MUSC-200, The Nature of Music
Five class periods. Open to Uppers and Seniors only. This course offers a basic introduction to music literature, theory, performance, and composition. Music from many cultures and historical periods is examined in an attempt to increase student awareness of the patterns of syntax and vocabulary that comprise all musical language. Students compose several original compositions, and they also receive instruction on musical instruments. No previous experience in music is required.
MUSC-225, The Nature of Music A
Five class periods. Open to Juniors and Lowers only. This course offers a basic introduction to music literature, theory, performance, and composition. Music from many cultures and historical periods is examined in an attempt to increase student awareness of the patterns of syntax and vocabulary that comprise all musical language. Students compose several original compositions, and they also receive instruction on musical instruments. No previous experience in music is required.
MUSC-235, The Nature of Music B
Five class periods. Open to Juniors and Lowers only. This course is designed for students who have had some experience reading music and playing an instrument. As a more advanced version of MUSC-225, it will include more extensive experiences in composition. Study of some core works of music literature from a variety of cultures will help develop listening skills, and there will be opportunities for live music-making in class.
MUSC-310, Jazz History
Four class periods. This course begins by examining jazz's mixture of African and European traditions and the subsequent pre-jazz styles of spiritual, blues, and ragtime. We then proceed with a study of 20th century jazz styles beginning with New Orleans and culminating with the multifaceted creations of today's artists. Along the way we pay tribute to the work of some of jazz's most influential innovators, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis. Original recordings, photographs, and videos are used extensively throughout the term. (Mr. Cirelli)
Formerly MUSC-420. Four class periods (two singles, one double). The art of improvisation has appeared in the musical styles of many different cultures, though it is best known for its central role in jazz performance. Students will begin by employing and refining their aural skills while improvising in the styles of early blues and jazz musicians. We will then explore more advanced harmonic concepts and begin improvising in increasingly complex styles, including those of contemporary popular music and modern jazz. Assessments will include quizzes, tests, transcriptions, and performance. (Mr. Cirelli) Prerequisite: Open to intermediate and advanced instrumentalists and vocalists from all musical backgrounds who are familiar with music notation.
MUSC-330/1, Topics in Western Music History
Formerly MUSC-250. Five class periods. A one-term survey of Western music history focusing on 18th-century Classicism and 19th-century Romanticism. Music is viewed as a mirror of its time. Selected readings and repertoire from these musical time periods are studied through melody, harmony, rhythm, form, and style, as well as literature, religion, mythology, politics, and biographies. (Mr. Lorenco)
MUSC-330/2, Topics in Western Music History
Formerly MUSC-250. Five class periods. A one-term survey of Western music history focusing on music from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Contemporary time periods. Included is the study of American music, including jazz and rock genres. Repertoire from these musical time periods is studied through melody, harmony, rhythm, form, and style, as well as literature, religion, mythology, politics, and biographies. (Mr. Lorenco)
MUSC-330A/3, Survey of Music History
Five class periods. A one term survey of Western music history. The course progresses chronologically from classical antiquity to the music of today, exploring along the way the religious, social, historical, and human issues surrounding music and its composition. Students who took MUSC-330/1 and/or MUSC-330/2 are not eligible for this course. (Mr. Lorenco)
MUSC-340, African Music & Culture
Honors/Pass/Fail. Four class periods. This course introduces the role of music in indigenous Africa with an emphasis on Yoruba Orisha Music and its linguistic dimension. It teaches both improvisational and ensemble skills, and cites Santeria, Candomble, Lucumi, Vodum, Shungo, and Bembe as examples of Yoruba- derived cultural and musical practices in the Americas. The school owns 20 African drums; as many as 20 students can be enrolled in the course. If failed, this course cannot be made up by examination. In addition, this course cannot be taken as part of a four-course program. A $30 fee is charged for the use of the school's African drums. (Mr. Alade)
MUSC-350, Film Scoring: Influencing Audiences
Five class periods. In this course, students will study film music through extensive compositional exercises, analysis of film music from various genres and time periods, and readings regarding the historical uses and practices of film music composition. The course will begin with an introduction to a wide variety of compositional styles and techniques employed throughout the history of film, including changes resulting from increased technological resources throughout the century. Students will then engage in several composition projects in which they will compose music for film scenes from different genres, such as drama, horror, romance, and action/adventure. Though this course will primarily focus on music from the 20th century, students will also learn about how certain composers connected music to visual images in classical concert music prior to 1900. Prerequisite: Successful completion of a 200-level music course. (Ms. Landolt)
