Courses

Department of Music Courses

Course descriptions listed on this page for the Department of Music are from the 2021-2022 College Catalog. For more information on the courses offered during the fall and spring semesters, please log in to the course schedule through STAR

MUSC 101 — Introduction To Music

A one-semester introduction to art music in the Western tradition, its forms and history, with an emphasis on the major composers of the common practice period. Assignments focus on developing critical listening skills and an appreciation and understanding of Western art music.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 103 — Fundamentals Of Music

Introduction to the rudiments of music theory (notation, scales, intervals, chords, rhythm and meter) and basic musicianship (keyboard skills, score reading and ear training). For students with no previous musical knowledge.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 105 — Individual Instruction

Beginning/intermediate students enroll in a first semester of individual instruction on an instrument or voice with an appropriate instructor. Ten private lessons are given at a mutually convenient time to be arranged. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation.
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 106 — Individual Instruction

Beginning/intermediate students enroll in a second semester of individual instruction on an instrument or voice with an appropriate instructor. Ten private lessons are given at a mutually convenient time to be arranged. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation.
Prerequisite: MUSC 105
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 107 — Individual Instruction

Beginning/intermediate students enroll in a third semester of individual instruction on an instrument or voice with an appropriate instructor. Ten private lessons are given at a mutually convenient time to be arranged. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation.
Prerequisite: MUSC 106
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 108 — Individual Instruction

Beginning/intermediate students enroll in a fourth semester of individual instruction on an instrument or voice with an appropriate instructor. Ten private lessons are given at a mutually convenient time to be arranged. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation.
Prerequisite: MUSC 107
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 110 — College Choir

Students attend all regularly scheduled rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and concerts during the period of enrollment. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation. Students may repeat this course and/or other ensemble courses.
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 111 — Orchestra

Students attend all regularly scheduled rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and concerts during the period of enrollment. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation. Students may repeat this course and/or other ensemble courses.
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 112 — Jazz Ensemble

Students attend all regularly scheduled rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and concerts during the period of enrollment. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation. Students may repeat this course and/or other ensemble courses.
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 113 — Wind Ensemble

Students attend all regularly scheduled rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and concerts during the period of enrollment. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation. Students may repeat this course and/or other ensemble courses.
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Spring

MUSC 114 — Chamber Music

Students attend all regularly scheduled rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and concerts during the period of enrollment. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation. Students may repeat this course and/or other ensemble courses.
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 115 — Chamber Singers

Students attend all regularly scheduled rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and concerts during the period of enrollment. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation. Students may repeat this course and/or other ensemble courses. Department consent required.
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 121 — Intro to Audio Recording

Intro to Audio Recording explores, through traditional and experiential learning, the role of the recording studio in music. Through the study of recording studio theory, critical listening and analysis, classroom discussions, and in-depth examinations of seminal repertoire, students will gain insight into the critical role of the recording studio in sparking innovation, and, perhaps paradoxically, shaping musical aesthetics. Through exercises in microphone selection and placement, frequency filtering, audio mixing, and signal processing, as well as a final cumulative creative project, students will engage with the recording studio as a living laboratory. By the end of the course, students will gain an understanding of how to apply the potential of the recording studio to their own creative work, as well as an appreciation of how the recording studio has fundamentally changed the way musicians and listeners alike experience music.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Fall

MUSC 140 — Song Through the Ages

This course explores the power of song in Western culture drawing on both classical and popular traditions. Songs of love, songs of war, songs of worship, songs of protest - every human emotion has been expressed in song. The focus is on questions of expression and shared values in over four centuries of music.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 142 — American Popular Song

Historical survey of American popular song-Stephen Foster, blackface minstrels, sentimental parlor songs, songs of the Civil War, gospel hymns, vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, Broadway musicals, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, jazz-band songs and singers, country music, rhythm and blues, rock-n-roll, rock, popular "folk" songs, and more.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

MUSC 143 — History of Rock

Survey of rock music from its beginnings in earlier forms of popular music to the twenty-first century. Attention is given to the relationship of rock music to its cultural, political, and economic contexts.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 145 — Music & Disabilities

Disability Studies is an interdisciplinary field that approaches the study of disability not as a medical pathology but as a pervasive human condition and identity category subject to social, cultural, and political constructions, much like gender, race, and sexuality. This course pursues various intersections of this field with the study of music, with topics covering disability's role in shaping musical identities (especially those of composers and performers), disability's expansion of categories of musical knowledge and experience, and representations of disability within musical discourses and narratives.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 150 — American Music

Surveys three main repertoires of music in the United States: folk and traditional music of urban, rural, and ethnic origin; jazz; and art music from Charles Ives to the present, with particular attention to the influence of science and technology on recent developments.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

