Music

MU 201X. MAKING MUSIC WITH MACHINES

Cat.I. The combination of music and robotics offers exciting possibilities for artistic and technical innovation. While much of the development in this field has been the result of recent efforts, the history of automatic mechanical instruments reaches back centuries. We will consider this history by looking at past designs and listening to the music that has been composed using such instruments. We will also survey modern machines, which have increasingly moved towards robotics with the integration of computer-based processing and sensing capabilities. We will entertain technical and aesthetic questions relating to these systems and their musical output. We will do all of this with our mind open to the question of how we can design new machines to make new kinds of music. Recommended background: Fundamentals of Music I (MU 1611) or Introduction to Music (MU 1511).

MU 202X. MUSIC AND MIND

Cat. I How are we able to distinguish instruments, timbres and pitches from the intertwined sonic stream presented by the world? How do we organize these elements in time to create rhythms, melodies, phrases and pieces? We will explore these questions by considering the cognitive and perceptual processes that shape our musical experience. We will read relevant psychological and musical literature, survey music technologies that are based on psychological principles, and listen to a variety of musical works that illustrate these ideas. Recommended background: MU 1611 (Fundamentals of Music I) or MU 1511 (Introduction to Music).

MU 230X. FOUNDATIONS OF MUSIC TECHNOLOGY

Cat. I. This course will present ways to facilitate musicianship through the use of technology. Course topics include an introduction to music notation software, MIDI and audio recording, signal processing, and interactive music system programming. The course will address past, current, and emerging trends in music technology as they relate to facilitating an understanding of musical concepts. Recommended background: a basic understanding of music notation and Fundamentals of Music I (MU 1611) are recommended.

MU 362X. ELECTRONIC MUSIC COMPOSITION

Cat. I. This course will address concepts of composition through the use of technology. Students will examine existing compositions in electronic music, art music, popular music, film, multimedia, gaming, and more, and compose new works within these genres. Students will present newly composed works each class and discuss their aesthetic values, musical functions, and technical underpinnings. Recommended background: the ability to read music and familiarity with at least one digital audio workstation or notation software solution such as Logic, GarageBand, ProTools, or Finale.

MU 363X. TOPICS IN MUSIC HISTORY

Cat. II This course focuses on a topic in the history of Western classical music. Topics may vary each year among the following: a single style period (e.g. the Classical Era), a single composer (e.g. Beethoven), a pair of composers (e.g. Bach and Handel), a single genre (e.g. the Symphony), or a genre in a composer?s output (e.g. Mozart?s Operas). The course examines stylistic traits, theoretical concepts, and representative literature, as well as the social and cultural context to better understand the music under study. Recommended background: MU 1511 (Introduction to Music) or MU 1611 (Fundamentals of Music I)

MU 370X. TOPICS IN JAZZ HISTORY

Cat II This course focuses on a topic in the area of jazz history. Topics may vary each year among the following: a single style period (e.g. Bebop), a single musician (e.g. Thelonious Monk), or a pair of musicians (e.g. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie). Students will not only explore the topic through aural analysis of jazz recordings but also examine relevant social and cultural issues through reading and class discussion. Recommended background: MU 2719 (Jazz History) or MU 2722 (History of American Popular Music)

MU 1511. INTRODUCTION TO MUSIC

Cat. I This course, designed for students who have little or no previous experience in music, will present an approach to the study of music that includes studying some concepts of music theory (rhythms, scales, keys, intervals, harmony). The course will also include a study of some of the great masterpieces though listening, reading, and discussion. Recommended background: No previous experience is necessary

MU 1611. FUNDAMENTALS OF MUSIC I

Cat. I This course concentrates on basic music theory of the common practice period. If time permits, instruction includes ear training, sight singing, and work on scales and intervals. Recommended background: basic knowledge of reading music.

MU 2300. FOUNDATIONS OF MUSIC TECHNOLOGY

MU 2611. FUNDAMENTALS OF MUSIC II

Cat. I Fundamentals II is a course on music theory at the advanced level beginning with secondary dominants and modulations and working through 19th-century chromatic harmony.

