Music (2022 - 2024)
These courses are open to all students, but do not count toward the major.
The Art of Listening
MUSIC-UA 3 Offered every semester. 4 points.
Students acquire a basic vocabulary of musical terms, concepts, and listening skills in order to describe their responses to musical experiences. Considers the structure and style of influential works in the Western art music repertoire, popular music, or other musical cultures, with attention to the wider social, political, and artistic context.
The Elements of Music
MUSIC-UA 20 Recitation section required. Offered every semester. 4 points.
The underlying principles and inner workings of the tonal system that guided all of Western music from 1600 to 1900. Discussion of historical background and evolution; concepts and notation of key, scale, tonality, and rhythm. Related skills in sight-singing, dictation, and keyboard harmony in recitation.
Required Foundational Courses for the Major in Music
These courses are open to all students who meet the prerequisites, but non-majors may require departmental permission.
MUSIC-UA 193 Formerly MUSIC-UA 209. Prerequisite: departmental permission. 4 points.
Topics vary by semester.
Music Theory I
MUSIC-UA 201 Formerly Harmony and Counterpoint I. Prerequisite: ability to read music and background in basic concepts of music theory. Laboratory section required. Offered every semester. 4 points.
Principles of tonal music composition including 18th and 19th century harmonic, formal, and contrapuntal practices. Exercises in four-part voice-leading and species counterpoint are supplemented by analyses of music from around the world and from a variety of genres, including concert and popular music.
Music Theory II
MUSIC-UA 202 Formerly Harmony and Counterpoint II. Prerequisite: Music Theory I (MUSIC-UA 201) or equivalent, or placement by departmental diagnostic exam. Laboratory section required. Offered every year. 4 points.
Chromatic harmony as developed and practiced by composers of the 19th century and beyond. Introduction to score reading and principles of musical analysis applied to larger musical structures. Continuation of species counterpoint and an introduction to invertible counterpoint and fugue.
Topics Courses for the Major in Music
These courses are open to all students who meet the prerequisites, but non-majors may require departmental permission. Specific topics for some of these courses may vary by semester.
MUSIC-UA 18 4 points.
Immerses students in the sounds of jazz, focusing largely on music made in New York City, the undisputed global capital of the genre. We listen to recordings, compare notes on the music, work with archival sources, meet musicians, attend concerts, and read a broad array of jazz scholarship and journalism. Considers the history of jazz in and beyond the city, and also explores the new shapes jazz is taking in the 21st century.
Music of New York
MUSIC-UA 100 Offered every summer. 4 points.
The vibrant musical life of New York in historical and cultural contexts. In-class presentations by local musicians and scholars and attendance at performances throughout the city.
Medieval and Renaissance Music
MUSIC-UA 101 Prerequisite: ability to read music. 4 points.
Music of the medieval church and court; codification and extension of plainsong and the emergence and development of polyphony; ascendancy of secular polyphony in the 14th century and the subsequent Renaissance balance between sacred and secular; mass and motet; chanson and madrigal; the beginnings of an autonomous repertoire for instruments in the 16th century.
Baroque and Classical Music
MUSIC-UA 102 Prerequisite: ability to read music. 4 points.
The works of Monteverdi, Vivaldi, J.S. Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven; the ascendancy of the secular over the sacred; a new harmonic basis for musical structure: the basso continuo; theatricalization of music in opera, oratorio, and the cantata; the rise of instrumental sonatas and concertos; musical autonomy in the symphonies and quartets of the Viennese classicists.
MUSIC-UA 103 Prerequisite: ability to read music. 4 points.
Major composers from Beethoven through the late 19th century. Topics include the effect of romanticism on musical forms (symphony, sonata, lieder, opera) and the impact and influence of Wagner’s musical ideas.
20th Century Music
MUSIC-UA 104 Prerequisite: ability to read music. 4 points.
Revolutions of the early 20th century (Debussy, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Bartók); mid-century trends (Webern, Boulez, Babbitt, Stockhausen); and discussion of Minimalism, Neo-Romanticism, Spectralism, and Post-Modernism.
