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Peter Hamlin

Christian A. Johnson Professor Emeritus of Music


Peter Hamlin teaches theory, electronic music, and composition at Middlebury. He is an active composer who has written numerous works for orchestra, band, choir, chamber ensembles, solo instruments, solo voice, music theater, and electronic media. He received his BA in music at Middlebury in 1973 where he studied composition with George Todd. He was a radio producer/host at KPBS-FM in San Diego from 1974-1980, and from 1980-1990 hosted a classical music program on KUNI-FM in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He also served as fine arts host on Iowa Public Television. He received an MM degree in composition at the University of Northern Iowa in 1989, studying there with Peter Michaelides. His PhD is from the Eastman School of Music where he studied composition with Joseph Schwantner and Samuel Adler. He taught at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, from 1992 to 2004, and was appointed to the Middlebury faculty in 2004.

Here's a recent student project, a collaborative composition/production by senior Middlebury music majors Jack Tipper and Mike McCann.

Watch the world premiere of Soul Mate and One Woman One Man from the song cycle by Peter Hamlin. Susanne Peck, soprano and Cynthia Huard, piano. Performed March 13, 2011.

This is one of several of Professor Hamlin's pieces being premiered this year. On April 10 at 3:00 pm the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensembles will perform Meditation on Elzick's Farewell and Singing Bowl.  On April 22 at 8:00 pm, the College Orchestra performance will include a piece by Professor Hamlin, as well as premieres by Noah Silverstein '11 and Nicholas Tkach '11.


Noah Silverstein, Nicholas Tkach, Peter Hamlin

Watch Music Department chair, Peter Hamlin and music major Philippe Bronchtein perform their original electronic music at 51 Main, Thursday, October 1, 2009.



Course List: 

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

FYSE 1509 - Computer Music Programming      

Introduction to Computer Programming Through Music Applications
This course is designed to introduce students to computer programming, starting at the very beginning with basic concepts, and leading to the creation of web-based music applications, and virtual reality soundscapes. Computer programming can seem intimidating, but there are ways to get started that are fun and exciting, and not too scary! The class will also have a chance to research, and write about the use of computers in music past, present and future. 3 hrs. sem. ART CW

Fall 2017, Fall 2018

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MUSC 0212 - Electronic Music      

History, Theory, and Practice of Electronic Music
This course will provide a historical look at the development of electronic music from the earliest analog techniques to present-day computer technology. Students will learn about the theory of digital and analog sound, acoustics, and MIDI. Creative projects will guide the class through a range of techniques. Much of the focus will be on how the electronic medium enables composers to work with sound and musical forms in non-traditional ways. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. lab ART

Spring 2018, Spring 2019

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MUSC 0213 - Digital Musician      

The Digital Musician
In this course we will explore the potential of smartphones, tablets, interactive computer apps, and virtual reality environments for musical experimentation, creation, and performance. Projects will include the creation of original works and live performances using these tools. Students should have a laptop that they can bring to class. There is no prerequisite other than a willingness and interest in working directly with computer code (especially Max, HTML5, JavaScript, and Unity). 3 hrs. lect. ART

Fall 2018

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MUSC 0214 - Songwriting/Production      

Songwriting and Production Workshop
In this course we will offer student singer/songwriters a workshop setting for the creation and production of original songs. The course will revolve around student projects produced in the college’s electronic music studio and campus recording studio. Student projects will explore concepts of musical form and harmony, recording and production techniques, use of Digital Audio Workstations, and the incorporation of electronic sounds in a production. Lectures and demonstrations will provide theoretical and practical background to support those projects, and a collaborative environment will also allow students to learn from each other. (MUSC 0209 or permission). ART

Fall 2017

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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 2019

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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 2020

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MUSC 0500 - Independent Study      

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

Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 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 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021

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MUSC 1028 - Live Coding      

Live Coding - Computer Programming as Musical Performance
In this course we will learn the art of live coding, an electronic music improvisation/performance practice in which the computer programmer creates music in real time. Live coding is an excellent introduction to computer programming for beginners, and also offers opportunities for more advanced programmers. Students will learn the techniques of live coding, basics of sound design and acoustics, and fundamentals of music theory. Class projects will include solo and group performances and recordings. All students will need a laptop computer (Windows or Mac) with a reasonable amount of free disc space. No previous music or coding experience required. ART WTR

Winter 2021, Winter 2022

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Department of Music

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