Martin Goldray

Marjorie Leff Miller Faculty Scholar in Music. 2010 Recipient of the Lipkin Family Prize for Inspirational Teaching

on leave yearlong

BA, Cornell University. MM, University of Illinois. DMA, Yale University. Fulbright scholar in Paris; pianist and conductor, with special interests in 17th- through 20th-century music. Performed extensively and recorded as pianist, soloist, chamber musician, and conductor; performed with most of the major new music ensembles, such as the New Music Consort and Speculum Musicae; worked with composers such as Babbitt, Carter, and numerous younger composers and premiered new works, including many written for him. Toured internationally as a member of the Philip Glass Ensemble from 1983-1996; conducted the premieres of several Glass operas and appears on many recordings of Glass’s music. Conducted film soundtracks and worked as producer in recording studios. Formerly on the faculty of the Composers Conference at Wellesley College. SLC, 1998–

Previous Courses

First-Year Studies in Music

Open , FYS—Year

This is a full Music Third open to students at any level interested in the study and performance of music. Prior experience with music theory or the ability to read music is not required

In this seminar, we will examine classical music in virtually all of its forms—symphonic music, chamber music, opera, and the enormously varied vocal repertory—throughout the entire history of Western music, starting with its conceptual beginnings in ancient Greece to the music of today. We will examine the role of the performer and the history of performance, as well as categories such as sacred and secular, public and private, popular and esoteric musics. The goals will be twofold: 1) to make the listening experience deeper, more pleasurable and more multifaceted; and 2) to broaden our awareness of the various functions of music in various societies throughout history. We will learn terms for the analysis of music as we progress through the course. In the second semester, the class will join the lecture Bach to Beethoven; the material of that lecture will function as the basis for the syllabus in the spring semester.
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Bach to Beethoven

Open , Lecture—Spring

Prior experience in music theory or the ability to read music is not required.

The period from Bach to Beethoven, just over 100 years, is central to music history and to Western culture. In music historical terms, the period runs from the late Baroque of Bach in the first half of the 18th century, through the classical style of Haydn and Mozart in the late 18th century, and to Beethoven in the early 19th century. Bach is a watershed figure who assimilated much that had been thought and done in music over the previous centuries and raised it all to an unprecedented level of intellectual rigor and musical power. Haydn and Mozart both forged the classical style against the background of the Enlightenment and its ideals of natural expression, wit, and intellectual clarity. Beethoven's music still challenges listeners with its fierce and unpredictable combination of classical principles and subversive tendencies and reflects forces such as of the rise of Romanticism, the rise of the public concert, the newly fashioned role of the independent musician, and developments in technology. The music of these four composers and the genres in which they wrote—including solo sonatas, chamber music, symphonies, and, in Mozart's case, operas—will be the focus of the class; but some of their contemporaries will also be considered, from Handel at the beginning of this period, to Couperin in France, and to Beethoven's younger contemporary, Schubert. A constant focus in the class will be the role of the performer and how ideas about translating the notes on the page into musical performance have changed, yet are central to our understanding of the music.

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Bach to Beethoven

Component
See course description under Lectures and Seminar.
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Theory I: Materials of Music

Component

This course is a prerequisite to the Theory II: Basic Tonal Theory and Composition and Advanced Theory sequence.

This introductory course will meet twice each week (two 90-minute sessions). We will study elements of music such as pitch, rhythm, intensity, and timbre to see how they combine in various musical structures and how these structures communicate. Studies will include notation and ear training, as well as theoretical exercises, rudimentary analyses, and the study of repertoire from various eras of Western music.

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Conducting

Component

Consent of the instructor and completion of Theory II: Basic Tonal Theory and Composition are required.

An introduction to orchestral conducting for qualified students, the fall semester will focus on
baton technique, score reading, and interpretation, as well as on how to prepare a score and how to
lead a rehearsal. The aim will be to give students the tools that they need to have in place before
interacting with live musicians. The spring semester will focus on utilizing those tools with live
musicians. In each class, students will have the opportunity to conduct rehearsals, starting with
duets and increasing in size over the course of the semester. A final project will include rehearsing
and conducting a large chamber piece such as the Spohr Nonet. There may also be opportunities
for students who are ready to conduct the Sarah Lawrence College Orchestra in rehearsal.

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Orchestra Projects

Component

This component will be taught by Mr. Sohn in the fall and Mr. Goldray in the spring. The Sarah Lawrence College Orchestra is open to all students, as well as to members of the College and Westchester communities, by audition. It is required for all instrumentalists taking a Music Third.

In rotation over two years, students will have the opportunity to experience and participate in a broad range of musical styles from the Baroque to symphonic and contemporary repertory, including improvisation and experimental music.

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Theory I: Materials of Music

Component

Beginning music students in Theory I are not required to take an ensemble; ensemble participation is optional. This course is a prerequisite to the Theory II: Basic Tonal Theory and Composition and the Advanced Theory sequence.

This introductory course will meet twice each week (two 90-minute sessions). We will study elements of music such as pitch, rhythm, intensity, and timbre to see how they combine in various musical structures and how those structures communicate. Studies will include notation and ear training, as well as theoretical exercises, rudimentary analyses, and the study of repertoire from various eras of Western music.

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Music and the Metaphysical Impulse

Component—Spring

This is one of the music history component courses required for all Advanced Theory students.

Throughout its history, music has been a vehicle for the expression of metaphysical and spiritual ideas. The Pythagorean discovery in the sixth century BC of the ratios behind musical intervals linked music to the cosmos and the soul and gave music both a mathematical and metaphysical dimension. Music also became a vital component of various liturgies; it was a physical, temporal, impermanent art that also pointed to the eternal and immutable. This course will examine works from the Western classical tradition that embody these ideas. Bach will be central to this class, but we will also study works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Stravinsky, and Messiaen, as well as earlier composers such as Machaut, Dufay, and Palestrina.

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