Graduate Music Courses: MPE 5000–5999

Chamber Music
MPE 5140
/ 2 credits / Every semester
The study and performance of works from the chamber music repertoire and/or the sonata literature for piano and instruments. Coaching sessions (up to one and a half hours per week) culminate in performance.
Prerequisite: Audition

Brass Chamber Music
MPE 5142
/ 2 credits / Every semester
Coached by members of the brass faculty, this ensemble class focuses on group intonation, phrasing, articulation, and blend. Literature is selected from all styles and eras of music, and composition for the ensemble is also encouraged. Rehearses weekly for one and a half hours.

Symphony Orchestra
MPE 5201
/ 2 credits / Every semester
Intense preparation of works, mostly from the standard repertoire, for performance. Study of characteristic styles, performance practice, and acquisition of large ensemble skills and professional etiquette.
Prerequisite: Audition

Camerata
MPE 5205
/ 2 credits / Every semester
Interpretation of music of the 17th and 18th centuries from the perspective of historically informed performance. Instructors teach basic principles of interpretation that are evident from early performance manuals, then encourage students to actively engage these principles by forming personal interpretations around them. Students are encouraged to form creative, original approaches to the repertoire, particularly when the historical record may be incomplete, inchoate, or simplistic.

Woodwind Instrumental Lab
MPE 5211
/ .5 credit / Every semester
Companion performance lab for participants in MPE 5450.

Brass Instrumental Lab
MPE 5221
/ .5 credit / Every semester
Companion performance lab for participants in MPE 5142.

Trombone Ensemble
MPE 5226
/ 1 credit / Special topic (offered irregularly)
In this ensemble extension of the private-study studio, emphasis is placed on group intonation, phrasing, articulation, and blend. Literature is selected from all styles and eras of music, and composition for the ensemble is also encouraged.

Horn Ensemble
MPE 5229
/ 1 credit / Special topic (offered irregularly)
This ensemble rehearses and prepares for performance of well-known horn compositions in many different styles, from the Hindemith Sonata for Four Horns to the Fripperies by Lowell Shaw. The class also works with the IVASI video system for orchestra training.

Percussion Ensemble
MPE 5231
/ 1 credit / Every semester
Study and performance of the percussion ensemble repertoire. Students have the opportunity to perform a range of parts, from basic to virtuosic, in all areas of percussion: timpani, mallets, and multiple percussion.

Opera Workshop
MPE 5250
/ 2 credits / Every semester
In a performance lab setting, students prepare and perform in a concert of staged scenes with piano or instrumental ensemble; and/or participate in at least one fully staged opera, given in its original language, with orchestra, sets, and costumes. This course further develops and refines the musical and dramatic skills acquired in previous courses.

Opera Workshop Lab
MPE 5253
/ 1 credit / Every semester
A practical application of opera rehearsal techniques as studied in MPE 5250.
Corequisite: MPE 5250

Operatic Styles I, II, III
MPE 5255, 5256, 5257
/ 2 credits (per semester)
I, III: Spring; II: Fall
This three-semester class is the principal focus of the graduate program in opera studies. Students prepare operatic scenes and arias for presentation in a master-class setting every week. Emphasis is on correct stylistic interpretation and performance practice in each stylistic period of opera history, from Monteverdi to recent works. Repertoire is assigned according to each participant’s needs and abilities.

Opera Coaching
MPE 5260
/ 1 credit / Every semester
Private weekly music coachings that support the student’s development (technical and artistic) and presentation (linguistic, stylistic, musical, and dramatic). Prepares the student for performance situations throughout the department. The goal is to enable the student to function as an independent professional upon completion of the program.

Teaching Techniques for Voice
MPE 5275
/ 2 credits / Fall
A seminar class in the fundamentals of teaching vocal technique. Students learn the physiological and pedagogical fundamentals of the workings of the voice, followed by practical application (working in a classroom setting to recognize and solve various vocal problems).

Teaching Techniques for Stage
MPE 5276
/ 2 credits / Spring
A seminar class in the fundamentals of stage directing with a practical application of directing opera scenes in MPE 3350/Opera Workshop.

