Music (MU)

MU 100 -  Introduction To Music  
Credits: 3  

An introduction to concepts of musical style and structure in compositions representative of different historical periods with an aim to deepen the musical listening experience. Examination of the relationship of music to the humanities.

Note(s): Primarily for non-majors. Fulfills Humanities requirement; fulfills Humanistic Inquiry requirement.  
MU 101 -  Rudiments of Music  
Credits: 3  

An introduction to musical notation, sight-singing and ear training, and rudimentary concepts of music theory. Mastery of this material is a prerequisite to further study in music theory MU 241, some areas of performance, and other courses.

Note(s): Open to students with no prior musical experience.  
MU 103 -  The Symphony  
Credits: 3  

Major symphonic works from Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven to Brahms, Mahler, and composers of the twentieth century.

Note(s): Fulfills Humanities requirement; fulfills Humanistic Inquiry requirement.  
MU 106C -  Great Composers  
Credits: 3  

A course focused on the music of one or two great composers. Recent offerings have included Mozart, Bach, Debussy and Ravel, and Schubert. This course may be repeated for credit at the discretion of the department.

Note(s): Fulfills humanities requirement; fulfills humanistic inquiry.  
MU 106D -  Great Composers  
Credits: 4  
MU 107 -  Aural Skills  
Credits: 1  

Development of ear-training skills by means of exercises in singing (prepared and at sight) and aural analysis (including dictation). Will require extensive practice outside of class and performance in class.

Prerequisites: MU 101 or completion or current enrollment in MU 241 or permission of instructor.   
Note(s): This course may be repeated for credit at the discretion of the department. Not for liberal arts credit.  
MU 109 -  Global Hip Hop  
Credits: 3  

An interdisciplinary study of hip hop. Students will identify current and historic elements of hip hop culture inside and outside of the United States. Hip hop culture may be understood as a youth arts movement and is therefore often misrepresented or portrayed negatively in the media or by outsiders. Students will develop the skills necessary to critically analyze hip hop culture through multimedia analysis, critical reading and listening, and discussion. Students will examine case studies in global hip hop from the five regional sites of Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East, and South America and develop a community showcase at the end of the semester to share their learning with the Skidmore and Saratoga community.

Note(s): Fulfills Cultural Diversity and Humanities requirements; fulfills Humanistic Inquiry and Global Cultural Perspectives requirements.  
MU 141 -  Foundations of Theory and Musicianship  
Credits: 3  

Students will develop musical literacy and obtain a foundation for advanced work in music theory, performance, and other areas of study in the music department. Students learn to understand, hear, sing, and perform the basic pitch and rhythmic materials of music. Students will learn these skills through exercises in sight-singing, part-singing, "play and sing," dictation (rhythm, melody), improvisation (geared to aural skills pedagogy), and aural analysis (rudiments in musical contexts).

Prerequisites: MU 101 or diagnostic exam.  
MU 200 -  Thinking About Music  
Credits: 3  

An introduction to humanistic inquiry in music. Students will learn to think about music through a critical engagement with classical, traditional, and popular music of various times and places.

Note(s): Fulfills Humanities requirement; fulfills Humanistic Inquiry requirement.  
MU 205A -  Special Studies in Music Literature  
Credits: 3  

(This course may be repeated for credit at the discretion of the department.)

MU 205B -  Special Studies in Music Literature  
Credits: 4  

(This course may be repeated for credit at the discretion of the department.)

MU 208 -  Music and Culture  
Credits: 3  

An inter cultural introduction to music as culture. Topics include voice types, instrument categorizations, pitch and time systems, musical structure, transcription/notation, and ethnography.

Note(s): Fulfills non-Western Cultures and Humanities requirements; fulfills Humanistic Inquiry requirement.  
MU 220 -  British Rock and Popular Music in the 1960s  
Credits: 3  

An introduction to the musicians and musical styles of British rock and roll and pop music in the 1960s. Subjects will include the antecedents of British rock, the social contexts in which it flourished, and the evolution of the musical styles and forms in this milieu.

Note(s): Fulfills Humanities requirement; fulfills Humanistic Inquiry requirement.  
MU 221 -  The Fortepiano  
Credits: 1  

Some of the most familiar composers of music for the piano (including Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Schumann) would not recognize the instrument we play their music on today. The modern piano is just a little over a century old; its antecedent was the fortepiano. Students will learn about the mechanics of fortepianos, period performance practice (technique and style), and the social history of the instruments (who played them, when, and why). Texts will include 18th- and 19th-century primary sources as well as present-day scholarship, videos, and recordings. Every student will gain hands-on experience tuning and playing Skidmore's two fortepianos. 

