Courses of Instruction

Key to course list A schedule of the hours and places at which various classes are to meet will be posted online at

Courses designated “a” meet in the fall term only. Courses designated “b” meet in the spring term only. Courses designated “a,b” are offered in both the fall and spring terms.

Courses designated “a–b” are yearlong courses. Credit for these courses is granted only after completion of two terms of work.

Courses designated NP are nonperformance courses.

Courses designated P/F will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

Courses designated Group A, B, or C qualify as distribution requirements in these groups.

Musicianship and Theory

MUS 500a, Fundamentals of Analysis and Musicianship 4 credits. NP. Intensive review of the fundamental elements of musical literacy, analysis, and musicianship in tonal and post-tonal contexts. To be followed by MUS 502. Enrollment by placement exam. Students in MUS 500 may not enroll concurrently in any course designated as a Group A. Faculty

MUS 501a, Analysis and Musicianship I 4 credits. NP. Introduction to analysis and musicianship in tonal and post-tonal contexts. To be followed by MUS 502. Enrollment by placement exam. Faculty

MUS 502a,b, Analysis and Musicianship II 4 credits. NP. Intermediate analysis and musicianship in tonal and post-tonal contexts. Enrollment by placement exam. Faculty

MUS 593b, Analysis of Music since 1960 4 credits. NP. Group A. This course in the analysis of contemporary repertoire focuses on helping students gain a thorough understanding of certain pieces written by living or recently deceased composers, ranging from Sofia Gubaidulina’s Feast during a Plague and Mauricio Kagel’s Les idées fixes and Musik für Renaissance-Instrumente, to selected piano pieces of Frederic Rzewski. The goal is to become flexible using analytical tools that are fluid enough to be sensitive to each work, in order to arrive at a deep and thorough understanding of each piece. It is impossible to use only one analytical method when considering contemporary music, because there is no common syntax among pieces that would allow for a descriptive theory. The course therefore presents various ways of analyzing non-tonal music, covering a range of tools, from a modified post-Schenkerian theory of linearity and directionality, to various strands of Neo-Riemannian theory as presented by David Lewin, Richard Cohn, and others. Recent work by Alexander Rehding is touched upon, and we visit selections from The Oxford Handbook of Neo-Riemannian Music Theories. We also read, among other analyses, David Lewin’s Musical Form and Transformation. The main goal of the course is to develop our own ways of thinking about and understanding contemporary music. So while readings of existing analyses and methods for analysis prove useful in promoting fluency with critical and connective thinking, students are challenged to be adaptive in their methods to respond to specific contexts and syntaxes, which can change not only piece to piece, but within a single work. Hannah Lash

MUS 610a, Score Reading and Analysis 4 credits. NP. Group A. The basics of score reading, understanding of orchestral instruments, and analysis of form, style, and harmony from the Baroque and Classical periods. Developing clef, transposing, and score-reading skills at the keyboard. Permission of the instructor required. Prerequisites: some keyboard skills, regular daily access to a keyboard outside of Yale, ability to read both treble and bass clefs. William Boughton

MUS 637a, Analysis of Beethoven’s String Quartets 4 credits. NP. Group A. In this class, we analyze the string quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven. Although we touch on all sixteen quartets during the course of the term, we focus on certain pieces in order to be able to do a truly in-depth analysis of some of this body of work. The goal is to illuminate this extraordinary part of Beethoven’s output, which forms such a cornerstone of the string quartet repertoire, and to gain a greater understanding of how these pieces work, which will be beneficial both to performers who wish to play (or continue to play) these works or others by Beethoven, and to composers who wish to unlock the compositional and architectural aspects of this music. Hannah Lash

MUS 648b, Approaches to Fin-de-siècle Song 4 credits. NP. Group A. This course uses the art song as a lens for exploring the seismic changes to musical style and expression that occurred in Europe between 1875 and 1915. Its concerns are, above all, analytical: through close engagement with dozens of individual songs (for voice and piano, orchestra, or chamber ensemble), we chart the many new approaches to harmony, melody, form, and text-setting that emerged in this critical period. But we also take a keen interest in questions of method, asking of each new piece which analytical tools—among many—are the most illuminating and appropriate. In so doing, we find that the richest approach demands a toolkit as creative and eclectic as the repertoire itself, along with analytical flexibility and a thoughtful ear. Our principle corpus is songs set in German (Mahler, Wolf, Strauss, Berg, Schoenberg) and French (Fauré, Debussy, Ravel). But depending on student interest, we may branch into other repertories as well, including works by contemporary Russian, British, and/or Nordic composers (e.g., Mussorgsky, Vaughan Williams, Grieg, or Sibelius). Seth Monahan

