Music

Professors: Bothwell, Evans, Ludwa, Koehler (Chair), Moon, Schumaker

The music department seeks to cultivate an understanding of the language and history of music and to nurture artistic skill and musicianship. All music performance opportunities, both solo and ensemble, are available to majors and non-majors alike. Academic courses in music theory, music history, and practical musicianship combine with music performance to provide an integrated approach to the discipline.

The major or minor in music intensifies this integrated approach to create highly creative, analytical thinkers with self-discipline and independent organizational skills. They are welcomed by graduate schools and employers alike.

Requirements for the Major in Music

Number of Units

Eleven units are required in addition to the prerequisite. AP credit accepted to meet prerequisite only.

Required Courses

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 105 completed with a grade of C- or above. This prerequisite may also be met by examination or an AP score of 4 or 5.
  • MUSC 175, 275, and 375 Music Theory Sequence
  • MUSC 150 and 155 Music History Sequence
  • MUSC 160 Music of World Cultures
  • MUSC 490 Senior Seminar

Electives

Music Majors are encouraged to consult with a professor in the Department about choosing electives (and potentially even courses in other departments) in a manner that helps define an intentional and directed area of focus.

Four full units of elective courses selected from:

  • Ensembles (at least one of the four electives must be an ensemble; see “About Music Ensembles” for more information)
  • Applied Music (see “About Applied Music” for more information)
  • MUSC 120, 121, or 123 Instrumental Methods
  • MUSC 165 Jazz Explorations
  • MUSC 204 Intellectual Flows of Black Music
  • MUSC 205/SEMN-256 Music and Identity (Sophomore Seminar)
  • MUSC 207/SEMN-210 Listening Across Cultures (Sophomore Seminar)
  • MUSC 260 Conducting
  • MUSC/ANSO 315 Sound and Culture in the Middle East
  • MUSC 320 Arts Entrepreneurship
  • MUSC 465 Music Education Seminar

Additional Expectations and Opportunities

In order to successfully complete the Music Major, students must also pass a comprehensive integrative exam (administered as part of the Senior Seminar), and demonstrate aural and basic keyboard proficiency (accomplished through labs attached to the three-course theory sequence). With permission of the department, limited transfer courses and coursework completed abroad may count toward the Major. Majors who plan advanced music studies in graduate school or who aspire to professional careers are strongly encouraged to complete their senior integrated project in the department. Majors are also encouraged to participate in an ensemble beyond their one required unit, and to study applied music in each quarter of residency. With few exceptions, a full unit of applied music credited toward the Major must be achieved by the study in the same instrument. Musical performances on campus should be attended by Music Majors, including concerts by invited guests, by Music Department Faculty, and by fellow music students.

In addition, Majors may consider incorporating three recommended programs available to all students at the College into their own musical K Plan:

  1. The Career and Professional Development Internship Program.
  2. Study Abroad: The University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Queen’s University in Northern Ireland offer particularly robust opportunities for qualified students to continue actively making music while abroad. In addition, with sufficient advance consultation with music faculty and the CIP office, it may be possible to create opportunities to continue music at several other study abroad sites.
  3. New York Arts Program: This domestic study away program offers an opportunity for qualified sophomore and junior student artists to live in New York City and work as interns with professional artists. The application process begins in late spring quarter for internships the following winter quarter. Information is available from campus faculty representative Andrew Koehler.

Requirements for the Minor in Music

Number of Units

A minimum of six units in addition to the prerequisite are required for the minor in music. AP credit accepted to meet prerequisite only.

Required Courses

  • Prerequisite: MUSC 105 completed with a grade of C- or above. This prerequisite may also be met by examination or an AP score of 4 or 5.
  • At least one unit from MUSC 175, 275, or 375 Music Theory Sequence
  • At least one unit from MUSC 150, 155 Music History Sequence, or MUSC 160 Music of World Cultures.

