Undergraduate Music Courses: MPE 1000–4999

Freshman Jury
MPE 0200, 0201, 0202, 0203

0 credit / Spring
An evaluation of each music major’s progress after one year of study in the Conservatory. Students perform for a faculty jury, and their abilities in their area of concentration are critically evaluated. Successful completion of the freshman jury is required to continue in the program. Students register as follows: MPE 0201, jazz studies; MPE 0202, studio composition; MPE 0203, studio production; MPE 0200, all other juries.

Sophomore Jury
MPE 0300, 0301, 0302, 0303

0 credit / Spring
An evaluation of each music major’s progress after two years of study in the Conservatory. Students perform for a faculty jury, and their abilities in their area of concentration are critically evaluated. Successful completion of the sophomore jury is required to continue in the program. Students register as follows: MPE 0301, jazz studies; MPE 0302, studio composition; MPE 0303, studio production; MPE 0300, all other juries.

Midpoint Assessment
MPE 0310, 0312, 0313, 0314

0 credit / Spring
A skills-related exam/jury scheduled concurrently with the second semester of second-year theory. Students are asked to demonstrate proficiency in theory or models, solfège or ear training, secondary keyboard (non-pianists only), and music history. Failure to do so results in the postponement of the junior recital/production. Students register as follows: MPE 0312, studio composition; MPE 0313, studio production; MPE 0314, vocal performance; MPE 0310, all other music majors (excluding jazz studies). Grading is on a pass/no credit basis.
Prerequisite: MCO 2010, MTH 2050, or MTH 2435 and permission of faculty advisor or conservatory director
Corequisite: MCO 2020, MTH 3050, or MTH 2445

Keyboard Studies I, II, III, IV
MPE 1010, 1020, 2010, 2020

1 credit (per semester)
I, III: Fall; II, IV: Spring
Designed to promote facility at the keyboard, this four-semester sequence of lessons for non-keyboard students culminates in a proficiency examination normally taken at the end of the sophomore year. Different sections of this course sequence are designed specifically for classical performance (excluding piano), jazz studies, and studio composition majors.

Studio Chart Reading
MPE 1030
/ 1 credit / Every semester
Focuses on the art of reading and performing music notation written for and by studio musicians. Topics include techniques in reading and performing numeric charts, reading and writing music shorthand, and sight-reading charts. This course recreates real-life studio conditions for ensembles and prepares players to participate in the professional opportunities of the recording studio.

Chamber Music Class
MPE 1110
/ 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 performances.
Prerequisite: Audition

Brass Chamber Music
MPE 1112
/ 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.
Corequisite: MPE 1221

Contemporary Ensemble
MPE 1160
/ 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 undergraduate music majors.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Purchase New Music
MPE 1165
/ 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 undergraduate music majors.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Camerata
MPE 1170
/ 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.

Symphony Orchestra
MPE 1201
/ 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. Open to students in all disciplines with permission of instructor.

Woodwind Performance Class
MPE 1210
/ 1 credit / Every semester
This course is devoted to the study of orchestral excerpts and large-scale chamber music. Instrumental techniques, tuning, and ensemble balance are given careful attention.
Corequisite: MPE 1211

Woodwind Instrumental Lab
MPE 1211
/ .5 credit / Every semester
Companion performance lab for participants in MPE 1210.
Corequisite: MPE 1210

Brass Performance and Ensemble
MPE 1220
/ 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. Open to students in all disciplines with permission of instructor.

Brass Instrumental Lab
MPE 1221
/ .5 credit / Every semester
Companion performance lab for participants in MPE 1112.
Corequisite: MPE 1112

Percussion Performance Class
MPE 1230
/ 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.

Percussion Ensemble
MPE 1231
/ 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.

String Performance Class
MPE 1240
/ 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.

Harpsichord/Organ Repertoire Class
MPE 1260
/ 1 credit / Every semester
Covers the full range of basic repertoire for the harpsichord and organ. Students perform and actively participate in the analytical and critical process for pedagogical purposes.

