Course Descriptions


Courses are offered in rotation over a period of several years; not all courses listed below are offered every year.

Music 5005A 3.0 Seminar in Composition I
Seminar classes and individual coaching in musical composition and related topics of
creativity, technique, analysis, and form.

Music 5005B Seminar in Composition II
Lectures, seminars, demonstrations, individual coaching in music composition considering issues related to craft, process, creativity, technique, theory, and career positioning and strategy. This course deals with aesthetic, theoretical, conceptual, creative, and practical considerations involved in music composition. The delivery format involves seminar, invited guests, shared discussion, group analysis, individual research, and specific assignments. The seminars are regularly supplemented by numerous suggestions for additional research readings, listening examples, analysis graphs, music texts (scores, charts, lead sheets, fake book sketches, parts), recordings, plus the ever-expanding resources found on-line (performances, lectures, articles, etc.) A fuller understanding of the nature of the individual's unique compositional voice is a fundamental focus and an essential concept of the seminar. The candidate is encouraged and supported in developing professional level skills in the creation of original music which reflects their original artistic vision.

Music 5006A 3.0 Private Lessons in Composition I
This course provides an opportunity for specialized work in composing with particular techniques or for particular media.

Music 5006B 3.0 Private Lessons in Composition II
This course provides an opportunity for specialized work in composing with particular techniques or for particular media as well as the faculty members and students of the program.

Music 5008 3.0 Jazz Theory
This course surveys literature dealing with both the speculative and operative aspects of jazz theory. Sources include works by theorists, musicologists, and pedagogues such as: Aebersold, Mehegan, Delamont, Russo, Schuller, Slonimsky, Schillinger, Riemann, O'Meally, Baker, Giddins, Dobbins, Wright, Berliner, Negus, Coker, Sebesky, Levine, Schenker, and others.

Music 5010 3.0 Problems and Methods of Musical Research

An examination of different methods and theoretical frameworks for musical research, through intensive, critical studies of existing literature and a number of research projects.

MUSI 5110 3.0 Early Twentieth-Century Music: Form, Structure, Significance
This course examines music composed in the earlier part of the twentieth century, with an emphasis on the social, historical and cultural contexts for innovation and experimentation. Analysis of a limited but representative range of works by Debussy, Schoenberg, Webern, Stravinsky, Satie, Bartok, Ives or other composers serves as a basis for broader interpretation, using approaches developed by musicology as well as literary and art history.

Music 5140 3.0 Commercial Music of the Americas
A study of music and musicians as absorbed and transformed by the music and entertainment industries. Anglo-American music is the major focus of the seminar with comparative material drawn from Caribbean, Canadian and African-American examples.

MUSI 5160 3.00 Music of Eastern Europe & Middle East
Music of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. An intensive examination of selected musical cultures of Eastern Europe and/or the Middle East with consideration of the history and sociology of music in the regions explored.

Music 5180 3.0 Jazz Studies
The phenomenon of jazz is investigated from a number of perspectives through a survey of scholarly, popular, and pedagogical jazz literature. Various problems and methods of jazz research including discography, style analysis, and criticism are examined.

Music 5190 3.0 African-American Music
A study of the music of African-Americans from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. Musicological, historical and sociological issues are examined.

MUSI 5201 / 4201 (Integrated) J.S. Bach: Life, art, and legacy 3.0

The study of the music of J.S. Bach (1685-1750) provides insight into form, aesthetics, performance practice, culture and reception in both historical and modern contexts for composers, performers and musicologists. Compositional forms such as fugue, chorale based compositions, larger dramatic works and pedagogical pieces will be analysed as models for new creation-research projects. Topics of cultural significance, such as Bach’s legacy in Canadian music and 18th-century period performance practice will be examined through manuscript study, examination of figured bass, improvisation habits and ornamentation. Students will also have an introduction to reproductions of historical instruments used in Bach’s time, such as the harpsichords and chamber organ housed in York’s historical keyboard studio.

Music 5410 3.0 Performance Option
This course involves performance study, generally in a cross-cultural context, with a view to exploring such issues in cross-cultural learning as the relationship between the performance of music and the intellectual discourse about it. Central to the course is an academic component about issues, which emerge in a set of "field notes" about the lessons. Prerequisite: Permission of the Graduate Executive Committee.

Music 5500 3.0 Performance Studio (Please note that the course load has changed from 6.0 to 3.0)
Individual coaching and training in music performance with emphasis on both theoretical and practical aspects. Repertoire is
selected from a variety of relevant sources within the appropriate tradition. '

Music 5550 3.0 Recital
Student required to plan, prepare, produce and perform an advanced, full-length, professional-quality recital under the supervision of a faculty member.

Music 5551 3.0 Ensemble
Practical experience in ensemble performance with emphasis on the development of collaborative music creation at a professional level. Repertoire is selected from a variety of relevant sources within the appropriate ensemble literature.

Music 6010 6.0 Theoretical Perspectives in Ethnomusicology/Musicology
This course explores various theoretical perspectives in both the social sciences and humanities as they relate to the study of music in and as culture. Particularly as they have arisen in musicology and ethnomusicology, a wide range of theoretical formulations is explored. These range from the older, traditional historical and interpretive approaches to more recent developments in ethnomusicology, such as deconstruction and discourse analysis, feminism, performance theory and semiotics. The course is taught by a team of graduate faculty members. Prerequisite: PhD-level standing in Music or permission of the instructor.

Music 6220 3.0 Canadian Music: Repertoires, Practices and Interpretation
The major scholarly studies of Canadian musical repertoires and practices are examined in relation to the literature on other repertoires and practices. Each student carries out a detailed case study.

Music 6250 3.0 Musical Analysis
A survey of some problems and methods in musical analysis, oriented first to the repertoires and aesthetic perspectives which gave rise to them and, second, to their more recent extensions.

Music 6320 Popular Music
This course looks at academic approaches to the study of popular music through a number of theoretical lens including but not limited to musical analysis, linguistic analysis, aesthetics, performance theory, feminist and queer theory, reception theory, political economy, and theories of bodily gesture. The course draws much of its literature and musical examples from Western popular music from the late 19th century to the present.

Music 6510 3.0/Music 6520 3.0/Music 6530 3.0 Directed Reading
Independent study and research under the guidance of a faculty member in the Graduate Program in Music. Aspirants must first submit a course proposal with working bibliography, discography and/or filmography (as appropriate) and outline of papers or other assignments to be completed. The proposal will normally demonstrate that skills and/or knowledge to be acquired in the course are germane to an approved PhD dissertation, Master's thesis or major research paper. Prerequisite: Permission of the Graduate Executive Committee.