Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2017

| 100 | 200 | 300 | 400 | 500 |

Music 102: Introduction to World Music

J. Byl    M W F   14:00-14:50   FAB 2-20

This course will introduce students to selected world music cultures from throughout the world, including North America. In addition to learning about different musical traditions, we will also seek to relate them to larger cultural, religious, sociological, political, and geographical contexts. The emphasis of this class is to understand musical traditions in the terms of their performers and audience, and recognize their worth and value by expanding our own cultural and musical literacy.

Music 102 (evening):  Introduction to World Music

M. Frishkopf   W   18:30 - 21:30    T BW2

In this introductory-level course we will examine music as a global, pan-human phenomenon (music of the world), together with various topics and issues in ethnomusicology (the study of music of the world in its cultural context). The course features an engagement with ethnographic film, and small-group collaborative as well as individual assignments.  While discovering world music through film, we will also:• broaden our musical horizons, develop new musical capacities, expand our understanding music and its meanings• understand music as both product and shaper of its environment, especially the power of music to effect change:  music as a ''technology''• learn to understand the world musically• learn how to think critically about (music) culture, and the ways it is represented (through music, or otherwise)• be introduced to the discipline of ''ethnomusicology'', in preparation for further study in this discipline.

Music 103: Introduction to Popular Music

B. Fauteux   M W F   14:00-14:50    TL 11

D. Stadnicki  R    18:30-21:30    TL 12

How does music become “popular” and how is music an important part of our identity? What is the influence of the recording industry on our relationship to popular music? What role does the music industry play in the construction of stereotypes and how does popular music help to break down (and put up) social barriers? In Music 103: Introduction to Popular Music you will learn about popular music’s history, acquire critical listening skills, and develop the ability to write and reflect on popular music

Music 129 – Fundamental Keyboard Skills

A. Pedro    

A. Lopez-Alvarez   

This is a year-long course intended to strengthen the keyboard skills required in Music 151 (Aural and Keyboard Skills) as well as for personal development.  The technical work and suitable repertoire studied aim to enhance the musical and interpretive skills of students.

Music 151: Aural and Keyboard Skills I  (year-long: Fall and Winter semesters)

G. Tardif          M W F  8:00 – 8:50  FAB 2-26 

H. DeCaigny     M W F  8:00 – 8:50   FAB 1-29

E. Reinart        M W F 8:00 - 8:50  FAB 2-28

The focus of this course is on development of musical memory and reading skills through melodic solfège, rhythmical articulation, and identification of chords scales and intervals in dictation.  The course is supplemented with the study of diatonic keyboard harmony.  (This course is open to all Music majors and minors; please see calendar for prerequisites.)

Music 155: Music Theory I

A. Talpash    T R  8:00 – 8:50    FAB 2-20   

LABS: F 9:00 – 9:50  FAB 2-26; FAB 2-28; FAB 2-15

This is the first of a sequence of two semester-long foundational courses in music theory.  In Music 155, we focus on developing a common language for musical analysis, with emphasis on diatonic harmony and the study of musical excerpts from the common practice era.

Music 214: Brass Techniques

B. Thurgood   M W F    9:00 – 9:50    FAB 1-23

This is a combination of the study of the brass instruments as well as the study of the pedagogy of brass instruments.  At the same time students are learning how to play brass, they are also learning how to teach brass.

Music 245 - Introduction to Music Technology

M. Hannesson   M W F    11:00 - 11:50     FAB 1-7

Computer technology with a focus on MIDI, synthesis, and software programs for sequencing, music notation, audio recording and transformation, and music on the Internet.  (Prerequisite:  ability to read music.  Registration priority will be given to all Music major and minor students.)


Music 251: Aural and Keyboard Skills II  (year-long: Fall and Winter semesters)

S. Brooks    M W F   14:00 – 14:50   FAB 2-28

This course focuses on the development of musical memory and reading skills through melodic solfège, polyphonic singing, and harmonic and polyphonic dictation.  The course is supplemented with the study of keyboard harmony.  (This course is open to all Music majors and minors; please see calendar for prerequisites).

