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Music (MUS)


MUS 1000 - Introduction to the Study of Music, Culture, and Society - 3 credits

Alternate Fall Semesters

This course introduces students to the key objectives of and methods for examination of music as a social and cultural practice, considering the function of music and sound in ritual, in performance, in the global marketplace, in politics and protest, and in everyday life while highlighting some of the world’s great performers and musical traditions. Beginning with an introduction to the formal elements of music, students then listen to varied global folkloric, popular, and classical styles, honing their critical listening skills through description and analysis of varied musical works. Finally, students consider how understanding and analysis of historical and cultural context as well as processes of cultural flows can afford insight into music’s deeper meaning and significance. Treating music as a lens into history, politics, race, ethnicity, gender, and identity, this course will afford students with a flexible interpretive framework for encountering all music. Final projects will center on a musical artist, genre, practice, or scene of the student’s choice.

This course meets the General Education Humanities Breadth requirement or the General Education International/Global Interdependence requirement.


MUS 1200 - Introduction to Digital Music Production - 3 credits

Alternate Spring Semesters

This course introduces students to the theory and fundamentals of creating music using digital technologies. Emphasizing musical creation and application of software and hardware tools, the course comprises a series of hands-on learning projects which afford students with the opportunity to produce original music using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). In lectures, students learn the basics of recording and digital production technologies as well as music theory and composition; in labs, students then apply that knowledge to the creation of music in several genres including hip-hop, EDM, and scores for film and video games. This course will culminate in a concert experience, open to the Curry community, in which students share their compositions. Aiming to strike a balance between theory and practice, students will leave the course prepared to be lifelong learners and creators of music. This course requires a laptop. 

This course meets the General Education Arts Breadth requirement.


Private Instruction in Music - 1.5 credits

MUS 1302, 2302, 3302 - Guitar

MUS 1303, 2303, 3303 - Piano

MUS 1304, 2304, 3304 - Piano-Jazz/Improvisation

MUS 1305, 2305, 3305 - Voice

MUS 1306, 2306, 3306 - Percussion

MUS 1307, 2307, 3307 - Strings

MUS 1308, 2308, 3308 - Winds & Brass

MUS 1312, 2312, 3312 - Composition

Fall and Spring Semesters

Weekly private lessons, 45-minutes for 1.5 credits, beginning during the first full week of classes. Registration at the 2000- or 3000-level additionally requires at least two registrations at the previous level and permission of the instructor. Lesson times are arranged by contacting the instructor through the FAA office during the first two days of the semester.

This course may be repeated.

This course meets the General Education Arts Breadth requirement.


MUS 2000 - Western Classical Music - 3 credits

Alternate Fall Semesters

Music, a universal medium, links the listener to the time and place of its composition. This course traces the international social and cultural context of Western classical music—from its Medieval roots, through its spread from aristocratic privilege to public access in Europe, its coming of age in Russia and the United States, its service to late nineteenth-century nationalism, and finally its role in global contemporary society. Basic concepts of music, are reviewed briefly at the beginning of the course. Activities include independent listening assignments and live concert attendance via a class field trip or other free or low-cost options.

This course meets the General Education Humanities Breadth and Reading/Writing Enhancement requirements.


MUS 2050 - Sound and Healing - 3 credits

Alternate Spring Semesters

Sound has profound effects on human beings and their wellness, as revealed by scientific research and the experience of musicians, therapists, and indigenous healers from various cultures. This course explores the healing and transformational potentials of sound by investigating the physics and physiology, the psychology and philosophy of sound and music. The history of sound for healing, and current practices and research in the field will be explored.


MUS 2100 - Traditions of Sacred Sound - 3 credits

Alternate Fall Semesters

This course explores the traditions of Sacred Sound among spiritual traditions of the world. Sound is a universal dimension of human spirituality. How does Sacred Sound express human connection to the Transcendent? How does it shape and transform human experience of life and community? The course will focus on sonic cultures from many of the major spiritual traditions on the earth: India, the Middle East, the Far East, Latin America, the aboriginal peoples of Australia, Africa and North America as well as western Europe and the U.S. Attention will be given to contemporary expressions and explorations of Sacred Sound as a primary modality of healing, spiritual wholeness, and intercultural understanding.


MUS 2309 - Sing! The Curry College Choir - 1 credit

Fall and Spring Semesters

Open to all students, Sing provides a safe and fun introduction to singing. We rehearse, perform, and reflect on a wide variety of a cappella and accompanied choral repertoire from many cultures and historical periods. The group rehearses twice a week, though some practice of parts with recorded materials outside of class time may be required. Music reading ability is not necessary to join. Course may be repeated. Fee.

This course meets the General Education Arts Breadth requirement, General Education Active Learning requirement, or General Education International/Global Interdependence requirement.


