Graduate Course Descriptions

For a complete listing of courses, please refer to the UCSD General Catalog.


Music 201A. Projects in New Music Performance: Palimpsest (1-4 units)

Performance of contemporary music. Different sections represent active performance ensembles. A core requirement for graduate degree students as outlined in the curriculum. The number of units is based on work performed by agreement with instructor. See instructors for additional information. New students should attend graduate auditions during Welcome Week.
Additional Description: Rehearsals and performance of works by Reynolds, Stockhausen, Frey and Qingqing Wang.

Instructor: Aleck Karis

Offered: Fall

Music 201A. Projects in New Music Performance: Opera (1-4 units)

Performance of contemporary music. Different sections represent active performance ensembles. A core requirement for graduate degree students as outlined in the curriculum. The number of units is based on work performed by agreement with instructor. See instructors for additional information. New students should attend graduate auditions during Welcome Week.
Additional Description: "Kallisti Chamber Opera" Project. Three performances of chamber opera repertoire, TBD. Enrollment by permission of instructor.

Instructor: Susan Narucki

Offered: Winter, Spring

Music 201A. Projects in New Music Performance: Bass Ensemble (1-4 units)

Performance of contemporary music. Different sections represent active performance ensembles. A core requirement for graduate degree students as outlined in the curriculum. The number of units is based on work performed by agreement with instructor. See instructors for additional information. New students should attend graduate auditions during Welcome Week.
Additional Description:

Instructor: Mark Dresser

Offered: Fall

Music 201B. Projects in New Music Performance: Improvisation Ensemble (1-4 units)

Performance of contemporary music. Different sections represent active performance ensembles. A core requirement for graduate degree students as outlined in the curriculum. The number of units is based on work performed by agreement with instructor. See instructors for additional information. New students should attend graduate auditions during Welcome Week.
Additional Description: Improvisation Workshop.

Instructor: Anthony Davis

Offered: Spring

Music 201C. Projects in New Music Performance: Percussion Ensemble (rfbf) (1-4 units)

Performance of contemporary music. Different sections represent active performance ensembles. A core requirement for graduate degree students as outlined in the curriculum. The number of units is based on work performed by agreement with instructor. See instructors for additional information. New students should attend graduate auditions during Welcome Week.
Additional Description: Percussion Ensemble red fish blue fish.

Instructor: Steven Schick

Offered: Winter, Spring

Music 201D. Projects in New Music Performance: Composition Juries (1-4 units)

Performance of contemporary music. Different sections represent active performance ensembles. A core requirement for graduate degree students as outlined in the curriculum. The number of units is based on work performed by agreement with instructor. See instructors for additional information. New students should attend graduate auditions during Welcome Week.
Additional Description: First year Collaborative Projects for Performers and Composers. Only first year performance students can enroll in this course.

Instructor: Steven Schick

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 201D. Projects in New Music Performance: 2nd Year Juries ( units)

Offered: Fall

Music 202. Advanced Projects in Performance (1-4 units)

Advanced performance of new music with members of the performance faculty (SONOR). Students taking this course do not need to take Music 201 that quarter. Enrollment by consent of instructor/director of SONOR.
Additional Description: Students must submit a Performance/Project Proposal Form (located on the Music Intranet) to the Graduate Advisor. This form must include titles, composers, instrumentation, duration, proposed course credit, performers, and have supervising faculty and Performance Chair approval. Each group will be mentored by a member of performance faculty. May be taken in lieu of 201. The number of units is based on work performed by agreement with instructor. See instructors for additional information. For FALL only: Students may (but are not required to) present the work(s) in public performance.

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 203A-B-C-D. Advanced Projects in Composition (6,6,6,1-4 units)

Meetings and laboratory sessions devoted to the study of composition in small groups. Consent of instructor required.
Additional Description: The composition seminar, required of all entering graduate composers, is taught on a rotating basis by the Music Department composition faculty and has several purposes: to intensify the collegiality of student composers both with regard to ideas and techniques and to become better acquainted with each other's outlooks and needs in order to achieve the most congenial and productive match-ups between faculty and students for subsequent individual study. Seminars typically include group meetings and individual attention as appropriate. Composition Juries - At the end of the first Fall quarter in residence (in January), and again following Spring quarter (in October), all new graduate composition students are reviewed in juries by the composition faculty. Following the performance and discussions of the day, the composition faculty meets to assess the students' work. Details about the jury process are provided during Welcome Week and throughout the quarter.

