Music Courses

General Course Listings

Sub CRSE Title
FMS 385 Video Game Music (= MUS 385)
Prerequisites & Notes

Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.

Instructor
Lerner

Historical, stylistic, and analytic study of video game music from its origins in the arcade games of the 1970s to the present. Emphases on close readings of music in relation to gameplay, and vice versa. Includes training in digital audio manipulation to create sound design and musical sequences.

Satisfies the Liberal Studies distribution requirement.

MUS 008 After Hours
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of director required.

Instructor
Gilliam

Auditions take place the first week of Fall semester.  After auditioning, students register on the music webpage.  Spring registration takes place during course preferences registration or regular drop/add.

A select student-led vocal jazz ensemble between eight and sixteen members drawn from the Davidson College Chorale in the Music Department. 

In collaboration with the director for choral activities, students who participate in After Hours are provided opportunities in service through semester concerts, campus and off-campus performing opportunities, and leadership through rehearsal direction, sectional instruction, ensemble administration, event planning, rehearsal accompanying, rehearsal conducting, and composition.

MUS 009 Collegium Musicum
Prerequisites & Notes

 

Instructor
Gilliam

Auditions take place the first week of Fall semester.  After auditioning, students register on the music webpage.  Spring registration takes place during course preferences registration or regular drop/add.

A select student-led ensemble between eight and sixteen members drawn from the Davidson College Chorale in the Music Department. Collegium specializes in (but is not limited to) music of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance.

In collaboration with the director of choral activities, students who participate in Collegium Musicum are provided opportunities in service through semester concerts (including a Christmas concert and spring madrigal dinner) and leadership through rehearsal direction, sectional instruction, ensemble administration, event planning, rehearsal accompanying, rehearsal conducting, and choral composition.

MUS 010 Davidson Singers
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of director required.

Instructor
Gilliam

Auditions take place the first week of Fall semester.  After auditioning, students register on the music webpage.  Spring registration takes place during course preferences registration or regular drop/add.

An auditioned mixed vocal ensemble for experienced or novice choristers interested in learning more about the art of choral singing.  Davidson Singers join the Davidson Choral Arts Society for their weekly Monday night rehearsals.  Additionally, they rehearse one hour separately from the Choral Society each week.  Concert engagements include a bi-annual performance with the Choral Arts Society, and appearances in other campus concerts and functions.

MUS 011 Jazz Ensemble
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of director required.

Instructor
B. Lawing

Auditions take place the first week of Fall semester.  After auditioning, students register on the music webpage.  Spring registration takes place during course preferences registration or regular drop/add.

A "big band" of approximately eighteen musicians. The group rehearses and performs throughout the year, with several events highlighting the schedule.

MUS 012 Symphony Orchestra
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of director required.

Instructor
Keith

Auditions take place the first week of Fall semester.  After auditioning, students register on the music webpage.  Spring registration takes place during course preferences registration or regular drop/add.

An auditioned ensemble of approximately 50 student musicians, performing a wide range of repertoire from the Baroque to the present. Performs 2-3 concerts per semester. Annually features student concerto competition winners and guest soloists.

MUS 013 Chorale
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of director required.

Instructor
Gilliam

Auditions take place the first week of Fall semester.  After auditioning, students register on the music webpage.  Spring registration takes place during course preferences registration or regular drop/add.

A select vocal ensemble drawn from the Davidson College student body that performs works from all ages and styles.  Tours annually and represents the department at college functions.

MUS 014 Opera Workshop
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of director required.  (Fall; normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Culpepper

Auditions take place the first week of Fall semester.  After auditioning, students register on the music webpage.

A course designed to acquaint students with the performance practice of a variety of opera genres through the experiences of study, rehearsal, and performance.  The culmination of the course is a performance of opera scenes as well as fully staged productions accompanied by piano.  Ability to sing in a foreign language may be necessary.

MUS 017 Saxophone Quartet
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of instructor required.

Instructor
Gordon

Auditions take place the first week of Fall semester.  After auditioning, students register on the music webpage.  Spring registration takes place during course preferences registration or regular drop/add.

A small group ensemble for saxophonists interested in performing chamber music ranging from Bach transcriptions to modern day saxophone compositions.

