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Courses

The Department of Music is home to a distinguished faculty that teaches in areas of performance, music history, ethnomusicology, music theory, jazz studies, composition and music technology. Faculty who teach voice, band and orchestral instruments are professional musicians in the Richmond area, including principals of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and accomplished jazz performers.

Within the University of Richmond's School of Arts & Sciences, the Department of Music reflects the University's outstanding liberal arts tradition. Carefully nurtured faculty-student relationships are afforded throughout the curriculum. One example is the team-taught chamber music program, in which each participating ensemble receives coaching from four different chamber faculty members as well as eighth blackbird, Richmond's ensemble-in-residence. In addition, students who enroll in the department's capstone course, in which they produce an Honors thesis or project, work individually with faculty mentors on projects in their areas of specialty.

Music Courses
MUS 095 Repetoire/Colloquium Class
Units: 0
Description
Attendance at weekly repertoire/colloquium class and selected performances, lectures or presentations. Enrollees taking private lessons must perform in class at least once during the semester. May be repeated. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.
Prerequisites
Music major or minor.

MUS 100 Make/Listen/Play: Introduction to Music Studies
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
Make-Listen-Play introduces students to music through the study of musical processes in the fields of performance, theory, composition, and musicology. After mastering essential skills in each of these areas, students will write, stage, and critique a collaborative musical project. It is strongly recommended that students enrolled in the course have the ability to read musical notation (staff music); this skill will be assumed and will not be taught in the course.

MUS 107 Music Fundamentals
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
For students with little or no previous training in theory or piano. Practical understanding of intervals, scales, keys, chord structures, and rhythm, using keyboard and sight-singing as vehicles of instruction. Does not count toward music major.

MUS 109 Elementary Musicianship
Units: .5
Description
Proficiency-based study of sight singing, ear training, rhythm reading, and other essential musicianship skills for majors, minors, and advanced non majors. A prerequisite for all theory study. May be satisfied by examination.

MUS 110 Tonal Harmony I: Common Practice Period
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
Entry-level music theory course. Study and application of harmonic practice in Western music of 17th and 18th centuries by means of original compositions and analysis of selected literature. Continuation of musicianship exercises from Music 109.
Prerequisites
Music 109 and permission of instructor.

MUS 114 Popular Music of the 1970s and 1980s
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement FSVP
Description
Discusses the historical developments in popular music of the 70s and 80s, and the musics' cultural and social impact and overarching discourses. Through a series of papers, students will investigate how the music of these eras influenced and was influenced by the politics and issues of the day. Students will argue for how these issues affected musical styles and presentations. Students will be able to identify at least some of the ways the musics of the 70s and 80s have impacted the music and bands that came after it.

MUS 115 The Jazz Tradition
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
For general student. Survey of cultural history of jazz; jazz styles from 1917 to present; and evolution of jazz from African music, music of slavery, ragtime, and blues. Includes concert attendance and performance project.

MUS 116 Music Scenes
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
Sections are designed each semester around on- and off-campus concerts. Students consider historical, social, and cultural issues particular to each concert and interact with visiting artists and University of Richmond's ensemble in residence, eighth blackbird.

MUS 117 Salsa Meets Jazz
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
For general student. Traces influx of Latin-American music into North American jazz. Connects music and dances of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Brazil to their subsequent synthesis in jazz.

MUS 122 America's Music and Media
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
Topically-based survey of media and technological innovations that have facilitated the creation and distribution of diverse American musical forms from the late-19th century through the early 21st. Investigates changes in the production and consumption of American music from the circulation of sheet music, wax cylinders, and player pianos that dominated the turn of the 20th century to the Mp4 files and Digital Audio Workstations (D.A.W.) we enjoy today.

MUS 123 Meaning and Music
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
For general student. Explores aspects of meaning as it pertains to the musical arts. Considers such issues of emotion and music, expectations of the listener, music and representation, and composer/performer intentions.

MUS 125 Indonesian Theater and Music
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
This course will be a highly interdisciplinary introduction into the rich and complexly interconnected traditions of theater and music from the island nation of Indonesia. Students will study the history and form of various traditions and partake in numerous hands-on workshops involving traditional shadow theater, comedy, dance, and gamelan orchestral music.

MUS 130 Class Guitar
Units: .5
Description
Introduction to guitar through folk music.

MUS 131 Class Piano
Units: .5
Description
For beginning piano student. Introduction to elements of music via the keyboard.