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. and one year of private piano instruction.   
Note(s): Fulfills Arts requirement; fulfills Artistic Inquiry requirement.  
MU 231 -  Writing About Music  
Credits: 1  

A writing-enhanced add-on to MU 241.  Students will tackle the craft of writing, as well as the specific challenges of writing about music.

MU 232 -  Writing About Music  
Credits: 1  

A writing-enhanced add-on to MU 242.  Students will tackle the craft of writing, as well as the specific challenges of writing about music. 

MU 233 -  Writing About Music  
Credits: 1  

A writing-enhanced add-on to MU 243.  Students will tackle the craft of writing, as well as the specific challenges of writing about music. 

MU 241 -  Materials and Structures I  
Credits: 4  

Following a brief review of the rudiments of pitch, rhythm, and meter, students will study the principles of species counterpoint and then proceed to write and analyze diatonic tonal harmony, with reference to musical literature, style, form, and compositional process. Diatonic tonal syntax is the foundation of Western art music from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries, as well as some jazz and popular music up to the present time. Examples will be chosen from a wide range of historical periods, musical styles, and traditions.

Prerequisites: Diagnostic exam or MU 141.   
Note(s): Fulfills Humanities requirement; fulfills Humanistic Inquiry requirement.  
MU 242 -  Materials and Structures II  
Credits: 4  

The second semester of theory will continue with the addition of chromatic harmony and the literature, style, forms, and compositional procedures associated with these expanded harmonic techniques, which appear in Western art music from the 18th to at least the early 20th centuries, and jazz. Topics will include chromatic chords, the resurgence of linear contrapuntal processes, modulation, and techniques that pushed to and beyond the limits of tonal harmony, such as expanded tertian chords, linear chromaticism, and finally the symmetrical scales and interval patterns associated with the dissolution of functional tonality.

Prerequisites: MU 241 plus keyboard proficiency or concurrent enrollment in MP 197.   
Note(s): Fulfills Humanities requirement; fulfills Humanistic Inquiry requirement.  
MU 243 -  Topics in Music Theory and Analysis  
Credits: 4  

Advanced study in theory and analysis, with repertoire and theoretical framework varying by instructor and by semester.

Prerequisites: MU 242.  
MU 255 -  Music Technology I: Introduction to Electronic Music, Composition, and Recording Studio Techniques  
Credits: 3  

Introduction to basic music technology, electronic music, and professional recording studio techniques and equipment. Study of elementary acoustics, MIDI, synthesizers, microphones, analog and digital multitrack recording, sound mixing, and processing. Introduction to works in various styles by established electronic composers.

Prerequisites: Ability to read music.   
Note(s): Weekly studio/lab work.  
Lab/Credit Fee: $50  
MU 299A-D -  Professional Internship in Music  
Credits: 1-4  

Internship opportunity for students whose curricular foundations and cocurricular experience have prepared them for professional work related to the major field. With faculty sponsorship and department approval, students may extend their educational experience into such areas as arts administration, recording, and archival work.

Prerequisites: Permission of the supervising faculty member and approval by the department.   
Note(s): This course may be repeated for credit at the discretion of the department. Not for liberal arts credit.  
MU 300 -  300 Level Elective  
Credits: 3  
MU 304 -  American Music  
Credits: 3  

A survey of American music from its beginnings to its contemporary developments; includes study of the influence of folk music, jazz, and rock upon the mainstream of American musical life.

Note(s): Fulfills Humanities requirement; fulfills Humanistic Inquiry requirement.  
MU 305 -  Musical Orientalism in American Pop Culture  
Credits: 4  

An exploration of the ways Asian (formerly known as "Oriental") cultures, commodities, bodies, and sounds have been represented in American popular culture from the 19th century to the present. We will focus on a range of musical case studies to examine institutionalized and systematized projects of Othering and mis-representation and Asian subjectivities, voices of dissent, and aspects of self-Orientalism. Students will consider how sonic sterotypes have generated and maintained discourses of Orientalism in the U.S.; how the markers of "Asianness" (including "Chineseness," "Japaneseness," “Koreanness," "Vietnameseness," etc.) have changed over time in American society; and who has the authority to represent whom. Students will work in small groups to research a musical case study of their choosing and create a short documentary video discussing issues of representation and the implications of those representations for Asian communities in the United States.

Prerequisites: SSP 100.   
Note(s): Fulfills Cultural Diversity requirement; fulfills Bridge Experience requirement.  
MU 306 -  History of Jazz in America  
Credits: 3  

A study of the evolution of jazz in America from its roots in various types of black folk music to its eventual emergence as an eclectic, contemporary art form. Special emphasis will be placed on the sociological implications of jazz as a genre of serious black music. Some consideration may be given to gospel, soul, and rock music, all of which are close relatives of jazz.