MUSC 155 — Musics Of Latin America

An introduction to the rich and varied musical traditions of Latin America, this course will explore a range of issues including social function, political context, literature, and religion as they assist in understanding music in and as culture. We will study the musics of several regions without attempting a comprehensive survey. The focus will be on listening critically and appreciating music as a vehicle through which to understand culture and society. Lecture and discussion will feature audio and visual performances of many genres.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Cross-Cultural Studies

MUSC 197 — Music of Peace and Conflict

This course will survey the music related to military conflicts, political movements, and peace making efforts from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. Students will explore how folk music, popular music, and art music have been used to depict war, express pro- and anti-war sentiments and promote political and ideological positions. Throughout the semester students will examine the broader relationship between music and society, and how world events shape musical styles and genres.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

MUSC 201 — Music Theory 1

Ever wonder how music works? This course offers an integrated approach to music theory that is applicable to a broad range of styles from the classical symphony to popular song. Through analysis, musicianship exercises, and creative projects, students learn how composers and songwriters use common elements such as rhythm, scales, chords, melody, and counterpoint as building blocks to create unique musical styles. Music 201 is suitable for students from all majors and class years.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Annually Fall

MUSC 202 — Music Theory 1 Lab

A corequisite of Music Theory 1, this lab offers an introduction to ear training, sight singing, and keyboard skills. Active participation is required. This lab is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation.
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Annually Fall

MUSC 203 — Music Theory 2

The second semester of the two-semester Western music theory sequence devoted to the underlying principles of tonal music, Music Theory 2 explores the musicals elements of chromatic music through listening, discussion, analysis, and musical composition. Topics include advanced chromaticism, extended counterpoint, and large-scale musical forms. Students must have the ability to read one or more musical clefs.
Prerequisite: MUSC 201 or permission of the instructor and Chair. Corequisite: MUSC 204.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts

MUSC 204 — Music Theory 2 Lab

A co-requisite of Music Theory 2, this lab offers intermediate to advanced training in aural skills, sight-singing, and keyboard skills. Active participation is required. This lab is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation.
GPA units: 0.25

MUSC 205 — Individual Instruction

Intermediate level students enroll in a first semester of individual instruction on an instrument or voice with an appropriate instructor. Ten private lessons are given at a mutually convenient time to be arranged. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation.
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 206 — Individual Instruction

Intermediate level students enroll in a second semester of individual instruction on an instrument or voice with an appropriate instructor. Ten private lessons are given at a mutually convenient time to be arranged. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation.
Prerequisite: MUSC 205
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 207 — Individual Instruction

Intermediate level students enroll in a third semester of individual instruction on an instrument or voice with an appropriate instructor. Ten private lessons are given at a mutually convenient time to be arranged. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation.
Prerequisite: MUSC 206
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 208 — Individual Instruction

Intermediate level students enroll in a fourth semester of individual instruction on an instrument or voice with an appropriate instructor. Ten private lessons are given at a mutually convenient time to be arranged. This course is taken pass/no pass as an overload and does not count toward graduation.
Prerequisite: MUSC 207
GPA units: 0.25
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 211 — History of Western Music 1

Survey of the history of music, its notation, forms, and styles, in Western Europe from the development of music notation in the middle ages to the death of Bach in 1750. Topics include genres and composers of the medieval, renaissance, and baroque periods as well as the study of representative works from scores and recordings. Students must have the ability to read music.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Historical Studies
Typically Offered: Annually Fall

MUSC 212 — History of Western Music 2

Traces the history and development of Western music from 1750 to the present, with emphasis on the major composers and genres of the classical, romantic, and modern periods. Students must have the ability to read music.
Prerequisite: MUSC 211
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Historical Studies
Typically Offered: Spring

MUSC 218 — Jazz/Improvisation 1

Introduces students to the fundamentals of jazz harmony and improvisation. Topics include chord and scale construction, harmonic progression, symbols used in improvisation, jazz scales and modes. These theoretical concepts are applied to the analysis and performance of standard jazz tunes. A portion of the class is devoted to performance and improvisation.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Annually Fall

MUSC 219 — Jazz/ Improvisation 2

Examination and analysis of contemporary jazz improvisation techniques. Students are required to play their own instruments in class. Recorded jazz solos by jazz artists will be analyzed and discussed.
Prerequisite: MUSC 218
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts

MUSC 225 — Tutorial

Independent study on a topic in any field of music conducted under the direction of a faculty director. Weekly meetings and a student-designed term project are customary. Permission of faculty member and the department chair required.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 228 — Music & the Jesuits