MUS 018 Jazz Combo
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of instructor required.

Instructor
Gordon

Auditions take place the first week of Fall semester.  After auditioning, students register on the music webpage.  Spring registration takes place during course preferences registration or regular drop/add.

A small group ensemble for instrumentalists interested in performing small group jazz literature while placing a strong emphasis on jazz improvisation.

MUS 019 Chamber Music
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of instructor required. Not offered in 2016-17.

Instructor
Black

Selection of applied students takes place the first three weeks of each semester.  Contact instructor directly.

MUS 020 Jazz Improvisation
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of instructor required.

Instructor
Gordon

Auditions take place the first week of Fall semester.  After auditioning, students register on the music webpage.  Spring registration takes place during course preferences registration or regular drop/add.

Learning to develop a jazz style through listening, transcribing, and soloing in a group context.

MUS 021 Appalachian Ensemble
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of instructor required.

Instructor
Singleton

Appalachian Ensemble involves learning the repertoire and techniques of the traditional music of the Appalachian region.  Old Time and bluegrass styles will be studied, with emphasis on fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, and bass.

MUS 043 African Drumming Ensemble
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Snow

Registration takes place during course preferences registration or regular drop/add.

Learn techniques for the Djembe and Dundun drums of Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and the Senegambia region of West Africa.

MUS 050 Vocal or Instrumental Study, 0.5 hour
Prerequisites & Notes

Pass/Fail.  Additional fee $412.

Instructor
Staff

Registration takes place on the music web page during course preferences registration or regular drop/add. 

Applied instruction designed for students with or without previous vocal or instrumental training.

MUS 055 Vocal or Instrumental Study, 1 hour
Prerequisites & Notes

Pass/Fail.  Additional fee $770.

Instructor
Staff

Registration takes place on the music web page during course preferences registration or regular drop/add. 

Applied instruction designed for students with or without previous vocal or instrumental training.

MUS 101 Music Theory
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Fall, Spring)

Instructor
Botelho

Introduction to music theory and analysis, with emphasis on intervals, modes, scales, rhythm, meter, and form.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 121 Introduction to Music in Western Civilization
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Fall)

Instructor
Keith

Designed for students who have had but slight contact with the art. Works of important masters from all periods. Develops wider understanding of music through intelligent listening.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 122 Music of the United States
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Spring)

Instructors
Lerner, Weinstein

The cultivated and vernacular traditions of U.S. music from the Colonial period to the present. Focus on close listening and cultural trends. Topics include: parlor song, minstrelsy, Tin Pan Alley, ragtime, blues, jazz, modernism, country, rock, postmodernism.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 141 World Musics
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Fall, Spring)

Instructor
Stasack

Exploration of selected musical systems of the world, approached through study of their basic stylistic elements. Discussion centers on the music and instruments indigenous to each system and includes extra-musical cultural associations such as religion and theatre. Listening drawn from field and studio recordings of indigenous performers.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.

MUS 155 Applied Music
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of instructor required. One credit for two consecutive semesters.  Additional fee $770.

Instructor
Staff 

Auditions take place the first week of Fall semester.  After auditioning, students register on the music webpage.  Spring registration takes place during course preferences registration or regular drop/add.


Applied instruction designed for students with previous vocal or instrumental training.  Ability to read music is required.  Must successfully complete jury at end of each semester of study. See instructor for competency levels and literature requirements.

MUS 195 Independent Study
Prerequisites & Notes

Open to qualified students with permission of the chair.

Instructor
Staff

Independent study in music under the direction of a faculty member who reviews and approves the topic, and determines the means of evaluation.

MUS 201 Harmony
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Spring)

Instructor
Botelho

Introduction to the grammar of tonal music through part-writing and analysis. Includes scales, intervals, triads, seventh chords, and their inversions. Ear training in intervals, chords, melody, and rhythm.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 211 Music Technology and Production
Prerequisites & Notes

MUS 110, 201, or 261. (Fall)

Instructor
B. Lawing

An introduction to digital sound design and music production. The class consists of several independent projects that examine various hardware and software instruments and processors, and apply them to various audio productions.

 

MUS 221 Studies of Composers and Styles
Prerequisites & Notes

Repeatable for credit.

