Course Descriptions

 

MUSC 111 Basics of Singing (.5)

Designed for beginning singers to try out their voices, learn the basics of vocal technique, and develop confidence by performing along side and in front of their classmates. This course may also help a student who is interested in subsequent private lessons or in joining one of Willamette's vocal ensembles. Some musical background and ability to read music is helpful but not required.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Students without any musical training may prefer to start by taking MUSC 160
  • Offering: Alternate years, Spring
  • Instructor: Engbretson

MUSC 121 Creating Music with Technology (1)

Creating music offers insights into the composer's art and a means of personal expression. Current technology allows the opportunity to compose music even for those without traditional skills or training. Intended for the non-music major, this hands-on class will directly involve students in the creation and recording of original music and sound resources. Final project recordings will be presented in a virtual concert.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Students should have basic computing and computer file management skills
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Nord, Miley

MUSC 138 A World of Development: An Introduction to Western Classical Music (1)

This introductory course is designed to give students a deeper understanding of Western classical music by studying different musical styles and trends from each major time period. It will increase students’ grasp of musical fundamentals and structure as well as enhance their powers of aural perception. Students will learn the basic elements of Music, understand some common musical forms and be able to distinguish some of the differences in the masterworks of major composers. No musical background is required. Given the range of subject matter this course shall not attempt an exhaustive survey but students will learn about the variety of music in its evolving historical and cultural context, to enjoy it, to get inside it, and to focus on developing listening skills. Discussion of the ways in which the music of other cultures have influenced both historical and modern trends will also be pursued.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Coen

MUSC 140 Piano Class (.5)

Let’s make music together! This is a course designed for students with little to no piano background wanting to further explore keyboard music. Students will learn reading on the grand staff, ensemble playing, keyboard technique and theory, and perform repertoire from the jazz, pop and classical styles.

  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Zimmerman

MUSC 160 Fundamentals of Music Literacy (1)

Introduction to the Fundamentals of Music intended for those students with little or no background in music. The course covers such topics as treble and bass clefs, major and minor scales, simple and compound meters, triads and seventh chords, and elementary counterpoint. Composition and in-class performance is emphasized.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Gulua

MUSC 161 Musicianship I (1)

Review of the rudiments of music, including clefs, notations, meters and their signatures, key signatures, scales, intervals, triads, and seventh chords. Two-voice composition; triads and seventh chords; the basic phrase model; chorale harmonization and figured bass; leading-tone, predominant, and 6/4 chords; tonic expansions, root progressions, and the mediant triad; the interaction of melody and harmony; and cadences. Laboratory.

  • Prerequisite: by placement or MUSC 160
  • Offering: Fall semester
  • Instructor: Duerksen

MUSC 162 Musicianship II (1)

The course content will include: diatonic sequences, secondary dominants, phrase rhythm, and motivic analysis, tonicization of scale degrees other than V, modulation to closely related keys, binary and ternary forms. Laboratory.

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 161
  • Offering: Spring semester
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSC 190 Independent Study (.5 or 1)

Independent study in a course of one's choice. To be used at the discretion of an individual professor in order to fulfill a student's graduation requirements or to satisfy a student's interests. Such an option will usually be open only to seniors.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSC 199 Topics in Music (1)

A semester-long study of topics in Music. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Professor: Staff

MUSC 207 Improvisation I: Free (1)

Improvisation is an approach to music making that crosses boundaries of medium, style, and culture from rock to raga, jazz to new music. With a focus on free and semi-structured approaches, this class will experiment with a range of musical elements and ideas through hands-on improvisational performance. Interactive improvising with other art forms will also be explored. All instrumentalists/vocalists are welcome. No prior improvisational experience is necessary.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
  • Offering: Spring, Alternate years
  • Instructor: Nord

MUSC 212 Jazz: America and Beyond (1)

