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Music

NOTE: This page contains information from the 2012-2013 Catalog. It remains available for archival purposes only. For the most current WC Catalog content, please visit http://catalog.washcoll.edu and download this year’s edition.
Division of Humanities

 

From the time of the ancient Greeks, music has been an integral part of civilization. In the medieval university, with arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy, it formed the quadrivium, the upper division of the seven liberal arts. Further, music held an important position in the philosophy and theology of the age. Music has been indispensable to cultures through the centuries, and its intellectual and artistic possibilities have proved to be limitless.

Liberal arts students have traditionally studied music through its history and literature, its theoretical aspects, and its performance. The music department at Washington College is committed to assisting both students who expect to study music in preparation for a professional career, as well as those who wish to pursue music as an interest or avocation. Music majors are expected to acquire a thorough grounding in history and literature, in theory, and in performance, as well as the ability to apply this knowledge creatively. The course offerings provide solid preparation for lifelong study and for the making and teaching of music.

All students pursuing the study of music in a liberal arts setting, regardless of intended major or future career, are given opportunities to explore music and to develop their individual musical talents through a selection of classroom experiences, private lessons, and ensemble offerings.

First-Year/Sophomore Requirements

A student planning to major in music should have completed MUS 131 and 132, and two courses selected from 203, 204, and 205 before the junior year. In addition, the prospective music major should arrange to study applied music and to participate in performance groups during the first two years at Washington College.

Major Requirements

In addition to the courses listed under first-year/sophomore requirements, all music majors must also take MUS 231 and 232; one course selected from 313, 314, and 327; and two additional four-credit courses in music (except MUS 100). Music majors must declare a primary instrument or voice for study, and must complete four semesters of applied music in their declared area (eight semesters are recommended). Majors whose declared area is not piano must satisfy a “piano proficiency requirement” by passing the piano proficiency exam (offered once a semester) or completing 2 years of applied piano and/or class piano. All majors must participate in those performance ensembles for which they are qualified. Music majors are also required to perform as a soloist in a student recital at least once during the junior or senior year. In addition, majors must attend and participate in department-designated performances and events. In this regard, the department faculty reserves the right to assign majors to specific tasks and responsibilities. If a student intends to pursue graduate work in music, the department strongly recommends studying two years of German or French, in that order of preference.

Senior Capstone Experience

The Senior Capstone Experience in music may be fulfilled by writing an extensive research paper or an extended composition; by presenting a research paper in conjunction with a lecture recital; by performing an hour-long solo recital; or by combining a half recital with a research paper. Students may pursue an alternate Senior Capstone Experience project with the approval of the department chair. Students who double major are encouraged to explore a project that satisfies both majors. The SCE will be accorded Pass, Fail, or Honors, and, upon successfully completing it, the student will receive four credits.

Minor Requirements

For the music minor, students are required to take MUS 131, 132, and twenty additional credits selected in music, including history, ethnomusicology, theory, applied music, and ensembles. In addition, minors must attend and participate in department-designated performances and events.

Distribution Requirement

To fulfill the Quantitative component of the Natural Sciences and Quantitative distribution requirement, students may complete two consecutive courses in the music theory sequence (MUS 131, 132, 231, 232). If the student chooses to take two Natural Science courses, then any one course in music theory (MUS 131, 132, 231, 232) may be used to satisfy the Quantitative component.

To fulfill the Fine Arts and Humanities distribution requirement with two Fine Arts courses and one Humanities course, students may complete eight credits of Music courses (except MUS 131, 132, 231 or 232), including applied music (private instruction) and musical ensembles. To fulfill this requirement with one Fine Arts course and two Humanities courses, students may complete four credits from the courses listed above.

Applied Music

Instruction in applied music solves technical problems, develops knowledge of the literature, and teaches performance techniques. One hour of daily practice per half-hour lesson is expected. All courses in applied music are two credits. There is an additional fee of $350 for each applied music course. Music majors are exempted from paying this fee.

  • 151, 152. Voice I
  • 153, 154. Piano I
  • 155, 156. Woodwinds I
  • 157, 158. Guitar/Lute I
  • 159, 160. Brass I
  • 161, 162. Strings I
  • 163, 164. Percussion I/Drum Set I
  • 251, 252. Voice II
  • 253, 254. Piano II
  • 255, 256. Woodwinds II
  • 257, 258. Guitar/Lute II
  • 259, 260. Brass II
  • 261, 262. Strings II
  • 263, 264. Percussion II/Drum Set II
  • 351, 352. Voice III
  • 353, 354. Piano III
  • 355, 356. Woodwinds III
  • 357, 358. Guitar/Lute III
  • 359, 360. Brass III
  • 361, 362. Strings III
  • 363, 364. Percussion III/Drum Set III
  • 451, 452. Voice IV
  • 453, 454. Piano IV
  • 455, 456. Woodwinds IV
  • 457, 458. Guitar/Lute IV
  • 459, 460. Brass IV
  • 461, 462. Strings IV
  • 463, 464. Percussion IV/Drum Set IV

Music Ensembles

Music ensembles are one credit. Eight credits count toward the 128 required for graduation.