Topics in 20th Century Music
MUSIC-UA 111 Ability to read music suggested. 4 points.
Topics range from the study of repertoire and its performance and reception to the exploration of how mass mediation has affected the way people listen to and interact socially with music.
MUSIC-UA 135 4 points.
What is a song and just how does it work? What makes a song good, and who decides? Draws on a variety of genres, time periods, and world cultures.
Words and Music
MUSIC-UA 140 4 points.
Is writing about music really like dancing about architecture? Explores the question of effective writing about music and sound in three ways: reading and analyzing outstanding and effective writing about music by others; by thinking and learning about approaches to writing; and by conducting independent research projects.
The Anthropology of Music
MUSIC-UA 153 Ability to read music recommended. Offered every semester. Dang, Daughtry, Mahon, Samuels. 4 points.
Explores the many ways musical practices are deeply embedded in social life. Through engagement with histories, politics, economic flows, and individual biographies, students encounter music’s and sound’s centrality to culture and society. Topics vary by semester.
Introduction to Celtic Music
MUSIC-UA 182 Identical to IRISH-UA 152. Offered every fall. Moloney. 4 points.
Traditional and contemporary music of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, and Galicia. Range of singing styles and the musical instruments employed in each culture, including harps, bagpipes, and a variety of other wind, free reed, keyboard, and stringed instruments. Forms and musical styles explored in depth, along with a study of their origin, evolution, and cultural links.
Music and Sound Archives
MUSIC-UA 188 Half-semester course. 2 points.
Introduces students to music and sound archives at NYU and beyond, as well as to the questions of memory, historical evidence, and preservation they raise. Emphasizes collections that document social groups and historical developments through sound. Also addresses technical and ethical dilemmas that surround archival sound collection and preservation in the digital age.
Writing Histories of Music and Sound
MUSIC-UA 189 Half-semester course. 2 points.
Prepares students for future independent studies, thesis projects, and other general academic and professional writing. Foregrounds questions of historiography, archives, evidence, argument, and writing style. Students choose individual research projects in consultation with the instructor.
Music Analysis and Model Composition
MUSIC-UA 203 Formerly Music Theory III and Harmony and Counterpoint III. Prerequisite: Music Theory I (MUSIC-UA 201) or equivalent. Laboratory section required. 4 points.
Analysis of music of the late 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, and the creation of imitative compositional models based on works and principles studied. Topics include: whole-tone and octatonic scale systems; atonality; serialism; post-modern and spectral techniques.
Performance and Analysis
MUSIC-UA 206 Prerequisite: departmental audition. May be repeated for credit. Karchin. 4 points.
Performance of works from varied periods with a focus on interpretation and analysis. Works may be studied as solo pieces or as group projects (chamber music). Regular coaching.
Principles of Musical Analysis
MUSIC-UA 209 Prerequisite: Music Theory I (MUSIC-UA 201) or permission of the instructor. 4 points.
Advanced study of issues of musical construction, production, and reception. Topics vary.
Principles of Composition
MUSIC-UA 307 Prerequisite: Music Theory I (MUSIC-UA 201) or permission of the instructor. Offered every year. 4 points.
Emphasizes modern-day writing procedures. Frequent composition as well as study of musical scores. Students compose an original piece of music for performance in an end-of-semester concert by professional New York musicians.
Special Topics Seminar
MUSIC-UA 901 Open to juniors and seniors, or by permission of the department. Offered every semester. 4 points.
Upper-level seminar. Topics vary by term.
MUSIC-UA 980, 981 Restricted to music majors and minors. Offered every semester. 2 or 4 points per term.
For details on internship guidelines, please consult the department’s website.
MUSIC-UA 997, 998 Prerequisite: approval of the director of undergraduate studies. Restricted to junior and senior music majors. Offered every semester. 2 or 4 points per term.
Primarily intended for students undertaking honors projects. Requires a research/writing project or composition under the supervision of a faculty member. Please consult the department’s website for guidelines for independent study proposals.
Graduate Courses Open to Undergraduates
Qualified undergraduates may register for graduate courses in music with the permission of the instructor and the director of undergraduate studies.