This course will present an overview of the evolution, contexts, and creative processes behind the artistry of Jazz music and musicians. Primary focus will be on the recordings of seminal artists. Concert attendance and in-class guest performers will offer additional opportunity for insight into the unique process engaged in improvisational creation. Reading and discussion will offer additional perspectives on the music and the musicians who make it. Students will synthesize these elements, constructing their own understanding of Jazz music and it many dimensions.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Nord, Miley

MUSC 214 Knowing the Score: A History of Music for Film (1)

This course provides a historical overview of music for film, beginning with the earliest attempts to apply sound to moving pictures in the late 1800s through the present day. Particular attention will be given to major stylistic trends and musical developments across the years as they relate to film scoring as a vital and constantly evolving form of artistic expression.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Miley

MUSC 218 Beethoven, His Legacy and the Power of Music (1)

For two centuries, Beethoven has been received and interpreted as the composer who liberated music, and the composer of revolution. Born at a pivotal point in European social and music history, he took the conventions of the ‘classical’ style and molded them into the beginnings of Romanticism in music. The discussions and writing surrounding the reception of his music shaped an entire discourse, often contentious, regarding the true nature of music, and whether it has the possibility to convey meaning. This class will combine elements of a music appreciation course, which deepens our awareness of the way the human experience is reflected in music, along with developing the necessary listening skills to grasp the subtlety of Beethoven’s compositional process. To underscore the universality of rhythm, melody, harmony, structure, and the ways in which these interdependent elements are negotiated, musical examples of many cultures, genres, styles, and historic periods will also be examined.. Concert attendance will be strongly encouraged, if not required. A love for, and curiosity about, music will make the experience more gratifying.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Coen

MUSC 242 Music History I (1)

Survey of Music History from Antiquity music to 20th Century. An introduction and overview of the history of Western Music, basic terminology, the development of musical styles in various historical eras, and the contributions of significant composers. Lectures and presentations supplemented by score study, performance and critical listening.

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 162 or MUSC 133 and MUSC 134
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Agüero

MUSC 245 The Recording Studio Revolution (1)

The recording studio and audio recording technology have revolutionized the way we create, judge, learn, and even define music. Once exclusively the means to document a live performance, studio practice and multitrack technologies have evolved to become the means to compose and produce original music track by track. This class will trace the history of audio recording technology and recording studio practice through readings and listening. Examples will range from the earliest jazz and classical music recordings, to the first sampling and electronic music recordings of the 1940s, to the revolutionary recordings made by Les Paul, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles, to contemporary rock, pop, and hip-hop productions.

  • General Education Requirement: Arts & Humanities
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Nord

MUSC 261 Musicianship III (1)

Topics include: Modal mixture chromatic mediants and submediants, the Neapolitan and augmented sixths, popular song and art song, variation and rondo, sonata form, advanced chromaticism. Laboratory.

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 162
  • Offering: Fall semester
  • Instructor: Duerksen

MUSC 265 Jazz Harmony and Repertoire (1)

Continuing studies in improvisational music and jazz performance practice. Course focuses on understanding chord/scale relationships, exploration of melodic, motivic, and rhythmic improvisational practice, transcription and performance of important recorded improvisations, and developing fluency in jazz language through analysis and memorization of notable jazz standards representing a variety of common song forms. Students will apply theory to their own voice or instrument.

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 162
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Miley

MUSC 266 Diction for Singers I (.5)

Principles of English and Italian phonetics for singing. Learning to apply the International Phonetic Alphabet to song texts in each language.

  • Offering: Fall, Alternate years
  • Instructor: Engbretson

MUSC 267 Diction for Singers II (.5)

Principles of French and German phonetics for singing. Learning to apply the International Phonetic Alphabet to song texts in each language.