MUS 2310 - Rock Band - 3 credits

Spring Semester

Rock and popular music surrounds us. It is the musical language of millions of people around the world. In this course, students will be grouped into ensembles and learn about form, harmony, melody, texture, dynamics, and other elements of music as they make music together. Active listening will provide inspiration, but the focus of this course is encouraging creativity through making music together. Ensembles may combine with students of PMI Voice and/or Sing for performances. While there are no pre-requisites for this course, participants should have at least rudimentary playing ability on at least one instrument. This course may be repeated.

This course meets the General Education Arts Breadth requirement.


MUS 2311 - Sing! The Curry College Choir - 2 credits

Fall and Spring Semesters

Open to all students, Sing offers students an opportunity to not only participate in a dynamic choral ensemble, but contribute to its ongoing plans. This course challenges students to define the ensemble’s brand, set goals, select repertoire, and write program notes. Sing rehearses, performs, and reflects on a wide variety of a cappella and accompanied choral music from many cultures and historical periods. The group rehearses twice a week, though some practice of parts with recorded materials outside of class time may be required. Music reading ability is not necessary to join. Course may be repeated. Fee.

This course meets the General Education Arts Breadth requirement, General Education Active Learning requirement, or General Education International/ Global Interdependence requirement.


MUS 2313 - Sing! The Curry College Choir - 3 credits

Fall and Spring Semesters

Sing offers an opportunity for students to apply their major to the challenges of leading and growing an arts organization. Students select and plan two to three special projects that may include leadership, personnel management, logistics, graphic design, publicity, recruitment, etc. Additionally, students in this course complete all of the assignments given to students in MUS 3309 and 3310, including selecting, rehearsing, and reflecting on music from a diverse body of cultures and historical periods. The ensemble rehearses twice a week, but additional planning meetings may be scheduled according to student availability and need. Fee.

This course meets the General Education Arts Breadth requirement, General Education Active Learning requirement, or General Education International/ Global Interdependence requirement.


MUS 2315/3315 - Small Ensemble/Band - 1.5 credits

Fall and Spring semesters

Weekly coaching sessions of a 4- or 5-person small ensemble/band in popular, folk, jazz, and/or classical genres, 45 minutes for 1.5 credits, beginning the first full week of classes. Enrollment limited. To register and determine an appropriate section, a student initiates contact with the instructor through the Visual and Performing Arts office. Students can enroll as a pre-formed ensemble, or work with the office of Visual and Performing Arts to be placed in an ensemble. Group session times are arranged in consultation with the instructor through the VPA office during the first two days of the semester. This course may be repeated. Fee.

This course meets the General Education Arts Breadth requirement.  

Prerequisite: At least one semester of Private Music Instruction (PMI) at the 1000-level is required as a pre- or co-requisite. Registration at the 3000-level additionally requires at least two registrations at the previous level and permission of the instructor.


MUS 2360 - Music Theory: Songwriting - 3 credits

Alternate Spring Semesters

Music theory provides a unique opportunity for creativity. Sequential exercises in ear training, notation, analysis, and score reading are presented in the context of composing songs, allowing for personalized instruction and self-expression. Concepts of melody, harmony, and rhythm are reinforced through creative and analytical experiences.

This course meets the General Education Arts Breadth requirement.

Pre- or Corequisites: One semester of Private Music Instruction (any instrument, any level) or permission of instructor.


MUS 2370 - Jazz - 3 credits

Alternate Years

The investigation of the diverse aspects of jazz approached primarily from an historical perspective. Designed for the liberal arts student, the course involves extensive listening in and out of class, and when possible a class trip to a Boston area jazz event.

This course meets the General Education Humanities Breadth requirement.


MUS 2430 - Music in Film - 3 credits

Alternate Fall Semesters

Through a chronological survey of music in movies, students address the ways in which music and sound are used to persuade and manipulate audiences. Theoretical papers and writings present a variety of perspectives, which illustrate how music and sound effects are integral to the success of several feature length films. Academy Award winning musical scores and composers will be highlighted. Students will complete a series of hands-on-music- technology projects culminating in the composition of a brief film score.

This course meets the General Education Humanities Breadth requirement.


MUS 2450 - American Music - 3 credits

Alternate Spring Semesters

This course will survey American music from colonization to the present, including popular, classical, jazz, folk, and electronic forms. International influences on the development of American “style” will play a key role in assigned readings, discussions, and research projects. This course will require a great deal of listening out of class to assigned music in addition to analytic readings, research, and a field trip to historically important musical sites in Boston. All students must demonstrate facility in online research techniques.

This course meets the General Education Humanities Breadth requirement and some sections may be Reading/Writing Enhanced.


