The Music of Duke Ellington
A chronological investigation of the music of Duke Ellington and the development of the Ellington Orchestra. Through listening and score analysis, students become familiar with various techniques associated with Ellington's unique approach to composition, arranging, and orchestration.
The Music of Charles Mingus
An investigation of the basic elements discovered in the compositional and arranging styles of Charles Mingus. Categorizing and analysis of various works.
The Beethoven String Quartets
Comparative study and analysis of the principal Beethoven quartets. Relationship of the quartets to his work as a whole. Examination of the outstanding compositional characteristics of this important body of literature.
Bartók's Chamber Music
Score analysis, discussion, and study of Bartók's principal chamber works. Comparison of formal characteristics, scoring, and compositional practices.
Early Chamber Music of Arnold Schoenberg
Analysis of the early tonal and free atonal techniques in Schoenberg's pre-1923 compositions. Examinations of the causes and effects of preserial techniques in 20th-century composition.
The Music of J.S. Bach
A study of the aesthetic and compositional bases of representative works of J.S. Bach, placing the music in a cultural, biographical, and musicological context. Through lecture, listening, analysis, and discussion, the student will consider the distinctions, as well as the continuities, between the practical composer of weekly cantatas and the abstractionist composer of the Art of the Fugue.
The Music of Igor Stravinsky
An in-depth examination of representative works spanning Stravinsky's total creative output. Concentration on listening and analysis of representative works.
The Symphonies of Jean Sibelius
Analysis of the development of the Sibelius style from the first through the seventh symphonies. Methods by which the Finnish master utilized tone color, motive development, beat modulation, and modal counterpoint. In addition, concepts of orchestration will be discussed and analyzed in selected tone poems as well as the symphonies.
Seminal Composers of the 20th Century
An in-depth examination of composers whose work has proven of lasting importance, not only in and of itself, but also because of its influence on contemporary compositional styles. A different composer will be covered each semester; the current selection will be posted on student bulletin boards and in the Composition Department during registration and check-in periods. Composers covered include Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Paul Hindemith, Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, and music theater crossovers including George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein.
Analysis of Sonata Forms
A comparative, historical study of sonata forms from the baroque period to the present. Selective analysis of representative works by Scarlatti, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Scriabin, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, and Britten. Emphasis on historical development and evolution of the sonata form.
Music of the English-Speaking Caribbean Islands
This course will look at the development of English-speaking Caribbean Island music and its most influential artists over the past sixty years. As with many Caribbean music traditions, this music and its sub-genres maintain direct links to West African sacred and secular music. This course will highlight the retaining of these links, the contemporary history of these islands as traced in lyrical content, and the influences and nuances that differentiate them. Required reading, listening and transcriptions will include preselected recordings of Lord Kitchener, Harry Belafonte, Mighty Sparrow, Arrow, Lord Shorty, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and David Rudder, as well as the legendary steelbands of Trinidad and the Caribbean.
Maurice Ravel: The Man and His Music
This course surveys the life and music of Maurice Ravel, one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century. The class will include weekly listening and reading assignments with score study and analysis. We will watch videos of his ballet Daphnis et Chloé and his two operas, and students will write papers and give class presentations of his work. In addition to musical study, this class will be a historical survey of the era which Ravel lived and will include discussions and reading assignments about art, dance, literature, and political events that influenced his musical style.