Jazz Saxophone Doubling
MPE 5295
/ 1 credit / Every semester
A comprehensive overview of playing techniques for the common saxophone doubles, especially clarinet and flute. Specifics on embouchures, fingerings, tone production, and performance practice are facilitated by weekly in-class readings of repertoire, études, and technical exercises.

Guitar Performance Class
MPE 5410
/ 1 credit / Every semester
Covers a full range of solo repertoire and performance. Students actively participate in the analytic and critical process for pedagogical purposes.

Harp Performance Class
MPE 5420
/ 1 credit / Every semester
A weekly gathering of harpists, providing a forum for performance, discussion, and examination of the many facets of harp technique and interpretation. Repertoire may include solo, chamber, and orchestral works. Audition techniques, performance traditions, and instrument maintenance are also covered.

String Performance Class
MPE 5440
/ 1 credit / Every semester
A weekly gathering of all violinists, violists, violoncellists, and bass students, providing a forum for string players to perform for each other and to discuss and examine the many facets of string playing. Repertoire may include solo, chamber, and orchestral. Audition techniques, performance traditions, and instrument maintenance may also be covered.

Woodwind Performance Class
MPE 5450
/ 1 credit / Every semester
Provides an opportunity for students to perform solo and chamber repertoire for their peers in a master-class environment. Supervised by members of the wind faculty, the class is designed to help students develop quality performances and overcome any issues related to performance anxiety. Meets weekly for one and a half hours.

Percussion Performance Class
MPE 5460
/ 1 credit / Every semester
A forum for percussionists to discuss and examine the many facets of percussion performance. The study of the orchestral repertoire for timpani and percussion is the primary focus.

Brass Performance and Ensemble
MPE 5465
/ 1 credit / Every semester
The main instrumental ensemble (20–30 players) in the brass program. Conducted by members of the brass faculty, this ensemble performs repertoire from the 16th century to the present. It also performs music from the British “brass band” repertoire, in which students are required to play traditional brass band instruments. Rehearses weekly for one and a half hours.

Baroque Keyboard Literature
MPE 5470
/ 2 credits / Alternate years
Examines music for organ, harpsichord, clavichord, and early piano from 1550 to 1770 by Byrd, Sweelinck, L. Couperin, Buxtehude, F. Couperin, J.S. Bach, and the Bach sons W.F. and C.P.E. Primary source materials include ornamentation and early fingering charts, as well as studies of contemporary music instruction. Outside readings of secondary source materials include Apel and Ferguson. Discussion of in-class performance is integral to the course.

Classical Sonata Literature
MPE 5471
/ 2 credits / Alternate years
A survey of the piano music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, including sonatas, variations, and other shorter works. The Classical style is examined in relation to its emergence from the late Baroque era, with special attention given to keyboard technique, instruments of the period, range, and the continued evolution of musical forms.

Romantic Piano Literature
MPE 5472
/ 2 credits / Alternate years
A survey of piano literature from Beethoven’s late works through the end of the 19th century. Primary focus on the works of Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, and Brahms, with emphasis on the character piece, new trends in the use of older forms, and developments in timbre and range. Late Romantic composers are examined, focusing on their impact on early 20th-century styles.

20th-Century Piano Literature
MPE 5473
/ 2 credits / Alternate years
A survey of piano literature from 1900 to the present. The works of Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Ives, Janacek, Bartok, and Cage are the primary focus, with emphasis on extended techniques, new trends in the use of older forms, and developments in timbre and range.

Piano Performance Class
MPE 5480
/ 1 credit / Every semester
Covers the full range of solo repertoire for piano. Students perform and actively participate in the analytical and critical process for pedagogical purposes.

Harpsichord/Fortepiano/Organ Class
MPE 5495
/ 2 credits / Fall
For graduate piano students. An introduction to the techniques of playing keyboard instruments other than the modern piano, and an exploration of the repertoire particular to these instruments. Topics include performance practice, ornamentation, instrument construction, and sound production.