MUS 660b, Analysis from a Schenkerian Perspective 4 credits. NP. Group A. This is both an analysis and a history course, focusing on Schenker’s theory of harmony and the possibilities it provided for insight into music of the classical period. Students learn how to graph pieces and are expected to complete weekly analysis assignments. We also discuss the limitations of this theory, both in its exclusion of music in any other style period than that of the classical era, but also in its starkly reductive approach. Conversely, does it offer tools for understanding a more expanded repertoire than Schenker envisioned? Can we apply its principles to music currently or recently written, or to music of the Baroque and earlier? Hannah Lash

MUS 710b, Score Reading and Analysis 4 credits. NP. Group A. Developing score reading and analysis from MUS 610 of music from the Romantic and modern periods through playing, listening, historical perspective, and analysis. Continuing development of score-reading skills at the keyboard. Permission of the instructor required. Students must have access to a keyboard for practice and class participation. William Boughton


MUS 505b, Orchestration through Contemporary Score Study 4 credits. NP. Group A. The study of advanced concepts in orchestral writing through the examination of music of the past thirty years. Composers represented include Henri Dutilleux, Jacob Druckman, John Adams, Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg, Thomas Adès, Helmut Lachenmann, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, among others. Christopher Theofanidis

MUS 555b, Composition for Performers 4 credits. NP. Group A. This class looks at music composition from various historical and philosophical perspectives, with an eye toward discovering models and ideas that allow us to write music for ourselves. With a special emphasis on the history of text setting, we write and play music for each other and critique it ourselves. All are welcome. David Lang

History and Analysis

MUS 511b, Music before 1750 4 credits. NP. Group B. An analytic and cultural survey of European music before 1750. Alongside detailed examination of notated repertoire representing the major styles, genres, and composers of the period, the course explores the roles of listeners and performers, the social contexts of music making, and the relationships among notated and vernacular musics. Topics include the development of the modern notational system, the transmission of music as a result of social and power structures, vernacular traditions of music making, the place of music in relationship to changing world views and cosmologies, the relationship between music and language, the emergence of independent instrumental music, and the development of musical form. The course explores both music that was incorporated in the canon of Western music but also composers and musical traditions that were marginalized. Enrollment by placement exam. May be taken as an elective, space permitting. Markus Rathey

MUS 512a,b, Music from 1750 to 1900 4 credits. NP. Group B. An analytic and cultural survey of music from the European tradition between 1750 and 1900. Alongside detailed examination of notated repertoire representing the major styles, genres, and composers of the period, the course explores the roles of listeners and performers, the social contexts of music making, and the relationships among notated and vernacular musics. Topics include the development of dramatized functional tonality and chromatic harmony, the interplay of vocal and instrumental genres, the publishing marketplace and the evolution of musical gender roles, the depiction of exotic otherness in musical works, the rise of nationalism and its influence on the arts, and the origins of modern notions of classical music. Enrollment by placement exam. May be taken as an elective, space permitting. Paul Berry [F], Lynette Bowring [Sp]

MUS 513a,b, Music since 1900 4 credits. NP. Group B. An analytic and cultural survey of European and American music since 1900. Alongside detailed examination of notated repertoire representing the major styles, genres, and composers of the period, the course explores the roles of listeners and performers, the social contexts of music making, and the relationships among notated and vernacular musics. Topics include modernist innovations around 1910, serialism and neoclassicism in the interwar period, the avant-gardes of the 1950s and 1960s, minimalism and other postmodern aesthetics of the 1970s and beyond, and consideration of relevant traditions of popular music throughout the period. Enrollment by placement exam. May be taken as an elective, space permitting. Lynette Bowring [F], Robert Holzer [Sp]

MUS 527b, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos and the Development of the Concerto Form 4 credits. NP. Group A or B. Johann Sebastian Bach composed his six Brandenburg Concertos to please the Margrave of Brandenburg in 1721, and since their “rediscovery” in the nineteenth century, the concertos have pleased numerous generations of performers and listeners. The year 2021 marks the 300th anniversary of the collection, and the course provides an introduction to the pieces, their place within Bach’s own development, and their place within the evolution of the concerto form in the first half of the eighteenth century. The course explores the six concerti from different angles: historical, analytical, within Baroque court culture, and as a form of symbolic communication through musical topics and rhetorical gestures. Markus Rathey

MUS 545a, Music Meets Literature: E.T.A. Hoffmann and His Fantastic World 4 credits. NP. Group B or C. It is hard to overestimate E.T.A. Hoffmann’s significance for the development of music in the nineteenth century. His review of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony laid a foundation for the idea of absolute music; his essay on Old and New Church Music marks a paradigm shift that started the revival of early music in the nineteenth century. Hoffmann’s stories inspired composers such as Robert Schumann and Peter Tchaikovsky to write piano cycles and ballets. And the composer and his oeuvre were immortalized by Jacques Offenbach in his opera The Tales of Hoffmann. E.T.A. Hoffmann, who was an experienced composer in his own right, composed numerous works, ranging from piano works to sacred music to songs. His most important contribution, however, is the opera Undine, which belongs to the first examples for the German romantic opera and influenced later composers such as Wagner. The course explores Hoffmann’s literary as well as musical writings and traces how later composers, librettists, and choreographers have turned Hoffmann’s vivid imagination into ballets, piano pieces, and operas. Markus Rathey