MUSC-360, Electronic Music
Four class periods. This composition course is designed to enable students with modest notational skills to use electronic equipment in order to compose music. Equipment used includes mixing board, analog and four-track tape recorders, digital stereo and eight-track recorders, analog and digitally controlled synthesizers, drum machine, Macintosh computer, and sequencing software (Professional Performer). Projects include compositions in the style of musique concrete and other sound collages using synthesizers. Space limitations in the electronic music studio require that the course be limited to nine students per term. Students must reserve three two-hour private work sessions in the studio per week. A lab fee of $30 is charged for the use of the equipment. This course does not focus on popular music. MUSC-360, if failed, cannot be made up by examination. (Mr. Monaco)
MUSC-400, Introduction to Theory and Composition
Five class periods. This course is designed to give students a vocabulary to further understand and describe the music they will encounter. After beginning the year learning hand-written musical notation, the study of scales, intervals, tonality, harmony, melodic organization, voice leading in two parts and harmonic dictation ensues. After this study is complete, students will be in a position to knowledgeably describe every aspect of a typical piece of music that they may come across. Ear training skills are developed through dictation and sight singing. Students will begin composing near the end of the term, but it should be noted that most compositional activity will be in the winter and spring. Those taking this course in the fall are encouraged to combine it with MUSC-540 and MUSC-550 to form a yearlong AP music theory sequence.
MUSC-410, The Musical Brain
Four class periods. It's difficult to imagine daily life without music or an iPod; music is an integral part of the personal and communal tapestry of daily life. This elective will explore answers to why music matters so much to us as individuals and as a species. We will reflect upon the role of music in our own lives through an introduction to the rapidly evolving field of inquiry and research related to music and the brain. Through reading assignments, listening assignments and classroom activities, we will explore the basic science of sound, musical perception, musical cognition and current theories regarding the role of music in evolutionary biology. Assessment will be based upon regular writing assignments and a culminating final project. (Ms. Aureden) Prerequisite: Successful completion of a music course at the 200-level or above.
MUSC-460, Advanced Electronic Music
Formerly MUSC-370. Four class periods. This course continues to develop the skills and techniques introduced in MUSC-360. A $30 lab fee is charged for the use of the equipment. MUSC-460, if failed, cannot be made up by examination. (Mr. Monaco) Prerequisite: MUSC-360.
MUSC-500C, Chamber Music Performance Seminar
Four class periods. This summary course affords students an opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge to practical music-making through the analysis and performance of chamber music. The process of performance and its attending anxieties will also be studied through readings and exercises. Class work consists of sight-reading, performing, coaching, and discussing chamber works and performance issues. Homework consists of individual practice, group rehearsal, and readings from books about performance. Students are expected to be advanced instrumentalists and they will generally have taken at least MUSC-400. Because different literature is studied each term, this course may be taken more than once. Prerequisite: Permission of the department. If failed, this course cannot be made up by examination.
MUSC-540, Intermediate Theory and Composition
Five class periods. Continuing from where MUSC-400 leaves off, this course begins the students' hands-on compositional development. Small piece are composed almost nightly as students now begin to demonstrate what they previously learned to recognize and describe. Also in this term, students will compose several larger pieces that will be written for, and recorded by, classmates. As the term progresses, the chords of western music are incorporated into their musical vocabulary one by one. Further study in sight singing and ear training help to continue that development. In most years, this term will include a field trip to see the Boston Symphony Orchestra in concert. Prerequisite: MUSC-400 or permission of the instructor.
MUSC-550, Advanced Theory and Composition
Five class periods. Completing the music theory sequence, the focus for the beginning of this term is on preparation for the AP exam in May. Students study non-dominant seventh chords, applied dominant seventh chords and musical form before a week of AP prep. After the AP exam, a larger project is decided upon. Past projects have included studying Chopin's piano preludes, examining poetic meaning in Schubert's songs and composing a 3-5 minute work. Prerequisite: MUSC-540 or permission of the instructor.
