The string department offers a broad array of diverse courses.
Survey of Contemporary String Styles
An overview of the history of contemporary string playing, with special emphasis on the work of major innovators: Joe Venuti, Stephane Grappelli, Jean-Luc Ponty, and others. Recordings and transcriptions used to analyze technique and improvisational skills.
Survey of American Roots Music Styles
This course will survey and analyze a number of styles that form the bedrock of American popular music. These styles include blues, gospel, folk, country, Cajun, tejano, and Native American. Students will learn through transcribing, intensive immersion in listening, and viewing videotape footage.
Bluegrass Traditions and Contemporary Trends
Historical listening and performance class covering the tributaries of Bill Monroe's music (old time country music, blues, and swing) and tracing the development of the styles from 1945 to the present day. Extensive transcription projects and in-class performance will be emphasized.
Traditional Microtonal Theory and Application
This course will introduce students to the theory of musical cultures in the eastern Mediterranean basin and North Africa. Course work will include listening and analysis, in-class performance on instruments and voice, and theoretical analysis of the maqam system, modulation, and improvisational schemes. The course will include also learning iqa, the complex rhythmic modes that go hand in hand with forms based on the maqam.
Melodic Variation Techniques in American String Traditions
Historical listening and performance class covering the tributaries of Bill Monroe's music (old-time country music, blues, and swing) and tracing the development of the styles from 1945 to the present day. Extensive transcription projects and in class performance will be emphasized.
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