Department of Music

Course Descriptions

MUS 110 Fundamentals of Music (Not for students of the BM program; 3 credits)

A survey of the basic components common to all music in Western cultures, this course is designed to provide a solid foundation for students ntth no previous training in Western music to pursue a comprehensive study of music theory, music history, and music appreciation.

MUS 101A Ear Training A (1 credit)

This course solidifies students’ understanding of theoretical principles through aural exercises such as sight singing, rhythmic exercises, and dictation.

MUS 101B Ear Training B (1 credit)

This course, through aural exercises such as sight singing, rhythmic exercises, and dictation, reinforces students’ understanding of theoretical principles covered in MUS 111B. Prerequisite: MUS 101A or instructor consent.

MUS 102A Keyboard Skills I (1 credit)

This course offers piano lessons in a group setting using electronic keyboards. Students will develop the ability to read music and play simple pieces with proper technique while relating the music to theory that they have learned.

MUS 102B Keyboard Skills II (1 credit)

This lab course focuses on the development of keyboard musicianship, including basic pianistic facility and ease at the keyboard, sight-reading and harmonization in treble and bass clefs, basic music theory, and ensemble playing. Prerequisite: MUS 102A or instructor consent.

MUS 111A Western Music Theory A (2 credits)

This course introduces students to the basic theoretical elements and concepts in the Western musical system, including intervals, scales, key signatures, triads, rhythm, and meter.

MUS 111B Western Music Theory B (2 credits)

A continuation of MUS 111A, this course focuses on the dominant seventh chord, the leading-tone chord, secondary dominants, and their use in common-tone modulations. Prerequisite: MUS 111A or instructor consent.

MUS 155, 255, 355 Music Practicum and World Cultures I–III (3 credits)

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to gain practical professional performing experience through taking part in the orchestra of the world tour of Shen Yun Performing Arts. Enrollment is audition-based and is contingent upon the number of openings in the Shen Yun orchestras. (Courses offered in spring term only.)

MUS 201A Advanced Ear Training A (1 credit)

This course improves students’ fluency in the materials covered in MUS 101B while developing their aural skills with respect to the theoretical topics covered in MUS 211A. Prerequisite: MUS 101B or instructor consent.

MUS 201B Advanced Ear Training B (1 credit)

This course further develops students’ aural skills through more challenging exercises. Besides harmonic progressions, the dictation exercises will comprise cross rhythms, syncopations, and smaller subdivision of the beats. Prerequisite: MUS 201A or instructor consent.

MUS 202A Advanced Keyboard Skills A (1 credit)

A continuation of MUS 102B, this studio course develops students’ keyboard skills at the elementary-intermediate level, focusing on increasing finger dexterity and further acquisition of functional theory-related keyboard skills. Prerequisite: MUS 102B or instructor consent.

MUS 202B Advanced Keyboard Skills B (1 credit)

A continuation of MUS 202A, this studio course develops students’ keyboard skills at the intermediate level and consolidates the functional theory-related keyboard skills previously acquired in the keyboard sequence. At the end of the semester, students are required to take the keyboard proficiency exam. Prerequisite: MUS 202A or instructor consent.

MUS 211A Advanced Western Music Theory A (2 credits)

In addition to more advanced harmonic progressions, this course focuses on the small structural designs in music, such as binary form, ternary form, and strophic form. Prerequisite: MUS 111B or instructor consent.

MUS 211B Advanced Western Music Theory B (2 credits)

This course consolidates students’ knowledge of nineteenth-century chromatic harmony while introducing eighteenth-century imitative counterpoint. Prerequisite: MUS 211A or instructor consent.

MUS 212 Chinese Music Theory and Repertoires (2 credits)

This course introduces students to the tuning systems, notations, regional characteristics, and stylistic issues in traditional Chinese music by focusing on the various instrumental genres (solos and ensembles).

MUS 243 History of Chinese Music (2 credits)

This course offers an overview of the history of Chinese music from the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC–256 BC) to the third decade of the twentieth century. Focus is on the characteristics of the musical cultures of the different dynasties.

MUS 330 Orchestration (2 credits)

This course introduces the fundamentals of orchestration. Students will study the characteristics of individual instruments in the four families and learn to combine their timbres in effective ways. Prerequisite: MUS 111A & B or instructor consent.

MUS 301A Instrumental Methods A (Strings, Woodwind) (1 credit)

This is class instruction for beginners with no prior training in any string or woodwind instruments. Students will be introduced to a wide range of issues pertinent to the playing of the instruments.

MUS 301B Instrumental Methods B (Brass, Percussion) (1 credit)

This is class instruction for beginners with no prior training in any brass or percussion instruments. Students will be introduced to a wide range of issues pertinent to the playing of the instruments.

MUS 326A Chinese Instrument Class A (2 credits)

The first half of a one-year sequence, this course helps Western instrument majors to master a chosen Chinese instrument at an elementary level. Students will learn the basic techniques, proper hand positions and body posture, maintenance of instrument, and the interpretation of a chosen repertoire.

MUS 326B Chinese Instrument Class B (2 credits)

The second half of a one-year sequence, this course helps Western instrument majors to master a chosen Chinese instrument at an elementary-to-intermediate level. It consolidates the basic techniques while develops students’ command of a musically more challenging repertoire.

