Music Studies Courses
An intensive course on musicianship and theory. Its goal is to develop a foundation in the theory and practice of music. It covers notation, ear-training, scales and modes, intervals, triads, seventh chords, chord progressions, melody, rhythm and form. It also includes basic principles of counterpoint and analysis. Written exercises are required weekly.
A general introduction to the history and genres of music as these developed in Europe and America from the Middle Ages through the 20th Century.
Credit earned by singing in one of the choral ensembles on campus and performing in end-of-semester concerts. For details on the various groups see www.usfca.edu/artsci/music. Sections available include: USF Classical Choral Ensembles, Gospel Choir, ASUSF Voices, and St. Ignatius Choir.
Credit earned by performing in one of the instrumental ensembles on campus. Sections available: Jazz Ensemble, Latin American Music Ensemble, USF Dons Marching Band, Chamber Music Ensemble, and Computer Music: Laptop Ensemble. For details on the various groups see www.usfca.edu/artsci/music.
Credit earned by taking voice lessons, preparing repertoire appropriate to the student's level, taking part in the midterm evaluations ("juries") and participating in some form (performer or crew) in the Music Student Showcase.
Credit earned by taking guitar lessons, preparing repertoire appropriate to the student's level, taking part in the midterm evaluations ("juries") and participating in some form (performer or crew) in the Music Student Showcase.
Credit earned by taking piano lessons, preparing repertoire appropriate to the student's level, taking part in the midterm evaluations ("juries") and participating in some form (performer or crew) in the Music Student Showcase.
Credit earned by taking violin or viola lessons, preparing repertoire appropriate to the student's level, taking part in the midterm evaluations ("juries") and participating in some form (performer or crew) in the Music Student Showcase.
Credit earned by taking flute, oboe or piccolo lessons, preparing repertoire appropriate to the student's level, taking part in the midterm evaluations ("juries") and participating in some form (performer or crew) in the Music Student Showcase.
Careers in music are often accompanied by physical problems such as back pain, tendinitis and repetitive stress injuries. The Alexander Technique is an educational process that helps musicians use their "primary instrument"- mind and body- without strain and excessive tension. All the basic principles of the Technique will be covered and all students will participate in applying the Technique to performance and counteracting stage fright and nervousness. No pre-requisite, required of PASJ majors with Music Concentration.
This course looks at the relationship between music and social justice. Using case studies from different historical times and different parts of the world we will examine how musicians create and perform music both in reaction to the social environment and to change it. Required for PASJ majors with music concentration, and Music Minors, or by permission of instructor.
An interesting introduction to a topic in the field of Music.
This survey course offers a general introduction to the most influential popular music styles in the United States from 1850 to the present. The approach is interdisciplinary, but the focus is on analyzing music sounds alongside historical studies. Popular music styles will be culturally situated, analyzed for their role in broader social and political movements, technological advances and engagement with mass media and commercial industries.
This course presents an overview of the history of jazz music, both in terms of the imporant stylistic innovations in its musical forms and of the cultural impact that musicians have had on contemporary United States. We consider jazz music and its performance as a cultural practice, assessing its importance for its political efficacy and as a tool to promote social change and expose social injustices, while simultaneously celebrating individual achievements and empowering participants.
Music can be a vehicle for social change and singing songs can comment on as well as affect changes within society. Using multicultural case studies from the US and Latin America, we consider how musicians and activists use musical sounds and performance practices as tools to empower people. The class contains a historical survey/lecture component and a performance lab component (no prior musical experience required).
This introductory survey course explores the sounds, history, modes of engagement, circulation, and political and social aspects of influential transnational music styles found throughout "the Americas", including music from North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Students examine the cross-cultural interactions that led to the creation of the music we study, and enhance their listening skills with the help of readings and class discussions.
This introductory survey course explores different musical forms and genres from various Asian cultures, as well as contemporary music made by Asian Americans. Students will attend concerts, develop listening skills, and investigate these musics' aesthetics, meanings, and sociological contexts.
This introductory survey course provides students with an overview of phenomenal richness of Africa's musical and rhythmic landscape. We examine the impact of a rapidly changing technological world and its influence on the traditional musics of Africa, as well as the sociocultural implications of such changes.
