UBC Course Reviews: Music

2020 December

The lack of history courses is ultimately why I couldn't graduate with a minor in music ):

MUSC 100: Principles of Musical Form

John Roeder, 2015W1, 96% (highest in the year)

Fundamental materials and processes of music - rhythmic, melodic, textural and harmonic - and how they create small-scale structures in a variety of styles. Compositional and analytical applications.

MUSC 101: Diatonic Harmony and Voice Leading

James Palmer, 2015W2, 95%

Harmonic and linear functions of diatonic chords; common progressions and sequences; introduction to tonal hierarchy and prolongation; simple modulation. Compositional and analytical exercises.

I spent half an hour trying to figure out who taught this course, scrolling through faculty pages and not recognizing any names until I realized that I had old Blackboard Connect announcements from 2016 in my email. Turns out Dr. James Palmer was a sessional lecturer that might have stopped sessional lecturing?

MUSC 200: Chromatic Harmony and Voice Leading

Eve Poudrier, 2016W1, 97% (second-highest in the year)

Harmonic and linear functions of common chromatic chords; mixture; chords and progressions of linear origin; tonal plans. Compositional and analytical exercises.

This was Dr. Poudrier's first course at UBC, and I just think it's interesting how courses from Dr. Roeder and Dr. Poudrier buttressed my entire degree.

MUSC 105: Aural Skills I

Grant Sawatzky, 2015W1, Pass (highest in the year)

Sight singing; melodic and harmonic dictation; rhythm production; error detection; tuning; perception of harmony, form, and tonality; improvisation in set idioms. Restricted to B.Mus. students.

MUSC 106: Aural Skills II

Winnie Ho, 2015W2, Audit

Continuation of MUSC 105. Restricted to B.Mus. students.

MUSC 205: Aural Skills III

Gordon Paslawski, 2019W1, 92%

Continuation of MUSC 106. Restricted to B.Mus. students.

MUSC 206: Aural Skills IV

Gordon Paslawski, 2019W2, 96% (second-highest in the year)

Continuation of MUSC 205. Restricted to B.Mus. students.

My actual grade would have been 96%, and the highest grade in the year was 97%, but I requested it be changed to 78% so that I could get every grade between 70% and 100%.

MUSC 107C: Composition I

Dorothy Chang and Stephen Chatman, 2017W, 87% (second-highest in the section)

An introduction to musical composition.

I technically got the second-highest mark in the section (for non-composition majors), but the average grade was 86% so it's not like that meant anything.

MUSC 207C: Composition II

Stephen Chatman, 2019W1, 88% (lowest in the year)

Continuation of MUSC 107.

MUSC 300: Compositional and Analytical Approaches to Post-Tonal Music

Grant Sawatzky and Antares Boyle, 2016W1, Audit

Concepts essential to understanding and performing art music, since 1900, in which functional triadic harmony is absent or subsidiary to other musical processes. Detailed consideration of works of major composers up to the present, through analysis, composition, and musicianship exercises.

I had just taken Grant's MUSC 105 class the year before, where I think Tara was teaching the other section, so I wanted to sit in on their first "real" lecture and see how it went. Unfortunately, the lectures were MWF at 8:30 AM and conflicted with my actual MATH 255 lectures at 9:00 AM, so after the midterms, I stopped going to both. While I was trying to recall who the other instructor was, I stumbled upon this interesting blog post that mentions all three: Two students and five alumni presented papers at the Society for Music Theory annual meeting in November: PhD students Antares Boyle and Grant Sawatzky and alumni James Palmer (PhD '15).

MUSC 309: Instrumentation

Stephen Chatman, 2018W1, 95% (highest in the year)

The study of string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments; orchestral sections and scoring for various small ensembles. Activities include demonstrations of instruments, scoring projects, analysis and listening. For credit towards the B.Mus. and the B.A. in Music; not open to other students.

MUSC 310: Orchestration

Frederick Stride, 2018W2, 86%

The study of orchestration through the analysis of orchestral works, listening and scoring projects. Activities also include choral arranging and scoring for stage band and wind ensemble.

MUSC 410: Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis

Eve Poudrier, 2019W1, Audit

The key concepts of Schenker's theory of tonality. Applications to the analysis of short pieces in various tonal styles, emphasizing clear and correct graphing. Issues of interpretive scope.

This was cross-listed with MUSC 500D.

MUSC 413: Contemporary Art Music: Theory and Analysis

John Roeder, 2019W2, 91% (highest in the year)

A technical approach to the diverse concert-music repertoire since 1950, including orchestral, chamber, solo, and electro-acoustic genres. Applicable theories of pitch and rhythm, with reference to composers' own writings.

My actual grade would have been 91%, and the highest grade in the year was 89%, but I requested it be changed to 77% so that I could get every grade between 70% and 100%. This was cross-listed with MUSC 500C, but the only difference is that grad students had to do an extra presentation at the end.

MUSC 414: Counterpoint

John Roeder, 2019W1, 91%

Analysis and composition of pieces that rely on the control and development of imitative, polyphonic textures. Models to be taken from one or more European historical repertoires.

This was cross-listed with MUSC 533J, which used exactly the same textbook but more of it.

MUSC 430C: Major Composers - Bach

Alexander Fisher, 2019W2, Audit

This course will offer a comprehensive overview of the career and music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750), with attention given to various genres including his cantatas, Passions, and Masses; chamber and orchestral music; and music for keyboard instruments. Selected compositions will be explored in greater depth, and Bach's music will be examined in the historical, cultural, and religious context of its time.

This was cross-listed with MUSC 532I.

MUSC 504: Theories of Non-Tonal Pitch Relationships

John Roeder, 2019W1, Audit

Relational and transformational conceptions of ordered and unordered pitch collections, with analytical applications.