Music Theory and Composition (MTC)

Wells School of Music

How to Read Course Descriptions

MTC Q14. Basic Ear Training and Sight Singing. 2 Credits.

A preparatory course for music majors emphasizing basic aural perception and sight-singing skills needed for effective music study. A final grade of C or better is a prerequisite for taking MTC 114. Please note: This is a developmental course and the credits do not count towards degree completion.
Typically offered in Fall.

MTC 101. Music Matters. 3 Credits.

Why is music one of the few cross-cultural universals? Why don't other species have music? This course considers why we invest so much time and money in creating and listening to music by exploring specific topics such as psychoacoustics, emotional responses to music, creativity, how music reflects and influences culture, music's role in shaping personal identity, how music contributes to movies, and music's potential as a therapeutic agent. We will listen to a diverse array of music ranging from Bach to the Beatles, to jazz, to music from India, Cuba, and other cultures around the world.
Gen Ed Attribute: Interdisciplinary Requirement.
Typically offered in Spring.

MTC 110. Making Music. 3 Credits.

A study of basic elements of music for those without previous musical experience. For non-music majors only.
Gen Ed Attribute: Arts Distributive Requirement.
Typically offered in Fall.

MTC 112. Theory of Music I. 3 Credits.

Introduction to music theory, the materials of music. Analysis and creative activity.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 113. Theory of Music II. 3 Credits.

Form; motive; cadence; phrase; melody. Analysis and creative activity.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 114. Aural Activities I. 2 Credits.

Development of basic hearing skills, chiefly through sight singing and dictation activities based on the subject matter of MTC 112.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 115. Aural Activities II. 2 Credits.

Continued development of basic hearing skills.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 115 requires prerequisites of MTC 112 and MTC 114.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 123. Studio Music Ensemble. 1 Credit.

The Studio Music Ensemble is a group with flexible instrumentation built around a pop band core that performs music in a variety of styles, including existing songs and original compositions. Key aspects of the course include performance, improvisation, collaboration, effective rehearsal techniques, and live audio. Enrollment is determined by audition.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

MTC 160. Musical Entrepreneurship. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to help build financial and entrepreneurial skills to properly monetize musical aspirations. Branding, marketing, and fiscal strategies will be applied to multiple musical endeavors including business and ensemble management, musician career development, and marketing creative activities and products. Personal financial accounting and budgeting will be examined. Each student will choose a musical endeavor to focus on and will complete the course having written a five-year business plan to build the foundation for a self-sustaining career.
Typically offered in Spring.

MTC 170. Studio Production I. 3 Credits.

This class focuses on the techniques of music production in a studio setting. Students learn the basics of recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in a digital audio workstation.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 170 requires a prerequisite of MTC 110 or MTC 112.
Typically offered in Fall.

MTC 212. Theory of Music III. 3 Credits.

Harmony and counterpoint; dissonance; voice motion; harmonic progression; modulation; texture. Analysis and creative activity. PREREQ: MTC113, with a grade of C- or better.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 212 requires a prerequisite of MTC 113.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 213. Theory of Music IV. 3 Credits.

In depth analysis of specific styles, genres, and forms; compositional style studies.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 213 requires a prerequisite of MTC 212.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 214. Aural Activities III. 2 Credits.

Material of advanced difficulty involving chromatic alteration, foreign modulation, and intricate rhythms.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 214 requires prerequisite of MTC 113 and MTC 115 or co-requisite of MTC 113 and MTC 115.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 215. Aural Activities IV. 2 Credits.

Continuation of MTC 214 and activities involving nontonal music.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 215 requires prerequisites of MTC 212 and MTC 214.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 250. Music and the Mind. 2 Credits.

This course presents an overview of the psychology of music. Students will consider a diverse array of topics including emotional responses, expressive performance, implication-realization, memory and attention, development, creativity, special musical abilities and deficits, musical preferences, and music therapy. Along with learning about what psychologists have discovered about how composers, performers, and listeners create and process music, students will also discuss how psychologists study music in the laboratory and the challenges involved in designing experiments and interpreting data. Thus, along with reading a textbook, students will also read cutting-edge research and discuss how to empirically investigate musical experience.
Typically offered in Spring.

MTC 270. Studio Production II. 3 Credits.

This class provides a continuation of production principles introduced in MTC 170, as students explore more advanced topics in recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in a digital audio workstation. They also learn to use analog synthesizers and create original studio-based music.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 270 requires a prerequisite of MTC 170.
Typically offered in Spring.

MTC 271. Scoring Film and Media. 3 Credits.

Techniques used in composing, orchestrating, mixing, and recording music for the film, video and television industry. Use of sequencing software and sample libraries to write production-quality cues synchronized to film and video clips.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 271 requires a prerequisite of MTC 170. Students who have not completed this prerequisite but possess the appropriate skills may enroll with permission of the instructor.
Typically offered in Fall.

MTC 273. Computer Music. 3 Credits.

Materials and techniques of electronic music and their use in composition. Laboratory experience in the composition of electronic music.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 273 requires a prerequisite of MTC 110 or MTC 112.
Typically offered in Spring.

MTC 274. Scoring Video Games. 3 Credits.

