Areas of Study

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Music History (MUHI) Classes

Please note that not all courses are offered every semester. This listing is not considered authoritative. Please visit Access.SMU for authoritative course offerings including meeting times, professor, and more.

MUHI 1302: Introduction to Music in World Societies
This course offers an introduction to basic elements of music within the context of cultural traditions of world musics. Students will study musical traditions of Western art music, jazz, African American gospel music, and musics of India, China, Africa, and Latin America. Musical forms, techniques, terminology, and chronology are presented, but primary emphasis is placed upon listening to and experiencing a diverse sample of music and its roles in societies. Spring term.

MUHI 1321: Music: The Art of Listening
An investigation of the elements of music (melody, rhythm, harmony, form, timbre) as they develop and change throughout the various historical periods of music. Emphasis is on active listening. For nonmajors. Does not satisfy music history requirements for music majors. 

MUHI 3301: Survey of Music History I
A survey of the origins and evolution of musical forms, compositional procedures, performing practices, and musical instruments in the West from the rise of the Christian liturgy through the death of J.S. Bach. As time permits, this survey will be presented within the contexts of related arts and historical events. Course content will include listening, score analysis, and practice in writing about music. Fall term. Prerequisite: MUHI 1202.

MUHI 3302: Survey of Music History II
A survey of musical forms, styles, compositional procedures, and performing practices from the late 18th century until the present day. As time permits, this survey will be presented within the contexts of related arts and historical events. Course content will include listening, score analysis, and practice in writing about music. Spring term. Prerequisite: MUHI 1202 and MUHI 3301.

MUHI 3339: Music for Contemporary Audiences
An examination of the interaction of the various forms of popular musical expression (folk, blues, soul, rock, Muzak, and film music) and their impact upon American culture.

MUHI 3340: Jazz: Tradition and Transformation Bunk, Bird, Bix, Bags, and Trane
From blues to bop, street beat to free jazz. A study of the people and music from its African, Euro-American origins through the various art and popular forms of the 20th century. 

MUHI 3343: Music and Identity in Colonial and Postcolonial France
Designed for undergraduate students with or without musical backgrounds. Explores music in France and in the colonies of the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa from the late nineteenth century to the present. It is based on a series of themes that divide the course into two parts. Part one focuses on the incorporation of foreign musical elements by composers living in France. This section will explore the social context for several musical compositions, and the musical traditions of Java, Spain, and Russia, which provided sources of inspiration for these works. The second half of this course focuses on the musical traditions of the Maghreb and SubSaharan Africa. This section will investigate certain events that led to the invention of new musical styles in these geographical areas and the music of the Diaspora in France. The course will examine how music has been used in colonial and postcolonial contexts to construct regional, ethnic, and national identities in France, and in formerly colonized countries. (SMU in-Paris). 

MUHI 4192, 4292: Directed Studies in Music History
A close collaboration between a faculty member and an advanced student who conducts a rigorous project that goes beyond the experience available in current course offerings. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

MUHI 4302: Undergraduate Seminar in Music History
This course will provide advance investigation into a variety of topics in music history. The undergraduate seminar will be writing intensive and will consider such topics as music aesthetics, the works of a specific composer or compositional school, music within the context of a specific time and/or place, or in-depth studies of works relative to a particular genre. Topics to be announced each term. Students may take this seminar more than once. Offered every semester. Prerequisite: MUHI 3301 and 3302. 

MUHI 4320: Organ History/Literature
A survey of the literature for the organ, Renaissance to contemporary. Required of organ majors and concentrations (undergraduate). Spring term. 

MUHI 4345: Survey of Opera History
A chronological survey of opera, beginning with a brief introduction to Medieval and Renaissance precedents, followed by an in-depth presentation of selected Baroque and Classical masterworks. The study of 19th-century opera will emphasize the many ways in which Romantic opera synthesized music, literature, and art, as well  as elements of politics and culture. The musical language and dramatic substance of selected works from 20th-century operatic repertoire will be investigated. Students will be expected to spend a significant amount of time viewing operas on video and laser disc, and in certain cases making comparative studies of productions. 