Instructor: Rand Steiger

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 204. Focus on Composition (2 units)

The purpose of this seminar is to bring in the entire population of the graduate composition program (all students and faculty) for in-depth discussion of critical issues in music theory and composition. Each meeting will feature a formal presentation by either a student, faculty member, or visitor, followed by lively and challenging debate on relevant issues.
Additional Description: Seminar meets throughout the year on a biweekly basis in the evening. Participation is required of all enrolled graduate composition students every quarter in residence. Other students are welcome to participate. Each session begins with a one-hour talk (including recordings) by the featured composer, followed by at least one hour of discussion. Lively and challenging debate on relevant issues is encouraged. Instructors: Chinary Ung (Fall), Lei Liang (Winter), and Rand Steiger (Spring)

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 205-. Focus on Integrative Studies (2,2 units)

Meets on a biweekly basis to facilitate presentations by advanced students and invited guests and to encourage in-depth discussion between students, faculty, and visitors about theoretical and artistic issues of interest. Participation is required of all enrolled IS students until advanced to candidacy. Others are welcome to participate.
Additional Description: Instructors: Sarah Hankins (Fall), Amy Cimini (Winter), and Nancy Guy (Spring)

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 206. Experimental Studies Seminar (4 units)

Seminars growing out of current faculty interests. The approach tends to be speculative and includes individual projects or papers as well as assigned readings. In the past, such areas as new instrumental and vocal resources, mixed media, and compositional linguistics have been offered.

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 206. Experimental Studies Seminar: Hearing Extreme (4 units)


Additional Description: Ocean. Earth. Fire. Big Data. Extremes. Based on our ongoing collaborations with the scientists from Engineering Department and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, "Hearing Extremes" seminar provides an unusual opportunity for artists and scientists to develop interdisciplinary projects outside the walls of their respective departments, to think of the entire campus as a place for "great learning," to reconsider what each participant's role might be in regard to the collaboration, and to create works that would not be possible without a fully integrated approach that reflects the knowledge, technology and global issues of our time. The seminar will provide participants the opportunity to work with the world-renowned Mivos String Quartet at the end of the quarter, culminating in a public performance on June 6, 2022 at Calit2/Qualcomm Institute with multiple venues and installation space (including the Auditorium, Theater, SunCave) made available to the seminar. The concert is co-sponsored by the Dean of Art & Humanities office and the Calit2 IDEAS series.

Instructor: Lei Liang

Offered: Spring

Music 206. Experimental Studies Seminar: Xenakis/Chou Work Group (4 units)


Additional Description: In conjunction with centennial celebrations of seminal 20th-century composers Iannis Xenakis (1922-2022) and Chou Wen-chung (1923-2023), Music 206 will examine the related issues of performance practice, legacy, and tradition as related to their music and to related works by other late 20th century composers. The class will consist of readings, theoretical discussions and practical analyses of this music, with a special focus on performers who wish to use the class to learn the music of Xenakis or Chou. Those who wish will be invited to perform in a "Xenakis Cabaret" on Saturday, May 21, 2022. This performance will be the culminating event of parallel conferences - one hosted by Professor Lei Liang and the other by red fish blue fish - on the subject of "Legacy, Tradition and Cultural Exchange."

Instructor: Steven Schick

Offered: Spring

Music 207. Theoretical Studies Seminar (4 units)

Seminars on subject areas relating to the established dimensions of music and in which theoreticians have produced a substantial body of work. These include studies in analysis, timbre, rhythm, notation, and psychoacoustics. Offerings vary depending on faculty availability and interest. Analytical paper required.

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 210. Musical Analysis (4 units)

The analysis of complex music. The course will assume that the student has a background in traditional musical analysis. The goal of the course is to investigate and develop analytical procedures that yield significant information about specific works of music, old and new. Reading, projects, and analytical papers.
Additional Description: Core course. May be offered in alternate years.

Instructor: Chinary Ung

Offered: Spring

Music 215A. Seminar in Integrative Studies I (4 units)

Seminar discussions and individual meetings devoted to the interdisciplinary study of music, sound, and society. Students are introduced to key ideas, important thinkers, and influential practitioners in an array of related fields, and are invited to explore the intersecting roles of culture, cognition and creativity, and how musical behaviors and phenomena relate to matters of ideology, nationality, ethnicity, social class, race, and gender.
Additional Description: This course is part of a year-long core sequence required of all entering graduate students in the Integrative Studies program. It is taught on a rotating basis by faculty in the Integrative Studies area. Students are evaluated through regular writing assignments, and, on completion of the entire core sequence (MUS 215 A-B-C), students take a preliminary examination designed to evaluate one's command of the course materials and of scholarly research and writing conventions more broadly.

Instructor: David Borgo

Offered: Fall

Music 215A. Seminar in Integrative Studies (4 units)

Seminar discussions and individual meetings devoted to the interdisciplinary study of music, sound, and society. Students are introduced to key ideas, important thinkers, and influential practitioners in an array of related fields, and are invited to explore the intersecting roles of culture, cognition and creativity, and how musical behaviors and phenomena relate to matters of ideology, nationality, ethnicity, social class, race, and gender.