MUS 2510 - Music of Latin America and the Caribbean - 3 credits

Alternate Fall Semesters

This survey course explores diverse musical practices from Latin America and the Caribbean within a broad historical and cultural framework. Beginning with an introduction to indigenous, African, and European musical practices prior to colonization, the course then explores some of the varied folkloric, popular, and classical musical forms forged through processes of cultural mixing in the “New World.” Examining the histories of countries including Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Trinidad and Tobago through the lens of their musics, students will gain comparative perspective on how connected but distinct histories and legacies of colonization, slavery, nationalism, migration, and globalization have affected and continue to affect musical practice and aesthetics in diverse contexts. This course will include a required field trip to Cambridge Carnival and/or live concert attendance when possible, and students will engage in reflective and analytical writing and discussions about how Latin American and Caribbean communities in the U.S. preserve, transmit, and transform musical heritage in the present.

This course meets the General Education Humanities Breadth requirement or the General Education International/Global Interdependence requirement.


MUS 2550 - Music of the World - 3 credits

Alternate Fall Semesters

Music is a cultural phenomenon, and though certain elements appear universal, interpretations vary. This course allows students to interact with world cultures while exploring, analyzing, and enjoying diverse soundscapes through recorded music, film and readings. Students will explore relationships between music and personal identity, race, gender, politics, and society. Assignments will include either an on-site field project in the Boston area or a library/computer-based research project. Topics will include popular, classical, and traditional styles from Polynesia, Africa, Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, and other locations. A critical discussion of the globalization and influence of western popular music will be a prominent theme.

This course meets the General Education International/Global Interdependence requirement.


MUS 2610 - Concert Going in Boston - 3 credits

Alternate Spring Semesters

This course will focus on the classical music world of Boston with some time spent on the jazz, pop and rock scene as well. There will be emphasis on the international origins as a tool for studying global connections and the importance to the social and cultural life of Boston. Students will examine the history of music in Boston and development of the world class Boston Symphony, the elite Boston and New England Conservatories as well as the establishment of the Berklee College of Music, the leading school of its type in the world. Students will learn about music, the training of musicians, concert protocol, what makes a great hall, the business of concerts and how most of these local institutions have been based on European models. The course will be a combination of lectures, guest speakers, and concerts in the classroom and off-campus. Busing Fee.

This course meets the General Education Humanities Breadth requirement or the General Education International/Global Interdependence requirement.


MUS 2620 - Global Popular Music and Media Cultures - 3 credits

Alternate Spring Semesters

This course examines diverse global popular music forms, genres, cultures, and scenes while introducing students to the basic research practices of ethnomusicology and popular music scholarship. Exploring popular music – defined as music that appeals to a large audience and is disseminated through mass media – as a medium affording insight into not only culturally specific histories, practices, and aesthetics, but also into transnational processes of globalization, cultural homogenization, and cultural differentiation, students will learn to recognize varied global popular forms while also considering how such forms have been shaped by technological proliferation, the music industry, and other global flows of people, culture, and capital. This course will include live concert attendance when possible, and will culminate in the production of a podcast through which students share research on a global popular music form for a broad audience.

This course meets the General Education Humanities Breadth requirement or the General Education International/Global Interdependence requirement.


MUS 2650 - The Musical: Discovering Diversity - 3 credits

Alternate Fall Semesters

This course will focus on Broadway and Hollywood musicals with emphasis on its multicultural and international origins as a tool for studying diversity. Students will analyze the influences of European operetta on American musical entertainment including vaudeville, the Golden Age of musicals, rock musicals, mega musicals and shows with serious social messages. Discussions will include the standard form of musicals, types of song and dance, prominent performers and creators and the most significant musicals of each era. Attention will be given to the importance of immigration and social, political and cultural history on the development of musicals as well as multicultural and international issues embedded in the stories.

This course meets the General Education Humanities Breadth requirement or the General Education Diversity requirement.


MUS 2700 - Orchestra - 1 credit

Alternate Years

Orchestra allows students to participate in a large, instrumental ensemble through a partnership with the Southeastern Philharmonic Orchestra. Rehearsals take place off campus. Student must arrange access to their own string, woodwind, or brass instrument (rental options are available, percussion instruments are provided). Some level of prior musical proficiency is required. This course may be repeated. Fee.

This course meets the General Education Arts Breadth requirement.


MUS 2750 - Concert Band - 1 credit

Alternate Years

Concert Band allows students to participate in a large, instrumental ensemble through a partnership with the Randolph Community Band. Rehearsals take place off campus. Student must arrange access to their own woodwind, or brass instrument (rental options are available, percussion instruments are provided). Some level of prior musical proficiency is required. This course may be repeated. Fee.

This course meets the General Education Arts Breadth requirement.


MUS 3350 - Accelerando Chamber Chorale - 1 credit

Alternate Years

Accelerando Chamber Chorale is an auditioned vocal ensemble performing a wide variety of literature including classical, jazz, contemporary a cappella, and gospel. Students are expected to learn notes and rhythms outside of class, allowing rehearsals to focus on matters of vocal technique, ensemble, and musicality. This course may be repeated. Fee.

This course meets the General Education Arts Breadth requirement.


MUS 4050 - Independent Studio: Music - 1-8 credits

Offered on Demand

See description in Academic Policies & Procedures section of this Catalog, under Independent Study.