MU 2631. MEN?S GLEE CLUB

Cat. I The Glee Club is the men?s choral ensemble and the oldest student organization on campus. Glee Club performs many styles and periods of the vast repertoire of music for men?s ensembles. Several times each year the Glee Club and Alden Voices (Women?s Chorale) join forces as the WPI Festival Chorus to perform major works of the repertoire. The Glee Club tours Europe and also performs on tour. Rehearsals are held weekly. Prior singing or music experience is encouraged but not required. Open to all men.

MU 2632. ALDEN VOICES

Cat. I Alden Voices is the women?s choral ensemble. Alden Voices performs many styles and periods of the vast repertoire of music for women?s ensembles. Several times each year Alden Voices and the Men?s Glee Club join forces as the WPI Festival Chorus to perform major works of the repertoire. Alden Voices performs on tour as well as performing on campus. Rehearsals are held weekly. Prior singing or music experience is encouraged but not required. Open to all women.

MU 2633. BRASS ENSEMBLE

Cat. I The Brass Ensemble performs frequently on campus and on tour and is open to students who perform on trumpet, trombone, euphonium, French horn, tuba, or tympani. Renaissance antiphonal music is included in the repertoire. Rehearsals are held weekly. Students are expected to perform with the ensemble and to know how to read music. Permission of the instructor is necessary to register.

MU 2634. JAZZ ENSEMBLE

Cat. I The Jazz Ensemble performs frequently on campus and on tour and plays jazz arrangements written for a small ensemble with major emphasis on improvisation. Rehearsals are held weekly. Students are expected to perform with the ensemble and to know how to read music. Permission of the instructor is necessary to register.

MU 2635. STAGE BAND

Cat. I The Stage Band performs traditional and contemporary big band literature with an emphasis on stylistically appropriate interpretation and performance practice. The ensemble performs frequently on campus and on tour. Rehearsals are held weekly. Students are expected to perform with the ensemble and to know how to read music. Permission of the instructor is necessary to register.

MU 2636. CONCERT BAND

Cat. I The Concert Band is a large ensemble that performs several concerts a year as well as on tour. Membership is open to those who play traditional wind, brass or percussion instruments. Rehearsals are held weekly. Students are expected to perform with the ensemble and to know how to read music.

MU 2637. STRING ENSEMBLE

Cat. I The String Ensemble performs music for string orchestra both on campus and on tour. Members of the string ensemble also comprise the string section for the full orchestra. Rehearsals are held weekly. Students are expected to perform with the ensemble and to know how to read music.

MU 2638. VOCAL PERFORMANCE LAB

Cat. I The Vocal Performance Lab is a performance practice oriented chamber vocal ensemble. This ensemble explores specific stylistic techniques as pertains to the music of the Renaissance, Baroque, twentieth century, jazz, and extended vocal techniques (electronic, digital and experimental). The ensemble meets weekly. Students are expected to be of the highest vocal caliber and should possess advanced sight-reading techniques. Open to both men and women. Permission of the instructor is necessary to register.

MU 2719. JAZZ HISTORY

Through an introduction to the musical contributions of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and others, students are exposed to the chronological development of the language of jazz. Each jazz era is examined in detail including the musical and social contexts which helped define it. Participants are expected to build aural skills with the goal of identifying specific historical periods through the recognition of particular musical characteristics. Students examine in depth one artist of their choice. [This replaces MU 4623. Credit is not allowed for both MU 4623 and MU 2719.]

MU 2720. MUSIC HISTORY I: MEDIEVAL THROUGH THE BAROQUE

This course provides a historical survey of Western music from Medieval through Baroque periods with an emphasis on understanding stylistic traits and theoretical concepts of the eras. Topics include Gregorian chant and secular monophony; evolution of musical notation; development of polyphonic music; and vocal and instrumental genres such as mass, motet, madrigal, opera, cantata, sonata, and concerto, among others. No prior background in music is necessary.

MU 2721. MUSIC HISTORY II: CLASSICAL TO THE PRESENT

Cat. I This course provides a historical survey of Western music from the Classical period to the present with an emphasis on understanding stylistic traits and theoretical concepts of the eras. Topics include the development of genres such as sonata, string quartet, concerto, symphony, symphonic poem, character piece, Lied, and opera; and 20th century trends of impressionism, primitivism, atonality, serialism, minimalism, aleatory music, and electronic music. No prior background in music is necessary.