Offered: Fall

Music 215B -B. Seminar in Integrative Studies II: Music Ethnography (4.0,4 units)

Seminar discussions and individual meetings devoted to the interdisciplinary study of music, sound, and society. Students are introduced to key ideas, important thinkers, and influential practitioners in an array of related fields, and are invited to explore the intersecting roles of culture, cognition and creativity, and how musical behaviors and phenomena relate to matters of ideology, nationality, ethnicity, social class, race, and gender.
Additional Description: This will course familiarize students with music scholarship that employs ethnographic and oral history research methods. Students will critique recent and classic works primarily drawn from the ethnomusicological literature, engage in practical writing exercises, and produce a writing project based on fieldwork conducted in the local San Diego community.

Instructor: Nancy Guy

Offered: Winter

Music 215C. Seminar in Integrative Studies III (4 units)

Seminar discussions and individual meetings devoted to the interdisciplinary study of music, sound, and society. Students are introduced to key ideas, important thinkers, and influential practitioners in an array of related fields, and are invited to explore the intersecting roles of culture, cognition and creativity, and how musical behaviors and phenomena relate to matters of ideology, nationality, ethnicity, social class, race, and gender.
Additional Description: This course is part of a year-long core sequence required of all entering graduate students in the Integrative Studies program. It is taught on a rotating basis by faculty in the Integrative Studies area. Students are evaluated through regular writing assignments, and, on completion of the entire core sequence (MUS 215 A-B-C), students take a preliminary examination designed to evaluate one's command of the course materials and of scholarly research and writing conventions more broadly.

Offered: Spring

Music 215D. Seminar in Integrative Studies IV (4 units)

Meetings on a group basis with integrative studies faculty in support of individual student research projects.

Offered: Fall, Spring

Music 228. Conducting (4 units)

This course will give practical experience in conducting a variety of works from various eras of instrumental and/or vocal music. Students will study problems of instrumental or vocal techniques, formal and expressive analysis of the music, and manners of rehearsal. Required of all graduate students.
Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (Offered in selected years.)
Additional Description: Core requirement for all graduate students. May be offered in alternate years.

Instructor: Steven Schick

Offered: Spring

Music 229. Seminar in Orchestration (4 units)

A seminar to give practical experience in orchestration. Students will study works from various eras ofinstrumental music and will demonstrate their knowledgeby orchestrating works in the styles of these various eras, learning the capabilities, timbre, and articulation of all the instruments in the orchestra.
Prerequisite: graduate standing. (Offered in selected years.).
Additional Description:

Instructor: Chinary Ung

Offered: Winter

Music 232. Pro-Seminar in Music Performance (4 units)

Individual or master class instruction in advanced instrumental/vocal performance.
Prerequisite: consent of instructor through audition.
Additional Description: Taken every quarter by students with an emphasis in Performance. Instructors: Performance faculty

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 234. Symphonic Orchestra (4 units)

Repertoire is drawn from the classic symphonic literature of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries with a strong emphasis on recently composed and new music. Distinguished soloists, as well as The La Jolla Symphony Chorus, frequently appear with the orchestra. The La Jolla Symphony Orchestra performs two full-length programs each quarter for a total of 6 concert series per season with 2 performances for each concert series. Prerequisites for enrolling: You will need to audition, be accepted to join the orchestra, and cleared by department before being permitted to enroll in the course.
Additional Description: Students participating are encouraged to enroll for credit. The course may be repeated six times for credit.

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 245. Focus on Performance (2 units)

The purpose of this seminar is to bring together performance students, faculty, and guests for discussion, presentation of student and faculty projects, performances by guest artists, and master classes with different members of the performance faculty.
Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (S/U grade option only).
Additional Description: Due to the continued pandemic, Performers Focus this quarter, will be virtual. We will join together to perform for one another, to discuss, share, and brainstorm. In addition we will address what it means to perform virtually, its performance practice, potential audiences, as well as other topics relevant to performance.

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 267-. Advanced Music Technology Seminar: Spatial Audio (4,4 units)

Advanced topics in music technology and its application to composition and/or performance. Offerings vary according to faculty availability and interest.Maybe repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Music 173 or equivalent and consent of instructor.
Additional Description: This course is a survey of various audio spatialization techniques and their musical/sound design applications. The covered areas will include live/tape music, film sound design, and VR productions. Students should be proficient in a computer music language such as Pure Data or Max.MSP, and have specific aesthetic or technical goals in regards to spatial audio. Offered with MUS 176.

