Course Descriptions

Course Catalog for MUSIC
MUSC 101
Basic Musicianship
An introduction to the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic structure of tonal music, with the emphasis on the development of a chordal vocabulary equally adaptable to classical and popular music. A required weekly practicum will stress ear-training (recognition of intervals, chords, rhythms, etc.) and its practical applications at the keyboard. Prerequisite for Music 201, may not be counted toward the major in music.
1.25 units, Lecture
MUSC 102
Trinity College Choir
The Trinity College Choir performs varied and challenging choral repertoire, in concert, each semester. Singers will also work on vocal techniques and related musicianship. Membership is by permission of instructor.
0.50 units, Studio
MUSC 105
Instrumental Ensemble
Coached by Hartford-area professionals, chamber music ensembles are formed as a result of placement auditions with the Coordinator. Every effort is made to group students with others at the same skill level. Ensembles perform at least once each semester. Ensembles repertoire includes works from Western art musical traditions as well as arrangements of popular music songs and world music traditions.
0.50 units, Studio
MUSC 107
Lessons
Individual instruction in voice or an instrument is offered by teachers invited to the College campus; credit may also be granted for lessons taken from outside teachers who have been approved by the coordinator. Students must contact an instructor and schedule lessons before permission can be granted to register for the course. Lessons require an extra fee. Fees for Lessons are $600 for eleven one-hour lessons, payable directly to the instructor. Financial aid to cover instructors' fees is available on a limited basis to Trinity Grant students. Decisions on grant awards will be made on Friday of the first week of classes.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 101, which may be taken concurrently, and permission of the coordinator.
0.50 units, Studio
MUSC 109
Jazz Ensemble
Jazz is America's own art form! The Jazz Ensemble studies and performs the compositions of Ellington, Monk, Coltrane, Hancock, and others, as well as original works by Professor Allen and the group members. Styles span the gamut of jazz history, from traditional swing to fusion and jam band funk. We will work hard on improving individually and as a group, with focus on creative improvising, group interplay, and solid grooves. There are usually two performances per semester at various venues on campus.
0.50 units, Studio
MUSC 111
Samba Ensemble
Emphasis is on the study and performance of the Brazilian samba drumming tradition. Related musical styles and musical genres are also included. Previous performance experience is not required, and students may take this course for more than one semester. Membership by permission of the instructor. Also listed under International Studies – Latin American and Caribbean.
0.50 units, Studio
MUSC 113
Introduction to World Music
A comprehensive survey of global musical traditions that encompasses rural and urban music from Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, India, Asia, and the Americas. This course is designed to highlight the central role of musical expression in human life, exploring musical sound and movement in sacred, secular, ritual, and non-ritual contexts. No previous musical knowledge is required. Students are expected to learn basic listening skills and identify musical styles. The course culminates in a final research project about a world music tradition, ensemble, performer, or other related topic. Also listed in International Studies-African studies, International Studies-Asian studies, and International Studies-Latin American and Caribbean studies.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 114
Topics in World Music
An introduction to the contemporary music-scapes of China, Japan, and Korea. We will explore contemporary forms of instrumental music that retain, refigure, or renew connections with traditional forms: newly invented or modernized ensembles of traditional instruments; composers of avant-garde concert music and their encounters with traditional music; innovative performers of traditional instruments; and pop music and efforts of traditional instrumentalists to popularize their music. No background in music is required. Also listed under International Studies/Asian Studies.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 119
Musical-Theater Production
For departmental musical-theater productions, students may enroll on a show-by-show basis at the beginning of the show’s production process. To do so, contact the instructor. Offered only pass/fail.
0.25 units, Studio
MUSC 120
Acting in the Musical Theater
Musical-theatre acting is, in many ways, different from the technique and concerns of acting in non-musical plays. This course will train students in: the art of examining scripts and delivering dialogue onstage; utilizing one's singing abilities most effectively in the rendering of vocal material; handling oneself onstage, with respect to stage movement/awareness as well as the use of props and costumes; and issues involving auditioning and the selection of appropriate material. No previous training in music is required. Enrollment limited. Permission of the instructor is required.
