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Courses

Get a feel for the exciting variety of courses taught at Marlboro.

This is a list of courses that faculty felt was representational of the courses offered. It is not a complete list of courses, some courses are offered yearly, while others are infrequent. A course may be inspired by events or strong interests and taught only once.

Most advanced work is in the form of tutorials on specific subjects, a collaboration between one faculty member and one student or a handful of students.

Music

Chamber Music
(1.00 Credit — Intermediate)

Fall 2018

An opportunity for students to meet on a weekly basis to read and rehearse music from the standard chamber music repertoire. Woodwind, string and brass instruments welcome. Course may be repeated for credit.

Additional Fee:$ 0

Composers' Workshop
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2012

The course is designed for instrumentalists and vocalists to compose and perform music written for the group. Each week, participants will bring original compositions in various stages of progress to study and perform, while exploring concepts in music theory and composition emerging from the works. The course will culminate in a public performance of the compositions.

Generally speaking, we will divide our time between exploring the compositions in a classroom setting, and rehearsing them at the recital hall.

The class is designed for more experienced students who are able to read music and have a firm command of their instrument/s. If in doubt, see the instructor to determine fit.

Composition to Improvisation (And Vice Versa)
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2013

Charting the connection, commonalities and differences between improvisation and composition. We will practice concepts central to both and examine how they informeach other. This course will constitute critical enquiry and practice in equal measure, alternating sessions between the classroom and the rehearsal space, looking at concepts critically and then applying them practically. 

Prerequisite: permission of instructor

Counterpoint I (Sixteenth Century)
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2010

Study of counterpoint in the style of Palestrina. Two-part and three-part writing. Imitation, canon and free counterpoint will be covered. Prerequisite: Theory Fundamentals; sight-singing ability or permission of instructor

EIGHTEENTH CENTURY COUNTERPOINT
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2011

Study of contrapuntal techniques of the 18th century. Two-part invention, chorale elaborations and fugue in the style of Bach will be covered. Prerequisite: 16th Centrry Counterpoint or permission of instructor

Electronic Music: Concepts and Practice
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2018

The course will provide an introduction to concepts, techniques, history and ideological frameworks informing electronic music. Designed as equal parts hands-on practice and academic enquiry, the course will alternate between readings and listening to works done in various periods and genres of electronic music and making music using the basic techniques of sequencing, sampling, synthesis and recording. Coursework will constitute on-going etudes, a final project and paper and weekly readings and listening assignments. The course is designed primarily for students who have more than a casual interest with music or sound design as part of their on-going course of study at Marlboro.

  • Music Fundamentals I or permission of instructor

GUITAR ENSEMBLE
(1.00 Credit — Introductory)

Spring 2010

A guitar quartet, performing the works of various composers, culminating in a performance of said works.

Impressionism to 21st Century Music
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2014
Global Perspective

A study of works of Debussy, Ravel, Stravinksy, Schoenberg, Hindemith, Bartok and others.  The works will be put into a socio-historical perspective.  Students present a talk on a 20th century composition of their choice. Prerequisite: None 

Jazz Ensemble
(1.00 Credit — Multi-Level)

Spring 2018

 Jazz in weekly rehearsals with a performance at the end of semester. Prior requisite: Facility on a musical instrument or voice, reading music a big help! 

Jazz Workshop
(2.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2018

researching, exploration and performance of jazz repertoire.

Jazz Workshop 2
(1.00 Credit — Multi-Level)

Spring 2013

A continuation of ensemble work from last semester, playing Jazz standards in weekly rehearsals. 

Prerequisite: Jazz Workshop 1 or permission of instructor

Jazz: History and Culture
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2017

The course will survey jazz music from a historical and cultural context. We will track the evolution, master practitioners, and cultural reception and arguments surrounding jazz throughout the previous century and into this one. The class will involve close listening to recording, readings of scholarly articles and other, less scholarly sources, 3 research projects, and editing / producing one 60 minute episode of a podcast as a research project.