Electives

Four full units of elective courses selected from additional courses in the required list and/or:

  • Ensembles (See “About Music Ensembles” for more information)
  • Applied Music (See “About Applied Music” for more information)
  • MUSC 120, 121, or 123 Instrumental Methods
  • MUSC 165 Jazz Explorations
  • MUSC 204 Intellectual Flows of Black Music
  • MUSC 205 Music and Identity (Sophomore Seminar)
  • MUSC 207 Listening Across Cultures (Sophomore Seminar)
  • MUSC 260 Conducting
  • MUSC/SEMN 295 The World Through New Orleans (Sophomore Seminar)
  • MUSC/ANSO 315 Sound and Culture in the Middle East
  • MUSC 320 Arts Entrepreneurship
  • MUSC 465 Music Education Seminar

Additional Expectations and Opportunities

With permission from the department, limited transfer courses and coursework completed abroad may count toward the Minor. Music Minors are encouraged to participate in an ensemble and to study applied music in each quarter of residency. With few exceptions, each full unit of applied music credited toward the Minor must be achieved by study in the same instrument. Musical performances on campus should be attended by Music Minors, including concerts by invited guests, by Music Department Faculty, and by fellow music students.

In addition, Minors may consider incorporating three recommended programs available to all students at the College into their own musical K Plan:

  1. The Career and Professional Development Internship Program.
  2. Study Abroad: The University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Queen’s University in Northern Ireland offer particularly robust opportunities for qualified students to continue actively making music while abroad. In addition, with sufficient advance consultation with music faculty and the CIP office, it may be possible to create opportunities to continue music at several other study abroad sites.
  3. New York Arts Program: This domestic study away program offers an opportunity for qualified sophomore and junior student artists to live in New York City and work as interns with professional artists. The application process begins in late spring quarter for internships the following winter quarter. Information is available from campus faculty representative Andrew Koehler.

