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Classroom Courses

Smith College reserves the right to make changes to all announcements and course listings online, including changes in its course offerings, instructors, requirements for the majors and minors, and degree requirements.

Fall 2014

MUS 101 Introduction to World Music

A survey of the world's musical traditions, usually including areas of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, India, Indonesia, and East Asia. Ability to read music is not necessary. 4 credits.

MUS 102 First Nights

This course serves as an introduction to the history of Western music by studying in detail important works in the Western tradition including Orfeo (Monteverdi), Messiah (Handel), the Ninth Symphony (Beethoven), the Symphony fantastique (Berlioz), and Le Sacre du printemps (Stravinsky). Students will come to understand musical monuments as aesthetic objects and as manifestations of the artistic cultures that engender them. 4 credits.

MUS 110 Analysis and Repertory

An introduction to formal analysis and tonal harmony, and a study of familiar pieces in the standard musical repertory. A one-hour ear training lab per week outside of class. Prerequisite: ability to read standard pitch and rhythmic notation in treble and bass clefs, major and minor key signatures, time signatures, and to name intervals. 4 credits.

MUS 205 Topics in Popular Music: Producing Popular Music: The American Music Industry

Explore metal and punk as interrelated music genres, following their history and development and examining a range of social and musical issues along the way. Significant questions: how and when did metal and punk emerge? What defines the two genres musically or socially? Taken together, how do they represent the changing status of rock music as a cultural and commercial form since 1970? 4 credits.

MUS 233 Composition

Basic techniques of composition, including melody, simple two-part writing, and instrumentation. Analysis of representative literature. No previous composition experience required. Prerequisite: 110 or permission of the instructor. 4 credits.

MUS 308 Seminar in the Music of Nineteenth Century: Composers' Music and Letters

In this seminar on the music of the "long" nineteenth century, from the French Revolution to the First World War, we will confront the eternal problem of the relationship between "art" and "life." We will consider how reading composers' articles, letters, memoirs, and tracts might add to our understanding of their purely musical creations; and how purely musical analysis might add to our understanding of the boundaries between creators and their works. Instructor Permission required. Not open to first-years or sophomores. 4 credits.

MUS 345 Electroacoustic Music

Introduction to musique concréte, analog synthesis, digital synthesis, and sampling through practical work, assigned reading and listening. Prerequisite: a semester of music theory or composition and permission of instructor. 4 credits.

MUS 903 Conducting

Introduction to the art of conducting. The class will examine philosophical and practical aspects of the modern conductor's role. Topics include a musical gestural vocabulary, baton technique, and score study/internalization of the printed page. Prior music performance experience and study of Western music theory is highly recommended; admission by permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit. 2 credits.

Spring 2015

MUS 100 Colloq: Fundamentals of Music

An introduction to music notation and to principles of music organization, including scales, keys, rhythm, and meter. 4 credits.

MUS 201 Music from the Pre-Classic to the Post-Modern

An historical survey of the principal styles and monuments of Western music from the time of Haydn and Mozart to the time of Stravinsky and beyond. Open to all students (including first-years) who have had previous musical experience or who have obtained permission of the instructor. 4 credits.

MUS 202 Thinking About Music

An exploration of different approaches to the study of music as a cultural phenomenon. How does music become meaningful to people in various social settings and locations and what functions does it fulfill in different societies? 4 credits.

MUS 205 Topics in Popular Music: Metal and Punk: Rock History Out Loud

Explore metal and punk as interrelated music genres, following their history and development and examining a range of social and musical issues along the way. Significant questions: how and when did metal and punk emerge? What defines the two genres musically or socially? Taken together, how do they represent the changing status of rock music as a cultural and commercial form since 1970? 4 credits.

MUS 210 Analysis and Repertory

A continuation of 110. Prerequisite: 110 or permission of the instructor. 4 credits.

MUS 242 German and French Diction for Singers

Topic for 2014-2015: French Song. May be repeated once for credit with a different topic. Prerequisite: voice or permission of the instructor. 1 credit.

MUS 250 The Original Instrument: Music for Voice

An introduction to a broad range of vocal music, from the Middle Ages to the present, and an investigation of such issues as text setting, interpretation, extended vocal techniques and the use of technology as it relates to vocal performance. Open to all students (including first years) who have had previous musical experience or who have obtained the permission of the instructor. 4 credits.

MUS 251 The History of Opera

History of the form from its inception to the present, with emphasis on selected masterworks. 4 credits.

MUS 312 Seminar in Analysis and Repertory: 20th Century

Study of major developments in 20th-century music. Writing and analytic work including non-tonal harmonic practice, serial
composition, and other music techniques. Prerequisite: a second semester course in music analysis or permission of the instructor. 4 credits.

MUS 325 Writing About Music

Via regular writing assignments and group discussions of substance and style, students will consider various kinds of writing that concern the broad history of western music. Instructor permission required. Juniors and seniors only. 4 credits.

MUS 341 Seminar in Composition

Prerequisite: a course in composition. Admission by permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit. 4 credits.