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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.

Spring 2014

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 105 Roll Over Beethoven: A History of Rock

A critical survey of rock music, tracing the music's development from blues and blackface minstrels to heavy metal, grunge, and techno. Topics to be covered include: Elvis Presley and American race relations; Jimi Hendrix and the blues; girl groups; the rise of arena rock; and the significance of the DJ in hip hop. Enrollment limited to 45. 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 210 Analysis and Repertory

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

MUS 220 Topics in World Music: African Popular Music

This course focuses on twentieth century African popular music; it examines musical genres from different parts of the continent, investigating their relationships to the historical, political and social dynamics of their respective national and regional origins. Regional examples like highlife, soukous and mbaqanga will provide the basis for assessing the significance of popular music as a creative response to the colonial and postcolonial environment in Africa. No prerequisites. Maximum enrollment 30 students. 4 credits.

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 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 330 Seminar – Music, Ideology, Identity: Hollywood Films from 1960

How does music in film produce ideology? We will closely study a number of films, focusing at first on half a dozen top-grossing Hollywood vehicles from the last fifty years, theorizing the role of the score in the production, and exploring how it constructs identities for the characters and positions viewers. Prerequisites: FLS 150 or MUS 110. Enrollment limit of 12 students. 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.

Fall 2013

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

The course will focus on changes in the music industry over the last three decades and the larger issues informing the making and selling of music, including the effects of new technologies, legal definitions and struggles over intellectual property, and what it means to work in the music industry. 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 210 Analysis and Repertory

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

MUS 305 Music of the High Baroque

The music of Bach and Handel, concentrating of their vocal works. Prerequisite: 110 or permission of the instructor. 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.