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Courses

All courses offered by the Department of Music—including private instruction and ensembles—are open to all SCU students regardless of major. Our curriculum is designed to provide students of diverse backgrounds with the skills necessary to comprehend, perform, and appreciate music's role in human history and its power to enhance the lives of all people. Scroll down for a complete listing of our courses.

The Department of Music offers a degree program leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Music as well as a minor in Music. A minor in musical theatre is available in conjunction with the Department of Theatre and Dance.

Lower-Division Courses

1. Music Theory I

Beginning course in a comprehensive theory sequence; covers notation, scales, intervals, chords, rhythm, and meter. Required for musical theatre minor. Prerequisite: None. Majors and minors with extensive theory background are recommended to take the Theory Placement Exam. (4 units)

 

1A. Musicianship I

This is the introductory course in a sequence, offering comprehensive, hands-on training in rhythm, melody, and harmony. MUSC 1 explores the fundamentals of sight reading, sight- singing, ear training, and improvisation. MUSC 1A satisfies the arts core. If you play in a band, sing in a choir, or just want to learn more about music in a hands-on context, this class is for you. Prerequisite: None. This course is recommended to be taken in conjunction with MUSC 1. Majors and minors with extensive theoretical and/or instrumental or vocal training are recommended to take the Musicianship Placement Exam. (4 units)

 

2. Music Theory II

Continuation of Music Theory sequence. Introduction to basic common practice harmonic progressions: triad relationships, part writing, figured bass, and harmonic dictation.
Prerequisite: MUSC 1 or permission of instructor. (4 units)

 

2A. Musicianship II

Continuing course to develop aural skills through solfège and rhythmic training, keyboard harmony, improvisation, and dictation. This course is recommended to be taken in conjunction with MUSC 2. Prerequisite: MUSC 1A or permission of instructor. (4 units)

 

3. Music Theory III

Continuation of Music Theory sequence. Further instruction in common practice harmony; figured bass and part-writing; dominant and diminished seventh chords and resolutions; harmonic dictation and some score analysis. Prerequisite: MUSC 2 or permission of instructor. (4 units)

 

3A. Musicianship III

Continuing course to develop aural skills through solfège and rhythmic training, keyboard harmony, improvisation, and dictation. This course is recommended to be taken in conjunction with MUSC 3. Prerequisite: MUSC 2A or permission of instructor. (4 units)

 

7. Introduction to Listening: Global Music

This course explores the relationship between music and culture as it introduces students to a wide range of musical styles throughout the world. Designed for both majors and minors, students will learn basic ethnomusicological concepts and explore musical cultures from Africa, the Americas, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and Europe. (4 units)

 

8. Introduction to Listening: Western Music

This course offers an introduction to Western music history. Students will learn about musical elements, forms, and techniques through listening, lecture, and performance activities. Designed for both majors and non-majors, this course focuses on strategies for listening to, and writing about music. (4 units)

 

9. Introduction to Listening: Electronic Music

This course combines elements of history, theory, and practice of electronic music. The computer becomes the instrument through which students explore new ways of manipulating and organizing sound. Designed for both majors and non-majors, this course creates a space for discussion and critical listening of different types of electronic music (contemporary, popular, and experimental), culminating in a final creative project by each participant. No previous computer music experience required. (4 units)

 

10. Introduction to Listening: Jazz

This course offers an introduction to jazz music and history, focusing on key stylistic developments and major artists. Designed for both majors and non-majors, this course focuses on strategies for listening to, analyzing, and writing about jazz music. (4 units)

 

11A and 12A. Cultures & Ideas I and II

A two-course sequence focusing on a major theme in human experience and culture over a significant period of time. Courses emphasize either broad global interconnections or the construction of Western culture in its global context. Courses may address music and language; the ways people around the world have cultivated music and used music to cultivate other aspects of themselves and their societies; and other topics. Successful completion of C&I I (MUSC 11A) is a prerequisite for C&I II (MUSC 12A). (4 units each quarter)

 

16/116. Music at Noon

This class is organized around the Music at Noon series of concerts and performances. The weekly series brings the opportunity to experience live performances of music from all parts of the world by artists of local, national, and international renown. Students are required to attend all performances and write a reflective paper that summarizes their individual experience. Required class for music majors and minors. (1 unit)

 

30. Beginning Piano Class

Introductory instruction in piano in a classroom setting. Class limited to 18 students. Can be substituted for one quarter of private instruction. (4 units)

 

34. Beginning Voice Class

Study and application of basic vocal techniques to develop singing facility. Practical experience in performing. May be repeated for credit. Required for musical theatre minor. Can be substituted for one quarter of private instruction. (4 units)