MUS 132 Class Voice
Units: .5
Description
For the beginning voice student. Introduction to the basic elements of vocal technique through the study of body and breath control, vocal exercises, beginning repertoire, and performance experience.

MUS 134 Songbirds and Sirens
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement FSHT
Description
Examines the ways in which performers, composters, and operatic works shape and relfect cultural attitudes about gender and music. The interdisciplinary nature of opera, which combines text, music, and theatrical performance, will be considered through methodologies developed in music, literary criticism, theater and gender studies. Interplay between operatic characters and the public and private lives of women singers will deepen our engagement with both the artistic works we study and the cultures in which they were first forged.

MUS 136 The Grotesque in the Arts
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
Exploration of the concept of the grotesque through music, literature, the visual arts, film, and contemporary culture. The grotesque will be examined not merely as a category or a list of attributes, but rather as an artistic and cultural phenomenon--something that must be experienced and felt in order to be understood. Creation of grotesque projects required of students.

MUS 137 Gender, Sex, and the Romantic Piano
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
A cultural history of the nineteenth-century piano that examines composers, performers, and musical works in the context of social and cultural events. Performance of piano music at students' own level. Analysis of texts and images to consider how aesthetics and musical styles relate to social norms, sexuality, gender, spectatorship, and celebrity. No previous piano experience is necessary, but the ability to read musical notation (staff music) is strongly recommended; this skill will be assumed and will not be taught in the course.

MUS 138 Special Topics in Music
Units: 1
Description
Selected topics in music not covered in the music program. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

MUS 201 Documents of Music History
Units: 1
Description
Introduction to primary sources (manuscript and printed scores, composers' writings, and concert reviews) used in music study and research. By focusing on the recurring themes of creation, dissemination, and consumption of musical works, students will learn to apply these resources to fundamental questions about music in a variety of historical periods.
Prerequisites
Music 101.

MUS 202 Global Drums
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
Exploration of repertoires from various global music traditions. Performance of traditional instruments from Asia and Africa and participation in performances and workshops with expert native performers. No prior experience necessary.

MUS 204 Choral Music and Creed
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
Major religious and cultural trends in the history of the West approached through selected choral masterworks by considering the sources and cultural functions of the texts, the philosophical outlook of the composer, and the ways the available musical resources of the period were used. (Same as Religion 204.)

MUS 205 Diction for Singers
Units: .5
Description
Study of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and its application to singing diction in a variety of languages. Preparation and performance of works in the languages being studied.
Prerequisites
Current enrollment in applied study in voice or piano.

MUS 206 Selected Topics in Vocal Performance
Units: .5
Description
Focuses on a variety of topics related to the voice and vocal performance.
Prerequisites
MSAP 060, MSAP 160, or MUS 132

MUS 207 Musical Theatre and Opera Scene Workshop
Units: .5
Description
Study of stage techniques for the singer applied to various scenes from operatic and musical theater repertoire resulting in staged performance by class members. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites
Current enrollment in applied voice instruction or permission of instructor.

MUS 208 Global Pop
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
Focuses on popular music from outside the Euro-American cultural sphere. Uses methodologies and theories from ethnomusicology, cultural studies and anthropology to critically investigate the emergence of so-called popular musics around the globe beginning in the early 20th century. How is the 'pop-classical,' 'high-low' division of the arts that characterizes cultural production in the West transformed in different locales? Includes direct engagement in various local genres through hands on performance workshops.

MUS 211 Tonal Harmony II: Chromaticism
Units: 1
Description
Continuation of MUS 110. Study and application of harmonic practice in Western music of the 18th and 19th centuries by means of original compositions and analysis of selected literature. Continuation of musicianship exercises from Music 109.
Prerequisites
Music 110 or permission of instructor.

MUS 212 Analytic Approaches to Contemporary Music
Units: 1
Description
Study and application of harmonic practice in Western music of the 20th and 21st centuries by means of original compositions and analysis of selected literature. Continuation of musicianship exercises from Music 211.
Prerequisites
Music 211 or permission of instructor.

MUS 213 Any Sound You Can Imagine: Recording, Transforming and Organizing Sound
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement FSVP
Description
Introduces students to the techniques, tools, aesthetic ideas, and traditions of organizing sound in meaningful ways using computers. Students will learn recording techniques, principles of digital audio, and techniques of audio transformation and organization in the service of producing several original brief compositions. In addition, students will study relevant readings and pieces drawn from the electronica, electroacoustic, and experimental repertoires.