Viola for Violinists
MPE 1270
/ 2 credits / Every semester
An introduction to the viola for violinists. Students gain proficiency in the alto clef, familiarity with sound production, and techniques of the bow and left hand as considered from a different perspective on the viola. Repertoire is individualized for each student.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Jazz Saxophone Doubling
MPE 1295
/ 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.

Klezmer Ensemble
MPE 1360
/ 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. Offered as SOA 1510 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Italian Art Song Literature I and II
MPE 1370
and 1375 / 1.5 credits (per semester)
I: Fall; II: Spring
A survey course of Italian art songs from the 16th century to modern times; part of the core curriculum for classical voice majors. Presented chronologically, the songs explore the repertoire that forms the core of each linguistic style and historical period. Students learn and perform one song every week in a master-class setting. Integrated with MPE 1380 and MPE 1390.

Italian Diction I and II
MPE 1380
and 1390 / 1 credit (per semester)
I: Fall; II: Spring
An exploration of the principles of Italian diction. The international phonetic alphabet is employed to indicate correct pronunciation. Vigorous application of these principles to the repertoire studied in MPE 1370 and 1375.

Guitar Performance Class
MPE 1400
/ 2 credits / 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 1420
/ 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.

Piano Performance Class
MPE 1480
/ 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.
Prerequisite: MPE 0300

Jazz Orchestra
MPE 1550
/ 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 jazz studies majors.
Prerequisite: Audition

Purchase Latin Jazz Orchestra
MPE 1600
/ 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. Offered as SOA 1530 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: Audition

Studio Programs Ensemble
MPE 1650
/ 2 credits / Every semester
Students develop performance skills in a cross-genre ensemble of popular music styles. While most of the group work takes place in a studio setting, live performance and recording sessions are also included. Students learn the skills of projection, amplification, and audience engagement and have the opportunity to develop their unique performance style and musical voice. Limited to studio composition and studio production majors.

Jazz Combos
MPE 1700
/ 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 jazz studies majors.

Purchase Symphonic Winds
MPE 1800
/ 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 all Purchase College students as well as community residents. Offered as SOA 1525 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Sight Reading Workshop
MPE 1850
/ 1 credit / Every semester
An exploration of the literature for piano-four hands (duets and two pianos) with the objective of developing skill in sight reading, leading to a performance of material read at sight.
Prerequisite: MPE 0300

Movement Styles
MPE 2230
/ 1 credit / Every semester
A course for the singing performer on how to move within the context of different historical periods. It explores the reason for each movement style by offering training in balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength.

Stage Techniques for Singers
MPE 2260
/ 2 credits / Every semester
A performance class designed to develop the language of the stage and its various applications, using pantomime, dance, music, text, character analysis, dramatic readings, meditations, etc. as tools to become comfortable on the stage.

German Art Song Literature I and II
MPE 2370
and 2375 / 1.5 credits (per semester)
I: Fall; II: Spring
A survey course of German art songs; part of the core curriculum for voice majors. Presented chronologically, the songs explore the repertoire that forms the core of each linguistic style and historical period. Students learn and perform one song every week in a master-class setting. Emphasis is on the development of musical skills necessary for the appropriate interpretation of each style. Integrated with MPE 2380 and 2390.

German Diction I and II
MPE 2380
and 2390 / 1 credit (per semester)
I: Fall; II: Spring
An exploration of the principles of German diction. The international phonetic alphabet is employed to indicate correct pronunciation. Vigorous application of these principles to the repertoire studied in MPE 2370 and 2375.

