Undergraduate Music Courses: MTH 1000–4999

Music Theory I, II, III, IV, V
MTH 1010, 1020, 2050, 3050, 4050

2 credits (per semester)
I, III, V: Fall; II, IV: Spring
The core music theory curriculum for classical music students (five sequential semesters). Designed to provide a thorough background in musical structure, the course material is an integrated presentation of concepts and disciplines, including fundamentals, species counterpoint, and traditional harmony. Other important topics are rhythmic organization, analysis and composition of melodies, phrase structure, and harmonic analysis of excerpts from the standard repertoire.
Corequisite: MTH 1410, 1420, 2410, 2420, 3410, and MPE 1010

Solfège I, II, III, IV, V, VI
MTH 1410, 1420, 2410, 2420, 3410, 3420

1.5 credits (per semester)
I, III, V: Fall; II, IV, VI: Spring
Exercises in sight singing and ear training; modal, tonal, chromatic, and atonal melodies in seven clefs; rhythmic exercises to three voices; and melodic, rhythmic, and chordal dictation. Six sequential semesters required.
Corequisite: MTH 1010, 1020, 2050, 3050, 4050, and MPE 1010

Studio Ear Training I, II, III, IV
MTH 1415, 1425, 2415, 2425

1.5 credits (per semester)
I, III: Fall; II, IV: Spring
Topics include hearing chord progressions, from simple to complex; singing and analysis of pop, jazz, rock, and symphonic compositions; and rhythmic dictation and playing by ear. More advanced topics include transcribing bass lines and melodies, African rhythm, and simple improvisation.

Jazz Ear Training I, II, III, IV
MTH 1430, 1440, 2430, 2440

1.5 credits (per semester)
I, III: Fall; II, IV: Spring
Development of the ear specific to the jazz vernacular, focusing on melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic models. The methodology presented in each class is applied in ear training sessions with class partners. Dictation and singing are used to develop aural skills. Students learn to hear and transcribe contextual examples of jazz and to respond accurately while participating in performance settings. Limited to jazz studies majors.

Vocal Ear Training I, II, III, IV
MTH 1436, 1446, 2436, 2446
1.5 credits (per semester)
I, III: Fall; II, IV: Spring
An extensive exploration of the elements of sight singing, rhythmic study, and solfège, with progressive practical application throughout four semesters of study.

Vocal Keyboard Skills I, II, III, IV
MTH 1437, 1447, 2437, 2447

1 credit (per semester)
I, III: Fall; II, IV: Spring
Establishes a familiarity with the keyboard and a thorough knowledge of essential skills to empower students in their pursuit of independent repertoire study.

Introduction to World Music
MTH 1560
/ 2 credits / Spring
The music of Japan, India, West Africa, Cuba, and Brazil is compared and contrasted. Topics include the use of music in each respective society; musical forms; types of instruments; and the impact of history, religion, and politics on the music. Offered as SOA 1560 for students in other disciplines.

World Music and Jazz Traditions
MTH 2230
/ 2 credits / Fall
An overview of world music and an introduction to the indigenous American art form of jazz. Students explore music from many cultures, including Africa, the Caribbean, India, China, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, the Middle East, and Latin America. The course also surveys traditional jazz styles and their roots, including the blues, Dixieland, swing, and bebop. These varied musical traditions are presented within both their unique cultural contexts and a modern global context. Offered as SOA 2580 for students in other disciplines.

Survey of Music History I and II
MTH 2510
and 2520 / 3 credits (per semester)
I: Fall; II: Spring
Traces the history of Western concert music, providing an overview and foundation. The course begins with a focus on world music, placing Western concert music in the greater context of its relationship to other cultures. The musical cultures of India and the Arabic countries of North Africa are examined for their impact on Western concepts. MTH 2510 and 2520 may be taken in either order. MTH 2520 is offered as SOA 2505 for students in other disciplines.
Corequisite (for classical music students): MTH 2050 and 3050

Orchestration I
MTH 3070
/ 2 credits / Fall
A practical introductory study of idiomatic writing for traditional instruments. Instrumental characteristics, timbral balance, dynamics, articulation, and texture. Scoring of fragments of works for ensembles of two to 20 instruments.
Prerequisite: MTH 3050 or MCO 2020 or permission of instructor

Orchestration II
MTH 3080
/ 2 credits / Spring
A continuation of MTH 3070. Scoring for complex traditional ensembles, including string orchestra, winds, full percussion, symphony, operatic, film, and theatre orchestras. Score analysis from Monteverdi to Stockhausen.
Prerequisite: MTH 3050 or MCO 2020 or permission of instructor

Techniques of Composition for Performers
MTH 3170
/ 2 credits / Alternate years (Spring)
An opportunity for instrumentalists to experience writing music. Each project is based on an existing work that students absorb and analyze before creating a work of their own. Through compositional models, students explore contemporary theory and the compositional thought process, which will enrich their lives as interpreters. All student pieces are performed in class.