MUS 214 Jazz Arranging
Units: 1
Description
Comprehensive study of evolution of jazz arranging and composition from 1920s to present. Score analysis of representative works by Sammy Nestico, Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer, and others. Extensive listening. Students will arrange for small and large jazz ensembles.
Prerequisites
Music 110.

MUS 217 Soundscapes
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
A consideration of sound, broadly conceived. Analysis of local soundscapes and transformations in the meanings of sound, noise and silence in contemporary American culture using the methodologies of sound studies and ethnomusicology. Performance of experimental and ecological compositions by composers including John Cage and John Luther Adams. No previous music experience necessary.

MUS 221 Music in Film
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)
Description
For general student. Study of interaction of music and visual image in Hollywood film; emphasis on nature of musical meaning, music and association, and music as a cultural code.

MUS 226 Music and Media in Popular Culture
Units: 1
Description
Exploration of topics and issues relating to intersections of music, media, technology and popular culture. Taught through the examination of scholarly methodologies and theories from musicology, media, sociology, aesthetics, and popular culture.
Prerequisites
MUS 109 or permission of instructor

MUS 228 Historical Musicology
Units: 1
Description
Introduces students to research methodologies in historical musicology using case studies drawn from Western art music. Emphasis is placed on discovering and using primary sources, interpreting contemporary scholarship, and articulating ideas through writing and oral discourse.
Prerequisites
MUS 110 or permission of department.

MUS 229 Anthropology of Music
Units: 1
Description
Third in series of courses devoted to the exploration of significant topics and issues, methodologies, and theories applicable to historical and ethnographic music studies. Taught through examination of a broad cross selection of musical styles, genres, and traditions.

MUS 230 Class Guitar II
Units: .5
Description
For the intermediate level guitarist not yet ready for private instruction.
Prerequisites
MUS 130 or permission of instructor

MUS 231 Conducting Fundamentals
Units: 1
Description
Essentials of instrumental and choral conducting. Rehearsal techniques and practical experience in directing musical groups.
Prerequisites
Music 109 or permission of instructor.

MUS 235 I Want My MTV: Music Video and the Transformation of the Music Industry
Units: 1
Description
Engagement with early music videos, as well as corresponding albums and related cultural multimedia as primary sources, to analyze the critical relationships between the music and images that premiered on the MTV network in its first decades. Situation of videos in their historical and cultural contexts using methodologies from a variety of disciplines, including film and cinema studies, sociology, the music industry, ethnomusicology and musicology.

MUS 255 Historical Performance Practice
Units: 1
Description
An introduction to the study of Western performance practice traditions, addressing principles of rhetoric, phrasing, expression, articulation, rhythm, rubato and tuning based on historical sources. We will investigate not only how musicians played and sang in different times and places, but also in what performance contexts. In addition to recently published studies, we will work with primary treatises (on various instruments and the voice). This class will offer the opportunity not only to discover these surprisingly foreign performance traditions, but also to experiment practically.

MUS 304 Music Entrepreneurship
Units: 1
Description
Building a career in music and developing skills beyond musicianship that contribute to success in the field of music. Considers the specialized skills and diversified experiences required for the next generation of cultural leaders.
Prerequisites
Music major or minor, or permission of instructor.

MUS 306 Introduction to Composition
Units: 1
Description
Introduction of materials and techniques of acoustic composition through readings, listening assignments, composition exercises, and performances.
Prerequisites
Music 110 or permission of instructor.

MUS 307 Composition
Units: .5
Description
Directed projects in various styles for traditional and/or electronic media. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites
Music 306 or permission of instructor.

MUS 310 Managing Performing Arts Organizations
Units: 1
Description
For those interested in managing and leading a performing arts organization, this course is a review of topics essential for successful management of a performing arts organization. Includes nonprofit and alternative organizational structure, organizational development and structure-- (management, board of directors, and staffing), leadership and management styles, budget development and fiscal management, strategic planning, marketing and audience development, legals issues, and other related topics. (Same as Theatre 310.)
Prerequisites
Major or minor in music, theatre or dance or permission of instructor.

MUS 313 Advanced Computer Music
Units: 1
Description
Continuation of Music 213. Exploration of audio computer systems, including digital recording and mixing devices. Creation and transcription of music for computer-controlled performance.
Prerequisites
Music 213 or permission of instructor.

MUS 338 Special Topics in Music History, Theory or Music Education
Units: 1
Description
Selected topics such as musical genre, works of specific composers, or techniques of teaching and learning music. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
Prerequisites
Music 109 and 227 or 228 or permission of instructor.