MUHI 4347: Symphonic Literature
An examination of representative orchestral works from the late Baroque to the present day. Attention directed to the forms, compositional procedures, and orchestration devices employed by selected composers who reflect the various stylistic orientations within this time frame. Prerequisite: Completion of Music History sequence or written permission of department head. 

MUHI 4348: Guitar History and Literature
This course examines the history of guitar and its music from the early 16th century to the present. Included are the vihuela and Baroque guitar, four-string Spanish guitar, and related literature. Emphasis will be given to the evolution of the modern instrument and its repertoire. Offered spring term of odd-numbered years.  Prerequisite: Completion of Music History sequence or written permission of department head.

MUHI 4355, CFB 3355: Music and Culture: Studies in Popular Music
This course focuses on music as an element  of culture formation. Discussion of current scholarship introduces students to the multidisciplinary study of the role of human agency in creating meaningful spaces in which music unfolds its socio-political and cultural dimensions.

MUHI 4384: Survey of Choral Literature
A survey of choral music from the medieval era to the present. Examination of representative compositions will be made with regard to genre, form, compositional procedures, and stylistic aspects. Discussion of the works will also include the social-political conditions, intellectual-artistic states of mind of patrons and composers, and other external influences. Offered spring term of even-numbered years. Prerequisite: Completion of Music History sequence or permission of department chair

MUHI 4392: Directed Studies in Music History
Must be approved by department head. 

MUHI 5206: Performance Practices in Early Music
Studies in the interpretation of Baroque music from a stylistic point of view. Offered spring term of even-numbered years.

MUHI 5207: Organ Survey
Organ building fundamentals of construction and design; organ history as it relates to the development of a style-conscious concept of enrollment. Required of organ majors and concentrations (undergraduate). Recommended elective for M.M. and M.S.M. degree. Fall term. 

MUHI 6182, 6282, 6382, 6682: Research in Music History: Thesis
Culminating research project for music history majors. Emphasis is placed upon methodology, stylistic procedures and writing skills. Subject determined by student’s interests, background and availability of source material.

MUHI 6192, 6292, 6392: Directed Studies in Music History
A close collaboration between a faculty member and an advanced student who conducts a rigorous project that goes beyond the experience available in current course offerings. Prerequisite: Approval of instructor.

MUHI 6320: Organ History and Literature
A survey of the literature for the organ, Renaissance to contemporary. Required of organ majors and concentrations.

MUHI 6335: Introduction to Graduate Studies
A course designed to survey and evaluate music reference and research materials, to develop methodology in the use of these materials, and to define and discuss the disciplines related to graduate study and research in music.

MUHI 6336: Seminar in Music History
Area or topic will be determined each term for intense examination. Emphasis is on the practical application of research techniques, knowledge of materials and sources, and varied methods of presentation.

MUHI 6345: Survey of Opera History
A chronological survey of opera, beginning with a brief introduction to Medieval and Renaissance precedents, followed by an in-depth presentation of selected Baroque and Classical masterworks. The study of 19th-century opera will emphasize the many ways Romantic opera served to synthesize music, literature and art, as well as elements of politics and culture. The musical language and dramatic substance of selected works from 20th-century operatic repertoire will be investigated. Students will be expected to spend a significant amount of time viewing operas on video and laser disc and in certain cases making comparative studies of productions.

MUHI 6347: Symphonic Literature
An examination of representative orchestral works from the late Baroque period to the present day. Attention will be directed to the forms, compositional procedures and orchestration devices employed by selected composers who reflect the various stylistic orientations within this time frame.

MUHI 6348: Guitar History and Literature
The course examines the history of guitar and its music from the early 16th century to the present. Included are the vihuela and Baroque guitar, four-string Spanish guitar and related literature. Emphasis will be given to the evolution of the modern instrument and its repertoire. Spring of odd-numbered years.

MUHI 6384: Survey of Choral Literature
A survey of choral music from the medieval era to the present day. Examination of representative compositions will be made with regard to genre, form, compositional procedures and stylistic aspects. Discussion of the works will also include the social-political conditions, intellectual-artistic states of mind of patrons and composers, and other external influences. Spring term of odd-numbered years.

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