175, 176, 275, 276, 375, 376, 475, 476. Washington College Jazz Combo

The Washington College Jazz Combo allows advanced jazz students to perform various styles of jazz literature, including standards, original compositions and arrangements. Ample opportunity is given for improvisation. The Combo presents programs each semester and performs at various College functions throughout the year.

177, 178, 277, 278, 377, 378, 477, 478. Washington College Concert Band

The Concert Band studies and performs concert band and wind ensemble music from various musical periods. Membership is open to qualified students.

179, 180, 279, 280, 379, 380, 479, 480. Washington College Vocal Consort

The Vocal Consort performs music from all principal periods and performs both on and off campus. The ensemble is open to students through auditions, which take place at the beginning of each semester.

181, 182, 281, 282, 381, 382, 481, 482. Washington College Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Ensemble presents programs each semester and plays at various College functions throughout the year. Membership is open to qualified students.

183, 184, 283, 284, 383, 384, 483, 484. Washington College Chorus

The College Chorus performs music from all principal style periods. Membership is open to all students.

185, 186, 285, 286, 385, 386, 485, 486. Washington College Early Music Consort

The Early Music Consort is an instrumental ensemble that performs music from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque eras on period instruments. Membership is open to qualified students.

187, 188, 287, 288, 387, 388, 487, 488. Chamber Ensembles

Various woodwind, brass, and string ensembles (duets, trios, quartets, quintets) perform in recitals throughout the year. They are open to qualified students.

191, 192, 291, 292, 391, 392, 491, 492. Washington College String Ensemble

The String Ensemble studies and performs orchestral music from various musical periods. Membership is open to qualified students.

195, 196, 295, 296, 395, 396, 495, 496. Washington College Afro-Cuban Ensemble

The ensemble focuses primarily on the Cuban drum and song traditions associated with rumba and Santeria. Musical literacy is not a requirement; instead, rhythms and melodies will be transmitted via the oral traditions that are prevalent in Cuba. Membership is open to all students.

Course Descriptions

Music History/Literature And Music Theory

100. Introduction to Music

An introduction to music, including the study of notation, the basic elements of music theory, terminology, instrumentation, form, and the basic style periods. Representative works will be examined, and the aesthetics of music will be considered. Intended for students with little or no background in music.

104. Introduction to World Music and Ethnomusicology

An introduction to music of the world, including popular, folk, religious and classical traditions. Explores the way ethnomusicologists organize and analyze knowledge about the world, while investigating the ways music acquires meaning in performances that are socially, historically, and culturally situated.

131, 132. Music Theory 1 & Music Theory 2

A study of the elements of diatonic harmony—chord structures and functions—through part-writing exercises. Aural and keyboard training, score analysis, and composition of small pieces. Recommended for participants in performance groups. Music 131 is prerequisite to 132.

135. Class Piano I

Class Piano I introduces the art of piano playing through establishing fundamentals in proper piano technique and facility. Simplified classical and popular literature will be taught in conjunction with fundamental music theory, technique, rhythmic exercises, and sight-reading. It is a prerequisite course for those students wishing to take applied music piano lessons, but have no prior experience with the piano instrument.

203. History of Western Music: Ancient to Baroque

An examination of music in Western culture from its roots in ancient Greece to 1750. This course covers the Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods of music history. Areas of focus include the transformation of musical language and form, notions of musical creativity, music and politics, and the sociology of listening. These themes will be explored through close readings and analyses of significant musical, literary and philosophical works.

204. History of Western Music: Classical to Romantic

An examination of music in Western culture from the end of the Classical to the Romantic periods. Areas of focus include the transformation of musical language and form, notions of musical creativity, music and politics, and the sociology of listening. These themes will be explored through close readings and analyses of significant musical, literary and philosophical works.

205. History of Western Music: Music since 1900

An examination of music in Western culture since 1900. This course covers Impressionism, Modalism, Expressionism, Free Atonality, Modernism, Neoclassicism, Nationalism, Minimalism, and Postmodernism. Areas of focus include the transformation of musical language and form, notions of musical creativity, music and politics, and the sociology of listening. These themes will be explored through close readings and analyses of significant musical, literary and philosophical works.