Two class periods. Open to all qualified students. The chorus is the Academy's major singing group composed of mixed voices, and it performs a variety of choral works, both sacred and secular. Those wishing to take the course on a non-credit basis need no previous choral participation, just a desire to work hard and attend all the rehearsals. Students taking the course for credit must be taking either voice lessons or a weekly seminar in music theory. If they have not sung in the chorus before, they may take the course for credit only with the permission of the instructor. This course, if failed, cannot be made up by examination. (Mr. Walter)
MUSC-901H, Fidelio Society
Two class periods. Open to all classes. This small group of mixed voices is selected from the chorus (MUSC-900). It performs on numerous occasions throughout the year both on chorus programs and on its own. Its repertoire includes music of all types, early and modern, sacred and secular. Membership is by audition and is conditional upon continued good standing in the chorus. A student may take MUSC-901H and MUSC-900 simultaneously, but only one will be for credit. This course, if failed, cannot be made up by examination. (Mr. Walter)
Two class periods. Open to all qualified students. Try-outs are held any time before the beginning of a term to test the student's ability and to arrange for seating. There are some school-owned instruments available for student use. All types of music for wind ensemble are rehearsed, including marches as well as classical, popular, and show music. Some sight-reading is done, and at least one public concert per term is given. Students taking this course for credit must be taking either instrumental lessons or a weekly seminar in music theory. This course, if failed, cannot be made up by examination. (Mr. Monaco)
MUSC-903H, Jazz Band
Two class periods. Open to all qualified students. Auditions are held at the beginning of the term, as usually only one player per part is accepted. This ensemble is in a typical big band format and performs the repertoire of the groups of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, and Woody Herman, as well as contemporary Latin jazz and jazz/rock fusion compositions. Membership is conditional on continued good standing in the band. Students taking this course for credit must be taking either instrumental lessons or a weekly seminar in music theory. This course, if failed, cannot be made up by examination. (Mr. Cirelli)
MUSC-904, Corelli Chamber Ensemble
Two class periods. Open to all classes, but membership consists primarily of Juniors and Lowers. Students taking Corelli Chamber Ensemble for credit attend Symphony Orchestra and Corelli Chamber Orchestra rehearsals each week. The Corelli Chamber Ensemble performs string orchestral literature and performs once each term. Students electing to take Corelli Chamber Ensemble for credit must be taking either instrumental lessons or a weekly seminar in music theory. This course, if failed, cannot be made up by examination. (Ms. Aureden and Ms. Barnes)
MUSC-905, Amadeus Chamber Ensemble
Two class periods. Open to all classes. Students taking Amadeus Chamber Ensemble for credit attend Symphoney Orchestra and Amadeus Chamber Orchestra rehearsals each week. The Amadeus Chamber Ensemble performs string orchestral literature and performs once each term. Students electing to take Amadeus Chamber Ensemble for credit must be taking either instrumental lessons or a weekly seminar in music theory. This course, if failed, cannot be made up by examination. (Ms. Landolt)
MUSC-906H, Chamber Orchestra
Two class periods. Open to all classes. Most of the music played is for string orchestra; the best winds in the school are invited to join for larger works. While Chamber Orchestra may be elected as a credit-bearing course, it is also an activity in which all are invited to participate. Students taking this course for credit must be taking either instrumental lessons or a weekly seminar in music theory. This course, if failed, cannot be made up by examination. (Mr. Orent)
MUSC-910, Private Instrument and Voice Lessons
Two class periods per week, plus required attendance at three on-campus concerts per term. Open to Lowers, Uppers, and Seniors. Juniors may enroll in the course only with the permission of the department chair. One class meeting each week is a 30-, 45-, or 60-minute instrumental or voice lesson. The other weekly class meeting is a theory seminar that reinforces notational and aural skills. Lessons are available on all band and orchestral instruments and, in addition, on the piano (classical and jazz), organ, harpsichord, harp, guitar (classical, folk, rock, and jazz), bagpipes, and voice. MUSC-910 as a credit course - instrumental lessons may be taken for credit or non-credit - is designed for students of all levels of ability who wish to study an instrument seriously. Instrumental study should not be entered into lightly: This work requires great commitment, self-motivation, independence, and discipline. In order that maximal progress is accomplished in minimal time, MUSC-910 credit students are expected to practice one hour every day. They must also prepare for a performance of their work at the end of the term. MUSC-910 does not count towards fulfilling a credit of the arts requirement. There is an additional fee for private lessons; information regarding these fees is available through the Department of Music. Keyboard players are assessed a charge of $30 per term for their use of practice pianos and organs. The Academy owns many other instruments that may be rented for $30 per term. Financial assistance for lessons and/or instrument rental is available for students who are on scholarship. A MUSC-910 credit student who is classified by the music department as a beginner MUST take MUSC-910 for two consecutive trimesters. Music 910, if failed, cannot be made up by examination.