Curriculum Overview 

The study of music can be divided into four interrelated approaches: the creation of music (composition), the re-creation of music (performance), understanding music’s systems (music theory), and understanding music’s stylistic and societal contexts (music history and culture). Each of these areas draws on techniques and perspectives that are a focus in other approaches to music. Musical composition, for example, is not an entirely intuitive process, but makes use of knowledge gained through the study of music theory. Similarly, performance is most profound when it is informed by an understanding of the context for a work’s style, and the history of musical style is myopic without taking into account the culture in which a style developed.

The Music Department offers courses in all of these areas that are open to students with no formal background in music. All of its ensembles are open to the entire student body, and some private lessons are offered at the beginning level; there are also courses in music theory and in music history and culture that are specifically oriented to students with little or no previous background in music. At the same time, there are many offerings for students who have already made music an important element of their lives.

Many students choose to complete a major or minor in music whether or not they intend to undertake a musical career. Students going to medical school, for example, have often chosen to major in music, knowing that they want a lifelong involvement in music as an avocation. On the other hand, students who have chosen to go to graduate school in music or enter the music industry have found that their preparation through the music major program had prepared them well. Two music minor programs also offer an organization to the study of music that goes beyond a single course or participation in a single ensemble.

A major in Music consists of 11 course credits:

  • Four credits in music theory (MUS 222, 223, 224 [half-credit], 225 [half-credit], 323);
  • Four credits in music history and culture (MUS 229, 230, 231, and 430);
  • Two electives selected from MUS 105, 106, 240, or any course above the 100-level chosen from the theory and/or music history and culture areas;
  • Senior Project (MUS 490 Independent Study or MUS 38X-48X Senior Recital).

Students intending to major in music should begin the theory sequence by the beginning of the sophomore year. All students are advised to take MUS 224 with 222 and MUS 225 with 223.

Students majoring in music are expected to participate in one of the College’s choral or instrumental ensembles for at least four semesters.

The writing requirement in the Music major is met by completion of MUS 430.

A general minor in Music consists of six course credits:

  • Three in music theory (MUS 222, 223, 224 [half-credit] and 225 [half-credit]; students are advised to take Music 224 with 222 and Music 225 with 223);
  • Two in music history and culture (chosen from MUS 229, 230 or 231);
  • One elective selected with the approval of the department chair. This elective should be a one-credit course selected from MUS 105, 106, 240, or any course above the 100-level, and may not include studio or ensemble courses.

A performance minor in Music consists of six course credits:

  • One and one-half in music theory (MUS 222, 224 [half-credit]; students are advised to take MUS 224 with 222);
  • Two in music history and culture (chosen from MUS 229, 230 or 231);
  • Two and one-half performance credits selected in consultation with the department chair. Ideally, the performance credits should include courses selected from both ensembles and studio lessons given at the College. If such diversification is not possible, the chair may recommend another performance-oriented course (such as conducting).

A maximum of four transferred credits from another institution may be counted toward the major, and of these, no more than one may be at or above the 300-level. Two transferred credits may be counted toward the minor. Further details about transferred credits can be obtained from the chair of the department.

Majors in the Department of Music have studied abroad in the following programs in recent years: IES programs in Milan, Italy and Vienna, Austria. See the International Programs section of the Catalog for further information.

Courses in Music History/Culture and Theory 

A list of regularly offered courses follows. Please note the key for the following abbreviations: (A) Arts; (H) Humanities; (S) Social Sciences; (N) Natural Sciences with Laboratory; (LS) Language Studies requirement; (NSP) Natural Science in Perspective; (NW) Non-Western Cultures requirement.

 

100. Fundamentals. (A)

A first course in music for students with little or no formal training or background. Emphasis on basic musicianship, including keyboard orientation and the ability to read and sing simple melodies in treble and bass clefs, in both major and minor modes and in a variety of meters. Additional topics include the notation of pitch and rhythm, scales, key signatures, time signatures, intervals, triads, and basic score navigation. No musical background is required.    

Leistra-Jones

101. Introduction to Music. (A)

Survey of Western art music designed to develop perceptive listening, with emphasis on the study of rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic organization, color, texture, and form. No musical background is required.     

Leistra-Jones

102. Introduction to World Music. (A) (NW)

Survey of music from a global perspective with emphasis on the study of music’s relation to culture. Includes cross-cultural comparison of music’s rhythmic, melodic and harmonic organization, in addition to color, texture and form. Features case studies from Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Asia. No musical background required. Students who already read music should enroll in MUS 229.)