MUS 344 Opera Studies
Units: 1
Description
Explores significant topics and issues in the study of opera through variety of approaches and methodologies; opera's connections to other disciplines, histories, and contexts will be emphasized.
Prerequisites
Music 109 or permission of instructor.

MUS 345 Philanthropy in the Arts
Units: 1
Description
Survey of strategies, tools and techniques involved in generating contributed income for arts organizations from private individuals, foundations, corporations, business, and government agencies. Central issues include underlying psychological and practical bases of fundraising in the arts and exposure to research and methods involved in developing donor prospects. Fundraising techniques, including direct mail, telemarketing, grant writing, personal appeals, major gift solicitation, special events, capital campaigns, endowment campaigns, sponsorships, and planned giving. Does not satisfy major or minor requirements. (Same as ARTH 345 and THTR 345.)
Prerequisites
MUS 310, ARTH 322, or permission of instructor.

MUS 350 Student Recital
Units: .5
Description
Preparation and performance of a solo recital by students in applied study or composition. Non-capstone recitals do not count towards the music major.
Prerequisites
Current enrollment in applied study or composition or permission of instructor.

MUS 388 Individual Internship
Units: .5-1
Description
No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.
Prerequisites
Departmental approval

MUS 395 Independent Study
Units: .5
Prerequisites
Department approval.

MUS 400 Honors Seminar
Units: .5
Description
Seminar on topics in critical studies, music performance, music theory, or composition for honors students selected by the instructor and those enrolled.
Prerequisites
Acceptance in department honors program.

MUS 401 Senior Thesis/Project
Units: .5
Description
Guided research and preparation for thesis or project in performance, composition, theory/analysis, musicology. Concurrent registration for applied study may be required.
Prerequisites
Senior music major.

MUS 402 Honors Thesis/Project
Units: .5
Description
Guided research and preparation for thesis or project in performance, composition, theory/analysis, musicology.
Prerequisites
MUS 401 and acceptance into department honors program.

MUS 406 Summer Undergraduate Research
Units: 0
Description
Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.
Prerequisites
Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor

Music Ensemble Courses - Choral Ensembles (MSEN)
MSEN 190 Women's Chorale
Units: .5
Fulfills General Education Requirement FSVP - must complete 1 unit in same ensemble before FSVP credit is awarded.
Description
Women's chorus; study and perform choral literature appropriate to the group from a variety of style periods and origins. Two rehearsals weekly. Regular performances on and off campus. May be repeated.
An auditioned women’s choir of 20-30 singers that performs a wide variety of accompanied and a cappella repertoire from the Western classical tradition to world musics.
  • Meets Mondays & Wednesdays 5:30-6:45 p.m. in 127 Booker Hall
  • Open by audition to all students regardless of academic major
  • Conducted by Mr. David Pedersen, Adjunct Instructor of Music
  • To schedule an audition, contact Jeffrey Riehl

MSEN 196 Schola Cantorum
Units: .5
Fulfills General Education Requirement FSVP - must complete 1 unit in same ensemble before FSVP credit is awarded.
Description
Small mixed chorus; study and perform choral literature appropriate to the group from variety of style periods and origins; emphasis on a cappella repertoire. Three rehearsals weekly. Regular performances on and off campus; biannual tour. May be repeated.
An auditioned, mixed choir of 24-30 singers that performs on and off campus, tours internationally, and performs a wide variety of repertoire, including works from the Western Classical tradition, folk songs, spirituals, and world musics.  Recent concert tours have taken Schola to Spain, Italy, France, Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.  Schola’s recording, Christmas from Jamestowne, recently was broadcast on International Public Radio.
  • Meets Mondays & Wednesdays 4:10-5:20 p.m. and Thursdays 5:00-6:00 p.m. in 127 Booker Hall
  • Open by audition to all students regardless of academic major
  • Conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Riehl, Associate Professor of Music
  • To schedule an audition, contact Jeffrey Riehl

Music Ensemble Courses - Instrumental Ensembles (MSEN)
MSEN 191 University Orchestra
Units: .5
Fulfills General Education Requirement FSVP - must complete 1 unit in same ensemble before FSVP credit is awarded.
Description
Study and performance of works for symphony orchestra. One rehearsal and one sectional weekly. Regular performances on and off campus. May be repeated.
A chamber orchestra that studies and performs works for symphony orchestra.
  • Meets Tuesdays 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. in Camp Concert Hall plus sectionals
  • Open by audition to all students with training on an orchestral instrument
  • Conducted by Mr. Alexander Kordzaia, Adjunct Instructor of Music
  • To schedule an audition, contact Alexander Kordzaia

MSEN 192 Jazz Ensemble
Units: .5
Fulfills General Education Requirement FSVP - must complete 1 unit in same ensemble before FSVP credit is awarded.
Description
Study and performance of Big Band repertoire from swing era to present. One rehearsal and two sectionals weekly with two or more concerts each year. May be repeated.

