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.
Score analysis, discussion, and study of Bartók's principal chamber works. Comparison of formal characteristics, scoring, and compositional practices.
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.
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.
An in-depth examination of representative works spanning Stravinsky's total creative output. Concentration on listening and analysis of representative works.
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.
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.
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.
This course draws from a wide variety of classical and contemporary compositional forms, styles, and concepts. Students examine and explore approaches through the analysis of scores, and through discussions, study, and listening. Students read writings of composers, dealing with creative conception and process in modern symphony, opera, chamber, experimental, and popular forms (exploring Bach, Bernstein, Varèse, Babbitt, Stockhausen, Ellington, Jarrett, Maria Schneider, Monk, Sting, Ani DiFranco, and more). Students explore various music and approaches, and read and write critical papers on their own aesthetic/perspectives. They apply various approaches as they develop their own composition process, style, and techniques.
Students will study orchestral compositions by the most recognized 21st-century concert music composers. Each week a recent major orchestral work will be discussed and analyzed aurally using a systematic descriptive approach analyzing: medium, meter, tempo, rhythm, melody, harmony, tonality, texture, form, orchestration, dynamics, text, and programmatic considerations. Composers included will be 21st-century winners of composition prizes such as the Pulitzer Prize and the Grawemeyer Prize. Other recognized composers establishing the current trends of orchestral music will also be included. The list of composers and pieces analyzed will change in future as current trends in composition evolve and become established.