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Department of Music
Faculty in the Department of Music: Peter Hulen (chair), Richard Bowen, James Makubuya, and Kristen Strandberg~. Afred Abel directs the Chamber Orchestra and Scott Pazera directs the Jazz Ensemble.
Mission Statement: The Department of Music engages the intellect at multiple levels through the theory of music on its own terms, the history of written music, the practice and performance of music, the anthropology of music around the world, and the technology of music analog and digital.
If a student is unsure about his preparation for a given course, he should consult a member of the music faculty. In general, MUS 101, 102, 104, 107, and 161 are designed for the student with little or no musical background. MUS 101 introduces students to musical concepts, styles, and forms and enables listeners to become more sophisticated and articulate. MUS 102 is an introduction to world music apart from the European written classical traditions. MUS 107 introduces students to the rudiments of music (rhythm, scales, keys, triads), and assumes no prior experience with reading music; it also prepares students for the music theory sequence (Music 201, 301, 302). MUS 161 provides beginning instruction in voice or a musical instrument. MUS 104 is a ½-credit special-topics course open to all students; previous topics have included Bach, Jazz, and African American Music.
Intermediate courses include MUS 201, 202, 204, 211, 212, 213, 221, 224, and 261. MUS 201 (Theory I) assumes and requires that a student already has the minimum background provided by MUS 107; engaging the student with the simultaneous and sequential aspects of music, it begins to illuminate the subtle richness of functional tonality. MUS 211 through 213 focus on discrete historical periods of the European written classical traditions. MUS 102 provides an introduction to a variety of world-music instrumental types as constructed and used in various cultures. MUS 204 is a 1-credit special-topics course open to all students; previous topics have included U.S. American music, electronic music history and literature, and computer-driven algorithmic composition. MUS 221 fosters creativity through work in electronic media, and is restricted to sophomores and above because of the independent nature of its coursework. MUS 224 focuses on the ethnography of music in a variety of cultures. MUS 261 provides private instruction on an instrument (or voice), and presumes a background of study and performance on that instrument.
The advanced student is served by MUS 287, 288, 301, 302, 313, 361, 387, 388, 401, and 461. MUS 301 (Theory II) and 302 (Theory III) emphasize the linear and harmonic aspects of diatonic and chromatic harmony, advanced ear-training, rhythm, and keyboard exercises. MUS 313 is a special topics seminar created especially for music majors, minors, and those students with sufficient musical background. MUS 361 and 461 provide private instruction on an instrument or voice for students who have already studied at the college level in MUS 261. In MUS 287, 288 the individual student pursues a special topic in depth; recent topics have included the operas of Tchaikovsky and the Chicago blues. Advanced music students who have completed the music theory sequence may take MUS 387 or 388 (Composition). MUS 401 is a capstone course for senior music majors.
Music students participating in the New York Arts Program, a semester-long internship program in New York, apprentice themselves to professional musicians or arts managers. The Institute of European Studies in Vienna broadens and strengthens some music majors, particularly in vocal and instrumental instruction. A program in the humanities at the Newberry Library in Chicago offers opportunities to students of musicology.
Requirements for the Major: Music majors must complete at least nine course credits in music, including the following eight: MUS 201, 301, and 302 (the music theory sequence); 213 plus two of the three courses numbered 211, 212, and 224 (the musicology sequence, taken in any order); 261 and 361 (Intermediate Applied Music I and II, each ½ credit for a full year of study); and 401 (the senior seminar). Additional credit(s) may be taken in MUS courses other than MUS 101, 104, and 107, which do not count towards the major. Majors entering before 2013 are required to participate in ensembles a minimum of two full years on either a non-credit or for-credit basis. Non-credit ensembles are taken in addition to the 34 course credits required for graduation and the nine courses required for the major. There are no grades assigned for non-credit participation, so it does not compute in the student’s GPA; non-credit participation is listed on transcripts. Beginning with students entering in 2013-2014, the requirement to participate in ensembles must be met by enrolling for two full years in the same for-credit ensemble (MUS 151, 152, 153, 155, 156, or 157). Students receive ½ credit for each full year of for-credit ensemble participation. Majors must also complete a Senior Project in music.
Music majors are strongly encouraged to take courses in the following areas in fulfillment of their distribution coursework: Art History, Language Studies (Classical and Modern), Literature (and Culture), Philosophy (especially aesthetics), Psychology (especially perception), and General Physics (especially physics of sound).
For Senior Comprehensives, majors must pass a written departmental examination which draws upon a broad knowledge and understanding of music history, theory, formal analysis, and musicianship. Majors must also pass a one-hour oral examination as part of the comprehensive examinations.
Requirements for the Minor: Five course credits, including MUS 201, 261, and one course credit in Musicology (MUS 211, 212, 213, or 224). MUS 107 does not count toward the minor. Minors entering before 2013 are required to participate in an ensemble a minimum of one full year on either a non-credit or for-credit basis. Non-credit ensembles are taken in addition to the 34 course credits required for graduation and the five courses required for the minor. There are no grades assigned for non-credit participation, so it does not compute in the student’s GPA; non-credit participation is listed on transcripts. Beginning with students entering in 2013-2014, the requirement to participate in ensembles must be met by enrolling in a for-credit ensemble (MUS 151, 152, 153, 155 156, or 157). Students receive ½ credit for each full year of for-credit ensemble study.
The Department offers lessons in piano, voice, guitar, percussion, organ, or any standard band, orchestral, or jazz instrument. Instruction is given by professional artists who teach at Wabash one or two days per week. Wabash students pay for lessons on a per-semester basis. Students who wish to take lessons as courses for credit must either take MUS 107 previously or concurrently, or pass an exam to receive departmental permission (for MUS 161 or 261), or have taken lessons for credit before (for MUS 361 or 461); the cost of lessons for students who enroll for credit is covered by tuition. For further details, see the course descriptions for MUS 161, 261, 361, and 461.