This course explores the many ways in which the Jesuits have been involved in the field of music over time and space. While it is now well-known that the Jesuits have been important composers and patrons of music, the many ways in which the Society of Jesus has used music as a tool of its mission across all contexts remains less well understood. The goal of the course is to construct a more robust sense of the many ways the Jesuits have engaged with music as art and music as a tool of mission. The course will also examine the many sites of Jesuit music culture around the globe, then and now, to draw a better understanding of Jesuit religious/missionary work, Jesuit engagement in and proximity to slavery and colonialism, and the complex cultural legacy of the Society of Jesus.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Studies in Religion
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

MUSC 231 — Music Of Bali-Gamelan 1

Introduces students to Balinese music through the performance of selected pieces from the Gong Kebyar repertory. Instruction provided in the technique of playing the instruments that make up the Gamelan.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Cross-Cultural Studies
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 232 — Music Of Bali-Gamelan 2

Introduces students to more advanced techniques of playing the instruments in the Gamelan.
Prerequisite: MUSC 231
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Cross-Cultural Studies
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 233 — World Music

Introduction to music of selected African, Asian, and American cultures. Each culture is approached through its social and cultural context, its theoretical systems and musical instruments, as well as its major musical and theatrical genres.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Cross-Cultural Studies
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 236 — From Blues to Rap

This course is a survey of African-American music from the early 20th century to the present day. This course will consider various musical styles, with special emphasis on developments since 1950, including blues, gospel, R&B, rock and roll, doo-wop, soul, funk, disco, hip-hop, and rap-from the rural south to the urban north; from the east coast to the west coast; from the live stage to the recording studio. Though the primary function of the course will be to consider the development of musical style (that is, the music itself), we will also consider broader questions concerning the influences on and influences of African-American music, issues of cultural appropriation and race, and the agency of such music in social movements from the civil-rights era to the present day.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 241 — Intro to Electroacoustic Music

Designed for all students interested in the electronic music studio, this survey course provides a comprehensive overview of the techniques, literature, and materials of electroacoustic music. Topics include musical acoustics, classic musique concrète techniques, digital music, sound design, and production. Course goals include gaining fluency in appropriate technologies and strengthening interpretive and creative skills through the completion of original musical compositions.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Annually Fall

MUSC 242 — Coding Music

Coding Music welcomes all majors interested in DIY instrument design and collaborative performance of live electronic music. An experiential class, students learn the science of sound synthesis by designing digital synthesizers that react in real-time to human interaction (pressing keys on a computer keyboard, tilting a cellphone accelerometer, toggling a hacked gaming joystick, etc.). These synthesizers are then used to create musical compositions that the class performs live for the end of the semester H-CLEF (Holy Cross Laptop Ensemble Federation) concert. Using technology to create both instruments and repertoire, students broaden creative capacity while exploring how technology can expand artistic expression.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts

MUSC 251 — Digital Media for Musicians

Explores the role of digital media in the world of music and teaches how digital tools are utilized by the contemporary composer. Students get "hands-on" experience with digital audio, MIDI, the internet, and a host of computer applications (PowerPoint, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, ProTools, Audacity, Adobe Premier), that are essential for the aspiring musician.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Annually Fall

MUSC 260 — Gregorian Chant

In this course students will come to understand the history of Gregorian chant, both as a religious phenomenon and as a repertory of music. The course will begin in the Early Christian era and trace the history of Gregorian chant through the Middle Ages all the way to the present. Students will consider the role chant was made to play in asserting theological and cultural disagreements that historically led the rise of a variety of forms of Christian worship in the early centuries, some of which continue to be preserved and practiced in the present. The course will also consider chants role as art music and popular music, from the History of Western Music to film and popular song.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts, Studies in Religion
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 265 — Music of the 20th Century

Study of representative works of this century, illustrating their compositional techniques and relationship to the past (i.e., the music of Bartok, the different styles of Stravinsky, the atonal and serial music of Schoenberg and his followers). This course also includes selected readings on contemporary music theory and practice.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts

MUSC 275 — Symphony

Introduction to the orchestra, its instruments, and repertory from the inception of public concerts in the 18th century to the present day.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts

MUSC 283 — Mozart and His World

This course offers an in-depth exploration of the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), who began his career as a child prodigy and remains today one of the most popular composers of all time. We will study important works of every major genre, instrumental and vocal, secular and sacred. Access to the Mozart family letters, other primary sources, and a rich variety of critical readings will place Mozart's music in the multifaceted, vibrant culture of enlightenment Vienna. We will also consider posterity's fascination with myths about Mozart and take a look at the film Amadeus.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