MUS 560b, Research and Editions 4 credits. NP. Group B. The goal of this course is to discover and evaluate performing editions and recordings of musical compositions that, in the students’ opinions, best exemplify a composer’s intent by developing library research skills in order to locate and critically evaluate library resources that will guide and support the student’s needs. Students select a composition from the standard repertoire that is relevant to them; identify and evaluate performing editions (three maximum) and recordings (three maximum) that represent the most authoritative version as well as the least; maintain a research journal by way of weekly course assignments and essays; build an annotated bibliography of resources used; and provide documented findings to support the evaluations and articulate the reasons for their selections clearly, both in writing and as a final presentation to the class. Ruthann B. McTyre

MUS 567a, The Ballets Russes 4 credits. NP. Group B. This course follows the evolution of the Ballets Russes, from its origins at the turn of the twentieth century as part of the Parisian “World of Art” exhibitions, in which Sergei Diaghilev imported contemporary art and experimental opera and dance productions from Russia, through its prime years (1909 to 1929) as an established ballet company, and ending in the company’s eventual breaking apart into groups settling in the United States and Monte Carlo. We further examine the subsequent impact of that splitting apart on the contemporary dance, music, and art scenes in the United States. The 1909 to 1929 years are the primary focus of the course, with an emphasis on the musical masterworks that were born of Diaghilev’s vision: works by Debussy, Milhaud, Poulenc, Prokofiev, Ravel, Satie, Respighi, Strauss, and of course, Stravinsky, among many others. We examine how Diaghilev brought together many of the most influential artists of the time, such as Braque, Picasso, Chanel, Matisse, Derain, Miró, de Chirico, Dali, and Cocteau, to collaborate with these composers. Students are given a brief primer on ballet and become familiar with the work of the important choreographers associated with the Ballets Russes, such as Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinksy (as both dancer and choreographer), Léonide Massine, and George Balanchine. Course requirements include a midterm, a final exam, and a paper. Christopher Theofanidis

MUS 572b, Analysis of Music from the Composers’ Perspective 4 credits. NP. Group A or B. This course is designed to provide composers (and others interested in composition) with the opportunity to evaluate and analyze important musical compositions from a creator’s point of view. Works of music have been analyzed by theorists, musicologists, ethnomusicologists, performers, and audiences for their own purposes. The goal of this course is to explore the decisive musical choices that remain after accounting for the contexts and constraints of theory, history, and sociology. We attempt to address the significance and character of what, given the histories and theories of music, is finally “composed” by a composer. Selected compositions are discussed and analyzed. The class includes listening, lectures, and discussions, with readings and analysis from prepared scores (available for purchase) and reserved materials. Martin Bresnick

MUS 573a, Introduction to Jazz, Race, and Gender 4 credits. NP. Group B. An introduction to jazz from its roots in African music, through its development in New Orleans (1900–1917), to its evolutionary expansion throughout the United States. The course includes a study of jazz’s artists/styles from the 1880s through the 1970s; an examination of the social, racial, gendered, and economic factors that gave rise to jazz styles; and how jazz developmental patterns are represented in today’s music. This introductory course may be redundant for students who have already had significant studies in jazz history. Students with some knowledge of jazz history may want to take this course to help them develop their own curriculum in preparation for teaching a similar course in the future. Course work is done through a combination of online work, short essay papers, group discussion, and reading assignments. Thomas C. Duffy

MUS 574b, Bruckner 4 credits. NP. Group B. A survey of the life and works of Anton Bruckner from his earliest days in Saint Florian to his final years in Vienna. Equal time is devoted to his sacred and secular music. A particular focus is the concept of “sacred” with regard not only to text and function, but also to the musical material of Bruckner’s religious music and symphonies. The influence of Wagner, Mendelssohn, and especially Schubert is discussed in detail, as is the composer’s lifelong preoccupation with revising his own music. Paul Hawkshaw

MUS 598b, The Piano Trio, 1785–1945: Form, Texture, Affect 4 credits. NP. Group A or B. A study of form, texture, and affect in piano trios from the origins of the genre until the end of World War II. Beginning with examples from the late eighteenth century, the course charts a path through some of the most important developments of the next 160 years: chromatic harmony, formal and temporal experimentation, post-tonal idioms, and narrative and programmatic content. A parallel concern is the composer’s response to evolving instruments and changing performance practices. Repertoire is chosen in part according to students’ interests and current performance projects. Among composers addressed are Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Wieck, Schumann, Brahms, Dvorˇák, Ravel, Clarke, Ives, and Shostakovich. Paul Berry