Music 255: Music Theory III 

J. Roberts    T R    11:00-12:20    FAB 2-28

M. Moshaver  T R    2:00-3:20       FAB 1-29

This course is an analytical survey of Western music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods (Josquin, Palestrina, Monteverdi, Schütz, Bach, among others).  Though the course includes some writing exercises in counterpoint; our main orientation, whenever possible, is towards analyzing complete pieces of music.  Our purpose, besides understanding technical, stylistic, formal and aesthetic trends of different historical periods, is to train the eye and ear to perceive detail on the printed score.  The skills and analytical methodologies developed in the course of the semester are crucial for developing a confident and comfortable relation with musical notation, the development and training of aural memory, and a common vocabulary for thinking and exchanging ideas about pieces of music and their interpretation.


Music 259 – Introduction to Composition

S. Smallwood   T R    2:00 - 3:20   FAB 2-7D

This course is an introduction to music composition and sonic arts, including both acoustic and electroacoustic methodologies.  Students will receive an introduction to concepts of planning and structure of sonic organization, unity and economy of materials, and variety in musical content.  Through a wide range of listening and reading exercises, as well as weekly compositional assignments, students will learn about a broad range of approaches to contemporary composition.  Although students should have a rudimentary understanding of basic Western music theory and notation, no formal training in composition is required.

Music 263 - Instrumentation & Arranging 

A. Talpash   T R  15:30 - 16:50  FAB 2-28

This course is an in-depth study of the technical and expressive characteristics of the standard instruments of the Western orchestra and its offspring.  The course will cover the individual instruments of the four primary families of instruments (strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion), and will include the study of chamber ensembles (string quartet, woodwind quintet, Pierrot ensemble, etc), as well as large ensembles (wind ensemble, symphonic band, orchestra).  Throughout, we will examine these instruments and groups through traditional and contemporary repertoire within the domains of art music, opera, popular music, music for film and video games, and improvised music.  Students will develop hands-on approaches to understanding these instruments through arranging and/or compositional assignments, as well as listening and analysis. 

Music 303  Piano Pedagogy I

S. Scott     T R    11:00 – 12:20     FAB 3-46

This course covers topics of interest to the beginning piano teacher, including studio set-up and business aspects of teaching, as well as a survey of teaching resource materials, such as beginner method books, supplementary repertoire, technical approaches and pedagogical texts. Students will teach and observe lessons through a community-service learning component.

Music 314 - Introduction to Music in Canada

M. Ingraham   T R  15:30 – 16:50    T BW 2

Music in Canada has developed within a unique social and political environment and been influenced by many different cultures. Much of what we call ‘Canadian Music’ is not defined by any one of these influences or cultures but rather by the inclusion and integration of many different voices. The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to music and music-making in Canada by focusing on the multiple expressions of diverse cultures, artists, and genres active in Canada since 1970. Folk, traditional, popular, and classical music and musicians will be considered in order to enhance our knowledge of distinct forms of cultural expression and to deepen our understanding of the complexity of musical multiculturalism in Canada in the period. To do this requires an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates methods and materials from cultural, social and political histories, as well as ethnographic studies and unique approaches to listening

Music 315 – Introduction to Conducting 

A. Schroeder    M W F  2:00 – 2:50

This course is focused on the development of a professional conducting approach with emphasis on techniques appropriate to wind, orchestral, and choral conducting. The course will include instruction in beginning and intermediate conducting techniques, score analysis and preparation, development of visual/aural discrimination skills, the role of the conductor in an historical perspective, and a review of basic musicianship.