This course explores some of the more prominent music styles of Brazil. These
styles will be introduced to students through the exploration of
musical sounds, aesthetics, performance practices and contextualized
within the distinctive socio-political moments of emergence and the role
they play in articulating multiple identities and senses of belonging.
An exploration of the romantic literature for the piano through dozens of short pieces by Chopin, Liszt, Brahms and Clara Schumann, Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn and others. We will also discuss the romantic movement in general and issues such as the role of the artist in society and of women composers and performers.
Opera is a singular genre, one involving multiple art forms (literature/acting/dance/set design/costumes, etc.). This survey course introduces students to the history and development of the operatic genre. Class meetings include discussions of staging and directing, reception and social implications. Students attend at least three live concerts as part of the course work. No prerequisite except intellectual curiosity and propensity to enjoy learning something new.
This course explores how gender roles have influenced composers, performers, and listeners of Western music from the Middle Ages to the present. We will look at case studies including operas that featured castrati and women dressed as men. We will discuss women composers who worked in both traditional and avant-garde styles. We will also examine popular genres such as blues and disco and artists like David Bowie and Lady Gaga.
In-depth study of selected operas composed by W. A. Mozart (Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan tutte and The Magic Flute). Each opera is examined within the context of its creation and reception in 18th century Vienna, is scrutinized for how issues of gender and class are presented on stage. Students learn about opera as a genre, its social role and implications, and the methods to analyze plots and musical forms of individual works, to consider how music changes our understanding of the text or how singing differs from speech.
An intensive course in diatonic harmony, including ear training, four-part writing, and analysis of phrase, melody, and simple forms. Excerpts for analysis are taken from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic literature. A placement test will be administered on the first day of class. Prerequisite: placement test, MUS 100, or AP Music.
An in-depth study of European Art Music within its historic, social, political, and economic environment, with emphasis placed on analysis of representative pieces of all eras and genres. Secular and sacred, vocal and instrumental music from the origins of notation in the 9th century to the present time. Prerequisite: MUS 300 (or MUS 100 and permission of instructor).
Examination of the development of art and music within the Western tradition from the Middle Ages to the present through the study of representative figures. Focuses on the direction of changes as seen in the work of a few major artists and musicians. Offered Fall.
This course introduces students to ethnomusicology, the study of music using anthropological methods, using case studies of music from selected traditions from around the world. We will explore various modes of engagement with music by analyzing academic texts, doing in-class listening and performance labs, and participating in fieldwork research in the SF Bay Area.
An intensive course in chromatic harmony, covering analysis, ear training, four-part writing (figured bass and harmonization), modulation and larger forms (rondo, sonata, and fugue). Music for analysis is chosen primarily from the Classical, Romantic, and Modern literature. Prerequisite: MUS 300 (or MUS 100 and permission of instructor).
A course primarily for PASJ majors/Music concentrators and Music Minors, or by permission of instructor. Students will study the art form of song writing in different styles and historical periods, specifically the intertwining of harmony, melody, rhythm and text to create an art form. Prerequisite: MUS 300 (or MUS 100 and permission of instructor).
In this course students learn about sound and the computer, investigating established principles of computer audio such as synthesis techniques, sound sampling, digital signal processing, file formats and audio processing. Applications of digital audio for video will also be included.
Students receive hands-on training in the basic skills needed to conduct ensembles performing music from Western Art music traditions, indlucing: baton technique, non-verbal communication methods, commonly used terminology, and score reading/interpretation. Prerequisite: MUS 300 or permission of instructor.
One-time offerings of special interest courses in music.
A course for PASJ majors with a Music Concentration. This seminar will cover one particular topics of Non-Western Music every time it is offered. Examples may include music of one particular cultural and geographic area (the Andes, Sub-Saharan Africa) or a particular tradition.
A course for PASJ majors with a Music Concentration. This seminar will cover one particular topic every time it is offered. Examples may include Romanticism in Music, The Symphony from 1780-1880, Reformation and Counter-Reformation Music, Baroque Oratorio and Cantara, etc. Prerequisite is MUS 301 or instructor's permission.
Required for all PASJ majors, this is the final course in the major where students will develop an individual or collective project in their area of concentration.