Division of Humanities
Kenneth Schweitzer, Chair
Douglas Brandt Byerly
Grace Eun Hae Kim
Music transcends time and geographic boundaries. The study of music, as a diverse human cultural expression, includes not only the analysis of the music itself, but importantly, the very processes that shape the uses and functions of music in society, such as the construction of historical memory, the role of music in human migrations, kinesics (bodily movement) as well as other socio-cultural factors such as the role of music in shaping identity, its use in ritual and belief systems, as a tool for political activism, and as a creative artistic expression. In this spirit, the Department of Music recognizes and celebrates the diversity of musical experiences––from performance and education to music business and production.
As a model for true liberal arts learning, the Department of Music’s educational goals are guided by an interdisciplinary approach to teaching music. In the medieval university, music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy together formed the quadrivium, the upper division of the seven liberal arts. In addition, music held an important position in the philosophy and theology of the age. 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. Our BA degree program is flexible and divided into specific advisory tracks that include performance (vocal and instrumental), music pedagogy, music history and criticism, world music and ethnomusicology, theory and composition, and the traditional liberal arts. The course offerings provide solid preparation for a lifelong engagement with 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.
The music major at Washington College requires 54 credits (13.5 courses), plus a Senior Capstone (SCE).
Music Theory (16 credits)
MUS 131, 231, 231, 232. Music Theory I, II, III, IV
Music History (8 credits)
Two courses selected from the following History of Western Music sequence:
MUS 203. Ancient to Baroque
MUS 204. Classical to Romantic
MUS 205. Music Since 1900
World Music Elective (4 credits)
One course selected from the following:
MUS 104. Introduction to World Music & Ethnomusicology
MUS 313. Music of Latin America
MUS 314. Music of Asia
MUS 327. Music, Ritual and Early Christianity
MUS 406. Theory and Method in Ethnomusicology
Music Electives (8 credits)
Any two four-credit courses in music (except MUS 100)
Performance Requirements (18 credits)
Performance Requirements for students of Brass, Woodwind, Percussion, Strings, and Voice
Four semesters of two-credit applied music in their declared area (8 credits)
Two semesters of two-credit applied or class piano, or by passing a piano proficiency exam (4 credits)
Performance ensemble participation (6 credits)
Performance Requirements for students of Guitar and Composition
Four semesters of two-credit applied music in their declared area (8 credits)
Two semesters of two-credit applied or class piano, or by passing a piano proficiency exam (4 credits)
Six additional credits of additional applied music or ensemble participation (6 credits)
Performance Requirements for students of Piano
Four semesters of two-credit applied music in applied piano (8 credits)
Ten additional credits of additional applied music or ensemble participation (10 credits)
Music 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 Music Major intends to pursue graduate work in music, the department strongly recommends studying two years of German or French, in that order of preference.
Music majors are required to perform as a soloist in a student performance class or honors recital at least once.
SENIOR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE (4 credits)
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.
MUSIC 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.
Using music as an entry into a variety of cultures, social classes, and populations, the ethnomusicology minor offers a unique opportunity for students interested in both music and anthropology. Ethnomusicologists take a global, interdisciplinary approach to the study of music and seek to understand music as a social practice, viewing music as a human activity that is shaped by its cultural context. Ethnomusicologists often engage in ethnographic fieldwork, by participating in and observing the music being studied, and frequently gain facility (or expertise) in another music tradition as a performer or theorist. Ethnomusicologists also conduct historical research utilizing the methods of historiography, manuscript analysis, archaeomusicology, and archival/museum research. Students who study ethnomusicology have a global outlook, are critical thinkers, and are better able to appreciate the cultural and aesthetic diversity of the world and communicate in ways that are ethically sensitive.
The minor in ethnomusicology is 28 credits and is open to students in all subject areas, including music. To ensure that music students take this opportunity to expand their knowledge in a supplemental area, music majors who minor in ethnomusicology will have to observe the following guidelines: (1) they may only double count 2 courses between the MUS major and the Ethnomusicology minor and (2) at least 2 of the courses used to satisfy the minor must be offered by the Anthropology department. Students will not be permitted to minor in both music and ethnomusicology simultaneously. For more information, see the catalog entry ETHNOMUSICOLOGY.
