Academic Courses

Non-Major Academic and Performance Courses

  • MUS Z100 The Live Musical Performance (2 cr.) An introduction to music listening through weekly in-class performances. Students have an opportunity to interact with instrumentalists, singers, dancers, choreographers, conductors, and composers. Musical styles include classical, rock, jazz, and world music. Credit given for only one of Z100 and Z130 Musical Performance Contexts.
  • MUS Z101 Music for the Listener (3 cr.) Introduction to the elements of music through the mode of listening and a historical survey of the way those elements have been used in various types of musical compositions. For non-music majors.
  • MUS Z103 Special Topics in Music for Nonmajors (1-3 cr.)
  • MUS Z110 Non-Music Major Performance Elective (2 cr.) For undergraduate students.
  • MUS Z111 Introduction to Music Theory (3 cr.) A study of fundamentals of the language and notation of music: listening, music reading and writing, and the elements of music as used in a variety of genres and historical periods.
  • MUS Z112 Introduction to Musical Skills (1-3 cr.) P: Z111 or equivalent. Introduction to sight singing, rhythm reading, and keyboard skills.
  • MUS Z120 Music in Multimedia (3 cr.) Overview of multimedia elements for interactive environments and linear media. Introduction to digital media including animation, audio, video, and images. Audio techniques including sound synchronization with cue points, loops, digital signal processing effects, mixing, and conversions using a waveform editor.
  • MUS Z125 Discovering Your Creative Impulse (3 cr.) Designed for students to gain insight into, and facility with, one’s own creativity through the study of music and its relationship to other disciplines. With the foundational belief that all humans are inherently creative, this course offers students a space to study, practice, and express their unique voices.
  • MUS Z130 Musical Performance Contexts (3 cr.) An introduction to music listening through weekly in-class performances. Students have an opportunity to interact with instrumentalists, singers, dancers, choreographers, conductors, and composers. Additional study of historical and musical contexts for the performances seen during class. Musical styles include classical, rock, jazz, and world music. Credit given for only one of Z100 The Live Musical Performance and Z130.
  • MUS Z135 Essentials of Songwriting (3 cr.) P: T109 Rudiments of Music I or equivalent, or Z111 Introduction to Music Theory. Students will acquire and develop skills needed to write original songs, both lyrics and music. Lyric topics of study include self-expression, prosody, rhyme, and use of metaphor and imagery. Music topics of study include melody, chords and chord progressions, rhythm/groove, song form, song analysis, and in-class and public song performance.
  • MUS Z161 Steel Drumming (2 cr.) Techniques of execution and musical interpretation of music for the steel drums.
  • MUS Z162 Hand Drumming (2 cr.) Techniques of execution and idiomatic rhythms of international styles of hand drumming.
  • MUS Z165 Beginning Ukulele (2 cr.) This is an introductory course intended for students with little or no experience in playing the ukulele. The course focuses on the principle of performance and the relevant literature for the instrument. Although this course is designed for personal fulfillment, it is recommended that the students practice 20 to 30 minutes a day for establishing appropriate instrumental confidence.
  • MUS Z171 Opera Theater (3 cr.) This course explores the world of opera by means of the study of individual works, their composers, librettists, and singers. Students will discover the passion and drama of the operatic stage through videos, guest artists, and activities such as backstage tours and observations of rehearsals.
  • MUS Z175 Intermediate Ukulele (2 cr.) For students already familiar with the instrument who are looking to expand their playing skills and theoretical knowledge related to harmonic and melodic collaboration, improvisation, and song writing.
  • MUS Z190 Jazz for Listeners (3 cr.) An examination of the components of jazz, how to listen to jazz, and how to relate jazz to the social/cultural environment in which it was created. Class lectures/discussions enhanced with live performances and videos of major artists such as Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane.
  • MUS Z200 History of the Blues (3 cr.) Tells the story of the blues through the music of more than 200 artists. Styles studied include Classic Blues, Country Blues, Piedmont Blues, Holy Blues, White Blues, City Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Post-WWII Country Blues, Chicago Blues, Urban Blues, Swamp Blues, British Blues, and Blues Rock.