MUSC 284 — Beethoven and His World

Beethoven was the most celebrated composer in Europe during his lifetime and his fame has only increased over the last two centuries. His heroic perseverance in the face of deafness--an almost unthinkable affliction for any musician--has transformed his biography into a story of struggle and triumph. In this course we will study some of his most famous works in depth, with an emphasis on the development of his musical style, the immediate socio-cultural context, and reception history.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts
Typically Offered: Alternate Years

MUSC 305 — Music Theory 3

Music 305 focuses on 20th-century musical systems with an emphasis on the study of compositional theory and the analysis of selected works. Original composition is required.
Prerequisite: MUSC 203.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually Fall

MUSC 306 — Adv. Topics in Music Analysis

Topics-oriented seminar in advanced music theory and analysis open to students who have completed Music Theory 1-3 or by permission of the instructor. May be used as an upper-division elective for the music major.
Prerequisite: MUSC 305 or permission of Instructor.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Every Third Year

MUSC 315 — Adv. Topics in Music History

This course explores music history from a methodological perspective. How do we construct and make sense of the music of the past? How does this activity inform our understanding and appreciation of music today? With an emphasis on critical reading, listening, analysis, discussion, and writing. Topics, materials, and course format vary from year to year.
Prerequisite: MUSC 212 or permission of instructor.
GPA units: 1

MUSC 325 — Tutorial

Independent study on a topic in any field of music conducted under the direction of a faculty director. Weekly meetings and a student-designed term project are customary. Permission of faculty member and the department chair required. Advanced.
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 331 — Intermediate Performance 1

Instrumental or vocal lessons for students of intermediate competency. Interested students must have completed four semesters of individual instruction, perform at the intermediate level and obtain the permission of the Director of Performance and the Chair of the department.
GPA units: 0
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 332 — Intermediate Performance 2

Instrumental or vocal lessons for students of intermediate competency. Interested students must have completed four semesters of individual instruction, perform at the intermediate level and obtain the permission of the Director of Performance and the Chair of the department.
Prerequisite: MUSC 331
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 390 — Music & Gay Rights

Where once popular music was considered to be merely a reflection of social change, today, scholars regard popular music to be a powerful agent of change itself. It is thus that we have come to celebrate artists and musicians among the very architects of the civil rights and women's rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s. However, the role of music in various gay rights movements remains less well understood. This course will consider the complex relationship between popular music and gay rights over the last fifty years. Examining the fraught notion of gay music in musical, historical, and aesthetic terms, the course will also explore the role music has played in building up and breaking down certain conceptualizations of sex, gender, and sexuality in American popular culture; in shaping distinct forms of gay identity (inclusive of LGBTQIAPK+ identity) in the popular media; in drawing attention to issues of voice-formation and cultural appropriation; and in forging political agency via song. The ability to read musical notation is not required and while this course has no specific prerequisite, students should be prepared to engage at an upper intermediate to advanced level. A prior course in music, sociology, cultural studies, or GSWS may be helpful, but is not required.
GPA units: 1
Common Area: Arts

MUSC 400 — Junior/Senior Seminar

Required for music majors. This course is designed to provide an opportunity for juniors and seniors to integrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired in the major by drawing on multiple methodologies (musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, historical performance practice, and popular music studies, among others) to study selected musical works in depth. Topics and repertory vary from year to year. The culmination of this course is a capstone project designed by the student.
Prerequisite or Corequisite: MUSC 212 and MUSC 302 or 305
GPA units: 1

MUSC 425 — Tutorial

GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

MUSC 431 — Intermediate/Adv Performance 1

Instrumental or vocal lessons for students of intermediate to advanced competency. Interested students must have completed four semesters of individual instruction, perform at the intermediate or advanced level and obtain the permission of the Director of Performance and the Chair of the department.
GPA units: 0
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 432 — Intermediate/Adv Performance 2

Instrumental or vocal lessons for students of intermediate to advanced competency. Interested students must have completed four semesters of individual instruction, perform at the intermediate or advanced level and obtain the permission of the Director of Performance and the Chair of the department.
Prerequisite: MUSC 431
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 433 — Advanced Performance 1

Instrumental or vocal lessons for students of advanced competency. Interested students must have completed four semesters of individual instruction, perform at the advanced level and obtain the permission of the Director of Performance and the Chair of the department.
Prerequisite: MUSC 432
GPA units: 0
Typically Offered: Annually

MUSC 434 — Advanced Performance 2

Instrumental or vocal lessons for students of advanced competency. Interested students must have completed four semesters of individual instruction, perform at the advanced level and obtain the permission of the Director of Performance and the Chair of the department.
Prerequisite: MUSC 433
GPA units: 1
Typically Offered: Annually