Music Courses

MUSC 100 Program Music: Stories in Sound Program music is instrumental music influenced by an extra-musical source. In other words, the music contains a "program" or story. The program can be drawn from any source, but is usually taken from literature, myths, legends, landscapes, paintings, or personal dramas. Therefore, in addition to studying the music, this course will examine the extra-musical influences associated with the music. To further enhance your understanding and appreciation of this genre, you will produce four programmatic works of your own by creating multimedia presentations using music and images in support of an original story or borrowed program. No prior training or experience in music is assumed or necessary, and the course is intended for non-majors. The cultivation of intelligent and perceptive responses to programmatic music will be the primary focus as we explore the many aspects of this genre, be they cultural, mechanical, or expressive.
MUSC 105 Introduction to Music Study of the language, power, and communicative properties of music in the Western tradition. Students will acquire basic skills in music literacy, theory, and aural comprehension. In addition, selected works, both popular and classical and ranging in time from the Middle Ages to the present, will be listened to and discussed with an emphasis on their musical style and cultural-social context. Class activities will include guest performances, concert attendance (on and off campus), and behind-the-scenes looks at what goes into making music. Students considering a major in Music should enroll in MUSC 105 in the fall or winter quarter of their first year. No prior music reading or basic theory knowledge is expected. Advanced students may request to test out of MUSC-105; please consult the Department Chair.
MUSC 120 Beginning Band Methods: Brass Basic techniques of playing orchestra and band instruments; emphasis on understanding the principles and problems of playing brass. No music reading or basic theory knowledge is required.
MUSC 121 Beginning Band Methods: Woodwinds Basic techniques of playing orchestra and band instruments; emphasis on understanding the principles and problems of playing woodwinds. No music reading or basic theory knowledge is required.
MUSC 123 Instrumental Music Methods: Strings Basic techniques of playing the four orchestral stringed instruments. No music reading or basic theory knowledge is required.
MUSC 150 Western Art Music Before 1750 Study of the developments in musical style from the Middle Ages through the Baroque including sacred and secular music of Italy, Germany, France, England, and the Netherlands. Representative works from all topics will be presented in their stylistic and cultural contexts. Music reading and basic theory knowledge is expected
MUSC 155 Western Art Music After 1750 A historical and textual survey of the music produced during the Classical, Romantic and Modern eras. Representative works - among the topics considered will be Lied, Opera, Symphony, Programmatic Music, Atonal and Serial Music - will be presented in their stylistic and cultural contexts. Music reading and basic theory knowledge is expected
MUSC 160 Music of World Cultures Study of music of various cultures within their social contexts. The course includes folk, traditional, classical, and popular music from selected traditions in Africa, India, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. It presents music as an evolving process and the performance of music as an expression of individual and cultural identity. Using readings, discussions, guest lectures and performances, CDs, and films, the course provides a framework for comparison of musical cultures from different parts of the world. No music reading or basic theory knowledge required.
MUSC 165 Jazz Explorations This course is intended to introduce students to the cultural context, instrumentation, theory, form, and analysis of jazz from its early West African roots to contemporary times. Emphasis will be placed on listening to various artists and styles. No music reading or basic theory knowledge is required.
MUSC 175 Western Music Theory and Analysis I Building upon the skills acquired in MUSC 105, students use two voice counterpoint as a gateway to fluency in writing complete four-part phrases in tonal harmony. They will discover how these principles of voice-leading and harmonic grammar form the foundation of historic and contemporary musical styles. Aural comprehension skills are acquired from the concurrent lab for the course. MUSC-105 or permission
MUSC 195 Listen to This: Finding Meaning in Music This course expaminse the ways meaning is conveyed in music and its various functions in society. Students will consider music as place and story, music as faith, music as politics, and music as memory, all while reflecting on how the designations "classical," "popular," and "folk" affect the way music is dispersed through society and received by different groups. The majority of musical examples are selected from the Western art music tradition, but music of other times, places, and genres will be considered as well, inclusing musical examples from students' own experiences. No music reading or basic theory knowledge is required.
MUSC 204 Intellectual Flows of Black Music This seminar-style course explores the histories of black music in the US and the broader African diaspora through the lens of music-making as intellectual practice. We will examine the work of black musicians, critics, and scholars as both aesthetic statements and attempts to illuminate, interrogate, and advance the philosophical, artistic and social issues of particular moments in history, and ultimately as ways of creating new possibilities for social and musical life. Ranging across genres, topics covered will include the African origins of American popular music, improvisation and experimentalism, music and faith, Afrofuturism, nationalism, sexuality and gender politics, blackface and 'blacksound', and issues of appropriation, ownership, and value. Offered fall quarter, even years. No music reading or basic theory knowledge is required.
MUSC 205 Music and Identity Music serves multiple roles: a force for social transformation, a flag of resistance, a proclamation of cultural identity, a catalyst for expressing emotion, an avenue to experiencing the sacred. Students will look at identity through the lens of contemporary and traditional American music and will consider how race, ethnicity, age, gender, national identity, and other factors express themselves in and are shaped by music. The ability to read music or understand basic music theory is not required; a love of music and an interest in American culture are essential. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar. Sophomores only