  • MUS Z201 History of Rock 'n' Roll Music I (3 cr.) Roots of Rock to the British Invasion.
  • MUS Z202 History of Rock 'n' Roll Music II (3 cr.) The Sixties. Survey of the major trends, styles, and genres of rock music, focusing on artists and groups with the most enduring significance and on the major social issues of their times.
  • MUS Z203 History of Rock 'n' Roll Music III (3 cr.) A lecture-oriented course that covers the history of rock ‘n’ roll in the 1970s and 1980s. The post–Sgt. Pepper “splintering” of rock and ensuing style changes are highlighted.
  • MUS Z204 Women Musicians (3 cr.) This course explores the powerful roles women have played in both Western classical and popular music, from the medieval abbess Hildegard of Bingen through Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus. It considers why women's contributions were ignored in the past, and identifies contributions women have made as composers, performers, patrons, and consumers.
  • MUS Z205 The History of Music Production (3 cr.) Since 1860, humans have become obsessed with audio recordings. Music producers such as Delia Derbyshire, Berry Gordy, Phil Spector, George Martin, Dr. Dre, and Silvia Massy have shaped the way we hear music. In this course we investigate the impact that recorded music has on culture, politics, and emotions.
  • MUS Z208 History of Punk Rock (3 cr.) Punk rock is rock taken to its most ferocious conclusion. In this class we investigate what happens when musicians choose the guitar as a weapon against boredom and rigged systems. We see the elements of minimalism, politics, and cynicism form one of the most influential musical movements of modern times.
  • MUS Z211 Music Theory II (3 cr.) Overview of part writing, musical form, harmonic analysis, and modulation. Z111 Introduction to Music Theory (or equivalent) strongly recommended as a prerequisite.
  • MUS Z212 Musical Skills II (1 cr.) P: Z112 Introduction to Musical Skills or consent of instructor. Continuation of sight singing and dictation skills. Rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic materials. Previous or concurrent registration in Z211 Music Theory II is recommended.
  • MUS Z213 Latin American and Latino Popular Music and Culture (3 cr.) Latin American and Latino popular music genres, their historical and cultural contexts, and their impact in the United States. Activities outside of class may be scheduled.
  • MUS Z224 Music and Culture in the James Bond Franchise (3 cr.) A survey of music in the James Bond franchise, exploring the role of pop music in cinema, and interpreting the contribution of music to the shifting cultural identity of Bond media. This course will have significant viewing and listening components, two unit examinations and a final, and an in-class presentation.
  • MUS Z226 Superheroes: Music in Cinema (3 cr.) This course is an exploration of the role of music in the Marvel and DC cinematic franchises. It will study the genre of the superhero movie and the ways in which this genre draws upon the film soundtrack as an aesthetic, cultural, and commercial medium.
  • MUS Z232 Music and the Cosmic Imagination (3 cr.) An in-depth look at historical and contemporary relationships between music and astronomy. Topics include the bidirectional influences between music and astronomy, music’s function within scientific discourse, methods of modeling relevant phenomena, and the diverse cultural forces revealed by the intersections of these fields.
  • MUS Z250 Choral Masterworks (3 cr.) Introduction to the masterpieces of choral music through examination of musical, historical, and cultural contexts. Study of selected oratorios, masses, requiems, passions, choral symphonies, choral music outside the Western art tradition, and music for glee clubs, show choirs, and vocal jazz groups. Class lectures/discussions en­hanced with live performances.
  • MUS Z260 Music in American Society (3 cr.) Music in the United States: its history and place in society from the earliest musical activities to some of its many present incarnations. Native American music; sacred and secular music in the New World to c.1800; music in the church, home, and concert hall in the nineteenth century; African American music; and various twentieth-century traditional popular and clas­sical genres and styles.
  • MUS Z261 Music and Community Engagement I (3 cr.) An introduction to concepts and practices that connect music to communities. The course focuses on community engagement practices and ways in which music impacts lives. Areas covered include: social role of the arts in society; professional and amateur involvement, and the role of cultural organizations in connecting music to communities.