  • Offering: Spring, Alternate years
  • Instructor: Engbretson

MUSC 281 Opera: Gender, Sexuality, "Others" (1)

In this course we will examine operas from the 17th century to the present day to gain an understanding of the historical and cultural conditions in which operas have been composed and staged, and to examine recurring themes developed in these works. Topics to be selected from: the impact of star performers (castrati and divas); character types (courtesans); constructions of exotic “others”; and the world of contemporary opera composition and performance, with a focus on works by composers from historically underrepresented groups. Prior musical experience beneficial though not required.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Duerksen

MUSC 290 Independent Study (.5 or 1)

Independent study in a course of one's choice. To be used at the discretion of an individual professor in order to fulfill a student's graduation requirements or to satisfy a student's interests. Such an option will usually be open only to seniors.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSC 299 Topics in Music (1)

A semester-long study of topics in Music. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Professor: Staff

MUSC 314 Knowing the Score: A History of Music for Film (1)

This course provides a historical overview of music for film, beginning with the earliest attempts to apply sound to moving pictures in the late 1800s through the present day. Particular attention will be given to major stylistic trends and musical developments across the years as they relate to film scoring as a vital and constantly evolving form of artistic expression. This 300-level section is intended for Music majors. Students taking this course will meet concurrently with MUSC 214, and will complete additional research projects via writing assignments and creative work in the Ford Hall digital music lab.


MUSC 318W Beethoven, His Legacy and the Power of Music (1)

For two centuries, Beethoven has been received and interpreted as the composer who liberated music, and as the composer of revolution. The discussions and writing surrounding the reception of his music, from other artists and intellectual luminaries, shaped the entire narrative regarding the true nature of music as an art, and whether it had the possibility to convey meaning. The structures developed by his generation still dominate composition. Students taking this course which is co-listed with MUSC 218 will engage with the topic in a more rigourous fashion through the completion of 3 writing projects and one oral presentations.

Discussion and study of Beethoven: the composers of the period, the structures and syntax created, along the growing discourse of the 19th century over the absolute v.s. program music paradox, all satisfy the normal requirements of a topics in music history course.

The papers will extend from the analysis of one work which epitomizes the type of larger structure which became so dominant during the period to a paper which allows the study to correlate a feature of classical style composition with a technique developed later in 19-21st century composition.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Coen

MUSC 331W Advanced Topics in Music Theory and Analysis (1)

In this course students will apply the analytical techniques mastered in Theory III and IV to a few select works that will be studied in depth. The aim of the course is to enhance the understanding of musical style as it applies to individual composers and to musical periods, to engage historical and modern-day music-theoretical and musicological writings relevant to these composers and their works, and to hone students' writing skills in the context of musical analysis.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Prerequisite: MUSC 233 or MUSC 262
  • Offering: Alternate springs
  • Instructor: Duerksen

MUSC 339 Desktop Music Production (1)

Students will explore DAW-based desktop music production techniques through their application to creative projects. These techniques will include virtual instrument sequencing, multimedia sound design and scoring, synthesis, signal processing, and mixing. Collaborative projects across media will be a prominent feature of the class.

  • Prerequisite: Music Major
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Nord

MUSC 340 Composition and Orchestration (1)

This course will focus on applying compositional techniques and processes to original student works scored for different combinations of instruments (strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion) and voices. Students will analyze form and language in tonal and atonal music, learn to understand and apply select modern contemporary compositional techniques (such as set theory, serial process, minimalism, and spatial notation) through regular composition assignments, as well as study the scores of master works in the classical and jazz idioms to learn methods of orchestration. The final project is a fully prepared score and set of parts for an original work for large ensembles.

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 162
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Miley

MUSC 343 Music History II (1)

Examination of 20th century art music from the western canon. On a rotating basis, topical foci may include electronic and electro-acoustic music, symphonic and large ensemble concert music, opera and vocal music, chamber music, and music from historically under-represented groups. Lectures and presentations supplemented by score study, critical listening, readings in contemporaneous literature, lab work, criticism and cultural history.

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 242
  • Offering: Annually
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSC 345 Conducting (1)

Conducting technique, score preparation, rehearsal technique and expressive ensemble conducting. Students gain the necessary skills to effectively communicate musical ideas to their ensembles.