Prerequisites: MU 101, equivalent knowledge of music notation and theory, or permission of instructor.  
MU 307 -  Music and Society  
Credits: 3  

An introduction to interdisciplinary approaches to the study of music including the sociology, anthropology, and psychology of music. These approaches will be applied in selected areas such as education, religion, non-Western music, and popular music.

Note(s): Fulfills Humanities requirement; fulfills Humanistic Inquiry requirement.  
MU 309 -  Music in South Asia  
Credits: 3  

An examination of the major musical phenomena of the Indian subcontinent and their historical and cultural background. Topics include Hindustani and Karnatak classical musical styles, religious music, popular music, and selected regional genres.

Prerequisites: MU 101 or permission of instructor.   
Note(s): Fulfills non-Western Cultures and Humanities requirements; fulfills Humanistic Inquiry and Global Cultural Perspectives requirements.  
MU 310 -  Music and Culture of East Asia  
Credits: 4  

An examination of music and culture in East Asia, focusing on three geographic regions: China/Taiwan/Hong Kong; Japan; and Korea. Students will study the areas' leading musical traditions, including main instruments, ensembles, and musical genres, and will investigate case studies from the 20th and 21st centuries. Particular attention will be given to music within significant social, political, and historical contexts.

Prerequisites: MU 101    
Note(s): Designated a non-Western culture course; fulfills humanities requirement; fulfills global cultural perspective.  
MU 314A -  Music in Mid Age and Ren  
Credits: 3  
MU 314B -  Music in Mid Age and Ren  
Credits: 4  
MU 315A -  Mus in Baroque/Preclas  
Credits: 3  
MU 315B -  Mus in Baroque/Preclas  
Credits: 4  
MU 316A -  Music in Class/Romant  
Credits: 3  
MU 316B -  Music in Class/Romant  
Credits: 4  
MU 317A -  Music in 20th Century  
Credits: 3  
MU 317B -  Music in 20th Century  
Credits: 4  
MU 319 -  Topics In Musicology  
Credits: 3  

Selected topics and issues in musicology, to be announced when offered.

Prerequisites: MU 200 or permission of instructor.   
Note(s): This course may be repeated for credit at the discretion of the department.  
MU 320 -  Popular Music In The Age of Rock and Roll  
Credits: 3  

A selective survey and analysis of the musical forms, styles, and figures associated with rock and roll in the 1950s and 1960s. Included is a discussion of the musical antetypes of rock and the impact and import of sociocultural and technological change on the popular music of this era. Class involves extensive listening assignments, musical analyses, and essays.

Prerequisites: MU 101, equivalent knowledge of music notation and theory, or permission of instructor.   
Note(s): Fulfills Humanities requirement.  
MU 343 -  Seminar in Avant-Garde Jazz and American Postwar Racial Politics  
Credits: 4  

An interdisciplinary exploration of the postwar jazz avant-garde, focusing on the intersection of aesthetic issues with questions of politics, gender, class, and religion.

Prerequisites: MU 242.   
Note(s): Fulfills Cultural Diversity requirement.  
MU 344A -  Topics Seminar  
Credits: 3  

Specialized studies in topics to be announced each semester. Primarily for juniors and qualified sophomores.

Prerequisites: MU 200 and MU 242 or permission of instructor. This course may be repeated for credit at the discretion of the department.  
MU 344B -  Topics Seminar  
Credits: 4  

Specialized studies in topics to be announced each semester. Primarily for juniors and qualified sophomores.

Prerequisites: MU 200 and MU 242 or permission of instructor. This course may be repeated for credit at the discretion of the department.  
MU 345 -  Topics Seminar  
Credits: 4  

Specialized studies in topics to be announced each semester. Primarily for juniors and qualified sophomores.

Prerequisites: MU 200 and MU 242 or permission of instructor.   
Note(s): This course may be repeated for credit at the discretion of the department. MU 345N fulfills non-Western Cultures requirement. MU 345N fulfills Global Cultural Perspectives requirement.  
MU 352 -  Film Scoring  
Credits: 3  

Music composition and audio production techniques for film, television and documentaries.  Students will learn to compose and record original compositions using either computer virtual synthesizers or a music notation program to accompany and enhance video sequences from short films/videos, feature film excerpts and television and documentary films and videos. From romantic background music to exciting action sequences, students will learn the most effective ways of creating original music that enhances the images on the screen. Commercial shorts, feature films and documentaries will be studied and analyzed for musical content and production techniques which may be applicable to student projects in this course.  