MUS 605a, Poetry and Meaning in Vocal Music 4 credits. NP. Group A or B. This course surveys major vocal genres in the Western tradition, from the Middle Ages to the present, in search of sensitive and flexible approaches to the relationship between music and the poetry it sets. Among practicing musicians and scholars alike, vocal genres are commonly understood as transparent vessels for verbal meaning, which, itself, is often presented as straightforward and fixed. Yet any poem rewards a range of complementary, even contrasting interpretations, while composers in different genres and periods have developed an array of musical procedures that enhance, inflect, deflect, or entirely redefine the meanings that a given text can convey to receptive audiences. Beginning with the foundations of notated European music in chant and monophonic song, and proceeding through detailed score study of examples from essential vocal genres (motet, cyclic mass, madrigal, opera, cantata, oratorio, song, song cycle, and popular song), this course hones a variety of strategies for the analysis of texted music. Repertoire is chosen partly in response to student interest and current performance projects. Possibilities include chant and monophonic song by Hildegard von Bingen and Beatriz de Dia; motets by Vitry, Willaert, Palestrina, Poulenc, and Pärt; masses by Dufay and Josquin; madrigals by Arcadelt, Rore, Marenzio, Monteverdi, and Hindemith; cantatas by Bach and Stravinsky; songs by Franz Schubert, Benjamin Britten, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Aretha Franklin; chamber and electro-acoustic works by Schoenberg and Babbitt; and opera and oratorio by Handel, Mozart, and Saariaho. Close readings of poetic texts go hand-in-hand with score study; brief excerpts from primary sources and scholarly prose provide historical context and conceptual cognates, including rhetoric, narrative, and the complex influences of gender, race, sexuality, and political identity on the composition and interpretation of vocal music. Paul Berry

MUS 613b, Neoclassicism 4 credits. NP. Group A or B. Composers and musicians of the early twentieth century engaged in an unprecedented dialogue with the music of past generations, and the reimagining of earlier stylistic idioms became a vital creative force within modernism. Stravinsky played a leading role during his decades of creative engagement with neoclassicism, and many other composers bridged the past and present, sometimes with individuality and ingenuity, and sometimes with pastiche, parody, or humor. This course surveys a range of neoclassical compositions from the first half of the twentieth century, analytically engaging with them both in terms of their connections to historical models and earlier compositional idioms, and also through modernist elements of their musical language. It also considers the broader concept of neoclassicism, the origins of historicizing thought, and postmodern engagement with earlier musics. Lynette Bowring

MUS 626a,b, Performance Practice before 1750 4 credits. NP. Group B. How are we to perform music from the Baroque era (ca. 1600–1750)? The diverse styles of the instrumental and vocal music composed during this period elicit widely differing responses from instrumentalists and singers attuned to pre-Classical and Romantic performance practices. In this course, which is centered around both performance and discussion, we take in the many possibilities available to the performer of music composed in this period. The topics we explore include Baroque sound, rhetoric, ornamentation and improvisation, vibrato, text-music relationships, tempo and meter, rhythmic alteration, dynamics, pitch, temperament, editions, and basso continuo. We compare period instruments to their modern counterparts through live performance and recordings as well as discuss differences in national styles throughout this period. Arthur Haas, Daniel Lee

MUS 628a, The Operas of Giuseppe Verdi 4 credits. NP. Group A or B. A survey of the operas of Giuseppe Verdi. Special attention is given to the interaction of music and drama, as well as to the larger contexts of his works in nineteenth-century Italian history. Topics of study include Verdi as Risorgimento icon, analytic approaches to individual musical numbers, depictions of gender roles, exoticism and alterity, and reception history. Requirements include regular attendance and informed participation in classroom discussion, in-class presentations, short written assignments, and a final written project. Robert Holzer

MUS 629a, History of Public Performance, from Concert Hall to Streaming Video 4 credits. NP. Group B. Behind today’s performance industry lie centuries of intersections between musicians and a music-loving public. Performers from individual soloists to the members of professional orchestras engage in traditions and actions that reach back decades, or even centuries, and the behaviors and tastes of today’s listening public have been shaped by past generations of performers. This course traces the history of public performances and the relationships between audiences, musicians, and compositions across several centuries, contextualizing present-day traditions and attitudes, and revisiting those of the past. Topics covered include the establishment of concert halls and opera theaters; the development and behavior of professional orchestras, chamber groups, and soloists; audience and listener behavior throughout the ages; music journalism; the recording industry; and the dissemination of music in today’s online world. Lynette Bowring