MUSC 207 Listening Across Cultures What does it mean to be a knowledgeable music listener? An expert listener? A native listener? Hip hop has its "heads," French opera had claqueurs, and Syrian tarab has the sammi'a (expert listeners), but is the act of listening the same across cultures, or is there something to the local perception of music that goes beyond style and genre? Questioning the adage that "Music is the universal language," this course will examine how people assign meaning and power to music. Analyzing music from around the world, we will attune our ears to the ways in which people across cultural borders conceptualize music, sound and the act of listening. No music reading or basic theory knowledge is required. Sophomores Only
MUSC 260 Conducting A study of the general rudiments of ensemble conducting through an emphasis on the orchestral literature. After an introduction to critical score-reading concepts (analysis skills, transposition, special terms, historical background), the remainder of the course is dedicated to practical application, with students receiving weekly podium time in front of a small laboratory ensemble. Offered spring quarter, even years MUSC-105 or permission
MUSC 275 Western Music Theory and Analysis II Building upon the skills acquired in MUSC 130, students will study techniques of modulation, as well as expressive and coloristic devices leading to late 19th century chromaticism, leading into 20th century practices. These elements will be part of further study of popular and art song form, theme and variations, rondo and sonata. Class meetings will include both lecture and workshops. Coordinated aural comprehension skills are acquired from the concurrent lab for this course. MUSC-175 or permission
MUSC 295 The World Through New Orleans As the physical reality of New Orleans has been shaped by topography and climate, settler migration and indigenous displacement, enslavement and commodification, so has its music been shaped by the legal, economic, racial and political regimes that accompanied these changes. Crafting musical tools to navigate local realities, New Orleanians established central elements of African American music-and through it the popular music of the contemporary world. The class begins with New Orleans' constitutive musical cultures-indigenous, African, Caribbean, and European-before moving towards a history of music in New Orleans, and out to hear how it has been heard, consumed, and adapted around the world. Sophomores only
MUSC 315 Sound & Culture in the Middle East An introduction to the popular culture and cultural politics of the modern Middle East, as heard through the medium of sound. Exploring the varied soundscapes and musical cultures of the region, we will examine how sound shapes, reinforces, critiques, and transforms social life, from the local to the international level. Listening to music as both an aesthetic object and a site for the contestation of ideas, we will learn about the ways in which music is used to articulate an array of competing visions: of the nation, colony and post-colony; religion, gender, and sexuality; globalization, hybridity, and modernity. MUSC-105, ANSO-103 or Instructor Permission
MUSC 320A Arts Entrepreneurship Theory A look at the relationship between art, business, presenters, audience, and funding in the 21st Century. Artists of all kinds (Music, Dance, Theater, Writing, Visual Arts, etc.) will be able to use this course to build materials, skills, and practices to further their existing and future artistic career paths. The Theory section of Arts Entrepreneurship, which is worth .5 units of credit, prepares the student for a life in the arts through development of soft skills, entrepreneurial mindset, and a core knowledge of non-linear career paths, finances, funding, project management, content creation, non-profit structures, grant writing, and networking. Case studies and guest artists will provide invaluable real-world examples of how the 21st Century artist operates and thrives. Students in MUSC 320a will be preparing for self-directed projects in MUSC 320b Practicum.
MUSC 320B Arts Entrepreneurship Practicum A look at the relationship between art, business, presenters, audience, and funding in the 21st Century. Artists of all kinds (Music, Dance, Theater, Writing, Visual Arts, etc.) will be able to use this course to build materials, skills, and practices to further their existing and future artistic career paths. The Practicum section of Arts Entrepreneurship, which is worth .5 units of credit, will be focused on the creation and execution of a group project that results in a presentation, event, product, or performance that benefits and furthers the career experience of the members of your group. With this non-traditional course structure, class periods will be used primarily as a seminar to discuss your projects and move them forward through the skills and concepts learned in MUSC 320a. Must have taken MUSC-320A.
MUSC 375 Music Theory & Analysis III Building upon the skills acquired in MUSC135, students will refine their facility with the extended tonal harmony of the late-19th and early 20th centuries through analysis and model composition in multiple styles, including jazz and popular music. Students will also explore post-tonal and non-common practice repertories (including serialism, process music, spectralism, indeterminacy, electroacoustic music, rock and pop) through set theory and extended harmonic methods as well as analytic paradigms centered on rhythm and timbre. Coordinated aural comprehension skills are acquired from the concurrent lab for this course. MUSC-275
MUSC 465 Music Education Seminar An examination of the philosophy, methods, and materials for teaching instrumental, vocal, and general music, K-12. The course is designed to prepare students for successful careers in music education. Topics include rehearsal techniques, budgeting time and money, classroom methods and management, developing and maintaining an inventory, recruitment strategies, library acquisition and management, and networking skills. As part of the course of study, each student will be assigned to a large ensemble to serve as an assistant to the director. Each student will also engage in off-campus classroom observation. Offered by request. MUSC-105 or permission; junior or senior standing.
MUSC 490 Senior Seminar A capstone course which seeks to encourage integration between research, musicology, theory, performance, and career development. An in-depth analysis of a major work forms the first half of the course; using similar methodology, students will choose a work of their own to explore in the second half, and this counts as the comprehensive exam for the Music Major. MUSC-150, MUSC-155, MUSC-160, AND MUSC-375; junior or senior standing
MUSC 593 Senior Integrated Project Each program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Integrated Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Senior Integrated Project section of the Academic Catalog for more details. Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.