Conducting Techniques
MPE 5500
/ 2 credits / Fall
A practical introduction: simple beat patterns with both hands, cues with the left hand, as well as indications for sforzati, cut offs, and lyric gestures. Works from early Haydn to Brahms.

Conducting Strategies
MPE 5510
/ 2 credits / Spring
A seminar that explores how conductors approach musical challenges. Studies and assignments incorporate score analysis, orchestral arranging, and conducting techniques. Students conduct short works that they have arranged or composed for small ensembles formed in the class. Limited to graduate students concentrating in instrumental or vocal performance.

Jazz Orchestra
MPE 5550
/ 2 credits / Every semester
The Jazz Orchestra is a 17-piece big band that performs jazz from every era. From staples like Ellington and Basie to more modern works by today’s leading composers and arrangers, this orchestra swings and is always a pleasure to listen to. Limited to graduate jazz studies students.
Prerequisite: Audition

Contemporary Ensemble
MPE 5560
/ 2 credits / Every semester
Presents the opportunity to study and perform contemporary works by established composers for diverse instruments, in all styles. Open to all graduate music majors with permission of instructor.

Purchase New Music
MPE 5565
/ 2 credits / Every semester
Presents the opportunity to study and perform contemporary works by student composers for diverse instruments, in all styles. Open to all graduate music majors with permission of instructor.

Conducting/Score Reading/Analysis
MPE 5600
/ 2 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A continuation of MPE 5500. Analysis of scores in the Schenkerian and compositional device modes. The science of measure groupings and the construction of main materials, especially during the Classical period.
Prerequisite: MPE 5500

Collaborative Piano
MPE 5610
/ 1 credit / Every semester
Study of the art of accompanying singers and instrumentalists. Members of the class perform regularly.

Purchase Latin Jazz Orchestra
MPE 5620
/ 2 credits / Every semester
Focuses on the music of the Machito Orchestra, Tito Puente, Chico O’Farrill, and Dizzy Gillespie, among others. The conversion of standard jazz repertoire to what is currently known as Latin jazz is emphasized through an in-depth study of clavé (the rhythmic pulse found in Afro-Caribbean music) and the variety of rhythms incorporated in this genre. Orchestra members are encouraged to contribute original arrangements.
Prerequisite: Audition

Klezmer Ensemble
MPE 5660
/ 2 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
The study and performance of traditional and contemporary repertoire from the Eastern European Jewish music tradition known as klezmer. Students develop improvisational skills using the traditional ornaments and modal melodic language. They also learn the klezmer approach to ensemble playing, which combines unison playing, call and response, and improvised solos. This course culminates in a performance as final project.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Jazz Combos
MPE 5700
/ 2 credits / Every semester
These combos are thematically based and speak directly to the firsthand performing experiences of faculty mentors. Focusing on repertoire derived from the master composer/bandleaders from all eras of jazz, elements of group interaction, group dynamic, improvisation, arranging, and stylistic interpretation are integrated into a professional ensemble experience. Limited to graduate jazz studies students.

Purchase Symphonic Winds
MPE 5750
/ 2 credits / Every semester
An ensemble comprised of wind, brass, and percussion instrumentalists. Repertoire is chosen from the vast spectrum of literature written and transcribed for concert band setting. The ensemble engages in rigorous preparation that culminates in an end-of-semester concert performance. Membership is by audition for Conservatory of Music students as well as area music teachers and professionals at the invitation of the instructor.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Master’s Recital
MPE 5991, 5992, 5993
/ 1 credit / Every semester
A 60-minute recital of repertoire or original compositions, demonstrating the ability to design and execute a substantial program at a professional level. String players must include a substantial work (from the mid-20th century through the contemporary era) in one of their recitals. Students register as follows: MPE 5992, jazz studies recitals; MPE 5993, studio composition recitals and/or recordings; MPE 5991, all other master’s recitals.

Certificate Recital
MPE 5994
Diploma Recital
MPE 5995

2 credits (per recital) / Every semester
A 60-minute recital of repertoire demonstrating the ability to design and execute a substantial program at a professional level.


For updates during 2013–2015, please visit www.purchase.edu/
departments/AcademicPrograms/Arts/music/GradCourses.aspx.

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