Matthew Taylor
Office
Mahaney Arts Center 306
Tel
(802) 443-5696
Email
matthewt@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Tuesday - Thursday, 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Courses Taught

Course Description

Fascinating Rhythm: Rhythmic Analysis
Swing, groove, pocket, grid…these and many other terms like them are used to describe the musical element known as rhythm. Though often deemphasized in musical criticism and analysis in relation to pitch/melody, rhythm is inextricable from the musical experience. In this course we will discuss the underrated but undeniable importance of rhythm in the music to which we love to dance, study, or exercise. Through journaling, analysis, performance, and listening, students will develop tools to describe rhythm with greater nuance and depth. Though music from all cultures will be welcomed, the primary focus will be music influenced by the African Diaspora. Open to all musicians and enthusiasts alike.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

ART, CW

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Course Description

How do I Improvise?*

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Winter 2020

Requirements

ART, WTR

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