Electroacoustic Music I
MTH 3180
/ 2 credits / Fall
A historical overview of electroacoustic music, beginning in the late 1940s with the devotees of musique concrète, recorded natural sounds, and synthesized tone construction. Students learn about the gradual evolution of technology and composition and its impact on many music traditions and trends. Offered as SOA 3550 for students in other disciplines.

Electroacoustic Music II
MTH 3190
/ 2 credits / Spring
An overview of current creative trends in electroacoustic music. Contemporary digital music systems offer unprecedented dynamic control over timbre. This course reviews aspects of musical acoustics and psychoacoustics and explores electroacoustic simulation through recent experimental examples. Offered as SOA 3555 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: MTH 3180 or permission of instructor

Improvisation for Classical Musicians
MTH 3370
/ 2 credits / Alternate years (Spring)
Fosters deep understanding of music theory by returning to 18th-century training methods that employ analysis and synthesis together, in place of the current reliance on analysis alone. On the basis of analysis of theoretical principles of 18th-century models of ornamentation, free fantasias, basso continuo, and cadenzas, students learn to do original work in these genres.

Jazz History I and II
MTH 3400
and 3450 / 3 credits (per semester)
I: Fall; II: Spring
Surveys the history and evolution of jazz from its West African origins and migration to the present. While emphasis is on listening to and analyzing recorded examples, sociopolitical and economic issues are also examined. Students learn to identify stylistic and contextual aspects of jazz based solely on listening and develop a familiarity with the major stylistic innovators from all eras. Readings from scholarly works help provide a comprehensive overview of America’s indigenous music. Limited to jazz studies majors.

Music Since 1900
MTH 3510
/ 2 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Examines major developments and trends in 20th-century musical style, including impressionism, primitivism, expressionism, and neoclassicism. Studies include an examination of cultural and social movements as expressed through other art forms.
Prerequisite: MTH 2520

Music From Antiquity
MTH 3575
/ 2 credits / Fall
Taught from both musical and social perspectives, this course explores the history of music from its earliest surviving roots in ancient Greece through the opening of the Baroque era. Topics include plainchant, the rise of polyphony, development of notation, rhythmic modes, the Burgundian school, the effects of Renaissance humanism on musical culture, the Renaissance madrigal, basso continuo, and opera.
Prerequisite: MTH 2510 and 2520 and an excellent command of English (reading and writing)

Music of the Common Practice Era
MTH 3576
/ 2 credits / Spring
A study of repertoire, social history, performance practice, and changing aesthetics of music in the period c. 1750–1880, concentrating on works by C.P.E. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, von Weber, Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, Wagner, and Tchaikovsky. Students are encouraged to investigate and understand stylistic foundations, analytical workings, reception history, and philosophical implications of important musical works of the period.
Prerequisite: MTH 2510 and 2520 and an excellent command of English (reading and writing)

Expansion of Chromaticism
MTH 3577
/ 2 credits / Fall
An in-depth look at the period of musical evolution that occurred between the collapse of a “common practice” in music (the closing decades of the 19th century) and World War II. Styles investigated include primitivism, futurism, extreme chromaticism extending into atonality, bitonality, impressionism, expressionism, decadent symbolism, and neoclassicism.
Prerequisite: MTH 2510 and 2520 and an excellent command of English (reading and writing)

Music Since 1945
MTH 3578
/ 2 credits / Spring
Presents an in-depth look at expansions of serial technique by the Darmstadt group; the rise of the American avant-garde; the emergence of a newly contextualized tonality; minimalism, mostly in the works of such Americans as Reich, Glass, and Adams, with some works by Pärt and Górecki; and expressions of postmodernism by artists as diverse as Brian Eno, Meredith Monk, Laurie Anderson, and Björk.
Prerequisite: MTH 2510 and 2520 and excellent command of English (reading and writing)

The Music of J.S. Bach
MTH 3600
/ 2 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Bach and his music are engaged from historical, social, generic, analytic, and performance-based perspectives. Students examine Bach’s inventiveness in cross-pollinating genres as well as his contrapuntal genius, fascination with musical instrument building, and expansion of the professional life of musicians. In addition to written assignments, each student gives a lecture-demonstration on a work (or segment of a work) by Bach. Offered as SOA 3600 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: MTH 2510 and 2520 and LWR 1110

