Music Courses

  • MUS-061-068. Ursinus College Singers

    Ursinus College Singers is an auditioned choral ensemble of soprano and alto voices. The choir performs treble repertoire representing varied backgrounds and languages. The Ursinus College Singers will present one campus concert per semester and may appear at campus functions. Graded S/U. Three to four hours per week. One semester hour. (A. if four semester hours are completed.)

    MUS-121. Foundations of Music Theory

    Foundations of Music Theory An introductory course in music theory which presents essential basic concepts in music through composition, analysis, and listening. The course consists of a study of musical elements, terminology, rhythm, and five-line staff notation, including clefs, notes, intervals, scales, modes, chords, keys, and key signatures. Additional emphasis on the acquisition of aural skills through ear-training. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    Note: Students who have completed MUS-100 cannot enroll in MUS-121.

    MUS-200. Topics in Music

    A study of a specific musical topic that is interdisciplinary in nature. The course will place emphasis on independent research as well as required listening. No Prerequisite. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    MUS/HIST-203. The Expense of Musical Appropriation and the Dividends of Collaboration

    There is a rich history of people from different nations, ethnicities, and races exchanging ideas and sharing cultures. For African peoples and their descendants in the diaspora, such exchanges became tools that helped them survive oppression and overcome marginalized positionalities, even as they made contributions to the global pop industry. This course studies local musical cultures in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States, and their global circulation, to question the appropriation, adaptation, and commercialization of music. It asks what the term “appropriation” means and how one may distinguish borrowing and collaboration from theft and exploitation. We will learn basic music theory and use introductory digital music production tools to translate what we learn into audio projects and civic engagement workshops. We strongly encourage the participation of those with no music experience. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (GN, H, LINQ.)

    MUS-205. Music History and Culture I

    An examination of the history of music, beginning with pre-human natural soundscapes and continuing through approximately the 18th century. This course will examine the music of Western cultural elites, as well as music of previously suppressed outsiders and rebels who created music revolutions. This course focuses on the subversive as a catalyst for change in music and society. Topics may include music’s relationship to sexuality, violence, social control, generational conflict, and political unrest. Intensive listening assignments and research projects are required for the course. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A, H.)

    MUS-206. Music History and Culture II

    An examination of the history of music, beginning in the mid-18th century through the 21st-century. This course will examine music intended as a catalyst for change, music that challenged conventions and conveyed coded messages. Topics may include an exploration of how music will evolve in the future and creating musical soundscapes in the digital age. Intensive listening assignments and a research project are required for the course. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A, H.)

    MUS-207. History of Jazz

    A survey of the development of jazz from its African origins through the present. Includes a detailed investigation of how various socio-political factors affected the development of this American music. The course will include intensive listening and research assignments, video presentations, and a final research paper. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A, DN, H, LINQ.)

    MUS-208. Survey of Global Musics

    This course traces the development of global musics by examining the cultural and political milieu in which they are composed. Students will develop an understanding of musical terminology and will develop skills needed to listen to and better understand music of varying cultures. Students will participate in a variety of activities including singing, playing instruments, and dancing. This course will include intensive listening assignments. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A, GN, H.)

    MUS-221. Music Theory and Aural Skills I

    The first semester of an integrated two-semester theory sequence that examines the melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, and formal organization of music while developing critical listening skills. Students will develop skills in the application of music fundamentals, analysis of small forms, composition, and aural musicianship. Emphasis on diatonic harmony in classical and popular music repertoires. Prerequisite: MUS-121 or permission of instructor through diagnostic placement test. Four hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    MUS-222W. Music Theory and Aural Skills II

    The second semester of an integrated two-semester theory sequence that examines the melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, and formal organization of music while developing critical listening skills. Students will develop skills in analysis of larger forms, analytical writing, composition, and aural musicianship. The course includes an introduction to chromatic harmony and places emphasis on classical and popular music repertoires. Prerequisite: MUS-221 or permission of instructor through diagnostic placement test. Four hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    MUS-226. Music Technology I

    An introductory course in computer-based music technology and the first in a two-semester sequence focusing on music technology software and hardware. Students will learn the concepts of sequencing, mixing, production, audio effects, loop-based composition, and sampler and synth programming through composition projects. Emphasis on the physics of sound, MIDI, synthesizer techniques, song analysis, and songwriting. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    MUS-227. Music Technology II

    A continuation of Music Technology I that further explores the hardware and digital practices of music production with a strong emphasis on audio recording. Students will develop skills in microphone technique, recording hardware, audio interfaces and mixing boards, and acoustics as well as more advanced skills in mixing and production through music projects and analysis. Additional concepts may include live sound reinforcement and recording, physics of audio technology, and audio mastering. Prerequisite: MUS-226 or permission of instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    MUS/TD/ART-233. Sound Design

    This course introduces students to the fundamentals of sound design. The class focuses on creating an environment with sound through the use of Foley, pre-recorded media, and music. Additionally, students explore basic sound technology and tools to create a theatrical sound design. This course is made up of a combination of lectures, class discussions, and projects. Class participation is essential to the success of this course. Students are asked to think critically and express ideas about their work as well as the work of others. Four hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    MUS-301. What is Music?

    What components make sounds into music? What makes us identify sound events as not music? How does our background or education shape our ideas about what can be considered music? How does the way we define music give us power in social, cultural, aesthetic, and even legal spheres? This course explores what “music” is from aesthetic, philosophical, cultural, and analytical standpoints. In this course, students will examine different ways of defining and understanding music as a social, artistic, aesthetic, scientific, and personal phenomenon. The course will also consider the ethical and personal ramifications of such musical definitions. Readings from philosophy, music theory, history, and ethnomusicology, music psychology, sound studies, and music copyright law will be included. Students will build their critical reading, writing, and speaking skills through discussion, writing and reading assignments, and research projects. There are no prerequisites to enroll in this course. Four semester hours. (A, CCAP, H.)