A jazz ensemble that studies and performs Big Band repertoire from the swing era to present day.

  • Meets Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 p.m. in 117 Booker Hall, plus sectionals
  • Open by audition to all students
  • Led by Dr. Michael Davison, Professor of Music 
  • To schedule an audition, contact Michael Davison

MSEN 193 University Band
Units: .5
Fulfills General Education Requirement FSVP - must complete 1 unit in same ensemble before FSVP credit is awarded.
Description
Study and performance of wind band literature. Wind Ensemble of 50-60 members. One on-campus concert per semester. One rehearsal and one sectional weekly. May be repeated.

A wind ensemble of 50-60 members and Pep Band of selected players.

  • Meets Thursdays 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Camp Concert Hall, plus sectionals
  • Open by audition to all students with instrumental experience
  • Conducted by Mr. David Niethamer, Adjunct Instructor of Music 
  • To schedule an audition, contact David Niethamer

MSEN 195 Jazz Combo
Units: .25
Description
Small jazz ensemble: Swing, Brazilian, bluegrass, American roots, samba. Regular performances on and off campus. May be repeated.

Small instrumental ensembles that focus on specific jazz traditions. Sections for this course are as follows:

195-01 & 02    Combo Music: Swing
195-03    Combo Music:  Bossa Nova
195-04    Combo Music:  Bluegrass
195-05    Combo Music:  American Roots
195-06    Combo Music:  Samba
195-07    Combo Music: Swing (Percussion Ensemble)

  • See class schedule for meeting times and locations
  • Open to all students
  • Led by members of the music faculty 
  • Contact Barbara Melton or Michael Davison for more information 

MSEN 201 Chamber Music
Units: .5
Fulfills General Education Requirement FSVP - must complete 1 unit in same ensemble before FSVP credit is awarded.
Description
Study and performance of chamber music. Coaching by various members of the Department of Music. One rehearsal and one coaching weekly. May be repeated.

Study and perform chamber music coached by members of the music faculty.

  • Meets Mondays from 6:30-9:00 p.m. in Booker Hall
  • Open by audition to all students with vocal or instrumental training
  • Coordinated by Dr. Joanne Kong, Director of Accompanying
  • Contact Joanne Kong for more information

MSEN 202 Guitar Ensemble
Units: .25
Description
Study and performance of guitar ensemble literature. One rehearsal weekly. May be repeated.

MSEN 203 Global Music Ensemble
Units: .25
Fulfills General Education Requirement FSVP - must complete 1 unit in same ensemble before FSVP credit is awarded.
Description
Hands-on exploration of traditional musical repertoires from around the world. Students will perform on hand-made instruments from Asia and Africa and join with expert native musicians and dancers in an end-of-semester concert. Focuses primarily on Balinese gamelan (percussion orchestra) music and Ghanaian Ewe drumming ensemble music. Occasional workshops on Javanese and Brazilian musics. No previous musical experience is necessary. Traditions learned aurally/orally; no prior experience with notation is necessary. One rehearsal weekly.

Hands-on exploration of traditional musical repertoires from around the world using hand-made instruments from Asia and Africa.  Focuses primarily on Balinese gamelan (percussion orchestra) music and Ghanaian Ewe drumming ensemble music.

  • Meets Wednesdays 4:00-5:30 in 117 Booker Hall
  • Open to all students; no previous musical experience is necessary
  • Led by Dr. Andrew McGraw, Assistant Professor of Music
  • Register through BannerWeb

MSEN 204 Little Big Band
Units: .5
Fulfills General Education Requirement FSVP - must complete 1 unit in same ensemble before FSVP credit is awarded.
Description
Large jazz combo; study and perform chamber jazz literature from many different jazz and contemporary styles, including swing, be bop, Latin jazz and jazz rock. Emphasis on performance and improvisation. Two 1.5-hour rehearsals weekly with regular performances on and off campus.

Individual Instruction Courses

Students have the option of taking private lessons either for credit (MSAP 160 - 182) or for no credit (MSAP 060 - 082). Taking a lesson for no credit carries an automatic $450 studio fee each semester.  Credit lessons registration requires a pre-approval process through the Department of Music and prior to each semester lessons are desired.  SEE Registration procedures.

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