Bachelor in International Liberal Arts: Music
How We Listen to Music: Foundations of Music Perception, Cognition, and Acoustics
This course serves as a broad and gentle introduction to psychoacoustics, music psychology, and musical acoustics. Relationships between the production, physics, and perception of sound, as well as similarities and differences between music and language are explored. Phenomena such as absolute (perfect) pitch, synaesthesia, and amusia are discussed. Course activities will include lectures, readings, in-class experiments, and student presentations.
Upon completion of this course, students should be able to (i) have a greater understanding of how musical instruments and the human voice operate; (ii) gain a greater awareness of musical parameters, the physical dimensions of sound, and the human auditory system; (iii) gain experience in designing and conducting basic experiments; and (iv) apply knowledge and experience obtained from this course to subsequent courses in music and related areas.
History of Western Music
A broad survey of Western Classical music, extending from 800 AD to the present. Course activities include lectures, writing and listening assignments, and primary source readings. Salient repertoire from each historical period is situated in a sociocultural and sociopolitical context. The reception histories of particular works will be addressed. Parallels between musical aesthetics and techniques and concurrent tendencies in other art forms, as well as the influence of non-Western music on Western composers, are discussed.
This course will introduce students to (i) vocabulary essential for writing about and discussing Western Classical music and (ii) important repertoire from each major historical period, situated in a historical context.
Japanese Traditional Music
This is a lecture course surveying the fundamentals of the traditional music of Japan. It will cover the basic structures, musical instruments, ensembles and types of compositions found in traditional Japanese music. The role of traditional Japanese music in relation to Court life and in relation to religious practices will be presented. And also, we consider the relation between Japanese language and music. We analyze the sound of Japanese musical instruments and voice by a spectrum analyzer. Students will read William Malm’s Traditional Japanese Music and Musical Instruments plus additional essays; they will be assigned to listen to and study audio and video recordings of representative works and performances of Japanese traditional music. Special topics will include the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) and its role in Zen Buddhism, the Gagaku orchestra, and related Bugaku dance. Recent musical works for traditional Japanese instruments will also be investigated. Gaining insight into a people’s music allows insight into that people’s culture and traditions.
Upon completion of this course, students will be expected to:
(i.) Be able to demonstrate their understanding of traditional Japanese instruments, musical forms, musical ensembles, and Japanese principles or standards of beauty in music;
(ii.) Explain and discuss several of the features which distinguish traditional Japanese music from Western classical music;
(iii.) Be able to identify Japanese musical instruments and several works from the classic repertoire for each;
(iv.) Be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the history and development of Japanese music and its relationship to changes in Japanese culture, social organization, relation to other cultures and to religious practices.
Introduction to Music Technology
A comprehensive survey of music notation software, digital audio workstations (DAW’s), MIDI, and sound synthesis tools and techniques. Primarily hands-on and project-based, the course introduces students to the basics of computer notation, sound editing and mixing, and sound analysis/synthesis. Introduction to Music Technology culminates in the presentation of final creative projects utilizing the techniques and resources covered in class. No previous experience in music technology or composition is necessary.
Upon completion of this course, students will have obtained the knowledge and experience in music technology software necessary to prepare them for further studies in music composition, production, and analysis, as well as a greater understanding of the tools and techniques employed by professional artists and producers.
History of Modern Music
An overview of musical currents and techniques since 1900. Foci include the emergence of pre-WWI and post-WWII avant-garde movements, relationships between avant-garde and experimental tendencies in music and other artistic disciplines, and the impact of globalization, sociopolitical instability, and emerging technologies on musical creation. The cross-pollination of jazz, popular music genres, non-Western musical traditions, and "concert music" in the twentieth century is also addressed.
It is intended that this course deepens and broadens student perspectives on music of the past century and increases familiarity with important modern and contemporary repertoire, aesthetic movements, and genres. The ability to draw connections between significant historical events, scientific and technological achievements, and artistic responses to such events and achievements will be enhanced.
Music Fundamentals: Harmony, Musicianship, and Arranging
Thorough and integrated introduction to the basics of musical literacy and the rudiments of music. The course will cover the essentials of tonal harmony, rhythm, form, and instrumentation, and enable students to gain experience in solfge, sight-reading, keyboard proficiency, and conducting. Phrasing, dynamics, articulation, and other modes of musical expression will also be addressed. Course activities will include short performance, dictation, composition, analysis, and arranging exercises.