In this course, students gain practical experience composing video game music and audio cues. Students also gain a well-rounded understanding of the history and current state of contemporary video game music and audio, how the game development process works, the evolution of game audio, and production techniques.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 274 requires a prerequisite of MTC 170. Students who have not completed these prerequisites but possess the appropriate skills may enroll with permission of the instructor.
Typically offered in Spring.

MTC 275. Songwriting. 3 Credits.

This course explores modern songwriting techniques, song lyric creation, hooks, song form, melodic development, pop harmony, and rhythm and grooves. Students will study and react to songs by top modern songwriters. Students will compose and record a number of original songs for the course.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 275 requires a prerequisite of MTC 110 or MTC 112.
Typically offered in Fall.

MTC 312. Composition I. 3 Credits.

Creative writing in the forms, styles, and media best suited to the capabilities and needs of the student.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 312 requires a prerequisite of MTC 112.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 313. Composition II. 3 Credits.

Further application of MTC 312, stressing contemporary techniques.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 313 requires prerequisite of MTC 312.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 341. Orchestration. 3 Credits.

The orchestra; use of instruments individually and in combination.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 341 requires a prerequisite of MTC 212.
Typically offered in Fall.

MTC 342. Music Analysis. 3 Credits.

An overview of major trends in music analysis applied to a variety of musical styles. Addresses how analysis informs composition, performance, scholarship and pedagogy.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 342 requires a prerequisite of MTC 212.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall.

MTC 344. 16th Century Counterpoint. 3 Credits.

The contrapuntal techniques of tonal music. Chorale prelude and invention.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 344 requires prerequisite of MTC 212.
Typically offered in Fall.

MTC 345. 18th Century Counterpoint. 3 Credits.

Advanced contrapuntal forms including canon and fugue.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 345 requires prerequisite of MTC 212.
Typically offered in Spring.

MTC 361. Jazz Harmony and Arranging I. 3 Credits.

A basic course in jazz/popular harmony and arranging techniques, including contemporary chord symbols and terminology, and basic voicing for brass, reed, and rhythm sections.
Typically offered in Fall.

MTC 362. Jazz Harmony and Arranging II. 3 Credits.

An intermediate course in jazz/popular harmony and arranging techniques, including more advanced harmonic techniques. Writing for strings, woodwinds, and electronic instruments is introduced.
Typically offered in Spring.

MTC 364. Performance Practices in Contemporary Music. 3 Credits.

Technical problems of understanding new notation (e.g., graphic, proportional, multiphonics, microtones, metric modulation, asymmetrical rhythm groupings, prose scores, etc.) and facility in performing scores that include these techniques.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 364 requires prerequisite of MTC 213.

MTC 412. Composition III. 3 Credits.

Private composition instruction for composition majors.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 412 requires prerequisite of MTC 313.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 413. Composition IV. 3 Credits.

Advanced composition involving major projects in a contemporary idiom.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 413 requires prerequisite of MTC 412.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 418. Composition V. 3 Credits.

Advanced composition lessons for theory/composition majors.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 418 requires a prerequisite of MTC 413.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 470. Senior Project in Studio Composition I. 3 Credits.

This course is the first in a two-semester sequence, the second semester of which culminates in the presentation of a capstone project in studio composition. This project is a large-scale work created in consultation with the studio professor, and may be in live, recorded audio, music-to-video, music-to-game, or other format arranged in agreement between student and instructor. Students in this course will meet weekly for a half-hour in-office lesson, arranged by appointment with the professor.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 470 requires prerequisites of MTC 270 and satisfaction of the "composition" requirement of 200-level courses in the major.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 471. Senior Project in Studio Composition II. 3 Credits.

This course is the second in a two-semester sequence, culminating in the presentation of a capstone project in studio composition. This project is a large-scale work created in consultation with the studio professor, and may be in live, recorded audio, music-to-video, music-to-game, or other format arranged in agreement between student and instructor. Students in this course will meet weekly for a half-hour in-office lesson, arranged by appointment with the professor. Four times during the semester (or as determined by the instructor), students will meet as a group instead of in an individual lesson for that week for seminar-style discussion and presentation.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 471 requires a prerequisite of MTC 470.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 472. Internship in Studio Composition. 3 Credits.

An internship in the music industry intended as a capstone experience. Internships may take place in the fields of music products retail and wholesale, arts management, marketing, promotions, recording, live sound, venue operations, sound design, and/or audio production. Students are encouraged to make contact with potential internship programs well before their internship semester.
Pre / Co requisites: MTC 472 requires the prerequisites of MTC 270, satisfaction of the "composition" requirement of 200-level courses in the major, a resume, minimum 2.5 GPA, and a letter of intent identifying specific details about the internship.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

MTC 479. Music Theory/Composition Seminar. 1-3 Credits.

Special topics seminar designed to meet specific needs of undergraduate music majors.
Repeatable for Credit.

MTC 481. Independent Study. 1 Credit.

Contact department for more information about this course.
Repeatable for Credit.

MTC 483. Independent Study. 3 Credits.

Independent Study.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

MTC 485. Senior Thesis I. 3 Credits.

Private instruction and preparation of music theory senior thesis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 486. Senior Thesis II. 3 Credits.

Private instruction and further preparation of music theory senior thesis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 487. Senior Recital Preparation I. 3 Credits.

Private composition instruction and preparation for senior composition recital.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MTC 488. Senior Recital Preparation II. 3 Credits.

Private composition instruction and further preparation for senior composition recital.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.