Music 321 - Diction for Singers I/Diction for Singers II

S. Hiebert    T R   11:00 - 12:20   FAB 1-29

The purpose of this course is to explore pronunciation, diction and expression of text in classical singing.  Through the study of text as an expressive means of communication in the vocal and choral arts, students gain a deeper understanding of of each of the four major languages of singing.   Section I will focus on gaining a working knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as it relates to singing in English, Latin and Italian. Section II will focus on French and German.  Rules of pronunciation and syllabification in each of the four languages will be studied and applied to live performance.  Students will transcribe Italian, Latin, French and German text to IPA.   Through the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, students will gain fluency with the unique dramatic accent of each language and develop critical listening skills.  (Course Prerequisite: Music 125, voice, conducting, or equivalent.)

Music 409 - Vocal Literature I/Advanced Vocal Literature I 

L. Regehr   M W F   9:00 – 9:50    FAB 1-29

The purpose of this course is to explore non-operatic solo vocal repertoire.  Through critical listening and discussion, students will gain an understanding of the major composers of art song repertoire, the larger historical context within which these composers worked and stylistic developments through the 17th-20th centuries.  The course will be a combination of lectures, presentations and performances, and include discussions of song interpretation, musicianship and style with respect to poetry, melody, harmony, rhythm, form, accompaniment, and text-setting. Vocal Literature I will focus on the German lied as well as the songs of British composers.  Vocal Literature II, offered in the Winter term, will explore French mélodie, North American art songs, and Russian and Spanish repertoire.   (Course Prerequisite: Music 225, voice or any instrument, or equivalent)

Music 439 – Vocal and Instrumental Chamber Ensemble (Fall and Winter semesters – year-long)

A. Balcetis (coordinator)

Voice ensembles:                                          W F    12:00 – 12:50     FAB 2-7
Instrumental ensembles:                               W F    12:00 – 12:50    FAB 1-29
Chamber ensembles:                                    W F    12:00 – 12:50    FAB 1-23

In this course students perform in small chamber ensembles to prepare significant works of chamber music from the Western classical canon.  They receive bi-weekly coaching from the Department of Music performance faculty; attend and perform in weekly masterclasses, and hold their own weekly recitals.  

Music 446/X46 Opera Workshop

E. Turnbull; S. Hiebert   M  W    2:00 - 3:50  FAB 1-29

The purpose of University of Alberta’s Opera Workshop is to provide students with a platform to explore the world of staged vocal repertoire, encompassing classic music theatre, cabaret and opera 
We offer a comprehensive training program, giving each student opportunities to perform and work in a supportive and positive atmosphere. The assignments and responsibilities of each student are appropriate to them as an individual and based on their abilities and their progress throughout the course. 
Opera Workshop offers a range of studies which may include but is not limited to vocal health, repertoire and diction coachings, acting, yoga breath for singers, monologue, improvisation, character analysis, performance viewing and analysis,  stage makeup, dance/movement, and stage combat. Each year, Opera Workshop presents students performing a fall cabaret and a staged spring opera production in Convocation Hall of the Old Arts Building.
Auditions are held the first week of classes. Please consult the ensemble auditions information tab to the left for more information.

Music 464  - Topics in Ethnomusicology: Music and Religion

J. Byl    W  9:00 – 11:50    FAB 2-26

In this course, we will explore how people living in diverse times and places experience their religious lives through sound. We will encounter all of the major religions through music, ritual and sound, but will also pay attention to localized traditions of the divine in the world, and the world of the divine. We will use readings, listening, and the analysis of performances to answer key questions, and think of more: How do local understandings of natural power transform a major world religion? How is cosmic energy channeled through the movements of the human body? And what is it about music that allows it to express our grandest understandings of the divine? 

Music 470/ 570 - Composition Tutorials

M. Hannesson; S. Smallwood    Date/Location TBA  

In either or both acoustic and electronic mediums, Music 470, 471, 570 and 571 are all tutorial-based courses in ‘free’ composition. Regular critiquing and coaching will assist the student in developing various compositional techniques and strategies, as well as encouraging informed, independent creative musical thought and expression. To ensure that diverse learning experiences occur, emphasis is placed on composing shorter, multi-movement works that are concise, well-structured, and clearly focused with regard to artistic objectives and compositional means.