Keyboard Literature I and II
MPE 2550
and 2560 / 2 credits (per semester)
I: Fall; II: Spring
A historical and practical survey of keyboard music from the pre-Renaissance through the Classical Era. Assignments involve the preparation and in-class performance of works from these periods and exploration of lesser-known literature. Discussions and projects relate to the history and performance practice of the period. Offered as SOA 2550 and 2555 for students in other disciplines with no corequisite.
Corequisite: MTH 2510 and 2520

Keyboard Literature III and IV
MPE 2570
and 2580 / 2 credits (per semester)
III: Fall; IV: Spring
A historical and practical survey of keyboard music from the 19th century to the present. Assignments involve the preparation and in-class performance of works from these periods and exploration of lesser-known literature. Discussions and projects relate to the history and performance practice of the period.

Collaborative Piano
MPE 2610
/ 1 credit / Every semester
Study of the art of accompanying singers and instrumentalists. Members of the class perform regularly.

Improvisation for Pianists
MPE 2620
/ 1.5 credits / Alternate years
A practical exploration of the art of improvisation for the classical pianist. Students develop improvisatory techniques using harmonic structures, varied musical textures, rhythmic nuance, and spontaneous counterpoint. This guided approach builds on the belief that accomplished improvisation is a practiced skill. It embraces the historical practice of improvisation as part of performances by composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Liszt.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Opera Coaching
MPE 3260
/ .5 credit / Every semester
Private weekly music coaching (for undergraduates, in the junior and senior years) 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.

Opera Workshop
MPE 3350
/ 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 3355
/ 1 credit / Spring
A practical application of opera rehearsal techniques as studied in MPE 3350.
Corequisite: MPE 3350

French Art Song Literature I and II
MPE 3370
and 3375 / 1.5 credits (per semester)
I: Fall; II: Spring
A survey course of French art songs; part of the core curriculum for classical voice majors. Presented chronologically, the songs explore the repertoire that forms the core of each linguistic style and historical period. Students learn and perform one song every week in a master-class setting. Emphasis is on the development of musical skills necessary for the appropriate interpretation of each style. Integrated with MPE 3380 and 3390.

French Diction I and II
MPE 3380
and 3390 / 1 credit (per semester)
I: Fall; II: Spring
An exploration of the principles of French diction. The international phonetic alphabet is employed to indicate correct pronunciation. Vigorous application of these principles to the repertoire studied in MPE 3370 and 3375.

Conducting Techniques
MPE 3500
/ 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 3510
/ 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.

Orchestral Excerpts
MPE 4000
/ 1 credit / Spring
An opportunity for instrumentalists to become familiar with challenging solo material from the standard orchestral repertoire, enhancing their ability to succeed at auditions.

Junior Recital
(jazz: 45 minutes; strings: minimum 30 minutes; all other junior recitals: 30 minutes)
MPE 3991, 3992, 3993 / 1 credit / Every semester
Senior Recital (60 minutes)
MPE 4991, 4992, 4993 / 1 credit / Every semester
A recital of repertoire or original compositions. While faculty and private teachers work closely with students in its preparation, the recital largely represents an independent effort demonstrating the student’s mastery of a range of literature, a variety of styles and techniques, and the ability to design and execute a substantial program. String players must include a substantial work (from the mid-20th century through the contemporary era) on either their junior or senior recital. Students register as follows: MPE 3992 and 4992, jazz studies recitals; MPE 3993 and 4993, studio composition recitals; MPE 3991 and 4991, all other junior/senior recitals.
Prerequisite: Junior: MPE 0300, 0301, or 0302 (sophomore jury); senior: MPE 3991, 3992, or 3993 (junior recital)

Junior Production (30 minutes)
MPE 3995 / 1 credit / Every semester
Senior Production (60 minutes)
MPE 4950 / 1 credit / Every semester
A CD produced and engineered by each student that demonstrates his or her skills and musicality as a recording engineer and record producer. A 30-minute CD is required for MPE 3995; a 60-minute CD is required for MPE 4950. Material should be newly recorded, not a compilation of early material. MPE 3995 and 4950 are the equivalents of the junior and senior recitals for studio production majors.
Prerequisite: Junior: MPE 0303; senior: MPE 3995


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

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