Alajaji

105. Jazz. (A)

The history of jazz, from its roots to the present day, with emphasis on stylistic distinctions. Considers African and European contributions, blues types, New Orleans jazz, Harlem Stride, Swing, bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, free jazz, fusion, neo-classical, and acid jazz, touching on most major figures and their contributions. Each stylistic period is studied from an economic and sociological viewpoint with emphasis on form, texture, improvisation, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. Same as AFS 105 and AMS 105.     

Butterfield

106. History of the Blues. (A)

Blues history from its origins to the Blues Revival of the 1960s. Emphasis on the Delta blues tradition of Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, and Muddy Waters. Additional topics include: oral formulaic composition; politics of race and sex in the blues; the blues as a “secular religion”; the music business; appropriations of blues style in jazz and rock; the ongoing function of the blues as a core signifier of “blackness” in American culture. Same as AFS 106 and AMS 106.     

Butterfield

107. Composing. (A)

Introduction to musical composition through the study of development and proportion and the creation of three short compositions for small instrumental and/or vocal ensembles culminating in a final project. Faculty performers will read and discuss student works and concert attendance will provide topics for two short research papers centered on aspects of the compositional process. Ability to read music required.     

Carbon

108. Jazz Theory and Improvisation. (A)

An introduction to jazz theory and its application in improvisational practice. Emphasis on jazz harmony, including chord-scale theory and its use in selected jazz “standards” and common forms such as 12-bar blues and “rhythm changes”. Exercises in transcription and analysis of classic solos by Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and others introduce students to a wide variety of approaches to jazz improvisation. Students will apply theoretical concepts learned in class to performance on their own instruments in order to develop improvisational skill and a personalized jazz melodic vocabulary. Ability to read music and competence on a musical instrument (including voice) required. Prerequisite: MUS 100 or 222, or permission of the instructor.     

Cherner

215. Composition. (A)

Fundamentals of musical composition based on appropriate models. Projects for solo instrument, voice, or small ensembles will emphasize individual elements of music: form; rhythm; melody; harmony; and texture. Prerequisite: MUS 100, MUS 222, or permission of the instructor.     

Carbon

222. Theory 1: Basic Harmony and Form. (A)

Beginning with a review of fundamentals, the course covers harmonization in four parts, voice-leading, modulation, and the composition of short binary pieces or variations. The ability to read music in both treble and bass clefs is required, as is a rudimentary knowledge of scales, key signatures, and intervals. Students are advised to take MUS 222 and MUS 224 concurrently.     

Carbon

223. Theory 2: Advanced Harmony and Form. (A)

Chromatic harmonic practices, including enharmonic modulations and altered chords. Composition and analysis of rondo or sonata forms. Prerequisite: MUS 222; students are advised to take MUS 223 and MUS 225 concurrently.     

Carbon

224. Musicianship 1. (A)

The course develops ear-training by way of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic dictation, and sight-singing. The ability to read music in both treble and bass clefs is required, as is a rudimentary knowledge of scales, key signatures, and intervals. Students are advised to take MUS 222 and MUS 224 concurrently. (one half credit)     

Butterfield, Wright

225. Musicianship 2. (A)

A continuation of Music 224. Additional topics include modulation and score reading. Prerequisite: MUS 224; students are advised to take MUS 223 and MUS 225 concurrently. (one half credit)         

Butterfield, Wright

226. Popular Musics and Societies. (A)

This course will survey selected popular musics from around the world. Our goal is to understand these musics as phenomena of time and place and to engage them in their cultural contexts, examining the way they encounter the political, historical, and social realities of the societies that produce them. Genres to be studied include hip-hop, reggae, Afropop, bhangra, nueva canción. Ability to read music required.     

Alajaji

228. Middle Eastern Music and Culture. (A) (NW)

This interdisciplinary course will explore the musical identities of the Middle East and North Africa in terms of the complex sociological, historical, and political processes that have shaped the region. We will proceed from the idea that music is a powerful agent in the negotiation of power and identity, and examine the ways in which it has been utilized throughout transformative periods of history. Particular attention will be given to the transnational and diasporic nature of the musics under consideration. Classical, folk, and popular musical traditions will be considered, as will the roles of art, popular culture, and mass media. Same as IST 228.     

Alajaji

229. Music in Cultural Perspective. (A) (NW)

A study of the notion and role of music in selected music cultures. After exploring key concepts associated with music’s universal functions, the course will study rhythm, melody, timbre, texture, harmony, form, and transmission from a cross-cultural perspective. Ability to read music required.     

Alajaji

230. Music History 1: Antiquity to 1750. (A)

Western art music from early Gregorian chant through the florid art of the Baroque period. Includes the major stylistic developments as found in the works of Josquin, Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, and other composers. Ability to read music required.     