Music Fundamentals exists as a foundation for the study of music theory, ear training, composition, performance, and arranging. This includes the developing of understanding of basic concepts, and thorough exercising of the rudiments of music. The acquisition of these skills not only prepares students for further study in music composition, performance, and production, but also may enhance music appreciation among enthusiasts.
Music and Other Media: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Music has historically been considered the most abstract of artistic disciplines … but also (perhaps for the same reason) has proven to be quite compatible with other artistic media. Against the background of Wagner’s concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, this course considers the myriad intersections between music and the visual and performing arts explored over the past century or so, and the questions, challenges, and collaborative models that have arisen in the process. While the emphasis is placed on the interactions between music and visual media (film/video in particular) and music and dance, relationships with theatre, architecture, and literature are also addressed. Although there is a focus on twentieth and twenty-first century multimedia works, historical precedents are also discussed.
This course introduces students to seminal multimedia works and modes of collaboration that have emerged in the past century. Besides obtaining a greater understanding and appreciation for the motivations behind and challenges facing interdisciplinary artistic creation, students will gain a heightened awareness of the cultural ramifications of transplanting music from the concert setting to cinema, gallery installation, and (more recently) video game/interactive media contexts.
The role of the seminar is to support the successful completion of the Graduation Research Project (G.R.P.), a graduation requirement for all the students of this department. In this seminar, we will look at the theme that each student has chosen for the Writing-Across-Curriculum (W.A.C.) program, upon which the G.R.P. is based, through the lens of concepts, tendencies, and practices in the field of Music. Students will take turns presenting their research at different stages of their thesis development. Their peers, under the supervision of the Seminar instructor, will discuss and critique each presentation to give the presenters an opportunity to refine their own thesis. Through such interactions, peers will learn how to avoid problems with their own projects.
At the end of this course, students will have: (i) analyzed an important world issue from the perspective of a music researcher, (ii) conducted at a high level of proficiency their own research project, and (iii) written a high-quality graduation thesis in their own chosen area.
Workshop: Music Practice I (Improvisation Ensemble)
This hands-on, inclusive workshop introduces students to a variety of improvisation practices. Activities include structured improvisation "game-pieces," improvisation with electronics and homemade instruments, and improvisation with/in response to multimedia (e.g., video and text). The workshop will culminate in a final concert. Emphasis is placed on performer interaction models and the "social dynamics" of collective improvisation, rather than on prowess on a particular instrument. Therefore, no prior performance experience on the part of the students.
Through participating in this workshop, students will (i) become acquainted with cross-cultural and trans-historical notions of improvisation; (ii) enhance their listening and performance interaction skills; (iii) gain a deeper understanding of the interplay between freedom and constraints in the creative process; (iv) explore a broad range of multimedia interaction models; and (v) obtain hands-on experience in constructing instruments from everyday materials, and transforming consumer electronics devices into expressive musical instruments.
Workshop: Music Practice II (Keyboards)
A workshop class for aspiring students of all levels, where a diversity of keyboard repertoire is practiced, coached, discussed, and performed. Students will be instructed in learning how to produce sound using various aspects of performing on the keys, along with some music fundamentals, keyboard skills, harmony and selected historical and technical contributions. During the course, occasional master-classes will be held, engaging direct dialogues between students and internationally prominent musicians by video conferencing. Students will be introduced to new techniques, practice methods, and artistry from each musician, and they will be able to apply the lesson to their own practice. An individual or duo performance for the performance jury at the end of the semester is expected. The student will also be instructed to keep a written "practice journal" during the course, to reflect on the learning experience and its relation to other courses or topics studied. In order to provide sufficient guidance to beginners, the class size will be limited to 10 students.
At the end of this course, students should be able to: (i) have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the art of keyboard music, (ii) read traditional music notation, chord symbols (used primarily in Jazz/Pop) and baroque-style figured bass, (iii) understand tone interpretation and style desirable for each performance, (iv) engage thoroughly in expressing their ideas and feelings through creating music.