  • MUS Z262 Music and Community Engagement II (3 cr.) This course includes hands-on experience in a community-based practicum that emphasizes cross-sector engagement with entities such as Chambers of Commerce, neighborhood associations, healthcare and social service providers, and government/public sector organizations. Students will learn how to support community arts organizations, advocate for funding, build audiences, and provide music to communities.
  • MUS Z264 Music and Videogames (3 cr.) An introduction to videogame music with analysis of its musical elements. The class will listen to and watch videogames and discuss scholarly viewpoints on videogame music. Connections to popular and other musics will be covered. The musical content of videogames will be discussed objectively. No prior musical knowledge is required.
  • MUS Z265 American Country Music (3 cr.) A listening-based survey of American country music from the 1920s to the present. Various musical styles and contributions of country music artists. Also considered are topics such as country music and race, politics, religion, and working-class culture.
  • MUS Z270 Music of War and Peace (3 cr.) Examination of the musical output of composers who were (or are) committed to memorializing and protesting war and calling for peace. Importance of music on this topic throughout western history, with emphasis on the 20th and 21st centuries, including classical and popular music traditions.
  • MUS Z280 Music of the Silk Road (3 cr.) Historical and current authentic music traditions of the Silk Road and their impact on music of today. The Silk Road was the network of trade routes that connected East Asia to the Mediterranean for almost 2000 years and was a source of important cultural exchanges between the East and the West.
  • MUS Z281 East-West Encounters in Music (3 cr.) Examination of interaction and communication between two cultural realms conditionally defined as East (Middle East/Central Asia) and West (Europe/US). The class looks in both Eastern and Western directions and explores hybridity of styles and genres in both domains and the impact of each area on the other.
  • MUS Z282 Music of Russia (3 cr.) An introduction to Russian music, presenting an overview of its principal genres and styles, as well as of the major Russian composers and their musical works. Repertoire will include examples from composed music, folk music, sacred music, rock, pop music, and jazz.
  • MUS Z283 Popular Music of Europe and Asia (3 cr.) This class introduces the styles and genres of popular music in Europe and Asia in relation to their cultural, historical, and geographic origins. It discusses the impact of American pop music while focusing on the unique forms of popular music that are based on the re-imagination of local music traditions.
  • MUS Z284 Music in Global Cinema (3 cr.) An introduction to the use of music in a wide variety of global films. Basic concepts of film music analysis and study of films organized by geographical units (India, East Asia, Africa, Latin America, Iran), including a unit on political film and music documentaries. Introduction to the soundtrack of each film and its roots in musical culture. Emphasis on writing assignments and in-class presentations.
  • MUS Z287 Musical Creativity in Diverse Cultures (3 cr.) This course explores how musical creativity is perceived and practiced in cultures throughout the world. It investigates the forces that shape the musical products and processes of individuals from these diverse cultures. This course will explore vernacular and art music forms from within the United States and worldwide.
  • MUS Z288 Videogame Music in World Cultures (3 cr.) Students will apply music appreciation paradigms to videogame music stemming from cultures around the world. Imperialism, colonization, and economic factors are all observable in the convergent media of videogames and will be covered. Informed by diverse perspectives, students will engage with problems in media such as representation and appropriation.
  • MUS Z290 Remixing (3 cr.) Project-based course focused on both compositional and audio production skills. Includes discussion of concepts, techniques, and legal issues shaping current remixing culture.  
  • MUS Z291 Producing Electronic Dance Music (3 cr.) Production-centered course focused on techniques for composing, recording, and mixing electronic dance music tracks.
  • MUS Z311 Music Theory III (3 cr.) P: Z211 Music Theory II or consent of instructor. Overview of modulation and chromatic harmony.
  • MUS Z313 Legal Aspects of the Music Industry (3 cr.) An introduction to the legal issues affecting the recording, performing arts, and music publishing fields. Areas covered in the course include music rights and licensing, recording contracts, nonprofit governance, performing arts unions and guilds, and technology and music law. For non-music majors only.
  • MUS Z315 Music for Film (3 cr.) A stylistic and analytic survey of music for moving pictures, concentrating on American and English narrative films.
  • MUS Z320 Advanced Special Topics in Music for Nonmajors (1-3 cr.)
