For Current Updates on COVID-19:

Matthew Taylor

Assistant Professor of Music

 Monday, Wednesday 2-3 PM; Thursday 9:30-10:30 AM
 Mahaney Arts Center 306



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE 1561 - How do I Improvise?      

How do I Improvise?* ART

Fall 2020

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MUSC 0160 - Music Theory I: Fundamentals      

Music Theory I: Fundamentals
This course is an introduction to the basic elements and theoretical concepts of Western music. We will focus on such topics as basic keyboard skills, sight singing, musical notation, rhythm, and harmony and form. Theoretical work and drills will be combined with compositional and performance projects. The goal of the course is to expand students’ musical intuition and skill and to provide the technical basis for further music study. No prior musical experience is required. (Students who wish to take upper-level composition or music theory courses must either complete this course or pass a theory and musicianship test administered by the department to demonstrate equivalent experience.) (Formerly MUSC 0109). 2.5 hrs. lect. ART

Fall 2017, Spring 2019

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MUSC 0209 - Composition I      

Music I
Music I focuses on the materials and grammar of music through compositional exercises. As part of these explorations, we will examine the elements of harmony (scales, triads and seventh chords), notation, rhythm, polyrhythm, binary and ternary forms, two-voice counterpoint, variation, transposition, as well as skills in conducting, analysis, ear-training, and sight-singing. Students will write short pieces for a variety of instruments and ensembles, notate their pieces, and rehearse and perform them, thereby learning about music through discovery and observation. The assignments are designed for students with or without compositional experience. (Ability to play an instrument or sing; MUSC 0160, or passing score on the MUSC 0160 placement exam) 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. lab. ART

Fall 2019

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MUSC 0210 - Composition II      

Music II
This course is a continuation of MUSC 0209. While using the same format, including composing and labs, as in MUSC 0209, the course covers elements of modality (western and non-western), functional harmony, heterophony, fugal processes, strophic forms, melodic analysis, serial processes, and extensions of tonality and atonality. (MUSC 0209 or by permission) 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. lab. ART

Spring 2020

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MUSC 0245 - Collab Improv All-Arts Ens      

Collaborative Improvisation: All-Arts Ensemble
In this course/ensemble we will open dialogues of performance, improvisation, and social interaction across disciplines in the arts. How do the various disciplines relate to each other in a performance environment? It may be easy to see points of commonality between music and dance or writing and theater, but what about the act of painting and the process of musical improvisation? Through the work of Ornette Coleman, Del Close, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, and others, students will explore improvisation in music, theater, dance, and visual art. The class will culminate in a performance. All students are welcome. 3 hrs. lect./disc. ART

Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2020

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MUSC 0260 - Music Theory II: Diatonic      

Music Theory II: Diatonic Theory
This course is an in-depth technical study of the materials of music, a study which expands one’s ability to analyze and create music and to understand different musical styles. We will cover harmonic materials, introduce musical form, and work with traditional compositional skills. These techniques are applied to the analysis of classical music, jazz and popular music. (MUSC 0160 or passing score on the MUSC 0160 placement exam.) 3 hrs. lect./disc. ART

Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020

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MUSC 0261 - Music Theory III: Chromatic      

Music Theory III: Chromatic Theory
This course is a continuation of MUSC 0260. Students will study more advanced harmonic devices including modulation and chromaticism, jazz harmony, and post-tonal techniques. In-depth analysis of classical music, jazz, and popular music supports a more advanced study of musical form. (MUSC 0260) 3 hrs. lect./disc. ART

Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020

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MUSC 0309 - Advanced Composition I      

Advanced Composition
In this course we will focus on writing for string quartet, brass quintet, a cappella singing, piano, or performance art and involve issues of technique, style, and practical considerations, as well as study of selected elements of the literature. The course will culminate with a reading of student works by a professional ensemble or solo performer. This semester we focus on composing for the string quartet. We will discuss a variety of string techniques as well as issues of form and orchestration. We will listen to important works for that medium and discuss the styles from the Classical period to this century. (MUSC 0209 and 0210 or approval of instructor). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Fall 2019

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MUSC 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Admission by approval. Please consult published departmental guidelines and paragraph below.

Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021

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MUSC 0704 - Senior Work      

Senior Work
Senior work is not required of all music majors and joint majors. However, students interested in and eligible for departmental honors (see guideline above, in "Departmental Honors" section) may propose one or two-semester Senior Work projects. Projects may be in history, composition, theory, ethnomusicology, performance, or electronic music, and should culminate in a written presentation, a public performance, or a combination of the two. MUSC0704 does not count as a course toward fulfillment of the music major.

Project and budget proposals for Independent Study and Senior Work should be submitted by the previous April 1 for fall and winter term projects, and the previous October 15 for spring term projects. Budget proposals will not be considered after those dates. Project proposals will be considered after the deadline but are more likely not to be approved due to previous commitments of faculty advisors or other scheduling reasons.

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021

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MUSC 1026 - Composition Today      

New Century - New Voices: Composition Today
We will consider how new technologies and the proliferation of notation systems has enabled more people to engage in the practice of music composition. We will discuss the dynamics of group improvisation, improvisation as brainstorming, and the change in temporal perception due to improvisational practice. We will read texts such as Daniel J, Levitin’s This Is Your Brain on Music, John Cage’s Silence, and Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening. Students will scheme and write their own compositions for instrumentation to be determined later. The class will culminate in a recital. Open to all students, regardless of musical background. ART WTR

Winter 2020

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Department of Music

Mahaney Center for the Arts
72 Porter Field Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753