MUS 650a, Silenced Voices: Music, Race, and Gender in Early Music 4 credits. NP. Group B. Periods in music history are often classified with convenient labels such as “common practice,” “early music,” etc., and it is quietly assumed that everybody shares these labels. But if we ask more critically, it becomes apparent that the labels encode a specific view of music history that is based on the establishment of certain musical forms, the modern tonal system, and the concept of a musical work. The labels are not neutral, but they provide categories in which we approach musical traditions, and works or traditions that don’t fit into these categories are often neglected or ignored. Our labels as well as the music they describe do not exist independently, but are embedded in a societal context. Music grows out of specific functions and reflects power relationships within society. Music not only reflects the social stratifications and power structures of the past but in some cases also perpetuates these ideas. This course challenges some of the common narratives about the history of early music. Focusing on four distinct areas, we explore early examples of music by Jewish composers, the role of women in the creation and performance of music, the history of African American music before the nineteenth century, and the amalgamation of Native American and western traditions. Each section begins with a critical assessment of the representation of these marginalized groups in western classical music and then shifts the focus to music written and performed by these groups. The goal of the course is not another western appropriation of music by marginalized groups but rather a critical evaluation of the western canon in dialogue with music that is commonly excluded from this canon. The course provides an overview of current scholarship and presents selected compositions. The final project for each student is the development of a concert program (with program notes) that reflects the issues raised in the course. Markus Rathey

MUS 852b, D.M.A. Seminar I 4 credits. NP. Group B. Required of all D.M.A. candidates during the spring term of their first year in residence. The study of a specific topic or topics provides candidates with expanded opportunities for research. Paul Berry

MUS 853a, D.M.A. Seminar II 8 credits. NP. Group B. Required of all D.M.A. candidates during the fall term of their second year in residence. An introduction to the problems and methodology of musicology and theory. In consultation with individual advisers, candidates identify a thesis topic and begin writing. D.M.A. written comprehensive examinations take place during this term. Robert Holzer

MUS 854b, D.M.A. Colloquium 4 credits. NP. Group B. Required of all D.M.A. candidates during the spring term of their second year in residence. Class meetings and sessions with advisers aimed at completing the thesis. These are normally due the last Friday of March, and public presentations take place in April. D.M.A. qualifying oral examinations take place at the end of this term. Robert Holzer

Special Studies

MUS 521a, English Language Skills 4 credits. NP. Group C. This course is designed for international students in the Yale School of Music who are at a basic or intermediate level of English. Instruction includes the refinement of skills such as writing, speaking, reading, and grammar. Enrollment by placement exam. Serena Blocker

MUS 550b, Music Technology for the Practicing Musician 2 credits. NP. Group C. An overview of pertinent technological developments and their historical contexts. Designed for students who have had little or no prior experience in this area. Workshops provide an opportunity for students to meet in small groups and gain firsthand experience. Preference given to second-year students. Jack Vees

MUS 551a, Studio Techniques and Contemporary Popular Music 2 credits. NP. Group C. This course combines a detailed presentation of studio elements along with a survey of popular music that has been shaped by the studio environment. The works of artists from ABBA to Zappa and the recordings of performers from Les Paul to Brian Eno are typical of the works presented. Preference given to second-year students. Jack Vees

MUS 559a,b, Jazz Improvisation I 2 credits. NP. Group C. In this course students study basic, intermediate, and advanced concepts of jazz improvisation and learn the essentials of the jazz language through solo transcription and analysis. Students learn how to use vocabulary (or musical phrases) and a variety of improvisational devices and techniques over common chords and chord progressions. Upon completion of the course students have a deeper understanding of what it takes to become a great improviser, what to practice and how to practice it, and how to expand their jazz vocabulary in order to naturally develop a unique improvisational voice. Students will be required to access their instruments during class; additionally, a basic understanding of jazz nomenclature and some experience improvising are advised. Wayne Escoffery

MUS 578b, Music, Service, and Society 4 credits. NP. Group C. What are the impacts of music on the conditions of a society? How have music and musicians been present and catalytic to important historical moments? How can we think about reinvigorating the participation of musicians in the public sphere, the public square? How do we think about the roles and activities of musicians in today’s world? What are the potentials for artists and arts practices to positively influence the direction of our society? What are the mechanisms for artistic voices to play a role in activating conversation and transforming experience? How can we think about invigorating the participation of musicians in the public sphere? Through texts and discussion, we reconceive the roles artists can play in the communities in which they work. We explore the concept of the social imagination—the ability to imagine different scenarios, different futures for people in the world, and in our communities. Sebastian Ruth