Leistra-Jones

231. Music History 2: 1750 to Present. (A)

The stylistic development of Western art music in the Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras. Selected works from each era are the focal point of the study. Ability to read music required.     

Leistra-Jones

238. Song Cycles. (A)

Song cycles—collections of songs unified by a common theme, narrative, or viewpoint—often tell stories. Specifically, they tell stories of individuals’ journeys (both inward and outward), transformations, and changing impressions, and they do so not only through poetry, but also through music. This course examines representative song cycles from three important moments in cultural history: German Romanticism (the early nineteenth century), the fin-de-siècle (the years surrounding 1900), and the 1960s and 70s. Within these periods we will examine cycles by a wide range of composers, including Beethoven, Schumann, Mahler, Elgar, George Crumb, and Joni Mitchell. Throughout, our emphasis will be on different conceptions of human subjectivity and the relationship between music and poetry. Prerequisite: MUS 100 or equivalent or permission.     

Leistra-Jones

301. Pops & Jelly Roll: New Orleans and Its Music in the Early Twentieth Century. (A)

An examination of Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton’s New Orleans. The course evaluates their music and the more general style of early New Orleans jazz in relation to the geographical, social, political, and economic dynamics of that great American city in the early 20th century. Particular attention will be given to the social and musical interactions among New Orleans’ disparate ethnic groups that led to the formation of a unique style of jazz derived from ragtime, blues and the ubiquitous marching band music from that era. Same as AFS 301 and AMS 301.     

Butterfield

302. Bebop. (A)

A history of the bebop movement in jazz of the 1940s and ‘50s. Special attention given to the social, economic, and political conditions that led a small handful of musicians to abandon Swing Era big bands in favor of the small combos that formed out of Harlem jam sessions between 1941-1943. Covers distinguishing features of the bebop style through an examination of the music of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and others. Concludes with an evaluation of the social and political meanings of bebop and its historical legacy. Same as AFS 302 and AMS 302.     

Butterfield

315. Orchestration. (A)

Covers the ranges, capabilities, and characteristic uses of orchestral instruments through exercises, score study, and listening, and implements this knowledge in transcriptions and arrangements for a variety of ensembles in a variety of historical styles. Prerequisites: MUS 223 or permission.     

Carbon

322. Counterpoint. (A)

The art of 18th-century counterpoint will be studied through the analysis of masterworks by J. S. Bach and others. Beginning with species and invertible counterpoint, followed by canonic writing, compositions will then include short binary pieces, inventions and fugues. Prerequisite: MUS 223 or permission of the instructor.     

Carbon

323. Theory 3: Chromatic and Post-Tonal Vocabularies. (A)

Analytical study of the rhythmic, harmonic, and formal practices of Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartók, Schoenberg, Messiaen, and other composers of the last century. Includes atonal and serial music, with an introduction to set theory. Composition of short pieces using course materials. Prerequisite: MUS 223 or permission of the instructor.         

Carbon

430. Music Criticism. (A)

A seminar studying various genres of writing about music including musical diaries, analyses, musicological essays, program notes, and reviews of performances. Major works being performed in New York City or on campus provide the central repertory for the seminar. Satisfies the writing requirement in the music major. Prerequisites: MUS 230, MUS 231, MUS 222, or permission of the instructor.     

Staff

490. Independent Study.

Independent study directed by the music staff. Permission of the chairperson.

Courses in Music Performance 

240. Conducting. (A)
An introduction to conducting. Students develop skills in score study, aural discrimination, and gestural expression, and learn strategies for ensemble rehearsal. Final project is to rehearse and conduct a performance of a large College ensemble. Course includes an individual weekly lesson and two weekly master classes. Students enrolling in Conducting are expected to be able to read music in both treble and bass clefs, and to have a basic knowledge of music theory with respect to key signatures (both major and minor), time signatures (both simple and compound), and basic chord progressions.
Norcross

340. Advanced Conducting. (A)
The course is an advanced study of conducting including technical conducting development as well as rehearsal and performance techniques. Members of the class will use a conducting baton and techniques associated with that tool. Each member of the class participates in two, 1 hour 20 minute master classes each week and each member receives a 50-minute individual lesson each week.  At the end of the semester the student will rehearse the final project piece with the Franklin & Marshall Symphonic Wind Ensemble or Orchestra in preparation for a performance, which will take place on the last Wednesday of classes at 8:00 PM in the Barshinger Center for Musical Arts. Prerequisite: MUS 240 and permission of the instuctor.  
Norcross

 

PERFORMANCE ENSEMBLES

One half credit for participation in the following performing ensembles is accumulated over any consecutive two-semester sequence and is awarded at the end of the second semester of participation; students who wish to receive credit should enroll in the 100-level course in the first semester of participation and the 200-level course in the second.  One full credit is needed to satisfy the Arts exploration requirement for graduation.