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 162
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Agüero

MUSC 351 Vocal Pedagogy (.5)

This course will examine the anatomy and physiology of the vocal instrument and study the history, theory, and practice of the teaching of singing in Western music. Direct observation of Willamette University voice faculty in studio lessons will be included in the course activities, which will culminate in the practical teaching experience of a series of lessons given by students.

  • Prerequisite: MUSL 170, MUSL 270 (four semesters of private voice instruction)
  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Engbretson

MUSC 390 Independent Study (.5 or 1)

Independent study in a course of one's choice. To be used at the discretion of an individual professor in order to fulfill a student's graduation requirements or to satisfy a student's interests. Such an option will usually be open only to seniors.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSC 399 Topics in Music (1)

A semester-long study of topics in Music. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Professor: Staff

MUSC 425 Recording Studio Music Production (1)

This course will focus on audio recording and mixing technique in a DAW-based studio environment. Through a series of hands-on recording sessions, critical listening exercises, and readings students will develop competency in a range of techniques. These competencies will then be applied to each student’s independent production of an audio portfolio CD. Students can also expect a number of collaborative projects across disciplines with a view towards developing competencies applicable to the range of media production settings.

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 121 or MUSC 339
  • Offering: Spring, Alternate years
  • Instructor: Nord

MUSC 429 Topics in Music (1)

A semester-long study of topics in Music. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Professor: Staff

MUSC 445 Topics in Music History (1)

Advanced study in music history, topics ranging from a specialized course in one composer (eg. Stravinsky), period (eg. late nineteenth-century), genre (eg. symphony), syntax and style (eg. serialism of the 1950's) or combination of these elements (eg. romantic opera from Weber to Wagner). Faculty and student interests and needs will determine specific content.

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 343
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Duerksen

MUSC 490 Independent Study (.5 or 1)

Independent study in a course of one's choice. To be used at the discretion of an individual professor in order to fulfill a student's graduation requirements or to satisfy a student's interests. Such an option will usually be open only to seniors.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSC 495 Senior Project (.5)

Senior music majors will complete a summative project to review by a faculty committee. The project may be a recital, a large-scale composition, a studio production with supporting materials, or a research thesis paper. In each case the work is proposed, planned, and completed in consultation with sponsoring faculty member(s).

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSC 496 Senior Recital (.5)

Preparation by all Bachelor of Music candidates in Performance, and by other suitable candidates, of representative works from all appropriate major stylistic periods. Required of all Performance Majors.

  • Offering: Infrequently; Phasing out
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSE 029X University Chamber Orchestra (.25)

The UCO presents two full concert programs each academic year including both chamber and symphonic works. Artist-mentors from the Oregon Symphony and Willamette faculty play alongside students in the annual fall concert and winners from the annual Concerto-Aria Soloists Competition are featured in the spring concert. In addition, the orchestra collaborates with the Dramatic Vocal Arts in the spring semester for an opera production.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Open to all students by audition
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Agüero

MUSE 031X Jazz Ensemble (.25)

The Willamette Jazz Collective is the premiere instrumental jazz ensemble at Willamette University. Comprising a full rhythm section with six to eight melodic instruments (winds/strings), this select group of 12 to 14 musicians performs compositions and arrangements from across the full spectrum of jazz, ranging from the music of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus to modern works by John Hollenbeck and Maria Schneider. In addition to a creative focus on high level ensemble communication and improvisation, the WJC places special emphasis on the music of today, with frequent premieres of original works by emerging jazz composers, unique re-imaginings of popular songs from other genres and compositions and arrangements by Willamette University students.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Open to qualified instrumentalists by audition
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Miley

MUSE 032X Wind Ensemble (.25)

The Willamette University Wind Ensemble is a large wind and percussion ensemble. The ensemble performs music from a wide variety of styles, time periods, and traditions and gives two or three public concerts per semester. The Wind Ensemble is open to all students regardless of academic concentration.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Agüero