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 Humanities and Fine Arts 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). This includes any combination of applied music (private instruction) and musical ensembles. To fulfill the Humanities and Fine Arts distribution requirement with one Fine Arts course, students may complete any four credits of Music courses (except MUS 131, 132, 231 or 232) along with two Humanities courses.
Instruction in applied music solves technical problems, develops knowledge of the literature, and teaches performance techniques. Each course consists of a weekly 30-minute individual lesson and is open to all students. 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 $360 for each 200-level applied music course. Music majors are exempted from paying this fee.
400-level applied music courses are intended for advanced students, and may require auditions. They are open to all qualified students. Each course consists of a weekly 60-minute individual lesson. One to two hours of daily practice per hour lesson is expected. For non-majors, there is an additional fee of $720 for each 400-level applied music course. The fee for Music majors is $360.
451. Advanced Voice
453. Advanced Piano
455. Advanced Woodwinds
457. Advanced Guitar/Lute
459. Advanced Brass
461. Advanced Strings
463. Advanced Percussion/Drums
465. Advanced Composition
Music ensembles are one credit. Eight credits count toward the 128 required for graduation.
277. Washington College Symphonic Band
The Symphonic Band studies and performs concert band and wind ensemble music from various musical periods. Membership is open to qualified students.
278. Steel Pan Ensemble
The Washington College Steel Band (Steel Revolution) offers students an opportunity to explore the Trinidadian steel band tradition, as well as classical and popular arrangements and transcriptions. Students learn to perform on steel band instruments and study the social, historical, and cultural context of the ensemble. Readings, recordings, and video viewings supplement in-class instruction. The ensemble will present public performances. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
279. Japanese Music Ensemble
By the Edo period (1603-1868), three instruments had emerged from various directions to become popular among the Japanese people. The koto, a 13-string zither, the shamisen, a 3-string banjo-like instrument, and the shakuhachi, a Zen Buddhist bamboo flute. In this new ensemble, students are introduced to these instruments, have the opportunity to research, write about, and learn how to perform on an instrument of the student’s choice. Students also learn the unique notation systems of each instrument, as well as gain a deep understanding of Japanese traditional arts in relation to the social, ideological, and cultural development of Japanese traditional aesthetics.
281. 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.
283. Washington College Chorus
The College Chorus performs music from all principal style periods. Membership is open to all students.
285. 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.
291. Washington College String Orchestra
The String Orchestra studies and performs orchestral music from various musical periods. Membership is open to qualified students.
295. 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.
475. 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. The ensemble is open to students through auditions, which take place at the beginning of each semester. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
479. Washington College Chamber Singers
Chamber Singers perform 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. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
487. Chamber Ensembles
Various woodwind, brass, and string ensembles (duets, trios, quartets, quintets) perform in recitals throughout the year. The ensembles are open to students through auditions, which take place at the beginning of each semester. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
Music History/Literature, World Music and Ethnomusicology, 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.
106. Rock, Pop and American Culture
An examination of popular music in America from the 1830s through the modern day. With a particular emphasis being placed on the 1950s and 1960s, students will develop an understanding of the cultural, political, and economic forces of these eras and will examine how popular music history intersects with all aspects of American history and culture. This course also examines several important threads in popular music history, including the ever-present, but ever changing, role of race relations, the impact of evolving technologies, and the history of the music industry. In addition to reading the assigned textbook, students are also asked to watch/listen to important archival performances, televised interviews with notable musicians, radio interviews with scholars of popular culture, and other relevant primary sources.
131. Music Theory I
The basic goal in music theory courses is to focus on the growth and development in the areas of comprehension, skills, and creativity. The academic approach will be to study and apply principles of melodic, harmonic, contrapuntal and formal structures, which are basic to musical composition and essential to the serious musician. The lecture portion of this course will focus on the elements of diatonic harmony through part-writing, formal analysis, and composition. The ear-training portion will focus on the development of intervals, triads, rhythmic study/dictation, melodic dictation, and sight-singing. Recommended for participants in performance groups.
