Music Theory

A number of electives in Music Theory are offered on a regular basis.  They include:

Music 110:  Elements of Musical Pitch and Tone
Professor Ian Quinn
The fundamentals of musical language (notation, rhythm, scales, keys, melodies, and chords), including writing, analysis, singing, and dictation.

Music 207:  Commercial and Popular Music Theory
Professor Nathaniel Adam
An introduction to music-theory analysis of commercial and popular song (with a focus on American and British music of the past 50 years, across multiple genres).

Music 210:  Counterpoint, Harmony, and Form: 1500–1800
Professor Daniel Harrison
A concentrated investigation of basic principles and techniques of period musical composition through study of strict polyphonic voice leading, figuration, harmonic progression, phrase rhythm, and small musical forms.

Music 216: Meter, Rhythm, Musical Time
Professor Rick Cohn
The course focuses on meter, durational rhythm, their interaction across short and long spans of musical time, and their capacity to shape musical form.

Music 217: Keyboard Skills for Tonal Music
This course teaches music-theory keyboard skills such as score reading, melody harmonization, figured-bass realization, and improvisation, and how these topics connect to written music-theory analysis and composition.

Music 218: Aural Skills for Tonal Music
Professor Nathaniel Adam
Tonal music theory topics with an emphasis on sight-sightreading, rhythm, melodic and harmonic dictation, and aural analysis.

Music 290: Introduction to Sound Studies
Professor Brian Kane
A broad introduction to sound studies, an emerging field that analyzes both the technologies and the cultural techniques involved in the production, reception, and meaning of sound and listening. 

Music 307:  Jazz Harmony
Professor Brian Kane
An intensive study of the language of jazz, with a focus on jazz harmonies, scale-chord relationships, improvisational syntax, reharmonization, and transcription. Students analyze and transcribe solos, write model compositions, and acquire basic jazz piano skills. 

Music 318: Intermediate Musicianship
Professor Richard Lalli
Training in advanced aural perception, sight-singing, and keyboard skills.

Music 343:  Music Cognition.
Professor Ian Quinn.
A survey of historical and current approaches to questions about the perception and cognition of music. Topics include psychoacoustics; the cognitive neuroscience of music; relationships between music and language; the nature of musical knowledge; and debates about aesthetics, evolutionary psychology, and musical universals.

Music 402: Tonal Counterpoint: Analysis and Composition
Advanced studies in the theory, analysis, and composition of the music of the early and mid-eighteenth century

Music 470: Noise
Professor Brian Kane
A study of noise from musical, philosophical, and cultural perspectives. Reading and discussion of theoretical, political, ecological, and avant-garde writings on noise; critical study of musical repertoire involving noise, sound art, and recorded sound; introduction to current debates in sound studies and auditory culture; hands-on work with electronic noise.