Music 481 – Playing with Sound: Exploring Sound and Music in Video Games

S. Smallwood   T R   9:30 - 11:50   FAB 2-7D

In this seminar, we will explore topics surrounding the use of audio and music in video games through readings, films, and the games themselves. In exploring sound, we will interrogate the many uses of sound in games, from sound effects, dialog, and music to sound puzzles and experimental audio mechanics.  We will also look at trends in 3D sound, including binaural and ambisonic sound. Warning:  students WILL be expected not only to read about games, but also to play them.  A games list will be distributed early in the semester, along with readings and other forms of media discussing games and game theory.

Music 487 - Period Studies: Popular Music in the Digital Age 

B. Fauteux   F  9:00 – 11:50   A 403

Over the last few decades the music industry has been subject to a severe case of “disruption,” due to changes in technology, the economy, and listening practices. Artists like Chance the Rapper, Beyoncé, and Radiohead have challenged record industry customs by releasing music with experimental funding and promotional models. New services like Spotify and YouTube have become common ways of listening to music but have also been criticized for failing to pay artists a fair price per stream. Popular Music in the Digital Age is a course that looks at the relationship between popular music and digital culture, charting the history of digital music from the development of digital audio technologies to their role in the music industries today. 


Music 495 – Music and Business

G. Tardif   W  6:00 – 9:00pm     FAB 2-26

This course introduces students to specialized literature focusing on today's music careers and the business of music in a Canadian context. We will review basic concepts and discuss the intersections between music and business including how this may or will apply to you.

Music 507 - Writing about Music

D. Gramit     T R   3:30 - 4:50    FAB 2-26

This offering of Music 507 will consider both research methods and writing, with an emphasis on finding and evaluating music and materials related to it, appropriate citation, and effective writing in a variety of academic contexts, including grant applications, research papers, program notes, and theses. Students will choose research and writing projects relevant to their programs.Important note for graduate students in Music: for the Fall of 2017, Music 507, Writing about Music, is being offered in lieu of Music 505, Bibliography and Research Methods. Students whose programs require Music 505 will be able to fulfill that requirement by taking Music 507 this fall.


Music 555: Theory and Analysis -- Music and Text  

M. Moshaver:  W 1:00-3:50

This seminar examines the many problems and registers of text-music interaction, with a focus on Romantic and Symbolist repertories of the 19th century. Beginning with the idea of mimesis, where music is seen to imitate or express in its own medium the images and sentiments presented in a poetic text, the seminar will focus on the critiques and radical transformations of this model in the philosophical aesthetics of the 19th century, as well as in the compositional practice Schubert, Schumann, Wagner, Wolf, and Debussy. Readings include works by Rousseau, Lessing, Goethe, Schlegel, Hoffmann, Hanslick, Nietzsche, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, among others. Emphasis will be on written interpretive analysis.



Winter 2018 

| 100 | 200 | 400


Music 100: Fundamentals of Music

Winter 2018:  A. Robertson  MW  6:00-7:25   FAB 2-28  
Spring 2018:  A. Talpash    MTWTF 12:00-2:25  FAB 2-20  
The primary goal of MUSIC 100 is to help students to develop an understanding and fluency in the basic elements of music such as notation, scales, keys, meters, intervals, and chords.  The course is designed to meet the needs of music majors who require additional preparation for their entry into the first year theory cycle, and for non-music major instrumentalists who desire to upgrade their rudimentary music theory skills.  