231, 232. Advanced Theory

Advanced work in diatonic harmony. Chromatic harmony and elements of atonality; serial procedures. Analysis of an extended tonal work; original composition. Prerequisite: Music 132. (Students who have a strong background in theory may take an examination to receive advanced standing and exemption from this prerequisite.)

233. Conducting and Arranging

A study of basic conducting skills, score reading, rehearsal techniques, and the elements of arranging. Prerequisite: Music 132 or permission of the instructor.

303. American Music

A study of music in the colonies and the United States from the various editions of the Bay Psalm Book to the music of the present.

304. Opera

Opera from the Florentine era to the present. The elements that comprise opera are studied, and representative works are analyzed. Students attend performances at the Washington National Opera as part of their study in the course.

305. History of Jazz

An exploration of jazz from its roots and musical components to its status in 21st-century culture.

310. Music and Gender

An examination of the role of gender in music, including the effect of gender on music history, analysis, and performance. Topics will include the lives and musical accomplishments of selected musicians, and the impact of social and cultural conditions affecting those musicians.

311. Mozart’s Operas

This course will examine eight of Mozart’s operas, from Mitridate, rè di Ponto, composed when he was fourteen, to La clemenza di Tito and Die Zauberflöte, written a few months before his death. The works will be examined for musical and dramatic content, as well as for what they say about society, politics, and sexuality. In addition, such topics as Mozart’s interest in freemasonry and its effect on some of his works will be studied.

312. Music in the Romantic Period

A study of the principal styles, forms, and composers of the Romantic period (ca. 1820 to ca. 1900).

313. Ethnomusicology in Latin America

Students will be introduced to ethnomusicological theory and method, while focusing on the musical practices of South and Central America and the Caribbean. Folk, ritual, popular, and art/classical traditions will be examined in the contexts of cultural issues such as belief systems, politics, aesthetics, and identity.

314. Music of Asia

Using selected musical areas from Asia, this course introduces and reinforces the basic concepts of ethnomusicology and trains students to develop listening and musicological analytical skills. We will examine folk, ritual, popular, and art/classical traditions in the contexts of cultural issues, such as belief systems, politics, aesthetics, and identity.

327. Music, Ritual and Early Christianity

Using music, ritual, and liturgical analyses, this course investigates the historical, social, political, and intellectual circumstances that led to the eventual success of Christianity as a major religion of the world. Examples are drawn from Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism.

328. The Symphony in Context: History and Development

This course traces the history and development of the symphony from its roots in music of the late Baroque, its development in the Classical and Romantic periods, and its interpretations during the twentieth century. Using symphonic literature and readings as sources for analyses, this course examines both the musical innovations and social contexts of key composers and style periods.

330. Counterpoint

Study of two great periods of contrapuntal music: sixteenth-century vocal music and eighteenth-century instrumental music. Exercises and composition in two and three voices; analysis of contrapuntal works.

331. Analytical Technique

A study of the principles of musical organization through analysis of compositions from diverse periods in music history. Prerequisite: Two years of music theory or permission of the instructor.

332. Music Technology

A study of a variety of technologies associated with music recording, post-production, performance and composition. Students will become familiar with advanced software, a variety of recording equipment, and MIDI peripherals. Potential students must first demonstrate competency as an instrumental or vocal performer.

194, 294, 394, 494. Special Topics

A period course in music history or an offering in some other specific area of interest, such as conducting, composition, or independent research.

430. Orchestration

A study of the fundamentals of orchestration. Prerequisite: Two years of theory or permission of the instructor.

190, 290, 390, 490. Internship

195, 295, 395, 495. On-campus Research

196, 296, 396, 496. Off-campus Research

197, 297, 397, 497. Independent Study

SCE. Senior Capstone Experience

The Senior Capstone Experience in music may be fulfilled by writing an extensive research paper or an extended composition; by presenting a research paper in conjunction with a lecture recital; by performing an hour-long solo recital; or by combining a half recital with a research paper. Students may pursue an alternate Senior Capstone Experience project with the approval of the department chair. Students who double major are encouraged to explore a project that satisfies both majors. The SCE will be accorded Pass, Fail, or Honors, and, upon successfully completing it, the student will receive four credits.

Courses Offered In The Washington College Abroad Programs

103. Appreciation of Music

An introduction to Western music literature through a nontechnical presentation of various musical styles and forms. Offered in the London program only, both fall and spring semesters. Three credits.