MUS 621a, Careers in Music: Innovation and Collaboration for Arts Leadership in the Post-COVID-19 World 2 credits. NP. Group C. This course teaches entrepreneurship and leadership through innovative collaborative term-long projects exploring artistic solutions in the post-COVID-19 world. Working from the psychological framework of the growth mindset and emotional intelligence, students articulate their artistic missions and choose collaborative project groups based on common missions. They learn how to innovate using the creativity problem-solving process and design thinking. Students create, pitch, and implement artistic projects in an environment that encourages taking risks and learning from experience. Students also learn the art of collaboration, including communication skills and leveraging communication styles, conflict management, and effective persuasion and presentation. The class combines instruction with group discussion, coaching, and feedback from fellow students, faculty, and professional and alumni mentors. Astrid Baumgardner

MUS 999a–b, D.M.A. Dissertation 0 credit. Faculty


MUS 515a,b, Improvisation at the Organ I 2 credits. This course in beginning organ improvisation explores a variety of harmonization techniques, with a strong focus on formal structure (binary and ternary forms, rondo, song form). Classes typically are made up of two students, for a one-hour lesson on Mondays. The term culminates with an improvised recital, open to the public. In this recital, each student improvises for up to seven minutes on a submitted theme. Jeffrey Brillhart

MUS 529a, Introduction to Conducting 4 credits. Learning the basic beat patterns through to mixed meter in repertoire ranging from the Baroque to post-Classical. Developing expressive baton technique and aural and listening skills. Assignments include preparation of scores, weekly practice in conducting exercises, and score-reading skills. A playing ensemble is made up of participants in the class. Final examination in score reading, analysis, and conducting. Permission of the instructor required; enrollment limited. William Boughton

MUS 530b, Intermediate Conducting 4 credits. Development of techniques covered in MUS 529 through the Romantic and modern periods. Developing score reading at the keyboard. Building memory of scores. Developing knowledge of orchestral instruments. A playing ensemble is made up of participants in the class. Prerequisite: MUS 529. Permission of the instructor required; enrollment limited to ten, determined by audition. William Boughton

MUS 531a–b, 631a–b, 731a–b, Repertory Chorus—Voice 2 credits per term. A reading chorus open by audition and conducted by graduate choral conducting students. The chorus reads, studies, and sings a wide sampling of choral literature. Jeffrey Douma

MUS 532a–b, 632a–b, Repertory Chorus—Conducting 2 credits per term. Students in the graduate choral conducting program work with the Repertory Chorus, preparing and conducting a portion of a public concert each term. Open only to choral conducting majors.

MUS 533a–b, 633a–b, 733a–b, Seminar in Piano Literature and Interpretation 4 credits per term. Required of all piano majors. This course focuses on the performance of, and research topics relevant to, keyboard repertory. On a rotational basis, students perform chosen repertoire determined by the department; additionally, students make short oral presentations based on assigned topics that are closely linked to the repertoire. Organized outlines and bibliographies are required components of the presentations. Weekly attendance is required. Piano faculty and guests

MUS 534b, Collaborative Piano—Instrumental 2 credits. A course for piano majors, intended to broaden their experience and to provide them with the skills necessary to prepare sonatas and accompaniments. A number of selected instrumental sonatas are covered, as well as the problems involved in dealing with orchestral reductions and piano parts to virtuoso pieces. Sight reading and difficulties related to performing with specific instruments are also addressed. Students are encouraged to bring works to class that they are preparing for recitals. Elizabeth Sawyer Parisot

MUS 535a–b, 635a–b, 735a–b, Recital Chorus—Voice 2 credits per term. A chorus open by audition and conducted by graduate choral conducting students. It serves as the choral ensemble for four to five degree recitals per year. Jeffrey Douma

MUS 537b, Collaborative Piano—Voice 2 credits. A course designed for pianists, focusing on the skills required for vocal accompanying and coaching. The standard song and operatic repertoire is emphasized. Sight reading, techniques of transposition, figured bass, and effective reduction of operatic materials for the recreation of orchestral sounds at the piano are included in the curriculum. Ted Taylor

MUS 538a–b, 638a–b, 738a–b, Cello Ensemble 2 credits per term. An exploration of the growing literature for cello ensemble emphasizing chamber music and orchestral skills as well as stylistic differences. Performances planned during the year. Required of all cello majors. Faculty

MUS 540a,b, 640a,b, 740a,b, Individual Instruction in the Major 4 credits per term. Individual instruction of one hour per week throughout the academic year, for majors in performance, conducting, and composition. Faculty