Music 101 - Introduction to Western Art Music

D. Gramit   T R   12:30 – 1:50    HC L1
M. Abedinifard  W   6:30 – 9:30   TBW 2

MUSIC 101 offers an introduction to Western art music, also known as “classical music.”  Its goals are to develop basic music listening skills and to orient you to some of the major developments within that musical tradition.  The course will:
introduce concepts and skills essential to close musical listening;
provide several different approaches to listening to music;
build a basic vocabulary for discussing music;
introduce you to examples that illustrate musical developments and encourage your enjoyment and understanding of a variety of forms and styles; and
raise questions about the meaning of this music in the past and the present: to whom was and is this music important and why?

Music 156 - Music Theory II

A. Talpash   T R   8:00 – 8:50  FAB 2-20  Friday Labs: 9:00 – 9:50  Place TBA

This course completes the foundational year in music theory, with a focus on diatonic and chromatic harmony and the study of musical excerpts from the classical and Romantic eras. 

Music 202 - Introduction to Ethnomusicology

J. Byl   T R  9:30 – 10:50    ED 129

This course will introduce students to core concepts in the study of ethnomusicology by investigating the music of popular music of four places: Haiti, India, Brazil and Hawaii. We will be listening to popular sounds and the exploring the social, cultural, and political issues embedded in them, and seeking elements of distinctive soundworlds of older musical traditions.. By doing so, we'll identify the habits of attention that characterize ethnomusicological research. Listening, reading, and discussion are the core components of the class; you will also work through the semester to produce a proposal for original ethnographic research.


Music 203 - Issues in Popular Music Studies

B. Fauteux   T R  15:30 – 16:50   T BW 2

Popular music is deeply embedded in our everyday lives. Because popular music is both a commercial product and a cultural object, it has important connections to our own cultural identity, to the broader economic and political world, to visual culture, to cities and music scenes, and to our use of media and technology. Music 203: Issues in Popular Music Studies explores our everyday experience of popular music in contemporary society and investigates the many ways that music shapes our social world. 

Music 213:  Woodwind Techniques

A. Balcetis   T R  8:00-8:50    FAB 1-23
[Lab Ensemble at McKernan School at variable times]
This course combines the study of the woodwind instruments with the study of the pedagogy of woodwind instruments.  At the same time students are learning how to play woodwinds, they are also learning how to teach woodwinds.

Music 256 - Music Theory IV 

M. Moshaver   T R   11:00 - 12:20   FAB 2-28

The principal focus of this course is formal and harmonic analysis of complete pieces of music.  Building on the contrapuntal techniques and harmonic theory developed in prior semesters, we will study representative works from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic repertoires.  Our general approach will be that of collective in-class analysis and discussion supplemented by readings: either music-theoretical texts or, occasionally, published analytical essays about the music under discussion.  Starting from the principle that analysis is primarily an oral form of communication and exchange of ideas about music, priority will be given to development of our own collective analytical perspectives, and listening and interpretive strategies. Our objective is to develop techniques and methodologies for expanding our analytical vocabulary, and becoming conversant with a variety of approaches for discussing the meanings and workings of music.


Music 260 - Composition

M. Hannesson    T R   2:00 - 3:20    FAB 2-15

This course is a (mostly) classroom-based course in music composition. It includes one-on-one lessons in composition on occasion. It explores many issues of interest to the contemporary composer, including a variety of compositional techniques, idea generation, listening skills, improvisation, performance practice, and notational techniques. At the root of this course is the practice of composing and making sonic art, and all students will be required to complete a variety of compositional exercises, as well as the completion of a major compositional project. 

Music 280 - Introduction to the Study of Western Music History.

D. Gramit   T R    2:00 - 3:20    ED 106 (provisional)

The course introduces the practice of studying music history, emphasizing the development of listening, reading, research, critical thinking, and communication skills. Most of our music is drawn from European music dating from 1600 and before. Prerequisite: Music 155 or, for students not in a BMus program, consent of the department. Not available to students with credit in MUSIC 281.