  • MUS Z361 Introduction to MIDI and Computer Music (3 cr.) Basics of the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) system, its software, and the instruments commonly used with desktop MIDI workstations (synthesizers, digital samplers). MIDI sequencing, digital audio editing, and principles of digital syntheses. The course is intended for those with little prior technical training. For non-music majors only.
  • MUS Z362 Computer Music: Design/Perform (3 cr.) P: Z361 Introduction to MIDI and Computer Music or equivalent experience and permission of instructor. Projects in fixed-media computer music composition (with and without video) and live electronic music performance. Field recording, audio editing, sampling, effects processing, mixing, mastering, video synchronization, methods of synthesis, virtual instrument design, real-time hardware control of audio, live video processing. For non-music majors only.
  • MUS Z373 The American Musical (3 cr.) The origins of the American musical, its societal impact, and its development from vaudeville and European operetta to the rock musicals of today.
  • MUS Z393 History of Jazz (3 cr.) This course is an exploration of the history of jazz with an examination of its roots, important genres and styles, historic recordings, key figures, and related materials. For non-music majors only.
  • MUS Z394 Survey of African American Music (3 cr.) A chronological survey of sacred and secular African American musical traditions in North America from the African past to the present. Emphasis placed on context for evolution, musical processes and aesthetics, inter-relationships among genres and musical change, issues of gender, and music as resistance.
  • MUS Z395 Contemporary Jazz and Soul Music (3 cr.) A survey of contemporary jazz and soul (rhythm and blues) music and musicians in the United States beginning with the 1950s. The course includes an examination of major genres, pioneering figures, key recordings, stylistic influences, and racial ideology. For non-music majors only.
  • MUS Z401 The Music of the Beatles (3 cr.) An in-depth, song-by-song look at the music, lives, and times of the Beatles. The course focuses on the music and is aimed at heightening student listening skills as well as fostering a deeper appreciation for the Beatles’ recordings.
  • MUS Z402 Music of Frank Zappa (3 cr.) A detailed survey of the musical career of rock’s most avant-garde composer. Traces Zappa’s creative output from his early days through his solo projects, his “big band” period, his orchestral productions, and finally his groundbreaking work with the Synclavier. All of Zappa’s commercially released albums are discussed.
  • MUS Z403 Music of Jimi Hendrix (3 cr.) A detailed look at the life, music, and career of rock music’s best and most influential guitarist. Audio and video performances document the meteoric rise of Hendrix from obscurity to master musician before his untimely death.
  • MUS Z404 The Music of Bob Dylan (3 cr.) A detailed examination of Bob Dylan’s songs and career. The course traces Dylan’s many incar­nations and reinventions from his early days as a folk-protest singer and pop icon to his role as elder statesman and Poet Laureate of popular music.
  • MUS Z405 The Music of the Beach Boys (3 cr.) A detailed examination of songs, recordings, and live performances of the Beach Boys from their first single "Surfin'" to the 2012 50th anniversary tour and album. Special attention to studio creations Pet Sounds and Smile. Also covered is the solo career of the band's primary songwriter and producer Brian Wilson.
  • MUS Z406 Leonard Bernstein: Life and Music (3 cr.) Leonard Bernstein is possibly the most important American composer of the 20th century, and his significance today might be greater than it was while he was living. This course focuses on his multifaceted legacy, including not only his compositions but also his role as conductor, pianist, educator, and social activist.
  • MUS Z411 Music Theory IV (3 cr.) P: Z311 Music Theory III or consent of instructor. Further study of modulation techniques and advanced chromatic harmony. Overview of atonal and serial techniques as well as music of the twentieth century.
  • MUS Z415 Connections: Music, Art, Literature (3 cr.) Interrelationships among the arts of various cultures, learning how they influence each other and are in turn influenced by the culture and temper of the times they reflect. Includes a survey of major styles from the Renaissance to the present, with emphasis on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
  • MUS Z710 Non-Music Major Performance Elective (2-4 cr.) For graduate students.

Academic Bulletins

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Previous Bulletins

Students are ordinarily subject to the curricular requirements outlined in the Bulletin in effect at the start of their current degree. See below for links to previous Bulletins.