MUS 541b, 641b, 741b, Secondary Instrumental, Compositional, Conducting, and Vocal Study 2 credits per term. P/F. All students enrolled in secondary lessons can receive instruction in either voice or piano. In addition, YSM keyboard majors may take secondary organ or harpsichord, and YSM violinists may take secondary viola. Any other students who wish to take secondary lessons in any other instruments must petition the director of secondary lessons, Kyung Yu, by e-mail ( no later than a date to be announced for the spring term. Students who are not conducting majors may take only one secondary instrument per term. YSM students who wish to take secondary lessons must register for the course and request a teacher using the online form for graduate students found at; the availability of a secondary lessons teacher is not guaranteed until the form is received and a teacher assigned by the director of lessons. Secondary instruction in choral conducting and orchestral conducting is only available with permission of the instructor and requires as prerequisites MUS 565 for secondary instruction in choral conducting, and both MUS 529 and MUS 530 for secondary instruction in orchestral conducting. Students of the Yale Divinity School, School of Drama, and School of Art may also register as above for secondary lessons and will be charged $200 per term for these lessons. Questions may be e-mailed to the director, Kyung Yu (

MUS 542a–b, 642a–b, 742a–b, The Yale Philharmonia and New Music New Haven 2 credits per term. Participation, as assigned by the faculty, is required of all orchestral students. In addition to regular participation in Philharmonia, students are assigned to New Music New Haven, to groups performing music by Yale composers, and to other ensembles as required. Faculty

MUS 543a–b, 643a–b, 743a–b, Chamber Music 2 credits per term. Required of instrumental majors (except organ) in each term of enrollment. Enrollment includes participation in an assigned chamber music ensemble as well as performance and attendance in chamber music concerts. Faculty and guests

MUS 544a–b, 644a–b, 744a–b, Seminar in the Major 2 credits per term. An examination of a wide range of problems relating to the area of the major. Specific requirements may differ by department. At the discretion of each department, seminar requirements can be met partially through off-campus field trips and/or off-campus fieldwork, e.g., performance or teaching. Required of all School of Music students except pianists who take 533, 633, 733. Faculty

MUS 546a–b, 646a–b, 746a–b, Yale Camerata 2 credits per term. Open to all members of the University community by audition, the Yale Camerata presents several performances throughout the year that explore choral literature from all musical periods. Members of the ensemble should have previous choral experience and be willing to devote time to the preparation of music commensurate with the Camerata’s vigorous rehearsal and concert schedule. André J. Thomas

MUS 571a–b, 671a–b, 771a–b, Yale Schola Cantorum 1 credit per term. Specialist chamber choir for the development of advanced ensemble skills and expertise in demanding solo roles (in music before 1750 and from the last one hundred years). Enrollment required for voice majors enrolled through the Institute of Sacred Music. David Hill

MUS 615a,b, Improvisation at the Organ II 2 credits. This course explores modal improvisation, focusing on the composition techniques of Charles Tournemire and Olivier Messiaen. Students learn to improvise five-movement chant-based suites (Introit-Offertoire-Elevation-Communion-Pièce Terminale), versets, and a variety of free works using late-twentieth-century language. Classes typically are made up of two students, for a one-hour lesson on Mondays. The term culminates with an improvised recital, open to the public. In this recital, each student improvises for up to seven minutes on a submitted theme. Prerequisite: MUS 515. Jeffrey Brillhart

MUS 656a, Liturgical Keyboard Skills I 2 credits. In this course, students gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for musical genres, both those familiar to them and those different from their own, and learn basic techniques for their application in church service playing. Students learn to play hymns, congregational songs, service music, and anthems from a variety of sources, including music from the liturgical and free church traditions, including the Black Church experience. Hymn playing, with an emphasis on methods of encouraging congregational singing, is the principal focus of the organ instruction, but there is also instruction in chant and anthem accompaniment, including adapting a piano reduction to the organ. In the gospel style, beginning with the piano, students are encouraged to play by ear, using their aural skills in learning gospel music. This training extends to the organ, in the form of improvised introductions and varied accompaniments to hymns of all types. We seek to accomplish these goals by active participation and discussion in class. When not actually playing in class, students are encouraged to sing to the accompaniment of the person at the keyboard, to further their experience of singing with accompaniment, and to give practical encouragement to the person playing. Prerequisite: graduate-level organ and piano proficiency. Walden Moore

MUS 657a, Liturgical Keyboard Skills II 2 credits. The subject matter is the same as for MUS 656, but some variety is offered in the syllabus on a two-year cycle to allow second-year students to take the course without duplicating all of the means by which the playing techniques are taught. Walden Moore

MUS 677a, Continuo Realization and Performance 4 credits. Acquisition of practical skills necessary for a competent and expressive performance from thorough-bass. Learning of figures, honing of voice-leading skills, and investigation of various historical and national styles of continuo playing as well as relevant performance practice issues. Class performances with an instrumentalist or singer. Open to pianists, harpsichordists, organists, and conductors. Arthur Haas