Certain topics count for the Gender and Sexuality Studies major. 

Instructor
Staff

Courses concentrating upon specific varying topics in music history.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 222 Studies of Composers and Styles
Prerequisites & Notes

Repeatable for credit.

Instructor
Staff

Courses concentrating upon specific varying topics in music history.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 223 Studies of Composers and Styles
Prerequisites & Notes

Repeatable for credit.

Instructor
Staff

Courses concentrating upon specific varying topics in music history.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

MUS 224 The Symphony
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
B. Lawing

History of the symphony and its literature from pre-classical examples to the present.

MUS 226 Opera
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Keith

A study of prominent operas with a focus on production, reception, structures, historical context and significance. 

MUS 227 History of the Orchestra
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Keith

The social and institutional history of the orchestra in Western civilization from the Baroque to the present. 

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 228 Film Music
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Lerner

Historical, stylistic, and analytic study of film music from the origins of cinema in the 1890s to the present, focusing on fictional Hollywood narratives while also considering music's function in documentary and avant-garde filmmaking. Emphasizes close reading of music in relation to film, and vice versa.  Weekly screenings.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 229 American Culture of The 1950s
Prerequisites & Notes

Music 122 or permission of instructor. (Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Lerner

A cultural analysis and history of America from the 1950s, informed by an interdisciplinary blend of texts and methodologies borrowed from musicology, literary analysis, film studies, art history, and cultural studies. While the primary emphasis will be on music (e.g., bebop, cool, rock & roll, modernism), close attention will also be given to visual art (e.g., Abstract Expressionism), literature (e.g., the Beats), and film.

MUS 232 Jazz
Prerequisites & Notes

No muisc training required. (Fall; normally offered in alternate years.)

Instructor
B. Lawing

A general introduction to jazz. The class will explore the roots of jazz, will critically examine jazz improvisation, and will present a history of jazz from its beginnings to the present.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 233 American Musical Theatre
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
B. Lawing

An introduction to the history and literature of the Broadway musical. Greatest emphasis is placed on the period beginning with Oklahoma! and continuing to the present.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 234 Music of the Southern Appalachians
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Spring)

Instructor
Lawing

An exploration of the vocal and instrumental traditions of the Southern Appalachians, with emphasis upon traditions of Madison County, Wilkes County, and Surry County, NC. Focus will be upon unaccompanied ballads and tunes for fiddle and banjo. Activities will include performance, field recording, historical research and festival attendance.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 235 Record Production and Recording Industries
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Not offered in 2016-17.)

Weinstein


This course will explore critical issues in the history and practice of music recording, focusing especially on how music recording has participated in the discourses of modernism and late capitalism.  The course considers the technologies and agents that have shaped its history and its aesthetics, the social and economic systems that impact its creative forms, and theoretical approaches to recorded sound itself. 

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

MUS 236 Social Dance and The Orchestra
Prerequisites & Notes

Instructor
Keith

This course introduces students to orchestral dance music, specifically music that was used for or appropriated from social functions. Types of dances will include those of Western Europe, Latin America, and the United States.  The course will explore the function and reception of these dance stylizations.  

Satisfies a major requirement in Music

Satisfies a minor requirement in Music

Satisfies the Visual & Performing Arts distribution requirement

MUS 241 Music of Latin America
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Fall; normally offered in alternate years.)

Instructor
Botelho

An introduction to the music of Hispanic and Luso American countries and cultures from colonial times to the present.  Topics include: sacred and secular colonial music, son, marimba music, vieja guardia music, tonada, milonga, tango, Latin jazz, samba, and bossa nova.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.  Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.  

MUS 242 Music of Asia
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17. 

Instructor
Stasack

Indigenous classical and folk music of China, Japan, Korea, and India. Includes vocal and instrumental music, as well as prominent dance and theatre forms. Considers aspects of musical systems, aesthetics, and performance practice. Emphasis on historical traditions.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.  Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement. 

MUS 245 Music in World Religions
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.

Instructor
Stasack

Cross-cultural study of musical styles, roles, and performance practices in religious belief systems and sacred rituals around the world. Thematic issues include: explicit and implicit relationships between musical substance and ideology; music as a tool for expressing, preserving, and empowering sacred texts; music as a means of structuring ritual; and the power of music to transform experience.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.  Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.  