Workshop: Music Practice III (Choral Ensemble)
Through studying the works from medieval to modern, as well as from non-classical traditions the world over, the choral ensemble will be exploring the expressive potential of the human voice. Open to students of all vocal levels, students will be engaging in weekly choral rehearsals, where they will also be assigned vocal and ear training practice for further improvement. During the semester occasional video conferencing will be held with various accomplished choral/vocal ensembles as well as masters of non-western vocal tradition for students to broaden their knowledge and practice. The student will be expected to keep a shared journal to reflect on the learning experience, learn from others’ practice methods and relate with other members of the ensemble.
At the end of this course, students should be able to (i) have a deeper understanding for various choral/vocal music and general music history, (ii) read basic music notation, (iii) sing with accurate pitch, rhythm, and appropriate articulations and (iv) cooperate with other musicians in large ensemble settings.
Workshop: Music Practice IV (Japanese Koto)
A workshop class for aspiring students of Koto, of all levels, based on in-class workshop activities, assigned individual learning activities, practice, and individual and group presentations. This workshop will involve active learning of the methods of playing the Koto. Students will be involved in listening activities and will learn the basics of the traditional Japanese notation system for Koto music. Step by step, students will begin to learn fundamental playing technique, study simple musical pieces and will progress to more complex works. The instructor will coach and encourage students, but also will challenge them to practice in preparation for the next workshop meeting. Students will read essays, listen to and study audio and video recordings of representative works and outstanding performers of Koto. Students will be required to keep a written journal, about their practice and other learning activities in the Workshop and the relationships of these to other classes they are taking. @Near semester end, students will prepare a short performance (individual and in various groups) to show the level of skill they have developed in the workshop. In order to provide sufficient guidance to beginners, the class size will be limited to 10 students.
Upon completion of this course, students will be expected to:
(i.) Be able to play some simple short pieces on the Koto, to illustrate several methods used in sound production on the instrument and to use appropriate Japanese terminology which applies to performing on the Koto
(ii.) Explain and discuss several of the features which distinguish traditional Japanese music as played on Koto from Western classical music;
(iii.) Be able to identify several works from the classic repertoire for Koto; (iv.)Be able to discuss several traditional works for Koto and the historical setting and cultural significance of each.
Workshop: Music Practice V (Shakuhachi)
A workshop class for aspiring students of Shakuhachi, of all levels, based on in-class workshop activities, assigned individual learning activities, practice, and individual and group presentations. This workshop will involve active learning of the methods of playing the Shakuhachi. Students will learn about the importance of proper breathing as it relates to this instrument and the special characteristics of this music and instrument. Students will be involved in listening activities and will learn the basics of the traditional Japanese notation system for Shakuhachi music. Step by step, students will begin to learn fundamental playing technique, study simple musical pieces and will progress to more complex works. The instructor will demonstrate playing of the instrument and provide feedback to encourage students, but also will challenge them to practice in preparation for the next workshop meeting. Students will read essays, listen to and study audio and video recordings of representative works and outstanding performers of Shakuhachi. Students will be required to keep a written journal, about their practice and other learning activities in the Workshop and the relationships of these to other classes they are taking. In order to provide sufficient guidance to beginners, the class size will be limited to 10 students.
Upon completion of this course, students will be expected to:
(i.) Be able to play some simple short pieces on the Shakuhachi, to illustrate several methods used in sound production on the instrument and to use appropriate Japanese terminology which applies to performing on the Shakuhachi;
(ii.)Explain and discuss several of the features which distinguish traditional Japanese music as played on Shakuhachi from Western classical music;
(iii.)Be able to identify several works from the classic repertoire for Shakuhachi;
(iv.)Be able to discuss several traditional works for Shakuhachi and the historical setting and cultural significance of each.
Near semester end, students will prepare a short performance (individual and in various groups) to show the level of skill they have developed in the workshop.
Workshop: Music and Creativity I
This course is an interactive workshop designed to increase students’ creative potential and give students the experience of producing an original, high-quality musical work set to film. This is accomplished through in-class analysis of musical masterworks in multiple genres, and exercises that require students to compose lyrics and melodies for homework. As a team, students will collaborate on creating music for a visual medium (scene from film or video). Through analysis of scenes from major movies, students will learn the role music plays within a movie scene. The course climaxes with the presentation of a final project, in which students record the original music they have been working on from the start of the course.