MUS 678b, Advanced Continuo Realization and Performance 4 credits. Practical and theoretical application of national and period styles from the entire Baroque era, 1600–1750. Students prepare and perform both unrealized and unfigured basses of vocal and instrumental sacred and secular literature from early Italian music through to the late Baroque and the empfindsamer style. Musical examples are supplemented with primary and secondary source readings. Prerequisite: MUS 677 or permission of the instructor. Arthur Haas

MUS 715a,b Improvisation at the Organ III 2 credits. This course explores the improvisation of full organ symphony in four movements, Tryptique (Rondo-Aria-Theme/variations), improvisation on visual images, text-based improvisation, and silent film. Classes typically are made up of two students, for a one-hour lesson on Mondays. The term culminates with an improvised recital, open to the public. In this recital, each student improvises for up to ten minutes on a submitted theme. Prerequisite: MUS 615. Jeffrey Brillhart

Voice and Opera

MUS 504a–b, 604a–b, 704a–b, Dramatic Movement for Singers 1 credit per term. Stage movement tailored specifically for singers. Physical preparation of the body through exercises that develop strength, control, and flow of movement while releasing tensions and extending the range of movement possibilities. Emphasis is placed on stage presence and movement problems as applied to specific roles, and on transferring the class experience to the stage. Required. Faculty

MUS 506a–b, 606a–b, 706a–b, Lyric Diction for Singers 2 credits per term. A language course designed specifically for the needs of singers. Intensive work on pronunciation, grammar, and literature throughout the term. French, German, English, Italian, Russian, and Latin are offered in alternating terms. Required. Faculty

MUS 507a–b, 607a–b, 707a–b, Vocal Repertoire for Singers 2 credits per term. A performance-oriented course that in successive terms surveys the French mélodie, German Lied, and Italian, American, and English art song. Elements of style, language, text, and presentation are emphasized. Required. Adriana Zabala

MUS 508a–b, 608a–b, 708a–b, Opera Workshop 3 credits per term. Encompasses musical preparation, coaching (musical and language), staging, and performance of selected scenes as well as complete roles from a wide range of operatic repertoire. Required. Gerald Martin Moore, coaching staff, and guest music and stage directors

MUS 509a–b, 609a–b, 709a–b, Art Song Coaching for Singers 1 credit per term. Individual private coaching in the art song repertoire, in preparation for required recitals. Students are coached on such elements of musical style as phrasing, rubato, and articulation, and in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish diction. Students are expected to bring their recital accompaniments to coaching sessions as their recital times approach. Faculty

MUS 522a–b, 622a–b, 722a–b, Acting for Singers 1 credit per term. Designed to address the specialized needs of the singing actor. Studies include technique in character analysis, together with studies in poetry as it applies to art song literature. Class work is extended in regular private coaching. ISM students are required to take two terms in their second year. Christopher Murrah

MUS 549a, Early Music Repertoire for Singers 2 credits. A survey of solo and chamber repertoire (song, madrigal, cantata, opera, oratorio, motet) from the early seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth century. Related topics include performance practice, ornamentation, national styles, related instrumental music, research and original sources and their modern transcriptions. Assignments emphasize practical applications such as composing ornaments, finding repertoire, and creating new editions. Taught every other year. Jeffrey Grossman

MUS 594a,b, Vocal Chamber Music 1 credit. This performance-based class requires a high level of individual participation each week. Grades are based on participation in and preparation for class, and two performances of the repertoire learned. Attendance is mandatory. Occasional weekend sessions and extra rehearsals during production weeks can be expected. Students are expected to learn quickly and must be prepared to tackle a sizeable amount of repertoire. James Taylor

MUS 595a–b, 695b, Performance Practice for Singers 2 credits per term. Fall term: An introduction to the major issues of historically informed performance, including notation, use of modern editions, and performance styles. Spring term: Advanced exploration of notation, performance styles, and ornamentation in specific repertoire. Open to conductors and instrumentalists with permission of the instructor. Jeffrey Grossman

MUS 623a,b, Early Music Coaching for Singers 1 credit. Individual private coaching in early repertoire, focusing on historically informed performance practice, in preparation for required recitals and concerts. Students are coached on such elements of musical style as ornamentation, phrasing, rubato, articulation, and rhetoric, and in English, French, Italian, German, Latin, and Spanish diction. Students are expected to bring recital and concert repertoire to coaching sessions as performance times approach. Jeffrey Grossman

Yale Institute of Sacred Music

MUS 519a–b, 619a–b, 719a–b, ISM Colloquium 1 credit per term. NP. P/F. Participation in seminars led by faculty and guest lecturers on topics concerning theology, music, worship, and related arts. Counts as one NP in the fourth term. Required of all Institute of Sacred Music students. Martin Jean

Department of Music

YSM students are encouraged to explore appropriate intermediate and advanced undergraduate courses and graduate courses offered by the Department of Music. Permission of the instructor may be required for enrollment.