Additional Fee:$ 0

Madrigal Choir
(2.00 Credits — Multi-Level)

Fall 2019

Ensemble singing for more experienced choristers. Ability to read music and sight-sing. An exploration of repertoire from Renaissance to contemporary music for small choral ensemble. May be repeated for credit.Prerequisite: None; ability to read music helpful

Medieval & Renaissance Music
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2016
Global Perspective

A study of the development of both sacred and secular forms and styles in music and its relation to social and cultural conditions of the time.

MUSIC COMPOSITION WORKSHOP
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2010

A course intended for musicians interested in exploring music composition. Students should have facility on an instrument (or voice) and have some sight reading ability. Short compositions will be written and performed every week. Musical structure, notation, etc. will be discussed in relation to the student's work. Prerequisite: Ability to read music, basic theory, ability to play an instrument

Music Fundamentals I
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2019

A study of musical practice and theory from basic notation to species counterpoint. Work concentrates on intense practice of singing, rhythm and music reading. 

Music Fundamentals II
(3.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2019

This is the last of a course sequence designed as an intensive practical training for students interested in making music. The course will focus on improving our ability to hear, replicate, and document music. We will focus on sight singing, rhythmic skills, transcription, and utilizing these skills in our music making both in class and in our individual artistic practices outside the classroom. During the second part of the semester, we will also work on analysis and composition. The students will help guide the direction of the course by choosing particular musical examples and topics for transcription and analysis.

Music Improvisation in Theory and Practice
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2014
Global Perspective

We will engage in improvised music practices and the conceptual frameworks, techniques and musical vocabulary associated with them. As a general rule, we will divide our time between improvisation in workshop format and a seminar setting with readings on and by improvisers, intensive listening to recordings, and discussion of the topics - equal parts practical music making and academic enquiry. Proficiency with a musical instrument or in singing is required for the course. Prerequisite: Music Fundamentals 1 or permission of instructor

MUSIC IN THE ROMANTIC ERA
(4.00 Credits — Multi-Level)

Fall 2011

A study of the relationship between music and ideas in the 19th century. Emphasis on the transformation of the Sonata and the development of the symphony. Prerequisite: None

MUSIC: 1600-1800
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2017

A study of the development of musical forms during the period 1600-1800 and its importance in the society of this period. Ability to read music recommended. Prerequisite: None

Additional Fee:$ 0

Vocal Music Composition Workshop
(4.00 Credits — Multi-Level)

Spring 2017

This semester the workshop will emphasize compositions for small choir or vocal ensemble. Students will write compositions weekly which will be performed by fellow students in workshop. Prerequisite: Theory fundamentals, ability to read music

Western Music in the Last Century: Five Case Studies
(4.00 Credits — Multi-Level)

Spring 2019

The course will make an inquiry into the last century of western music from the vantage point of five works, written from 1913 to 2004: Igor Stravinski's Rite of Spring; George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess; Karlheinz Stockhausen's Gesange Der Jünglinge; Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz To Come; and DJ Danger Mouse's The Grey Album. Each work will serve as a springboard for consideration of a wide range of notions that have gained special prominence in music of this time: modes of transmission and reception, developments in technology and their effect on  production and dissemination, cultural notions of "high brow" vs. "low brow", artisanship vs. industry, authenticity and fakeness, all inform these works in different and multifaceted ways. Course work will involve focused listening to those works and others related to them, reading of related materials drawn from both primary and secondary sources, and some on-going writing projects about music, as well as regular presentations of assigned topics as a starting point for discussion. Prerequisite: None

WORLDS OF MUSIC
(4.00 Credits — )

Spring 2014
Global Perspective

A study of music from non-western cultures and "folk" traditions of Europe and the United States using contemporary ethnomusicological concepts and procedures. Goal: To give the student an understanding of approaches to the study of music of western and non-western and/or traditional cultures through a series of case studies from a variety of regions and cultures. Ongoing journal of listening and observations (twice weekly), a final Project, and class presentation. This course entails a great deal of listening. Prerequisite: None

For Music offerings, also see:

Digital Multimedia

Detours

(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)