Instructor: S. Yadegari

Offered: Winter, Spring

Music 267. Advanced Music Technology Seminar: Programming Music Software (FALL 2012) (4 units)

Advanced topics in music technology and its application to composition and/or performance. Offerings vary according to faculty availability and interest.Maybe repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Music 173 or equivalent and consent of instructor.
Additional Description: TBD.

Instructor: Tamara Smyth

Offered: Winter

Music 270A. Digital Audio Processing (4 units)

Digital techniques for analysis, synthesis, and processing of musical sounds. Sampling theory. Software synthesis techniques. Digital filter design. The short-time Fourier transform. Numerical accuracy considerations.
Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Additional Description: Part of the three-course sequence 270ABC for first year Computer Music students. Digital techniques for analysis, synthesis, and processing of musical sounds. Sampling theory. Software synthesis techniques. Digital filter design. The short-time Fourier transform. Numerical accuracy considerations. Tamara Smyth

Offered: Fall

Music 270C. Compositional Algorithms (4 units)

Transformations in musical composition; series and intervalic structures; serial approaches to rhythm and dynamic. The stochastic music of Xenakis and Cage. Hiller's automatic composition. Improvisational models. Computer analysis of musical style. Neurally inspired and other quasiparallel algorithms.
Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Additional Description: M. Puckette. Part of first year computer music sequence.

Offered: Spring

Music 270D. Advanced Projects in Computer Music (4 units)

Meetings on group basis with computer music faculty in support of individual student research projects. Prerequisites: consent of instructor and completion of Music 270A-B-C.
Additional Description: Taken by Computer Music emphasis MA students every quarter of the second year, and PhD students every quarter in residence, after completion of the 270ABC sequence.

Offered: Spring

Music 271A. Survey of Electronic Music Techniques (2 units)

A hands-on encounter with several important works from the classic electronic repertory, showing a representative subset of the electronic techniques available to musicians. Intended primarily for students in areas other than computer music.
Prerequisite: none.
Additional Description: Composition emphasis students may petition through the Graduate Advisor to substitute Music 271 for the Music 291 core requirement.

Offered: Winter

Music 291. Music Research Methods (2 units)

Consideration and development of research methods appropriate to graduate-level scholarship and practice-based research.
Additional Description: Composition emphasis students may petition through the Graduate Advisor to substitute Music 271 for the Music 291 core requirement. May be offered in alternate years.

Offered: Fall

Music 298. Directed Research (1-4 units)

Individual research. (S/U grades permitted.) May be repeated for credit. Enrollment by consent of instructor only.
Additional Description: Research with selected faculty on individual basis, with units per agreement between student and faculty. Six unit minimum required specifically for preparation of PhD/DMA qualifying exams, normally taken with each of the Music committee members for S/U grade.

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 299. Advanced Research Projects and Independent Study (1-12 units)

Individual research projects relevant to the student's selected area of graduate interest conducted in continuing relationship with a faculty adviser in preparation for the master's thesis or doctoral dissertation.(S/Ugrades permitted.)
Additional Description: Six unit minimum required in preparation of MA thesis. Twelve units quarterly required after PhD/DMA qualifying exams, to prepare for doctoral dissertation; normally taken with music committee chair and/or members for S/U grade.

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 500. Apprentice Teaching (1-4 units)

Participation in the undergraduate teaching program is required of all graduate students at the equivalentof 25 percent time for three quarters (six units is required for all graduate students).
Additional Description: All TAs must simultaneously enroll in Music 500 with the course instructor each quarter in which they are a TA. Participation in the undergraduate teaching program is required of all graduate students at the equivalent of 25% time for three quarters, or 33% for two quarters (6 units of Music 500). Units correspond to hours of work per week. Enroll as follows: 2 units = 10 hours (equivalent to 25% TA), 3 units = 13.5 hours (equivalent to 33% TA), and 4 units = 20 hours (equivalent to 50% TA.). It is the student's responsibility to seek out teaching experiences to acquire 6 units of Music 500 if no TA is assigned. NOTE: New TAs also enroll in FALL quarter for 1 unit of MUS 501 with the department Faculty TA Advisor for New TA Training.

Instructor: Wilfrido Terrazas

Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring

Music 501. Teaching Methods (4 units)

Consideration and development of pedagogical methods appropriate to undergraduate teaching.
Additional Description: TAs with appointments in a non-Music department or college (e.g. 6th College) with a MUSIC department instructor enroll in Music 501, instead of 500, as follows: 2 units = 10 hours (equivalent to 25% TA), 3 units = 13.5 hours (equivalent to 33% TA), and 4 units = 20 hours (equivalent to 50% TA.). TA's must enroll in MUS 501 in FALL quarter for New TA Training.

Instructor: Wilfrido Terrazas

Offered: Fall