 

150, 250. The Franklin & Marshall College Chorus. (A)
A large choral group of approximately 80 singers that concentrates on the masterpieces of the choral repertory, both a capella and with orchestra. Two rehearsals per week. Prerequisite: Permission of the director.     
Wright

151, 251. The Franklin & Marshall Chamber Singers. (A)
A select vocal ensemble of 24 singers selected by audition. Repertory includes music from a wide range of musical styles and time periods. In addition to on-campus performances, the group embarks on annual tours. Two rehearsals per week. Prerequisite: Permission of the director.     
Wright

152, 252, 352, 452. The Franklin & Marshall Orchestra. (A)
A full orchestra with approximately 70 performers focusing on masterpieces of the orchestral repertoire. Two rehearsals per week. Prerequisite: Permission of the director.     
Norcross

153, 253. 353, 453. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble. (A)
A large ensemble for woodwinds, brass and percussionists with approximately 50 performers. Repertory ranges from masterworks of the concert band tradition to new works written for wind ensemble. Two rehearsals per week. Prerequisite: Permission of the director.     
Norcross

155, 255. The Jazz Ensemble. (A)
Performs music from big band to progressive jazz. Prerequisite: Permission of the director.     
Laboranti

156, 256. Chamber Music. (A)
Chamber Music is designed for advanced instrumental music students to experience music written for generally 3 to 8 players. These small ensembles require high artistic demands of all of the ensemble members, as each player is essentially a soloist. Ensembles in this program rehearse a minimum of twice a week for a total of not less than three hours a week. One of the two rehearsals each week is coached by a professional chamber music coach. The ensemble is expected to perform in an appropriate concert at least once a semester. Prerequisite: Permission of the director.     
Hall-Gulati

157, 257. African Drum Ensemble. (A)
An ensemble of up to 20 performers focusing on West African drumming techniques and the philosophy behind them. Two rehearsals per week Prerequisite: Permission of the director. Same as AFS 157, 257.         
Hessen

In addition to the credit-bearing courses above, faculty-directed, non-credit performance opportunities such as opera workshop and the pep band are also a part of musical life at the College.

 

STUDIO LESSONS

Studio lessons receive one half credit per semester and, at the 200 level, may be repeated. One full credit is needed to satisfy the Arts exploration requirement for graduation.

The semester before a Senior Recital (only), students may enroll for lessons at the 300 level as “Recital Preparation” (e.g., MUS 385 Recital Preparation: Voice). Prerequisite: a minimum of two semesters of credit-bearing lessons in the same instrument at the 200 level.

The semester of a Senior Recital (only), students may enroll for lessons at the 400 level as “Senior Recital” (e.g., MUS 485 Senior Recital: Voice). Prerequisite: one semester of Recital Preparation at the 300 level.

 

280 A. Flute. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Flute. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Trolier

280 B. Oboe. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Oboe. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Hoffmann

280 C. Bassoon. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Bassoon. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Buchar

280 D. Clarinet. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Clarinet. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Hall-Gulati

280 E. Saxophone. (A)

Private lessons and masterclass in Saxophone. Admission by audition with the instructor.     

Laboranti

281 A. Trumpet. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Trumpet. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Laudermilch

281 B. Horn. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Horn. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Pfaffle

281 C. Low Brass. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Low Brass. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Brown

282 A. Violin. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Violin. Admission by audition with the instructor.    
Jamanis

282 B. Viola. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Viola. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Sullivan

282 C. Cello. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in ’Cello. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Male

282 D. Double Bass. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Double Bass. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Howell

283 A. Percussion. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Percussion. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Yingling

283 B. African Drumming. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in African Drumming. Admission by audition with the instructor. Same as AFS 283 B.     
Hessen

284 A. Piano. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Piano. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Keller

284 B. Jazz Piano and Improvisation. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Jazz Piano and/or jazz improvisation (any instrument). Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Cherner

285. Voice. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Voice. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Geyer, Beebe

286. Guitar. (A)
Private lessons and masterclass in Guitar. Admission by audition with the instructor.     
Banks

 

The Music Department also offers private non-credit lessons for a fee in the above areas through its “Artist/Teacher Program.” Students with a financial aid package may request the Student Aid Office to take this fee into account in their aid award.

Topics Courses Expected to be Offered in 2017-2018 

  • Songwriting.