 

36. Beginning Guitar Class

Examination of essential elements required to play guitar in the classical style, including fundamental principles of technique, sight-reading, pedagogic repertoire, history, and literature. May be repeated for credit. Can be substituted for one quarter of private instruction. (4 units)

 

37. Beginning Composition Class

This course explores personal expression through the creation of original music. Students explore the music and acoustical properties of sound while developing the creative and technical skills necessary to complete a finished musical piece. Focus is on the issue of attaining a personal “voice” rather than developing a specific style in which to work, and musical improvisation will play a role in enhancing the student’s ability to be spontaneous as well as thoughtful in creating a piece of music. Can be substituted for one quarter of private instruction. (4 units)

 

Upper-Division Courses

104. Music Theory IV/Advanced Harmonic Language

Continuation of Music Theory sequence. Introduction to chromatic harmony: secondary dominant chords, altered chords, tonicization and modulation, score analysis, harmonic dictation, and creative application of four-part writing using non-harmonic tones. Prerequisite: MUSC 3 or permission of instructor. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

105. Modal Musicianship

This advanced-level musicianship course explores the modal system, modern mixture, and complex mode relationships from melodic and harmonic perspectives. Students will be asked to explore this vocabulary creatively through improvisation and composition activities. Advanced rhythmic vocabulary often associated with modal improvisation will also be introduced, including odd and mixed meters, tuplets, and polyrhythms. Prerequisite: MUSC 3A. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

106. Jazz Musicianship

This advanced level musicianship class will explore melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic aspects of the jazz language including the blues and Bebop principles, the seventh chord as consonance, harmonic extensions, the ii V7 I progression, and swing, shuffle, and Latin rhythmic styles. Prerequisite: MUSC 3A. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

107. Tonal Musicianship

This course offers advanced level musicianship training focusing on melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic aspects of musical language characteristic of the tonal period of Western Art Music (ca. 1600–1910). The emphasis will be on studying tonicization and modulation in the context of classical functional harmony. Prerequisite: MUSC 3A. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

108. Pan-Tonal Musicianship

This advanced level musicianship course will explore aspects of musical language that extend beyond the diatonic scale and functional harmonic relationships characteristic of classical tonality. Topics will include even divisions of the octave, symmetrical scales, navigating chromatic space by thinking Intervallically, trichords, non-metered rhythms, simultaneous meters, and metric modulation. Prerequisite: MUSC 3A. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

109. Lyric Diction

This course provides singers and actors with a vital introduction to the fundamentals of accurate pronunciation in English, French, German, Latin, and Italian language, with an emphasis on lyric (sung) diction. Pronunciation and comprehension of the International Phonetic Alphabet is taught. Required for musical theatre minors, lyric track. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

110. Instrumentation/Arranging

An exploration of orchestration and arranging for all instruments. Prerequisite: MUSC 3 or permission of instructor. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

111. Counterpoint

Detailed study and creation of two-part contrapuntal music in the 16th-century Renaissance and 18th-century Baroque styles. Prerequisite: MUSC 3 or permission of instructor. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

113. Form and Analysis

Study of the relationship in Western music between shape/form/structure and harmonic/melodic/thematic content. Music from 1650–1950 will be analyzed in order to achieve this goal, focusing on the primary structures used throughout and since the Common Practice period. Prerequisite: MUSC 3 or permission of instructor. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

115. Experimental Sound Design

This course is about creating sounds on the computer from scratch. How to simulate the sound of wind? How to mimic a cricket chirping or a bird singing? How to create your own synthesizer or simulate the sound of an acoustic guitar? Beyond familiar sounds, how many others are still waiting to be “discovered”? Can you create a sound that no one ever heard before? Using the powerful SuperCollider language in a hands-on class environment, students will learn the basics of various digital synthesis techniques and explore their creative applications in electronic music composition and in other fields. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

117. 20th-Century Music Theory

Study of structures and systems used from the late-19th century through mid-20th century including atonality and serialism. Prerequisite: MUSC 3 or permission of instructor. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

118. Directed Study in Pedagogy

A teaching practicum in which junior or senior music majors work with a music faculty member in a classroom, studio, or ensemble framework to assist in the planning and execution of a course. Music majors only. (1 unit)

 

119. Music, Technology, and Society

How does music change in response to technology, and how does technology affect music making? This course examines how technology in music and the arts reflects and informs societal and cultural change. The course explores the ways in which music production, consumption, and distribution inform and are informed by digital technology. Assignments include readings and critical analysis, as well as composing pieces and collaborating on creative projects that explore the topics presented in class. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