132. Music Theory II
As a continuation of MUS 131, Music Theory II will continue the development of music comprehension through theory lectures/exercises and aural skills training. The lecture portion of this course will focus on part writing, the study of diatonic harmony, and formal analysis. The ear-training portion of this course will focus on the continuation and development of intervals, triads, seventh chords, melodic dictation, harmonic dictation, rhythmic dictation, as well as sight-singing and rhythmic studies. Recommended for participants in performance groups. Prerequisite: MUS 131 (Students who have a strong background in theory may take an examination to receive advanced standing and exemption from this prerequisite).
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. This course requires that students have an advanced knowledge in reading and writing music notation.
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. This course requires that students have an advanced knowledge in reading and writing music notation.
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. This course requires that students have an advanced knowledge in reading and writing music notation.
206. Jazz History
Jazz is both a uniquely American style as well as an international collaboration. Beginning with an examination of the roots and antecedents of jazz in the mid 1800s, students will learn the artistic contributions of many notable instrumentalists, vocalists, bandleaders and arrangers. Particular emphasis will be placed upon understanding the musical and social forces that influenced each artist, and the role of each artist in encouraging innovation and development within this art form. Prior musical experience is not required.
231. Music Theory III
Upon completion of Music Theory I and II, students will have gained a basic knowledge of diatonic harmony. Music Theory III will delve into more advanced topics address diatonic and chromatic harmonies, as well as large-scale form. The lecture portion of this course will focus on more advanced work in diatonic harmony, including applied chords, modulation, form, modal mixture, and other chromatic harmony. This will be accomplished through part-writing, formal analysis, and composition. The ear-training portion will focus on the continued development of intervals, triads, rhythmic study/dictation, melodic dictation, harmonic dictation, and sight-singing. Prerequisite: Music 132.
232. Music Theory IV
As the final course in the theory sequence, MUS 232 addresses the advanced theoretical concepts from more recent music. The lecture portion of this course will focus on more advanced work in diatonic harmony, specifically, that of the late-Romantic period. A portion of the course will also be dedicated to post-tonal music. This will be accomplished through part-writing, formal analysis, and composition. The ear-training portion will focus on the continued development of intervals, triads, rhythmic study/dictation, melodic dictation, harmonic dictation, and sight-singing. Prerequisite: Music 231.
A study of basic conducting skills, score reading, rehearsal techniques, and the elements of arranging. Prerequisite: Music 132 or permission of the instructor.
234. Creative Process
In this course students learn how to develop an idea over time. Students are expected to focus on one concept and develop it more fully each week as the semester progresses. All media and art forms are acceptable, including the written word, video, performance, painting, photography, sound, construction, etc. Though centered upon the student and their ability to be objective about their work, it also demands they help others to see the values, problems, and potentials in their work. Thoughtful class participation in the form of discussion during weekly presentations and critiques is expected from each student. 3 contact hours per week. Prerequisite: One course of Studio Art, Music, Drama, or Creative Writing 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.
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.
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. Music of Latin America
Students will be introduced to ethnomusicological theory and method, while focusing on the musical practices of selected regions in 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. This course requires that students have an advanced knowledge in reading and writing music notation. Prerequisite: MUS 132 or permission of instructor.
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. Prerequisite: MUS 132 or permission of instructor.
331. Analytical Technique
A study of the principles of musical organization through analysis of compositions from diverse periods in music history. Prerequisite: Mus 232 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.
406. Theory and Method in Ethnomusicology
This course examines the formation of the discipline of ethnomusicology through a survey of its history, theory, and methodology. Students read and discuss the works of major scholars in the field and examine the interdisciplinary nature of ethnomusicology, particularly its relationship with historical musicology, anthropology, folklore, linguistics, and cultural studies. Research projects will compliment theoretical discussions and technical activities associated with the field such as fieldwork, ethnography, historical research, and transcription. Prerequisite: MUS 104 or ANT 105 or permission of Instructor.
430. Orchestration and Arranging
A study of the fundamentals of instrumentation, orchestration, and arranging. Prerequisite: MUS 132 or permission of instructor.
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.
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.
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.