MU 2722. HISTORY OF AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC

Cat. I This course will explore the uniqueness of America?s popular music and its origins in the music of Africa and the folk music of Europe. Particular emphasis will be given to the origins and history of rock `n? roll examining its roots in blues and early American popular music. [This replaces MU 4625. Credit is not allowed for both MU 4625 and MU 2722.]

MU 2723. MUSIC COMPOSITION

Cat. I This course will investigate the sonic organization of musical works and performances, focusing on fundamental questions of unity and variety. Using a progressive series of composition projects, the class will examine aesthetic issues that are considered in the pragmatic context of the instructions that composers provide to achieve a desired musical result. The class will examine the medium of presentation - whether these instructions are notated in prose, as graphic images, or in symbolic notation. Weekly listening, reading, and composition assignments draw on a broad range of musical styles and intellectual traditions, from various cultures and historical periods. The class will meet for two weekly sessions of one hour and fifty minutes. Each student will be assigned a performance ensemble. Each performance ensemble will have a weekly two-hour lab.

MU 2730. JAZZ THEORY

Cat. I This course examines harmonic and melodic relationships as applied to jazz and popular music composition. Students are introduced to a wide range of jazz improvisational performance practices. Topics include compositional forms, harmonic structures, major and minor keys, blues, modal jazz, and reharmonization techniques. Students are expected to have a basic knowledge of reading music. [This replaces MU 4624. Credit is not allowed for both MU 4624 and MU 2730.]

MU 3001. WORLD MUSIC

This course introduces students to selected musical cultures of the world, e.g., Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, from the ethnomusicological perspective by examining their musical styles as well as cultural and social contexts. Students will be expected to read materials in interdisciplinary areas, including musical ethnographies. No prior background in music is necessary.

MU 3002. ARRANGING AND ORCHESTRATION

Cat. I Students will study specific characteristics of instruments and the voice to enable them to successfully arrange vocal and instrumental music. Students will need to possess a basic knowledge of music theory. Suggested background for this course is MU 1611 (Fundamentals of Music I) or its equivalent.

MU 3611. COMPUTER TECHNIQUES IN MUSIC

Cat. I This course concentrates on both the technical and artistic aspects of computer music. Topics covered include the MIDI protocol and specification, sequencer design, voice editing, synthesizer architecture, and literature.

MU 3612. COMPUTERS AND SYNTHESIZERS IN MUSIC

Cat. I This course focuses on technical and aesthetic problem solving in computer music. Using programming languages, students propose and design creative solutions to contemporary problems which currently have no commercial solutions. Students work with sequencers, signal processors, synthesizers, MIDI controllers, editors, and programming languages.

MU 3613. DIGITAL SOUND DESIGN

Cat. I This course introduces the student to the theory and practice of digital sound design. It focuses on creative problem-solving in applications where digital audio production is a key component. Topics include digital sound recording and editing, creation and synchronization of digital sound tracks for video, theatrical sound design, and multimedia production.

MU 3614. TOPICS IN MIDI

Cat. I This course examines topics in Music Technology in which the application of MIDI and MIDI systems play a significant role. Topics may vary each year among the following areas: sequencing, live performance, composition, and film scoring. Students can take MU 3614 only one time for credit, but a student interested in taking another version can take a second one as an ISP. Recommended background: MU 1611 (Fundamentals of Music)

MU 3615. TOPICS IN DIGITAL SOUND

Cat. I This course examines topics in Music Technology in which Digital Sound plays a significant role. Topics may vary each year among the following areas: digital editing, audio recording, film scoring, game audio, sound effects, audio production, theatrical sound, and surround sound. Students can take MU 3615 only one time for credit, but a student interested in taking another version can take a second one as an ISP. Recommended background: MU 1611 (Fundamentals of Music).

MU 3616. TOPICS IN INTERACTIVE PROGRAMMING

Cat. I This course examines topics in Music Technology in which Interactive Programming plays a significant role. Topics may vary each year among the following areas: real time performance controllers, algorithmic composition, interface design, sensor technology, and gesture detection. Students can take MU 3616 only one time for credit, but a student interested in taking another version can take a second one as an ISP. Recommended background: MU 1611 (Fundamentals of Music).

MU 3620. ELECTRONIC MUSIC COMPOSITION

 
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