120. Junior Recital

Recital to take place in the winter quarter only, except by permission of department chair, in consultation with the senior faculty. A junior recital requires a pre-recital hearing, and must be 30 to 45 minutes in length (including breaks and intermission), or 30 minutes of music per student if shared with another student. (1 unit)

 

121. Senior Recital

Recital to take place in the spring quarter only, unless by permission of department chair, in consultation with the senior faculty. A senior recital requires a pre-recital hearing before a faculty committee and must include 45 to 60 minutes of music. (2 units)

 

130. Anthropology of Music

An intellectual history of ethnomusicology. Approaches and theories from anthropology, musicology, folklore, religious studies, linguistics, critical theory, and gender studies will be explored in order to interrogate music’s relationship to culture, power, and practice. Meets the elective and Ethnomusicology/Music History requirement for music majors and minors. Also listed as ANTH 153. (5 units)

 

131. Music Research and Writing

This course is an introduction to research methods in music scholarship. Students will engage in local fieldwork-based projects and learn techniques for documenting, interpreting, and writing about musical cultures. Meets the elective and Ethnomusicology/Music History requirement for majors and minors. (5 units)

 

132. The History of Hip Hop

This course will examine the historical contexts and diasporic flows that have shaped (and have been shaped by) hip-hop music. Topics explored will include the multicultural roots of hip-hop from West African bardic traditions to Jamaican sound system culture to African-American oral practices. Meets the elective and Ethnomusicology/Music History requirement for music majors and minors. Also listed as ETHN 132. (5 units)

 

134. Popular Music, Race, and American Culture

A cultural history of blues-based American popular music from minstrelsy to disco. Emphasis will be placed on the development of a wide range of musical styles, such as ragtime, classic blues, swing, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, and funk. Major themes include the impact of the music industry, the commercialization of black music, race and gender politics, social movements, and technology. Meets the elective and Ethnomusicology/Music History requirement for music majors and minors. Also listed as ETHN 164. (5 units)

 

136. Music of Africa

This course focuses on the history, musical characteristics, and sociopolitical, economic, and cultural roles of selected musical traditions from across Africa. Major themes include nationalism, resistance, and urbanization. Meets the elective and Ethnomusicology/Music History requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

139. Flamenco History and Performance

This course will cover the musical and social history of flamenco, from its roots in India along the “gypsy” trails through North Africa, Asia, and Europe. Students will examine how this dynamic art form grew out of the cultural legacy of the “gitanos” (gypsies) in Andalusia, Spain and learn about flamenco song forms, dances, and rhythms. Meets the elective and Ethnomusicology/Music History requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

156. Improvisation

This class will explore the process of creating music through interactive activities designed to awaken students’ imagination and expand/deepen their understanding of music as an art form. The class community itself will be an improvising performance ensemble. Prerequisites: Theory I and/or Musicianship I; or commensurate experience and permission of the instructor. Meets the elective requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

189. Sacred Music and the Church

This course examines the interplay between church doctrine, musical style, and the power of social, political, and cultural forces, primarily through the genre of the mass. Gregorian chant, sacred concert music, modern service music, and non-Western music traditions will be studied. Meets the elective and Ethnomusicology/Music History requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

190. Music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Survey of Western music from approximately 800–1600. Works to be studied include chant, motets, masses, and the development of polyphony though various sacred and secular music of the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Meets the elective and Ethnomusicology/Music History requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

192. Music of the Baroque and Classical Periods

Survey of Western music from approximately 1600–1827, including study of the great works of J.S. Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Meets the elective and Ethnomusicology/Music History requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

194. Music of the Romantic Period

Survey of Western music of the 19th century, including the great works of Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner, and others. Meets the elective and Ethnomusicology/Music History requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

195. Early 20th Century Music

Survey of Western music from Debussy to World War II, including Strauss, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and others. Meets the elective and Ethnomusicology/Music History requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

196. Music Since 1945

Survey of Western music from 1945 to the present, including the rise of technology in music and cross-cultural trends of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Meets the elective and Ethnomusicology/Music History requirement for music majors and minors. (5 units)

 

197. Senior Honors Project

This course is designed to allow senior music majors and minors an opportunity to pursue in-depth musical studies within the parameters of a project or thesis in one of the following areas: music history/ethnomusicology, composition/music theory, or performance studies. This project is administered solely by the Department of Music as a course offering, and is separate from the University Honors program. (5 units)