MUSE 034X Dramatic Vocal Arts (.25)

This workshop offers students a rich experience with opera, and an in-depth integration of stage movement, character analysis and vocal skill. The Dramatic Vocal Arts presents two productions during the school year. One evening of operatic scenes with piano accompaniment is performed during the fall semester, and one fully staged, costumed production with orchestral accompaniment is presented during the spring semester. In this class, students develop the skills needed to pursue a professional career. Recent productions include Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Die Fledermaus, by Johann Strauss, Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, Our Town by Ned Rorem, and Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Open to qualified musicians by audition
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Skovira

MUSE 036X Chamber Music (.25)

The coaching and performing of major works from the chamber music literature, with emphasis on rehearsal technique and small ensemble skills. Typical chamber groups are: Flute Choir, Trumpet Choir, Trombone Choir, Woodwind Quartet, Waller String Quartet, Brass Quintet, and Small Jazz Ensemble. Other chamber groups may be created depending on the availability of qualified instrumentalists. May be repeated for credit.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSE 037X Willamette Singers (.25)

Exploration of vocal jazz literature for small groups. Performs both on and off campus and tours annually. May be repeated for credit.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Open to qualified musicians by audition
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Long

MUSE 040X Chamber Choir (.25)

Exploration of choral literature from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary style periods, including both unaccompanied and instrumentally accompanied works. In some years a concert tour is taken. May be repeated for credit.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Open to advanced musicians by audition
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Long

MUSE 043X Voce Femminile (.25)

Exploration of a wide variety of choral literature suitable for female voices. Particular attention will be given to the development of vocal technique and musicianship. May be repeated for credit.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Open to qualified musicians by audition
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Engbretson

MUSE 044X Male Ensemble Willamette (.25)

Exploration of a wide variety of choral literature suitable for male voices. Particular attention will be given to the development of vocal technique and musicianship. May be repeated for credit.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: Open to qualified musicians by audition
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Klemme

MUSE 099X Seminar in the Art of Piano Accompanying (.25)

The study of the art of piano accompanying. Emphasis on sight reading and the development of the listening and interpreting skills necessary for successful ensemble performance. Weekly seminar which includes live performances by students, lectures, discussions and assigned listening. May be repeated for credit.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Coen

MUSE 102X Coordinate Movement for Musicians (.25)

This course is designed for students interested in exploring movement as it relates to playing a musical instrument, singing or acting. Students will learn Body Mapping, a method for improving coordination. Participants gain ease in performing, learn how improved coordination enables them to better avoid fatigue, injury and technical limitation, and thereby be able to more completely realize their musical and artistic intentions.

  • Prerequisite: Experience with singing or playing an instrument (need not be advanced)
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSE 160X Rhythm Workshop (.25)

An exploration of the various components of the rhythmic language in western and world musics, culminating in a public performance featuring both pre-composed and improvised works. Meets two hours per week. Required of all music majors and minors.

  • Offering: Fall Semester
  • Instructor: Miley

MUSL 170 Applied Instrumental and Vocal Instruction (.25 or .5)

First year development of applied instrumental and vocal skills, starting with the student's level of attainment. May be repeated for credit.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: MUSC 111; consent of instructor
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSL 270 Applied Instrumental and Vocal Instruction (.25 or .5)

Second year development of applied instrumental and vocal skills, starting with the student's level of attainment. May be repeated for credit.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: MUSL 170; consent of instructor
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSL 370 Applied Instrumental and Vocal Instruction (.25 or .5 or 1)

Second year development of applied instrumental and vocal skills, starting with the student's level of attainment. May be repeated for credit.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: MUSL 270; consent of instructor
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

MUSL 470 Applied Instrumental and Vocal Instruction (.25 or .5 or 1)

Second year development of applied instrumental and vocal skills, starting with the student's level of attainment. May be repeated for credit.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Arts & Humanities
  • Prerequisite: MUSL 370; consent of instructor
  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff