Graduate Music Courses

MUS510 Graduate Music Theory (3 credits)

This course consolidates the knowledge and skills acquired in the undergraduate music theory sequence while helping students develop skills in Schenkerian analysis and phrase rhythm analysis. The central question is: How do performers, performer-teachers, and composers apply knowledge of music theory to their artistic creativity? The course emphasizes listening, which requires integrating the perception of musical sound with the theoretical/conceptual knowledge of music. Students are expected to hear the nuances in a piece of music in light of their analysis of a score.

MUS511 Graduate Music Theory for Vocalists

This course consolidates the knowledge and skills acquired in the undergraduate Western music theory sequence with special focus on the needs of vocalists. There is a heavy emphasis on listening, which requires students to integrate the perception of musical sound with the theoretical/conceptual knowledge of music.

MUS513 Analysis of Great Works of Traditional Chinese Music (3 credits)

This course analyzes 14 works of Chinese music in some detail: “The Top 10 Pieces of Classical Chinese Music” (中國十大古曲), three works featuring China’s different regions, and the famous Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto composed in the 1950s. We examine issues such as original notation, compositional structure, history of transmission, performance versions (or schools), and the aesthetic principles underlying different modern and contemporary renditions. For Butterfly Lovers, we also consider how the composers expected performers to adapt their playing to convey Chinese musical characteristics.

MUS520R, 620R Graduate Orchestra I, II (1 credit each)

All MM students, apart from voice students, are required to play in a College-affiliated or other professional-level orchestra every semester throughout the program of study. Therefore, such students much register for this course at least four times (4 semesters) for one (1) credit per semester. Playing in a professional orchestra requires 1) learning all the music ahead of time; 2) attending all rehearsals on time; 3) attending all public performances, which could entail some travel; and 4) fulfilling other duties as assigned.

MUS521R, 621R Graduate Major Instrument I, II (Western) / MUS522R, 622R Graduate Major Instrument I, II (Chinese) / (4 credits each)

Every MM student not majoring in voice is required to take and repeat Graduate Major Instrument I and II for a total of 16 credits. This course sequence aims to perfect all aspects of a student’s mastery of an instrument, be it Western or Chinese, while developing the student’s command of the standard repertoire of his/her instrument. Every MM student enrolled in these courses is entitled to a free one-hour private weekly instrumental lesson with an instructor. During the first week of each semester, the student should work out a list of repertoire for that semester in consultation with the instructor.

MUS523R, 623R Graduate Chamber Music I, II (1 credit each)

This studio course expands students' ensemble repertoire, improves ensemble skills, and encourages more personal responsibility in creating polished artistic performances. Students will perform the assigned repertoire in a recital examination.

MUS525R, 625R Piano for Vocalists (1 credit each)

Private instruction in piano for voice majors in graduate standing. Enrolled students will have one private 30-minute lesson per week.

MUS526R Ensemble with Voice (2 credits each)

This course offers voice majors opportunities to work with different instrumental ensembles, including orchestras in studio and rehearsal settings, plus in subsequent performance of short recitals or operatic works.

MUS527R, 627R Graduate Major Voice I, II (4 credits each)

Every MM student majoring in voice is required to take and repeat Graduate Major Voice I and II for a total of 16 credits. This course sequence aims to perfect all aspects of a student’s mastery of the voice, while developing the student’s command of the standard repertoire. Every MM student enrolled in these courses is entitled to a free one-hour private weekly voice lesson with an instructor. During the first week of each semester, the student should work out a list of repertoire for that semester in consultation with the instructor.

MUS528R, 628R Graduate Instrumental Accompaniment I, II (0.5 credit each)

This applied course sequence provides students with experience in accompanying individuals or groups in studio and rehearsal settings, plus in subsequent performance. The time commitment is comparable to that of ensemble participation. Piano students collaborate with vocalists and instrumentalists in the department and sometimes with professional musicians.

MUS529R, 629R Graduate Dance Class Accompaniment I, II (0.5 credit each)

This studio course sequence is designed to prepare the student to accompany dance classes using the prominent styles competently and properly. The student is assigned to an advanced dance class to gain hands-on experience and broaden the skills and professional competencies of the piano accompanist.

MUS540 Topics in Western Music History (3 credits)

The topics covered may vary from year to year, depending on the instructor. Students will develop critical thinking about how to interpret and perform music in convincing and historically informed ways. Guest speakers may be invited to introduce the featured period instruments.

MUS541 Graduate Orchestral Literature (3 credits)

This course is designed to familiarize students with the orchestral styles of the late 18th to the late 19th century. The focus is on the changes in orchestration and harmonic language over time.

MUS542, 642 Vocal Literature - Analysis & Appreciation I, II (3 credits each)

Through exposure to a renowned classic repertoire for solo voice from around the world, students gain an increased recognition and understanding of various forms of solo vocal music, become more aware of their significance in musical arts and styles, develop the ability to appreciate and analyze different types of vocal works, and increase proficiency from in-class performances. The prerequisite for MUS642 is MUS542 or instructor consent.

MUS543, 643 Vocal Methods from Around the World I, II (3 credits each)

This course sequence examines the main characteristics of a variety of singing styles from around the world, with a historical review and emphasis on the methods and techniques of vocal production associated with the Italian bel canto, German, French, English, and Chinese styles of singing. Students will explore the physiological process of sound production, expand their understanding of the vocal methods' historical and cultural context, improve their skills, and learn how to apply various vocal techniques to different styles of music while developing a keen awareness of vocal health. The prerequisite for MUS643 is MUS543 or instructor consent.

MUS544 Graduate Piano Literature (3 credits)

This course is a graduate-level in-depth survey of music for the piano, from the Baroque period to the contemporary era. Through lectures, reading and listening assignments, analysis, and performance projects, students explore period instruments, musical styles, repertoire, and performance practice. This course also covers the socio-cultural context that influenced major composers and their works.

MUS545, 645 Topics in Chinese Music I, II (3 credits each)

The focus of this course sequence varies from year to year depending on the instructor. In general, the topics are designed to expand the students' horizons for research, approaching traditional Chinese music from both micro and macro perspectives. For example, examination may be made of the smallest unit of music, a musical note, and how in Chinese music it can be broken down into even smaller elements and finer nuances that go beyond the notation on the musical score. From a larger perspective, the course may explore traditional aesthetic views on how the spirit of an entire musical piece may differ depending on the inner spirit of the performer.

MUS550R Jury (0 credit)

MM students are required to perform for a jury at the end of both the first and second semesters of the program of study. The program played for the jury should be around 25–30 minutes in duration (music only). Pass/No Pass grading scale.

MUS552 Graduate Independent Study in Music (1–4 credits)

This course gives students an opportunity to investigate a topic outside the current music curriculum. All independent study courses must be approved in advance and be closely supervised by a faculty member. An independent study proposal must include a course outline developed through consultation between the student and faculty supervisor, and it will serve as the official course description. The course may take the form of faculty-supervised research, study, or a project. This course may be repeated for credit.

MUS555 Graduate Practicum (3 credits)

The practicum allows students to build their professional experience with leading companies. By practicing and applying their musical skills in real-world settings, students gain first-hand knowledge and experience related to their career goals and build professional relationships invaluable to their future careers. All students receive one-on-one guidance and mentoring from assigned instructors or preceptors. All practicums are designed to help students build a strong work ethic and enhance their professional knowledge. This course may be repeated.

MUS651 Graduate Recital (0 credit)

All MM students are required to give a graduate recital in order to graduate, usually during the last semester of the program of study. The duration of the recital should be around 55–60 minutes (music only). The student giving the recital must submit the program notes (3–4 pages) to the Department for review and approval at least one month prior to the scheduled recital date. The recital is evaluated by a panel of at least four jury members, excluding the recitalist’s instructor. Pass/No Pass grading scale.

MUS661 Seminar in Cross-Cultural Music (3 credits)

This course places music students' study of Chinese and Western music thus far at the College into a broader context so as to help students: 1) acquire a deeper understanding of the College’s mission and vision, and 2) develop the skills needed to address the different approaches to integrating Western classical music and non-Western musical traditions. There are four parts. Part I highlights the rigorous moral standards of artists in traditional China. Part II examines cases of blending Western classical music with non-Western musical traditions by composers of different nationalities. Part III briefly reviews the history of Western music in China and examines examples from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong of how Chinese and Western music have been combined. Part IV studies selected Chinese-Western music compositions with a view to understanding the underlying moral and aesthetic principles.

MUS671 Graduate Internship (1–3 credits)

Through internships, graduate students can think more deeply about their own career development and connect their academic learning with hands-on professional experience. They can apply to orchestras, performing arts companies, schools and institutions, media groups, and other hosts depending on their individual specialties and interests. Internships may or may not be paid, depending on the host institution. Other than completing assigned duties and demonstrating professional competencies, graduate students will need to reflect on their personal strengths, where they need to improve, and what actions they should take to achieve their goals. While internships are not required for graduation, they are strongly encouraged.

MM in Performance  ›  Graduate Music Courses