1.00 units, Studio
MUSC 121
Exploring Music
A course in music appreciation, stressing the development of skills in listening to and recognizing music from a variety of historical periods, from the medieval era to the present day. An introduction to the principles of musical notation will precede the stylistic survey. No previous knowledge of music is required. This course cannot be counted toward the music major.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 124
The Birth of Modernism
Few periods have been as rife with creative artistic expression as the first three decades of the 20th century. This course will examine ballet, opera, and “mixed entertainments” by such composers as Debussy, Ravel, Falla, Stravinsky, Bartok, Sch9Aenberg, and Weill, taking note of the developments in dance, drama, and the graphic arts (as well as in scientific and philosophical awareness) that complement breakthroughs in musical style and form. Such well-known artistic names as Nijinsky, Picasso, Brecht, Cocteau, and Wilde will be discussed. No previous training in music is required.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 150
Women in Music
A broad survey of the music and music-making traditions of European and North American women from antiquity to the present. We explore the work and lives of women active as composers and performers in a range of genres, including the classical traditions, blues, jazz, and hip hop. No previous training or experience in music is required.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 168
Igor Stravinsky: His Life and Works
It is generally agreed that Igor Stravinsky is the greatest of the 20th-century classical-music composers, his compositional range extending from the traditional forms of symphony, concerto, opera, and ballet to, most significantly, the mixed-genre form he invented that combines song, accompaniment, theater, dance, and mime. His 1913 ballet, The Rite of Spring, caused a modernist ruckus the ramifications of which we still feel today. Though Stravinsky "Westernized," as did many 19th- and 20th-century Russian composers, he nevertheless continued in his devotion to the ritual traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church and to Russian folk music, both of which saturated his music—whether it was composed in St. Petersburg, Paris, or Los Angeles. Its effect even entered pop culture to the extent that in 1940 the Walt Disney film, Fantasia, included large portions of the score to accompany no less than the evolution of Earth up to the age of the dinosaurs. More recently, John Williams's score for the movies Jaws and Superman, for example, reveal the inescapable pull of Stravinsky's innovations for composers of all types.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 183
Music in the 1960's
This is a survey course that explores the kaleidoscope of music in the 1960s. We will consider the following music and performers: the Beatles, Motown, Bob Dylan, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and music in the protest movements of the period. Students will listen to a lot of music, both in and outside the classroom, read a range of articles that situate the music in its social and political contexts, and write short responses to the assigned reading and listening.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 184
Atlanta, 1913, and Parade
In 1913, Leo Frank, a Jewish northerner recently moved to Atlanta, was falsely convicted of killing a girl who worked in the factory where he was superintendent. The death sentence was subsequently reduced to life imprisonment, but an angry mob tore Frank from his cell and lynched him. The story is recounted in the musical Parade, as well as in various books, articles, movies, and TV shows that we will examine, with a eye to the many political, religious, sociological, and racial issues (Frank was convicted largely on the basis of a black man’s testimony, an anomaly in the South) raised by the case. As a result of the lynching, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith was founded, and the Ku Klux Klan was reborn.
0.50 units, Lecture
MUSC 197
Music Arranging
This course is intended to prepare the student in the area of vocal, choral, and ensemble arranging through the study of harmony, stylistic considerations, and musicalization. We will also explore model songs and compositions, and listen to popular hits of the last few decades, from Gospel, to Hip-hop, to Pop Rock, to opera choruses, to Broadway musicals and much more. This is a creative, hands-on course. Students will undertake regular projects, arranging music in incremental exercises, and will eventually be given the chance to work on their favorite songs and compositions. We expect to culminate the semester with a public concert to showcase the class final projects.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 101 or equivalent preparation.
1.00 units, Seminar
MUSC 198
Song and Songwriting
With emphasis on making original compositions, this course approaches the phenomenon of song in three traditions: folk, popular, and classical. Singing, playing, listening, and discussion will ground an in-depth, experiential exploration of a variety of song types, from musical and textual perspectives. Targeted written exercises, focused on basic musical and verbal compositional problems, will help students acquire techniques and skills, and get experience with several appropriate notational formats. Students will develop the sketches that come out of this process into complete, notated songs. The course culminates in an open, informal workshop performance, sharing students' original work. Students must be willing to sing during each class, and basic proficiency on a chordal instrument such as a guitar or keyboard is required.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 101 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 200
Composition
Individual projects in free composition, with emphasis on acquiring and developing techniques of musical form and balance. When possible, student compositions will be performed.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 101 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
MUSC 201
Diatonic Harmonic Practice
Study of the harmonic practices of the 18th and 19th centuries, through exercises and the analysis of typical works. An intensive course with integrated practicum sessions, which focus on the development of skills in sight-singing, dictation, and keyboard proficiency, and written exercises modeled after those works.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 101 or equivalent preparation.
