomba, and Dagara, will be taught. The main learning approach will be primarily oral tradition, with a focus on technique, rhythmic sensibility, and dialogue conversation, which are typical in the music. 

PSW-342

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall Only
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: PERC

A study of traditional music and culture chosen from the four regions of Guinea, West Africa. Dance music from various ethnic groups such as Susu, Mandinka, Soninke, Bambara, Mende, and Baga will be taught. The main learning approach will be primarily oral tradition, with a focus on technique, rhythm sensibility, and dialogue conversation, which are typical in the music.

PSW-345

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 2
Department Code: VOICE

A study of Latin American vocal styles and rhythms that includes Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Students will learn the history and culture of Latin American styles and rhythms through listening and analysis, transcribing, and video performances.

PSW-350

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Carl Riley
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 4
Department Code: PERF

Focused on South Indian rhythmic solfege, this course explores both North and South Indian melodic concepts, the raga system and tala system. Basic pulse is strengthened, and complex polyrhythms are learned by vocal recitations and hand-clapping patterns. These exercises and patterns are then applied to the student's instrument and used in improvisation. Emphasis is placed upon superimposing different groupings over various meters, thus creating interesting phrasings and broadening rhythmic vocabulary. In addition to Indian rhythms, some West African and Brazilian rhythms will be covered. Play-along recordings with different harmonic progressions will be used. Improving swing feel will also be emphasized. Solo transcriptions of jazz and classical Indian music will be used as examples of superimposed rhythmic groupings and subdivisions. The students are expected to invent their own exercises and be able to perform them in class. Examples of these rhythmic concepts in composition will be discussed and played in class.

PSW-351

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Carl Riley
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PSW-350
Department Code: PERF

This class is a continuation of South Indian Rhythmic Solfege 1. It continues to work on strengthening basic pulse. Complex polyrhythms are learned by vocal recitations and hand-clapping patterns. These exercises and patterns are then applied to students' instruments and used in improvisation. Emphasis is placed on superimposing different groupings over various meters, thus creating interesting phrasings and broadening students' rhythmic vocabulary. West African, Afro-Cuban, and Indian rhythms will also be covered. Play-along recordings with different harmonic progressions will be used, and the students will have a chance to record their performances in class. Improving swing feel will also be emphasized. Solo transcriptions of jazz and classical Indian music will be used as examples of superimposed rhythmic groupings and subdivisions. Students are also expected to invent their own exercises and be able to perform them in class. Examples of these rhythmic concepts in composition will also be discussed.

PSW-361

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Carl Riley
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: PERF

A study of the evolution of Brazilian popular music and its social and musical history. Analysis and discussion of the rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic aspects of several contemporary Brazilian musical styles and their origins. Recordings of various arrangements will be presented in traditional and contemporary versions. Analysis, through transcriptions and performance, of the role each instrument performs in an ensemble.

PSW-P370

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Carl Riley
Semesters Offered: Spring Only
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 3
Department Code: PERF

Study and performance of East Asian music and cultures from China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. This course provides an opportunity for students to explore musical languages and vocabulary and build them into their performance skills. In addition to video and music recordings and scale study, students will have the chance to work with guest artists. The basics of the notation will also be taught.

PW-110

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Matthew Nicholl
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: All entering students testing into this course.
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: CWP

Exploration of the elements and concepts of music and how they combine and interact to create compositions and arrangements as applied to the rhythm section (guitar, keyboard, bass, and drums). Assignments will include creating and developing musical projects for the rhythm section based on the course topics.

PW-111

4 credit(s)
Course Chair: Joe Mulholland
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: All
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: HARM

A study of popular music. This study begins with the aural analysis of contemporary songs, including bass motion, chord function, and aspects of the rhythm section. It will lead to understanding the bass line, harmony, and rhythmic structure of these songs and creation of original pieces in major key and Aeolian mode (natural minor). Keyboard exercises, written homework assignments, and laptop computer drills will provide extensive practice in musical and notational elements. You will learn to read and write major and natural minor scales in all keys and learn triads and seventh chords diatonic to those scales. The course provides exposure to chromatic variations on major key harmony: the principles of secondary dominants and modal interchange will be studied in limited situations to add color and variety to diatonic harmony. These activities will decode the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic language of most of contemporary popular music and set the stage for a detailed study of more complex and chromatic music in Harmony 2, 3, and 4.

PW-165

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Joe Mulholland
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: AR-111, ET-112, and HR-112
Department Code: HARM

This course looks at proven methods that help individuals chisel out their own system in order to ignite their creative flame and sustain their creativity. It examines some of the commonalities, both good and bad, that occur for artists while they are engaged in their creative process. Through experimentation with various creative approaches and tools, as well as reflective practice, students will learn to apply these methods to musical composition and performance. As the course is process-oriented, the experiences and knowledge gained can be transferred into other classroom settings, as well as other aspects of students' lives.

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