Music 417 – Choral Conducting and Pedagogy

S. Brooks M W F   11:00 - 11:50    FAB  1-23

Building on material from MUSIC 315, this course focuses on conducting technique specific to choral ensembles. Units on score study, rehearsal technique, and vocal/choral pedagogy are provided, and refinement of gesture is established through regular and frequent podium time. This course exposes students to choral repertoire from a variety of musical periods, and emphasizes gesture and rehearsal methods specific to each.


Music 431 – Band Techniques

A. Schroeder   M W F   2:00 - 2:50    FAB  1-23

This course is designed to prepare students for their role as a teacher, conductor and leader in the instrumental classroom, with particular focus on the rehearsal. Students are expected to develop their skills as musicians while also examining the practical, historical and philosophical ideals of the wind band movement as they pertain to the modern instrumental classroom.

Music 445 – Electroacoustic Music

S. Smallwood   T R   11:00 - 12:20     FAB 2-7D

This course is an introduction to electroacoustic music, including an explanation of that term!  The course will explore the history, development, repertoire, artworks, and cultural movements around the rise of electronic/digital technologies in music.  Through a combination of lecture, listening, in-class demos, and studio work, students will gain an overview of the wide varieties of sounds, technologies, and ideas that have shaped electroacoustic music since the 1950s.  Students will be expected to do creative work, including a final compositional project, which will be presented in a public concert.

Music 458 - Music Theory VII: Theories of Music After 1950

M. Hannesson    T R    3:30 - 4:50      FAB 2-26

The course focuses on the styles and techniques of music from 1950 to present day.  Topics will include, but are not limited to, Serialism, Indeterminacy, Micro-polyphony, Spectralism, New Complexity, Minimalism, Electroacoustic Music.  (For prerequisites, please see calendar.)

Music 468 - Area Studies in Ethnomusicology: The Arab World

M. Frishkopf    T R    14:00 – 15:20    A-403

This course will survey music cultures and trends in the Arab world (broadly defined), from the 7th century to the present. We will develop a critical perspective, by contextualizing music designated as "Arab" within Arab nationalism from the 19th century onwards. Likewise, the concept of "Arab world" will be problematized, nuanced, and extended to the diasporic community. Historical and music theoretical approaches will be adopted, but the course will focus on the sociology and anthropology of music. We will examine localized musical dialects--urban and rural—characterizing societies and cultures from Morocco to the Gulf, as well as broader mediated forms, and music media themselves, from phonodiscs to satellite TV. Aesthetics of music, spiritual, religious, and metaphysical dimensions, gender and sexuality, politics, coloniality, and globalization are all topics to be taken up. A significant component of the course is sensory immersive, including listening and viewing, including a number of music-related films, both documentary and feature. The objective is for you to learn about these multifacted music cultures, and, through them (and by means of their critical analysis) to begin to understand the Arab world (so frequently misunderstood) in a new way.

Music 471, 571 - Composition Tutorials

M. Hannesson; S. Smallwood  Date/Location TBA

In either or both acoustic and electronic mediums, Music 470, 471, 570 and 571 are all tutorial-based courses in ‘free’ composition. Regular critiquing and coaching will assist the student in developing various compositional techniques and strategies, as well as encouraging informed, independent creative musical thought and expression. To ensure that diverse learning experiences occur, emphasis is placed on composing shorter, multi-movement works that are concise, well-structured, and clearly focused with regard to artistic objectives and compositional means.

Music 488 – Studies in Music and Film

C. Gier   T R   12:30 – 13:50     A 403

This course studies the various developments in film music during the last century. We address how music functions in films and identify techniques that have made film music effective. We gain an appreciation for how the relationship between music and the screen has developed. The foci for the course are diverse: from early film to Hermann and Hitchcock to news music. Questions to be explored: How did film music evolve in the early films? How did music work in classic Hollywood film? How did it work in film noir? Why is music important to have in film? What are some recent critiques and studies of music and “the moving image”?