Prerequisites: MU 255 or MU 357.   
Note(s): Fulfills Arts requirement; fulfills Artistic Inquiry requirement.  
MU 353 -  Music Technology II: Advanced Electronic Music, Composition, and Recording Studio Techniques  
Credits: 3  

Development of original compositions using advanced studio techniques. Areas of study include advanced MIDI projects, computer algorithms for composition and sound synthesis, synthesizer programming, audio (SMPTE) and video (VITC) time code synchronization, digital sampling, digital multitrack recording, automated digital mixing, digital mastering for compact disk, and audio for video. Study of works in various styles by established electronic composers.

Prerequisites: MU 255 or permission of instructor.   
Note(s): Weekly studio/lab work.  
Lab/Credit Fee: $50  
MU 354 -  Analysis of Tonal Music  
Credits: 3  

Development of analytical techniques relevant to music of the tonal era.

Prerequisites: MU 242 or permission of instructor.  
MU 355 -  Digital Orchestration  
Credits: 3  

Study of the capabilities of orchestral instruments and ways they may be combined using state of the art digital music notation and digital sound synthesis software and hardware.  Final project is writing for full orchestra and is played and recorded by the college's semi-professional orchestra.

Prerequisites: MU 242 or permission of instructor.  
MU 356 -  Tonal Counterpoint  
Credits: 3  

Study of the contrapuntal style of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries. Analysis and writing of inventions, chorale preludes, and fugues.

Prerequisites: MU 243 or MU 242 or permission of instructor.  
MU 357 -  Composition  
Credits: 3  

Writing in smaller forms for various media.

Prerequisites: MU 243 or MU 242 or permission of instructor.  
MU 358 -  Composition  
Credits: 3  

Writing in smaller forms for various media.

Prerequisites: MU 243 or MU 242 or permission of instructor.  
MU 359 -  Advanced Composition  
Credits: 3  

Continuation of MU 357, MU 358 including writing in larger forms.

Prerequisites: MU 357, MU 358 or permission of instructor.  
MU 360 -  Advanced Composition  
Credits: 3  

Continuation of MU 357, MU 358 including writing in larger forms.

Prerequisites: MU 357, MU 358 or permission of instructor.  
MU 361 -  Topics in Recording Engineering and Computer Music Technology  
Credits: 3  

The study and practical application of advanced music technology topics chosen at the discretion of the instructor. Topics may include advanced MIDI applications; recording engineering, production, and marketing; digital synthesis, recording, and editing; intelligent synchronization; programming languages for synthesis and studies in psychoacoustics.

Prerequisites: MU 255, MU 353.   
Note(s): This course may be repeated for credit at the discretion of the department. Not for liberal arts credit.  
MU 362 -  Jazz Theory  
Credits: 4  

Surveys major theoretical models in jazz theory since the field emerged in the 1950s. Students will learn the terms and concepts used in jazz theory, become acquainted with the academic literature on jazz theory, and analyze musical recordings and transcriptions through both oral presentations and written assignments.

Prerequisites: MU 242.  
MU 363 -  Coda in Music  
Credits: 2  

A culminating group experience in which Majors reflect on, and synthesize, aspects of their education through guided reading and discussion, optionally while undertaking separate, independent music-related projects of their own design.

Note(s): Open to seniors only. Fulfills Senior Experience Coda requirement.  
MU 371A-D -  Independent Study in Music  
Credits: 1-4  

An opportunity for qualified students to pursue independent study, under the supervision of a member of the department, in any field of music.

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor and approval of the department.   
Note(s): This course may be repeated for credit at the discretion of the department.  
MU 373 -  Senior Thesis  
Credits: 3  

Independent study and research culminating in an extensive paper and an oral symposium presentation. Thesis proposal must be submitted for departmental approval by November 15 of the senior year.

Corequisites: MU 363.  
MU 374 -  Senior Composition Project  
Credits: 3  

Independent creative project culminating in one or more compositions and an oral symposium presentation (with performance, if possible). Project proposal must be submitted for departmental approval by November 15 of the senior year.

Corequisites: MU 363.   
Note(s): Not for liberal arts credit.  
MU 376 -  Senior Project In Music Technology  
Credits: 3  

Independent project culminating in a substantial product in an appropriate medium and format, and an oral symposium presentation. Project proposal must be submitted to the chair for departmental approval by November 15 of the senior year.

Corequisites: MU 363.   
Note(s): Not for liberal arts credit.  
MU 385 -  Conducting  
Credits: 3  

Basic techniques of orchestral and choral conducting, score study and analysis.

Prerequisites: MU 242.  
MU 399A-D -  Professional Internship in Music  
Credits: 1-4  

Professional experience at an advanced level for juniors and seniors with substantial academic and cocurricular experience in the major field. With faculty sponsorship and department approval, students may extend their educational experience into such areas as arts administration, recording, and archival work.

Prerequisites: Previous study related to the area of the internship experience. Permission of the supervising faculty member and approval by the department.   
Note(s): Not for liberal arts credit.