    MUS/GWSS-305W. Women in Music

    This course will examine the contributions of women as composers, performers, patrons and conductors of music from the Middle Ages through the twentieth century. The course will focus largely on the roles of women in the sphere of Western classical music, global musics, and popular music. The course requires a variety of listening assignments and research projects. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A, DN, H.)

    MUS-306W. History of American Music

    This course will examine various types of music that have evolved in North America, from indigenous peoples, the colonial era, mid-century Rock ‘n’ Roll culture to modern-day pop genres. Students will learn the history of North America’s musical evolution and revolutions, focusing largely on the contributions of West African peoples to America’s musical culture. This course requires weekly listening and written responses to many different styles of music. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A, H.)

    MUS-307. Topics in Music History and Culture

    A study of a specific period or genre of music, and an examination of the music through cultural, political, and societal contexts. The course will place emphasis on independent research as well as required listening. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A, H.)

    MUS-321. Songwriting

    This course will examine elements of songs including lyrics, melody, harmony, and form. Students will be expected to listen critically and analyze a variety of songs and to create and collaborate on different song projects. The class is heavily project-based. Students will work to build a catalog of original songs. Students need not be experienced singers but must be willing to record themselves singing. Additionally, students should have facility with an instrument or familiarity with production technology. Prerequisite: MUS-121 or MUS-226, or permission of instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    MUS-323. Topics in Music Technology and Creation

    A study of music composition or songwriting techniques focusing on pitch, harmony, rhythm, timbre, and form that may include study of technological practices or specific styles through analysis and model composition. This course will place emphasis on project-based compositions using production or notation. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    MUS-326W. Music Cognition

    This course surveys the field of music cognition: an intersection of music theory, music psychology, and neuroscience. Topics covered will include music and emotion, embodied music cognition, music and evolution, pitch, meter, and form perception, music and language, and music learning and performance. A significant research project culminating in a literature review of a sub-area of music cognition will be required. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    MUS-328. Topics in Music Theory and Cognition

    A study of a specific area of music theory or cognition research, method of music analysis, or focused analysis in a particular musical style or genre. The course will place emphasis on independent research as well as required listening. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    MUS-381 Internship

    An academic/work experience under the supervision of an internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Students must document their experience according to the requirements delineated in the College catalogue section on Internships. Contact music faculty for further details. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 120 hours of work. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: approval of an internship adviser and three courses in music. Three semester hours (XLP.)

    MUS-382 Internship

    An academic/work experience under the supervision of an internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Students must document their experience according to the requirements delineated in the College catalogue section on Internships. Contact music faculty for further details. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 160 hours of work. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: approval of an internship adviser and three courses in music. Four semester hours (XLP.)

    MUS-401A. Capstone Research Seminar in Music History and Culture, or Music Theory and Cognition Topics

    Advanced research seminar designed for junior or senior majors in music with concentrations in music history and culture or in music theory and cognition. Students will work on self-devised research projects in a cohort context and develop their professional writing and presentation skills. A final public presentation of work is required. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    MUS-401B. Capstone Research Seminar in Music Tech

    Advanced research seminar designed for junior or senior majors in music with concentrations in music technology and creation. Students will work on self-devised creative projects in a cohort context and develop their composition, production, and lyrical skills. A final public presentation of work is required. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)

    MUS-491 Research/Independent Work

    This course is open to candidates for departmental honors and to other students with the permission of the department chair. Prerequisites: Permission of the department. Four semester hours. (A, XLP.)

    MUS-492 Research/Independent Work

    A continuation of MUS-491. Open only to candidates for honors. Prerequisites: MUS-491 and permission of the department. Four semester hours. (A, XLP.)

    Ensembles and Lessons

    MUS-011-018. Voices of Ursinus

    A choral ensemble of mixed voices open without audition. The choir performs repertoire representing diverse styles and cultures. The Voices of Ursinus will present one campus concert per semester and may appear at campus functions. Graded S/U. Three to four hours per week. One semester hour. (A, if four semester hours are completed.)

    Mus 021-028. Wind Ensemble

    A small instrumental ensemble open without audition. Members perform ensemble works, and may be placed in a smaller chamber group and/or perform solo repertoire. The Wind Ensemble will present one campus concert per semester and may appear at campus functions. Graded S/U. Two to three hours per week. One semester hour. (A, if four semester hours are completed.)

    MUS-031-038. Ursinus College Jazz Ensemble

    A big band open by audition to all students. The ensemble performs arrangements and original compositions in a variety of jazz styles. The Jazz Ensemble will present one campus concert per semester and may appear at campus functions. Graded S/U. Two to three hours per week. One semester hour. (A, if four semester hours are completed.)

    MUS-041-048 and 04SA. - Guitar

    MUS 041-048 and 04SB. - Piano

    MUS-041-048 and 04SC. - Voice

    MUS-041-048 and 04SD. - Other

    Applied Lessons

    This course provides private music instruction for one hour each week, focusing on technique and performance practice. The course will give students the opportunity to continue their growth as musicians. One hour per week. During the summer there would be a total of 14 hours of lessons. Students can sign up for MUS-04S more than once. Music lessons fee. One semester hour. (A, if four semester hours are completed.)

    MUS-051-058. Ursinus Strings

    A chamber strings ensemble open without audition. Members will present one campus concert per semester and may appear at campus functions. Graded S/U. Two to three hours per week. One semester hour. (A, if four semester hours are completed.)

  • Department of Music

    Bomberger Hall Lower Level

    Vicky Riego de Dios, Admin Support
    610-409-3212
    music@ursinus.edu