1.50 units, Seminar
MUSC 202
Chromatic Harmonic Practice
Further study of the harmonic practices of the 18th and 19th centuries, through exercises and the analysis of typical works. Weekly practicum sessions focus on the consolidation of skills in sight singing, dictation, and keyboard proficiency. Simultaneous enrollment in the one-hour practicum is required.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 201 or permission of instructor.
1.25 units, Lecture
MUSC 206
Music, Technology, and Media
This course explores the way music is made for film, radio, the internet, and various other media, a process in which computers play an increasingly central part. It explains, in some detail, electronic music’s core technologies, specifically MIDI, digital audio and sequencing. These technologies will assist students in completing two “real-world” creative projects: an original composition (song, composition, sound-art, ambient music), and music set to a motion image. In addition to the two projects, there will be two exams, weekly research, and additional readings and listening assignments.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 101, which may be taken concurrently, and permission of the coordinator.
1.00 units, Studio
MUSC 207
Conducting and Orchestration
Introduction to choral and orchestral conducting, supplemented by both practical and theoretical exercises in orchestration. Ability to read music is essential; background in music theory, though helpful, is not necessary. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Studio
MUSC 208
Electronic MIDI and Computer Music
This course is intended for music students who want to acquire skills in the creation and production of modern electronic music through the use of computer hardware and software, including the incorporation of MIDI sequencing, electronic score editing, basic audio recording and mixing procedures, and audio sampling editing and manipulation.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 101 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Laboratory
MUSC 210
Great Orchestral Music From the 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries
This course will be a survey of great orchestral compositions--primarily symphonies and concertos--from Bach, Handel, and Mozart of the 18th century; to Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and others of the 19th century; to Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartok and others of the 20th century. The focus will be on concentrated listening to recordings of the works, but there will also be reading and comment on such matters as form, style, orchestration, and historical context. No previous training in music is needed.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 215
Topics in World Music: Music of Latin America and the Caribbean
Historical processes of colonization, slavery, and underdevelopment have led to a huge diversity of musical traditions in Latin America and the Caribbean, making it difficult to consider this region as a unified “culture area.” We will explore a wide range of music and dance styles in the Americas, examining similarities and differences among them. No previous musical knowledge is required, but students are expected to learn basic listening skills and identify musical styles. Also listed under international studies—Latin American and Caribbean studies.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 218
American Popular Music
A broad survey of popular music in the United States from the late 19th century to the present. We will explore blackface minstrelsy, the music of Tin Pan Alley, ragtime and big band jazz, early blues and country music, post-war pop singers, the evolution of rock and roll, rhythm and blues and soul, folk music, alternative music, hip-hop, and MTV and the popular mainstream. Themes of music and identity, multi- cultural sources, the business of music, and the influence of technology will be followed throughout the course. No previous background in music is required. Also listed in American Studies.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 219
Toca Brasil! (Play Brazil!)