MUS 246 Music of Brazil
Prerequisites & Notes

No music training required. (Fall; normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Botelho

A survey of cultivated and vernacular traditions of Brazilian music from colonial times to the present. Topics include: sacred and secular colonial music, the barroco mineiro, nationalism, the avant-garde, samba, bossa nova, MPB, candomblé, jazz, tropical rock, and rap.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.  Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.

MUS 255 Applied Music: Intermediate
Prerequisites & Notes

Music 155 or permission of instructor.  One credit for two consecutive semesters.  Additional fee $770.

Instructor
Staff

Registration takes place on the music web page during course preferences registration or regular drop/add for Fall semester.

Applied instruction designed for students with previous vocal or instrumental training. Must successfully complete jury at the end of each semester of study. See instructor for competency levels and literature requirements.

MUS 261 Introduction to Composition
Prerequisites & Notes

Music 101 or permission of instructor. (Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Stasack

A course exploring the sounds and architectures of contemporary musical styles, while cultivating individual projects in composition, with opportunities for performance of works in recital.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

MUS 262 Songwriting and Transcription
Prerequisites & Notes

MUS 101 or permission of instructor required. (Fall; normally offered in alternate years.)

Instructor
Stasack

Composition in popular song form and transcription techniques using current lead sheet format. Emphasis on developing aural perception and notational skills. 

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

MUS 263 Composition - Non-Western Styles
Prerequisites & Notes

MUS 101 or permission of instructor required. (Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17)

Instructor
Stasack

Study and implementation of compositional techniques employed in musical systems of non-European cultures. Students focus on a particular area.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.  Satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.

MUS 265 Introduction to Digital Music Composition
Prerequisites & Notes

MUS 101 or permission of instructor. (Spring)

Instructor
Stasack

An approach to music composition using the platform of digital technology. Students will learn to implement contemporary compositional processes through the use of digital tools. Of particular emphasis is exploring the world of sound and its organization into meaningful and aesthetically coherent forms without the technical limitations of acoustic execution. Each student will create a final piece that will be realized in a group concert at the end of the semester.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

MUS 271 Modernism/Postmodernism
Prerequisites & Notes

First-year students require permission of the instructor. (Not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Lerner

A study of modern and postmodern music, combining close listening (e.g. Schoenberg, Cage, Reich) with critical responses to its aesthetic and ideological contexts (e.g. Adorno, Jameson, McClary). Representative genres include: symphony, string quartet, opera, film score, performance art.

MUS 295 Independent Study
Prerequisites & Notes

Open to qualified students with permission of the chair.

Instructor
Staff

Independent study in music under the direction of a faculty member who reviews and approves the topic, and determines the means of evaluation.

MUS 301 Advanced Harmony
Prerequisites & Notes

MUS 201. (Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Botelho

Contrapuntal techniques within a diatonic framework, including sequences, melodic and rhythmic figuration; modal mixture, applied chords, modulation, and the Neapolitan- and augmented-sixth chords. Ear training includes one- and two-part exercises.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 302 Form and Analysis
Prerequisites & Notes

Music 201. (Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Botelho

Analytical techniques and formal processes of tonal music, including expressive styles and topics, binary and ternary forms, variation, fugue, and sonata form.

MUS 311 Music Technology & Production
Prerequisites & Notes

<p><strong>Instructor</strong><br>
B. Lawing<br>
<br>
An introduction to digital sound design and music production. The class consists of several independent projects that examine various hardware and software instruments and processors, and apply them to various audio productions.</p>
<p>Does NOT satisfy a distribution requirement.</p><br><b>Prerequisites:</b><br><p>MUS 110, 201, or 261. (Fall)</p>

MUS 312 Conducting
Prerequisites & Notes

MUS 101 or permission of instructor. (Spring; normally offered in alternate years.)

Instructor
Keith

Designed for students who plan to pursue both choral and instrumental conducting.  Emphasis on technique, rehearsal procedure, literature, and stylistic practices.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

MUS 321 Impressionism
Prerequisites & Notes

MUS 101 or permission of instructor. (Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Keith

A survey of Impressionist music at the turn of the twentieth century, with focus on French composers and those they influenced.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement. 