About Music Ensembles

All students at Kalamazoo College may participate in ensembles. Generally meeting twice a week for periods of an hour and a half, ensembles should not conflict with the regular course schedule. A student may earn up to 5 full units in music ensembles and applied music (See “About Applied Music”) combined toward graduation; as many as three of those may be applied to the Major or Minor, and at least one unit of ensemble credit is required for the Major.

Music Ensembles

MUSC E201 College Singers The largest choral organization on campus emphasizing diverse repertoire and varied performance experiences, including a major performance each quarter. Prerequisite: Vocal evaluation

MUSC E202 Bach Festival Chorus Participation in the annual College Festival in conjunction with the Kalamazoo community. Prerequisite: Audition

MUSC E204 Symphonic Band Emphasizing a variety of music for brass, woodwinds, and percussion; ability to play a band instrument required. Previous band experience expected.

MUSC E205 Jazz Band Performance of standard and contemporary jazz arrangements for band and/or small combo; music reading required, but no previous improvisational or jazz band experience needed. Prerequisite: Audition

MUSC E207 Kalamazoo Philharmonia A full symphonic orchestra that rehearses once weekly and performs at least one full program each quarter. Philharmonia members include community members and professional leaders in addition to students. Registered students also are required to participate in additional sectional rehearsals. Proficient string, wind, brass, and percussion players are invited to audition; previous experience is preferred. Prerequisite: Audition

MUSC E209 International Percussion Ensemble Performance and study of International percussion traditions from around the world. Students may choose to participate in West African drumming or Japanese Taiko. One college concert is presented each quarter.

MUSC E211 Improvisation Workshop For the inquisitive musician who desires to learn the why and how of jazz improvisation, theory, and composition, juxtaposed with intimate jazz ensemble playing with emphasis on improvisation.

MUSC E213 Bayati Middle Eastern Ensemble The Bayati Ensemble is a joint student-community chamber orchestra that performs a range of musical styles from Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish, and related traditions. Some proficiency on an instrument/voice is assumed, but no audition is required.

MUSC E215 Pit Orchestra Offered during quarters in which the Theatre Department presents a musical.

About Applied Music

Professional performers and teachers from the community join with the regular faculty of Kalamazoo College to teach individual lessons for a wide range of instruments and voice. These courses are open to all students, regardless of level, and each accrues 1/5 unit per quarter of participation. A student may earn up to 5 full units in music ensembles (see “About Music Ensembles”) and applied music combined toward graduation; as many as three of those may be applied to the Major or Minor. With few exceptions, each full unit of applied music credit toward the Major or Minor must be achieved by study in the same instrument.

Though these courses meet by default for the equivalent of 30 minutes per week, students have the option of taking hour-long lessons as well; in this event, the amount of credit accrued is 2/5 unit per quarter.  Students can only register for hour-long lessons through a Permission to Add form, signed by their instructor or the Department Chair, and submitted to the Registrar. 

At the end of each quarter, every student taking applied music must play a hearing before a group of music faculty members. Attendance at two performance area classes and the applied music recital each quarter is also required of students enrolled in applied music.

Upon the recommendation of the instructor, very advanced students may present a department-sponsored recital.

An extra fee is charged for applied music instruction. Please see the section of the catalog entitled “Policies: Expenses, Refund Policies, Fees” for more information.

Applied Music courses

MUSC L100 Concert Listening Experiential course in which students attend various concerts and reflect upon their listening experiences.

MUSC L217 Chamber Music Instrumental and/or vocal ensembles arranged with the music faculty. Offered by request.

MUSC L221 Group Music Production Fundamentals

MUSC L222 Music Production Prerequisite: MUSC-L221 or MUSC-L222 or Permission

MUSC L222H Music Production- Hour Lessons[AK1] 

MUSC L224 Composition

MUSC L224H Composition – Hour

MUSC L225 Jazz Arranging and Composition

MUSC L231 Piano

MUSC L231H Piano – Hour Lessons Prerequisite: Instructor permission required

MUSC L232 Jazz Piano

MUSC L233 Collaborative Piano

MUSC L233H Collaborative Piano- Hour

MUSC L234 Harp

MUSC L236 Organ

MUSC L241 Voice

MUSC L241H Voice – Hour Lessons Prerequisite: Instructor permission required

MUSC L242 Jazz Voice

MUSC L242H Jazz Voice

MUSC L251 Violin

MUSC L251H Violin – Hour Lessons Prerequisite: Instructor Permission Required

MUSC L252 Viola

MUSC L254 Cello

MUSC L255 String Bass

MUSC L256 Jazz Bass

MUSC L257 Group Guitar Fundamentals

MUSC L258 Classical Guitar

MUSC L258H Guitar – Hour Lessons

MUSC L259 Jazz and Popular Guitar

MUSC L259H Jazz Guitar – Hour Lessons

MUSC L261 Flute

MUSC L263 Oboe

MUSC L265 Clarinet

MUSC L266 Saxophone

MUSC L268 Bassoon

MUSC L271 French Horn

MUSC L273 Trumpet

MUSC L273H Trumpet- Hour Lessons

MUSC L275 Trombone

MUSC L276 Euphonium

MUSC L277 Tuba

MUSC L281 Percussion

MUSC L282 Mallet Percussion

MUSC L282H Mallet Percussion – Hour Lessons

MUSC L301 Advanced Conducting Prerequisite: MUSC-260