A comprehensive, interactive exploration of Brazilian music, this course will present an integrated approach through hands-on performance of Brazilian percussion music, combined with academic study of Afro-Brazilian culture, religion, and dance. Beginning with an overview of traditional Brazilian forms of musical expression, we will then analyze how these forms were incorporated into popular musical styles from the 1960s to the present. In recent years, fusions of new styles derived from traditional Brazilian and non-Brazilian music have emerged that reflect contemporary processes of globalization. The multi-faceted approach to be integrated into this course will include hands-on musical performance, readings, and audio/video recordings. No previous experience in music is required. Also listed under International Studies-Latin American and Caribbean studies.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 220
Human Rights and Music
This course highlights the role of music in relation to human rights throughout the world. Material to be covered includes theoretical approaches towards the study of human rights and how music can serve as an important indicator of diverse social relationships in various contexts. It will also compare and contrast historical and cultural aspects of musical movements that were strongly connected to human rights in countries and regions such as Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States, South Korea, and South Africa.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 222
Investigating Music and Culture
This course is an in-depth introduction to the study of music and culture. This course will focus on the gathering of primary-source materials and relate them to broader historical and cultural contexts. Through this process, students will develop interviewing techniques, learn how to document with video and audio recording equipment, and practice incorporating data into comprehensive research projects. Students will develop these techniques through participation with a Hartford-based arts organization. Also listed under Anthropology.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 113, 215, 219, or 220, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
MUSC 224
Music of Black American Women
A broad survey of the music of black American women, focusing on the women of Motown and the jazz singers of the 1950s. No previous training in music is required. Also listed under American studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 228
Masterpieces of Opera
In the days before movies, the greatest and most popular theatrical entertainment was found at the opera house. Opera-goers enjoyed comic or dramatic stories, spectacular singing, lavish sets and costumes, and the excitement of sharing the spectacle with other enthusiastic fans. They idolized the leading singers, who were as famous then as Lady Gaga or Angelina Jolie are today. This course will explore the range of great operatic works from the birth of opera to the present, focusing on the operas of Mozart (The Marriage of Figaro), Rossini (The Barber of Seville), and Verdi (Macbeth and Aida). In learning about the different styles of opera, we will see operas on video and attend a live operatic performance if possible.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 234
Protests in Music
This course examines the ways in which social and political issues are expressed in music. We will look at music that was written, composed, and performed in Paris, Harlem, and Hartford in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, and explore the ramifications of the social and political issues for the music. Topics to be covered include: the music of the French Revolution; music of urban black America, 1960 to the present; Hector Berlioz, Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude Debussy, and “protests” in classical music. No previous experience in music is required.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 248
The Psychology of Music
A broad survey of human responses to music, from the physics and psychophysics of how we perceive musical sounds to the question of how and why music is emotionally powerful. Through reading from the primary literature in both music and psychology, students will develop an understanding of the cognitive processes by which we understand music; musical meaning and the formation of musical taste; the social and cultural factors that influence musical preferences; and the similarities and differences in music across cultures.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 263
J.S. Bach: His Life and Music
While Johann Sebastian Bach is arguably the greatest composer in the history of Western music, he is also perhaps the least cosmopolitan, not having ventured more than a few hundred miles from his 1685 birthplace in Eisenach, Germany. A humble church and court musician, he composed music for specific uses and commissions, rather than merely to "express himself"—seeking to honor God and to flatter Dukes and Kings. Among the works we will examine are instrumental music for solo instruments as well as larger groups (suites, concertos, sonatas, chorale preludes) and vocal music (cantatas, motets, Passion and Mass settings), looking at these pieces both musically and in the context of the society for which they were written. We will also attend performances of Bach works presented in the Hartford area. No formal musical training or previous courses in music are prerequisite.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 264
Mozart and 18th-Century Music
An introduction to the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). The course will also examine other composers of Mozart’s time, and consider the relationship between Mozart’s music and the main themes of Enlightenment thought in the 18th century. No previous training in music is required.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 266
Beethoven: His Life and Music
An introduction to the life and work of Ludwig van Beethoven, who after more than 200 years is still the most loved and admired of all composers of classical music. This course will focus both on Beethoven’s masterpieces—his symphonies, piano sonatas, string quartets, and other works—and on the effect they had on audiences and the musicians who tried to follow in Beethoven’s footsteps. No previous training in music is required.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 272
Contemporary Musical Theater
An appreciation of the corpus of recent Broadway musicals that, beginning with Stephen Sondheim's Company (1970), brought new aesthetic and intellectual vigor to an art form grown stale on the outmoded formulas of Rodgers & Hammerstein and Lerner & Loewe. "Musical comedy" no longer constitutes an appropriate term for these works born of contemporary consciousness and realism, works influenced by some of the most advanced streams of 20th-century artistic thought. Works to be studied include Hair, Pippin, Sweeney Todd, A Chorus Line, Cats, and many others. No previous training in music is required.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 273
The Musical-Theater Works of Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim is now generally regarded as the greatest composer and lyricist in the history of the American musical theater. This course will examine, with recordings and scripts, each of the 12 Broadway shows for which Sondheim has written both music and lyrics, including not only such well-known titles as Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, but also such lesser-known masterpieces as Assassins, Pacific Overtures, and Passion. Videos of the shows will also be available for viewing, and there will be one or two class trips to see live productions. No previous training in music is needed. (Satisfies the requirement, for the musical-theater track of the music major, of a classroom course in musical theater.)
