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. Offered every semester.
A general introduction to the history and genres of "classical" music as these developed in Europe and America from the Middle Ages through the 21st Century. Offered every semester.
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/pa/music. Sections available include: USF Classical Choral Ensembles, Gospel Choir, ASUSF Voices, and St. Ignatius Choir. Offered every semester.
Credit earned by performing in one of the instrumental ensembles on campus and performing in end-of-semester concerts. Sections available: Jazz Band, Latin American Music Ensemble, USF Dons Marching Band, Chamber Music Ensemble, Rock Band and Computer Music Ensemble. For details on the various groups see www.usfca.edu/artsci/music. Offered every semester.
Credit earned by taking voice lessons, preparing repertoire appropriate to the student's level, taking part in the midterm evaluations ("juries"), end of semester recitals, 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"), end-of-semester recitals, 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, viola, or cello lessons, preparing repertoire appropriate to the student's level, taking part in the midterm evaluations ("juries"), end-of-semester recitals, and participating in some form (performer or crew) in the Music Student Showcase.
Credit earned by taking lessons in a woodwind instruments, such as flute, clarinet, saxophone, etc., preparing repertoire appropriate to the student's level, taking party in the midterm evaluations ("juries"), end-of-semester recitals 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. Offered each Fall. No pre-requisite. Required of PASJ majors with Music Concentration, but open to all students.
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. Offered each Fall.
Course introducing Western Art music traditions and practices that are important parts of the San Francisco soundscape today. Students learn the musical and dramatic elements of individual works, but also the social and political questions raised by the works. Students will attend as a class three live performances at the San Francisco Opera or Symphony. No knowledge of music required.
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. Offered each Fall.
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. Offered each Spring.
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). Offered each Spring.
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. Offered each Fall.
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. Offered each Spring.
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. Offered each Fall.
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. Offered intermittently.
This course investigates the ways that music shapes- and is informed by- Filipino Cultural practices; traces its influence on spirituality and the consolidation of a social self. We will explore various musical traditions in the Philippines, situating these cultural artifacts alongside theoretical studies on the formation of "nation" and the "colonial self".
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. Offered intermittently.
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. Offered intermittently.
In this course students will study the origins, structure, and development of the Broadway Musical over time - as an art form and as a social phenomenon. Offered each Spring.
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. Offered each Spring. 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. Offered each Spring. 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 each Spring.
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. Offered each Spring.
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. Offered intermittently. 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. Offered each Spring. 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. Offered each Fall.• Prerequisite: MUS 100 or 300 or by permission of instructor.
Students learn practical vocal/choral writing techniques and notation systems, using idiomatic and style-appropriate arrangements of songs. Class involves analyzing examples of choral compositions and arrangement as well as writing choral arrangements in various choral congregations. Offered intermittently. Prerequisite: MUS 300 (or MUS 100 and permission of instructor).
introduces the language of jazz, blues and related popular music forms.
Students learn jazz scales/modes, construct basic chord progressions,
apply common rhythms and forms used in jazz pieces, create and interpret lead
sheets, and explore basic principles of improvisation. Offered intermittently. • Prerequisite:
MUS 300 (or MUS 100 and permission of instructor).
Students receive hands-on training in the basic skills needed to conduct ensembles performing music from Western Art music traditions, including: baton technique, non-verbal communication methods, commonly used terminology, and score reading/interpretation. Offered intermittently. 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. Offered intermittently.
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. Offered each Spring.
Under consultation with the music program advisors, written permission of the instructor and the dean is required. Offered under special circumstances.