MUS 327A Western Instrument Class A (2 credits)

The first half of a one-year sequence, this course helps Chinese instrument majors to master a chosen Western instrument at an elementary level. Students will learn the basic techniques, proper hand positions and body posture, maintenance of instrument, and the interpretation of a chosen repertoire.

MUS 327B Western Instrument Class B (2 credits)

The second half of a one-year sequence, this course helps Chinese instrument majors to master a chosen Western instrument at an elementary-to-intermediate level. It consolidates the basic techniques while developing students’ command of a musically more challenging repertoire.

MUS 331 Composition (2 credits)

This is an introduction to the fundamental concepts and procedures in the composition of music. Students will explore a variety of techniques and perspectives through creating their own pieces. Prerequisite: MUS 211A & B or instructor consent.

MUS 332 Orchestral Conducting (2 credits)

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of orchestral conducting, including basic conducting skills, marking a score for performance, and rehearsal skills. Prerequisite: MUS 201B and 211B or instructor consent.

MUS 340A History of Western Music A (2 credits)

This is a survey of the history of Western classical music from Classical Antiquity to the end of the Baroque period (c.1750). It discusses the social-cultural milieu, stylistic features, representative genres, and major composers of each period. Prerequisite: MUS 201B and 211B or instructor consent.

MUS 340B History of Western Music B (2 credits)

This is a survey of the history of Western classical music from the beginning of the Classical period to the 1950s. It discusses the social-cultural milieu, stylistic features, representative genres, and major composers of each period. Prerequisite: MUS 340A or instructor consent.

MUS 341 Orchestral Literature (2 credits)

This is a survey of orchestral literature from the Early Classical period to the present, focusing on the changing roles of orchestral instruments, performance styles and techniques, and the interpretative or compositional philosophies of the composers studied.

MUS 342 Chinese Ensemble/Orchestral Literature (2 credits)

This is a survey of Chinese ensemble music and Chinese-style orchestral music, ranging from arranged traditional pieces to newly composed works of our time. It focuses on instrumental techniques, stylistic characteristics, and performance practice.

MUS 351 Junior Recital (0 credit)

Junior Recital is required of every BM student majoring in performance. The junior recital is usually given at the end of a student’s junior year and is open to the public. Required concurrent courses: MUS 321R or 322R.

MUS 370 Internship (2 credits)

The purpose of an internship is to let students gain valuable work experience in a professional environment by applying what they have learned at Fei Tian College. An internship usually lasts for five weeks with 20 to 40 hours of work per week. Review of applications begins in early April. (This course may be repeated once for extra credits.)

MUS 431 Introduction to Music Technology (3 credits)

This lab course introduces the use of the computer in music production, music notation, and music education. It covers the rudimentary principles of acoustics, MIDI, sequencing, notation, and digital audio.

MUS 433 Digital Music Technology (2 credits)

This is a highly participatory lab class focusing on recording studio technology. Guided by the instructor, students learn through hands-on experience in the recording process of producing their class projects. Prerequisite: MUS 431 or instructor consent.

MUS 001R, 002R, 003R, 004R, Concert Attendance I-IV (Pass/Fail)

This course sequence requires students to attend at least three concerts on campus each semester. Attendance will be noted at the entry to the auditorium. Those who fail to fulfill the minimum requirement need to make it up in the following semester. (Each course has to be repeated once as part of the program requirement.)

MUS 120R, 220R, 320R, 420R Orchestra I-IV (2 credits)

In this applied music course, students develop their instrumental skills, ensemble techniques, and musicianship skills through playing in the school orchestra. (Each course in the four-year sequence has to be repeated once with credits awarded.)

MUS 121R, 221R, 321R, 421R Major Instrument (Western) (4 credits)

Through enrolling in this course, a student majoring in a Western musical instrument is entitled to one 60-minute private lesson per week. (Each course in the four-year sequence has to be repeated once with credits awarded.)

MUS 122R, 222R, 322R, 422R Major Instrument (Chinese) (4 credits)

Through enrolling in this course, a student majoring in a Chinese musical instrument is entitled to one 60-minute private lesson per week. (Each course in the four-year sequence has to be repeated once with credits awarded.)

MUS 123R, 223R, 323R, 423R Chamber Music (1 credit)

This studio course expands students’ ensemble repertoire, improves ensemble skills, and encourages more personal responsibility in creating polished artistic performances. Students will perform the assigned repertoire in a recital examination. Prerequisite: MUS 101B, 102B, and 111B or instructor consent. (Each course in the four-year sequence has to be repeated once with credits awarded.)

MUS 124R, 224R Concert Practice (0.5 credit)

In this course, students meet once a week in a master class-like situation to perform for faculty members and peers and to listen to their peers’ performances. (Each course in the two-year sequence has to be repeated once with credits awarded.)

MUS 450 Research Paper (4 credits)

This course offers a senior student the opportunity to write a research paper (at least 25 double-spaced, typed written pages) on a music-related topic of his or her choice.

MUS 451 Senior Recital (0 credit)

Senior Recital is required of every senior student majoring in performance. The senior recital is usually given at the end of the academic year and is open to the public. Required concurrent courses: MUS 421R or 422R.

MUS 455 Advanced Music Practicum and World Cultures IV (4 credits)

This course is open to senior students wishing to play a leadership role in the Shen Yun orchestras during the world tour of Shen Yun Performing Arts. Enrollment is audition-based and is contingent upon the number of relevant openings in the Shen Yun orchestras. Prerequisite: 4 credits from MUS 155–355. (Course offered in spring term only.)