The Music of Beethoven
MTH 3620
/ 2 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A study of the stylistic influences surrounding Beethoven’s music; the history of its reception; its formal, thematic, and harmonic construction; and how it interrogates other works. The tripartite division of Beethoven’s life is scrutinized and evaluated for its applicability (or lack thereof) to various parts of his repertoire. Students give a lecture-demonstration of one work (or one part of a work). Offered as SOA 3540 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: MTH 2510 and 2520 and LWR 1110

Berlioz, Wagner, and Liszt
MTH 3630
/ 2 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A study of the lives, output, and philosophies of the three composers of largely programmatic music who comprised the New German School and were opposed strongly by Brahms and Eduard Hanslick. The rich corpus of prose works (primarily those printed in Die neue Zeitschrift für Musik) left by these composers is used to interrogate their musical scores.
Prerequisite: MTH 2510 and 2520 and LWR 1110

Mahler and Strauss
MTH 3670
/ 2 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
The lives, output, and collaborations of Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss are explored in the context of the heady atmosphere of the Viennese fin de sècle. Discussions of political and social upheavals (Dr. Karl Luger, the Ringstrasse project, and Klimt and the Secessionist movement) are mixed with examination and analysis of representative works, predominantly orchestral songs and symphonies/tone poems.

Shostakovich and the Soviet Era
MTH 3680
/ 2 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Examines the works of Dmitri Shostakovich, the greatest of the Soviet-era Russian composers and one of the top symphonists of the 20th century. Soviet politics are examined in relation to the arts, Shostakovich’s official condemnations and rehabilitations, and his major works for opera, ballet, piano, chamber, symphonic, and vocal repertoire.
Prerequisite: MTH 2510 and 2520 and LWR 1110

Seminar in Analysis
MTH 4010
/ 2 credits / Spring
Analysis of selected works from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras, with particular attention to tonal design and rhythmic and phraseological structure.
Prerequisite: MTH 4050

Post-Tonal Theory and Analysis
MTH 4075
/ 2 credits / Alternate years (Spring)
Students examine and contextualize many of the important works from the Second Viennese School and beyond. Special emphasis is given to the impact of such early 20th-century figures as Schoenberg and Stravinsky, opera, innovations in the work of Oliver Messiaen, and music by living composers. Major political and social changes during the century are factored into the musical discussions.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

History of Recorded Music I: Blues to Bebop
MTH 4120
/ 2 credits / Fall
American popular music and its recording techniques (to 1950): ragtime, gospel, blues, vaudeville, New Orleans brass band, swing, Tin Pan Alley, bebop, and early rhythm and blues. Analysis and performance. Offered as SOA 4600 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite for MTH 4120: Two years as a music major

History of Recorded Music II: Bebop to Hip-Hop
MTH 4130
/ 2 credits / Spring
A continuation of MTH 4120. Cool, mainstream, progressive/free jazz, rhythm and blues, country and western, Broadway, rock ’n’ roll, reggae, soul and Motown, fusion, disco, punk, metal, and hip-hop. Analysis and performance. Offered as SOA 4610 for students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite for MTH 4130: Two years as a music major

Opera History I and II
MTH 4211 and 4212 / 1.5 credits (per semester)
I: Fall; II: Spring
A chronological survey of major operas and opera composers from the early 1600s to the present in cultural context. Participants research and write critical analyses based on documentation of early performances and, when available, archival recordings. MTH 4211 is offered as SOA 4590 and MTH 4214 is offered as SOA 4595 for students in other disciplines.

Opera Literature I and II
MTH 4213 and 4214 / 1.5 credits (per semester)
I: Fall; II: Spring
An integrated companion to MTH 4211 and 4212, focusing on historic performance styles and their practical application. Participants learn and present excerpts from each major historical operatic period.

The Golden Age of Recorded Opera
MTH 4225
/ 1.5 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Students listen to recordings of such preeminent artists as Birgit Nilsson, Leontyn Price, Teresa Berganza, Christa Ludwig, Nicolai Gedda, and Leonard Warren from the golden age of recorded opera (1950–1985). Attention is paid to the variety of styles, techniques, and interpretations found in various arias, ensembles, and art songs.

The Magic of the Fugue
MTH 4320
/ 2 credits / Alternate years (Spring)
Provides training in composing and analyzing fugues based on teaching methods outlined in The Art of the Fugue (1750) by J.S. Bach. Each lecture illuminates one of Bach’s teaching points and is followed by written assignments. The final exam is the composition of a fugue on a given subject.


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

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