MUS 325 Music History I: Europe to 1800
Prerequisites & Notes

(Not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Lerner

The history of music in medieval and early modern Europe in its cultural and social context, emphasizing musical style, notation, and performance practice. Periods include Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical through Beethoven's first stylistic period.

Satisfies the Historical Thought distribution requirement. 

MUS 328 Music History II: Europe and The U.S. After 1800
Prerequisites & Notes

(Not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Lerner

The history of music in modern Europe and the United States in its cultural and social context, emphasizing musical style, notation, and performance practice. Periods include Romantic, Post-Romantic, Modern, and Postmodern.

Satisfies the Historical Thought distribution requirement. 

MUS 356 Applied Music: Advanced Intermediate
Prerequisites & Notes

Music 255 or permission of instructor.  1 credit for 2 consecutive semesters.  Additional fee $770.

Instructor
Staff

Registration takes place on the music web page during course preferences registration or drop/add for Fall semester.

Applied instruction designed for students with previous vocal or instrumental training.  Must successfully complete jury at end of each semester of study.  See instructor for competency levels and literature requirements.

MUS 357 Applied Music: Advanced
Prerequisites & Notes

MUS 356 or permission of instructor. 1 credit for 2 consecutive semesters. Additional fee $770.

Instructor
Staff 

Registration takes place on the music web page during course preferences registration or drop/add for Fall semester.

Applied instruction designed for students with previous vocal or instrumental training. Must successfully complete jury at end of each semester of study. See instructor for competency levels and literature requirements.

MUS 361 Advanced Studies in Composition
Prerequisites & Notes

MUS 261, 262, 263, or 265. (Fall; normally offered in alternate years.)

Instructor
Stasack

Continued development of creative and technical skills in music composition. Emphasis on exploring the unique sensibilities of the individual.

MUS 380 Advanced Topics in Music History
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor
Lerner

Specialized study of a composer, period, or genre, utilizing a variety of specialized notational, analytical, and theoretical methodologies.

MUS 381 Advanced Topics in Music History
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required. 

Instructor
Lerner

Specialized study of a composer, period, or genre, utilizing a variety of specialized notational, analytical, and theoretical methodologies.

MUS 382 Advanced Topics in Music History
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required. 

Instructor
Lerner

Specialized study of a composer, period, or genre, utilizing a variety of specialized notational, analytical, and theoretical methodologies.

MUS 383 Herrmann & Hitchcock
Prerequisites & Notes

Permission of the instructor required. Normally students will have had at least one prior semester of college-level music or related study. (Not offered in 2016-17.)

Instructor
Lerner

A seminar concentrating on the nine film scores stemming from the remarkable collaboration of composer Bernard Herrmann and filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. After an introductory section on each, the seminar will then proceed chronologically through their nine films. Particular emphasis will be placed on the ways that Herrmann's music blended together with Hitchcock's aesthetic vision to impact and complicate notions of gender identities.

Satisfies the Visual and Performing Arts distribution requirement.

MUS 385 Video Game Music (=FMS 385)
Prerequisites & Notes

Normally offered in alternate years; not offered in 2016-17.

Instructor
Lerner

Historical, stylistic, and analytic study of video game music from its origins in the arcade games of the 1970s to the present. Emphases on close readings of music in relation to gameplay, and vice versa. Includes training in digital audio manipulation to create sound design and musical sequences.

Satisfies the Liberal Studies distribution requirement. 

MUS 395 Independent Study
Prerequisites & Notes

Open to qualified students with permission of the chair.

Instructor
Staff

Independent study in music under the direction of a faculty member who reviews and approves the topic, and determines the means of evaluation.

MUS 396 Independent Study
Prerequisites & Notes

Open to qualified students with permission of the chair.

Instructor
Staff

Independent study in music under the direction of a faculty member who reviews and approves the topic, and determines the means of evaluation.

MUS 401 Senior Seminar
Prerequisites & Notes

Limited to senior music majors; open to other qualified students by permission of the instructor. (Fall)

Instructor
Staff
 

A capstone seminar synthesizing historical inquiry, analytical methods, and performance practice along with techniques of music research, writing, and close listening. Topics chosen by the course instructor.