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 274
Jazz: 1900 to the Present
Through listening, discussion, and reading, this course will survey the development of jazz from ragtime and pre-jazz through New Orleans swing, be-bop, and modern jazz. Among composers and performers to be studied include Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Scott Joplin, Thelonious Monk, Charles Parker, and Woody Shaw. No previous training in music is required. Also listed under American Studies.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 275
The Business of Music
The music business is a changing and dynamic concept, ranging from individual entrepreneurs to multinational conglomerates. It encompasses single performances, tours, publishing and recording, promotion, management, and legal issues. This course will introduce you to an overview of the recording and music industry through a variety of hands-on projects. Since digital technologies have dramatically transformed music production, distribution, and consumption, this course will explore legal, technical, financial, and social issues of the music business.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 276
Music Business Colloquium
This colloquium allows students to explore many topics surrounding the business of music. Students will attend a series of campus-wide lectures that will address issues such as copyright law, contracting, union labor, recording industry, non-profit organizations, developing a career as a performing artist, hearing from Trinity alumni working in the music industry, among other topics. Students will attend lectures, write responses, and attend a bi-weekly discussion session, and will prepare a presentation or project related to the course material.
0.50 units, Lecture
MUSC 301
20th-Century Practices
The study of harmonic, rhythmic, and timbral compositional practices of the 20th century, through written exercises and the analysis of typical works. Weekly practicum sessions emphasize advanced score-reading and sight-singing skills.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 202.
1.00 units, Lecture
MUSC 311
The History of Western Music I
An intensive survey of the development of musical style in Europe through the analysis of selected works from the music of the Greeks to the mid-18th century. Composers to be studied include Machaut, Josquin Desprez, Monteverdi, Handel, and Bach.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 101 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
MUSC 312
The History of Western Music II
An intensive survey of the development of musical style in Europe and the United States through the analysis of selected works from the mid-18th century to about 1900. Composers to be studied include Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Verdi, Brahms, and Mahler.
Prerequisite: C- or Better in Music 202.
1.00 units, Seminar
MUSC 313
Music of the 20th Century
An intensive survey of the developments in musical style from the late-1890s to the present day, primarily in Europe and the Americas. This course will synthesize historical studies of the composers and their times, and analytical approaches to their compositional practices.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 202.
1.00 units, Seminar
MUSC 399
Independent Study
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 2.00 units max, Independent Study
MUSC 407
Senior Recital
The preparation and presentation of a full-length program. Enrollment is subject to the approval of the Music faculty. Interested students must meet with the department chairperson and obtain a copy of the senior recital guidelines in the spring semester of the junior year if planning a recital for the senior year. The course is open to both majors and non-majors. If the student is concurrently enrolled in Music 107 Music Lessons for 0.5 credit, then the senior recital will count for 0.5 credit. Submission of an independent study form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the department chair, are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
MUSC 415
Special Studies in Music
Individual or group study and research on a selected topic under the guidance of a member of the Music faculty. Permission is granted only to advanced students. Submission of a completed independent study form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
MUSC 418
Senior Project
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
1.00 units, Independent Study
MUSC 420
Advanced Topics in Music History
This course will focus on the analytical and historical exploration of one or more specific repertories in Western music (such as Baroque sacred music, or the string quartets of Beethoven), along with a consideration of the relevant musicological literature. Topics will vary from year to year.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Music 312.
1.00 units, Seminar
MUSC 466
Teaching Assistantship
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
MUSC 497
Senior Thesis
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment.
1.00 units, Independent Study
MUSC 498
Senior Thesis Part 1
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the thesis adviser and the director are required for enrollment. The registration form is required for each semester of this year-long thesis. (The two course credits are considered pending in Part I of the thesis; they will be awarded with the completion of Part II.)
2.00 units, Independent Study
MUSC 499
Senior Thesis Part 2
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the thesis adviser and the director, are required for each semester of this year-long thesis. (The two course credits are considered pending in Part I of the thesis; they will be awarded with the completion of Part II.)
2.00 units, Independent Study