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Courses

Course descriptions listed on this page for the Department of Music are from the 2018-2019 College Catalog. For more information on the courses offered during the fall and spring semesters, please log in to the course schedule through STAR

Introductory Courses

Designed for the general liberal-arts student/non-majors.

Music 101 – Introduction to Music
Fall, spring
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. One unit.

Music 103 – Fundamentals of Music
Fall, spring
Introduction to the rudiments of music theory (notation, scales, intervals, chords, rhythm and meter, and form) and basic musicianship (keyboard skills, score reading and listening skills). No prior music background is required for this course. One unit.

Music 140 – Song Through the Ages
Annually
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. One unit.

Music 141 – From Opera To Broadway
Annually
Introduction to opera, musical comedy, and related genres such as dance and film music, with attention to the relationship between drama and music. A brief historical survey of each category with study of representative scenes and complete works. One unit.

Music 142 – American Popular Song
Alternate years
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. One unit.

Music 143 – History of Rock
Annually
Survey of rock music from its beginnings in earlier forms of popular music to 1990. Attention is given to the relationship of rock music to its cultural, political, and economic contexts. One unit.

Music 145 – Music and Disabilities
Annually
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.

Music 150 – American Music
Alternate years
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. One unit.

Music 197 – Music of Peace and Conflict
Alternate years
This course will survey the music related to military conflicts, political movements, and peacemaking 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. One unit.

Intermediate Courses

Designed for both majors and non-majors. Some of these courses have prerequisites, many do not.  

MUSC 201 – Music Theory 1
Annually, fall
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. Prerequisite: Ability to read one or more musical clefs (or permission of the instructor). Corequisite: Music Theory 1 Lab (Music 202). One unit.

MUSC 202 – Music Theory 1 Lab
Annually, fall
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. One-quarter unit.

Music 203 ­– Music Theory 2   
Annually, spring
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. Prerequisite: Music Theory 1 or permission of instructor. Co-requisite: Music Theory 2 lab (Music 204). One Unit.

Music 204 – Music Theory 2 Lab
Annually, spring
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. One-quarter unit.

Music 211 – History of Western Music 1
Annually, fall
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. Prerequisite: the ability to read music. One unit.

Music 212 – History of Western Music 2
Annually, spring
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. Prerequisite: Music 211 or permission of instructor. One unit.

Music 233 – World Music
Annually
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. No prerequisite. One unit.

Music 236 – African American Music: From Blues to Rap
Annually
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. No prerequisite. One unit.

Music 241 – Introduction to Electroacoustic Music
Annually, fall
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. No prerequisite. One unit.

Music 242 – Coding Music
Annually, spring
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. One unit.

Music 260 – Gregorian Chant
Annually
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 chant’s role as art music and popular music, from the History of Western Music to film and popular song. No prerequisite. One unit.

Music 265 – Music of the 20th Century 
Alternate years
Study of representative works of the 20th century and beyond, 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. Prerequisite: Ability to read music or permission of instructor. One unit.

Music 283 – Mozart and His World
Alternate years
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. Prerequisite: ability to read music, or permission of the instructor. One unit.

Music 284 – Beethoven and His World
Alternate years
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. Prerequisite: ability to read music, or permission of the instructor. One unit.

Upper-Division Courses

Designed for majors (and non-majors) who have completed the necessary prior coursework.

Music 305 – Music Theory 3: Advanced Topics
Annually, fall
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. One unit.

Music 315 – Advanced Topics in Music History
Annually, fall
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.  Prerquisite: MUSC 212 or permission of instructor.  One unit.

Music 325, 326 – Tutorial
Annually
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. One unit.

Music 399 – Special Topics in Music
Annually
Seminar with an emphasis on reading, writing, discussion and analysis. Course topics, which vary from year to year, may include the intersection of music and identity, questions of form and genre, or emphasis on an aspect of music and society. Advanced. One unit.

Music 400 – Senior Seminar
Annually, spring
This course is designed to present an integrated approach to the study of music drawing on and combining aspects of various disciplines (History, Theory, Ethnomusicology, Performance Practice, Popular Music Studies, etc.). Topics and selected works vary from year to year. Required for Music majors. Prerequisites (or co-requisites): Music 212 and Music 302. One unit.

Music 425 - Tutorial

Performance Courses

Open to majors and non-majors. As a reminder, only two performance courses may count within the ten courses required for the major.

Music 218 – Jazz/Improvisation 1 – Performance Course
Annually, fall
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. One unit.

Music 219 – Jazz/Improvisation 2 – Performance Course
Annually, spring
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 or permission of department chair. One unit.

Music 231 – Music of Bali — Gamelan 1 – Performance Course
Fall, spring
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. No prerequisite. One unit.

Music 232 – Music of Bali — Gamelan 2 – Performance Course
Fall, spring
Introduces students to more advanced techniques of playing the instruments in the Gamelan. Prerequisite: Music 231. One unit.

Music 331/332 – Intermediate Performance 1 – Performance Course
Annually
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. One unit.

Music 431, 432 – Intermediate/Advanced Performance – Performance Course
Annually
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. One unit.

Music 433, 434 – Advanced Performance – Performance Course
Annually
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. One unit.

Individual Instruction In Performance

Music majors must enroll in two semesters in individual instruction for either half hour lessons (0 credit) or one-hour lessons (.25 credit); majors and qualified non-majors may enroll for up to four semesters.

Music 105 – Individual Instruction
Fall, spring
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. Half-hour lessons 0 credit; one-hour lessons .25 credit.

Music 106 – Individual Instruction
Fall, spring
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. Half-hour lessons 0 credit; one-hour lessons .25 credit.

Music 107 – Individual Instruction
Fall, spring
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. Half-hour lessons 0 credit; one-hour lessons .25 credit.

Music 108 – Individual Instruction
Fall, spring
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. Half-hour lessons 0 credit; one-hour lessons .25 credit.

Music 205 – Individual Instruction
Fall, spring
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. Half-hour lessons 0 credit; one-hour lessons .25 credit.

Music 206 – Individual Instruction
Fall, spring
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. Half-hour lessons 0 credit; one-hour lessons .25 credit.

Music 207 – Individual Instruction
Fall, spring
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. Half-hour lessons 0 credit; one-hour lessons .25 credit.

Music 208 – Individual Instruction
Fall, spring
ntermediate 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. Half-hour lessons 0 credit; one-hour lessons .25 credit.

Ensemble Participation

Music majors must enroll (P/F) in a large departmental ensemble for two semesters; students (majors and non-majors) may be enrolled for credit for up to two years; they may participate for all four years.

Choir – Music 110
Fall, spring
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. (.25 credit)

Orchestra – Music 111
Fall, spring
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. (.25 credit)

Jazz Ensemble – Music 112
Fall, spring
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. (.25 credit)

Concert Band – Music 113
Fall, spring
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. (.25 credit)

Chamber Music – Music 114
Fall, spring
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. (.25 credit)

Chamber Singers – Music 115
Fall, spring
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. (.25 credit)