To give students an opportunity to unlock their creativity power and musical ability; To build each students’ confidence in their own creative potential; To give students the experience of working together in a collaborative effort to create a multi-faceted/multi-genre musical work, while at the same time introducing various aspects of music production such as producing, composing & arranging, recording & editing, similar to what students would find in real-world professional situations; To give students satisfaction of creating a professionally-produced musical work.
Workshop: Music and Creativity II
An interactive workshop that builds upon topics studied in Workshop: Music and Creativity 1, offering more in-depth exercises in creativity and more in-depth studies in music composition and production. Unlike Music and Creativity 1, students will have the option of composing and performing their original final project composition by themselves (solo), or in collaboration with other students in the workshop. Because of this flexibility, each student will have the option of choosing the movie scene for use in the production of their original music final project. Each student will work toward completion of this project from the very beginning of the course. In addition to professionally recording students’ final project original compositions, Music and Creativity 2 culminates with a public performance of the students’ original final project compositions, in a university concert.
To give students more control in the production of their final project original musical compositions; To further build students’ confidence in their creative abilities; To give students the satisfaction of creating a world-class musical work; To further expose students to professional, music production experiences.
Workshop: Music Composition for Western and Traditional Japanese Instruments
A Workshop for aspiring students of music of all levels, based on in-class activities, assigned individual learning activities, practice, and individual and group presentations. This workshop will involve active learning of how composers write or arrange their own music. Students will be involved in listening activities and will explore standard Western, traditional Japanese, and experimental graphic notation systems. Step-by-step, students will begin to work on simple musical pieces, which can be sung or played on an instrument and will progress to more complex types. Students will try to solve various musical problems to improve their understanding of musical composition and they will then review their own compositions and together, the class will try to perform and study one another’s new compositions. Students will investigate the vital relationships relating music composition with dance and theater. The instructor will coach and encourage students, but also will challenge them to complete homework composition activities and exercises in preparation for next workshop meetings. Students will read essays, listen to recordings and review sheet music of selected works studied in the class. Students will keep a journal, writing about their on-going learning activities in the Workshop and its relationship to other classes they are taking.
(1) At each level, students will regularly present and discuss with workshop members, their own compositions and those of fellow workshop participants; (2) Upon completion of this course, students will be expected to: (i) Understand some basic approaches used in composing music both in the western context and in the context of traditional Japanese music; (ii) Be able to compose several, short musical works; (iii) Be able to discuss their own musical compositions and those of others; (iv) Near semester end, students will prepare a short program to present their new works, composed during the semester of the workshop; and (v) The student will be expected to be able to coherently discuss the ideas and methods behind their own (and fellow students’) compositions and the performances of them.
Workshop: Interpretative Dance
This course is an introduction to Interpretive Dance for students of all levels. Students will learn a variety of dance movements often used in interpretive dance and will begin to explore others. Students will shape their bodies in a manner which makes deeper communication possible. They will be expected to read background essays and to study video materials about important past achievements in interpretive dance, such as the work of Merce Cunningham and his Dance Company, as well as other materials about native dance forms of several indigenous peoples, in order to deepen their own understanding of interpretive dance. Of central importance will be engaging in a process of self-discovery by searching for possibilities of communication with others in an impromptu manner, and thereby finding sources of inner creativity. All students will be expected to keep a written journal during the semester in which a record of learning experiences in the workshops and rehearsals is kept plus reflections on the relation of these learning experiences to other courses that she/he is taking. Near semester end, students will prepare a short performance (individual and in various groups) to show the level of skill they have developed in the workshop.
Students who have successfully completed this course should be able: 1) to explain how he/she uses the self-understanding and skills gained in this workshop to preprare and present her/his part(s) of group interpretive dance presentations and solo dance, 2) to demonstrate several dance movements that she/he has learned or discovered during thte workshop sessions, 3) to coherently and intelligently discuss the work of several well-known dancers and dance companies which have been studied in the course, and 4) to have avanced in his/her skills in interpretive dance during the course of workshops.
- Aya Nishina
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Last updated January 12, 2018