Patrick Muchmore

BM, University of Oklahoma. Composer/performer with performances throughout the United States; founding member of New York’s Anti-Social Music; theory and composition instructor at City College of New York. SLC, 2004–

Undergraduate Courses 2018-2019

Music

Theory II: Basic Tonal Theory and Composition

Component

The materials of this course are prerequisite to any Advanced Theory course.  Survey of Western Music is required for all students taking Theory II who have not had a similar history course.

As a skill-building course in the language of tonal music, this course covers diatonic harmony and voice leading, elementary counterpoint, and simple forms. Students will develop an understanding through part writing, analysis, composition, and aural skills.

Faculty

Advanced Theory: Orchestration and Score Study

Component

Although this course will be important for composers, it is predicated on the conviction that learning more about the capabilities of instruments—both individually and in combination—is invaluable to the appreciation of music for anyone. Of course, a composer needs to learn the timbral palettes of various instruments, as well as how to write idiomatically for them; but performers, theorists, and historians benefit enormously, as well. They learn why some musical choices were necessary but also why some choices are especially clever or even astonishing. The first semester will focus on basic characteristics and some extended techniques of the primary orchestral instruments and will include considerations and examples for orchestral and chamber literature. The second semester will add a few more advanced and/or less-standard instruments, such as the harp, guitar, and synthesizer, but will primarily focus on extensive score study with an eye toward varied approaches to orchestration. Examples will include works from the Baroque era all the way to the present day. All students will compose small excerpts for solo instruments and chamber groups as each instrument is introduced. For composers, the first semester project will be an arrangement of part of an assigned piano piece for full orchestra; the final project will be a relatively brief original composition for a large chamber group or full orchestra. Non-composition students will have the option to either do those projects or substitute relatively brief papers that analyze the orchestration in pieces chosen from a list provided by the instructor.

Faculty

Advanced Theory: 20th-Century Theoretical Approaches: Post-Tonal and Rock Music

Component

Open to students who have successfully completed Theory II: Basic Tonal Theory and Composition.

This course will be an examination of various theoretical approaches to music of the 20th century—including post-tonal, serial, textural, minimalist, and pop/rock music. Our primary text will be Joseph Straus’s Introduction to Post-Tonal Theory, but we will also explore other relevant texts—including scores and recordings of the works themselves. This course will include study of the music of Schoenberg, Webern, Pink Floyd, Ligeti, Bartók, Reich, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Corigliano, and Del Tredici, among others.

Faculty

The Modern Concerto: Evolutions and Styles

Component—Fall

This course will begin with the origins of the concerto form in the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras and will then explore the many -isms of the 20th and 21st centuries as they manifested themselves in that format. The course will function as both a history course—introducing the biographies of many composers, as well as the evolution of the most important stylistic trends of the modern and contemporary eras—and as a music literature course to acquaint the student with seminal concertos and unsung classics of the genre. In addition to the usual common-practice suspects, students will be introduced to the lives and works of Amy Beach, Dmitri Shostakovich, Unsuk Chin, Tan Dun, John Corigliano, Sofia Gubaidulina, Alban Berg, Giya Kancheli, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Philip Glass, and others. The evolution of many styles will be explored, including spectralism, serialism, microtonalism, eclecticism, minimalism, and brutalism.

Faculty

The Modern Symphony: Evolutions and Styles

Component—Spring

This course will begin with the origins of the symphonic form in the Classical and Romantic eras and will then explore the many -isms of the 20th and 21st centuries as they manifested themselves in that format. The course will function as both a history course—introducing the biographies of many composers, as well as the evolution of the most important stylistic trends of the modern and contemporary eras—and as a music literature course to acquaint the student with seminal symphonies and unsung classics of the genre. In addition to the usual common-practice suspects, students will be introduced to the lives and works of Igor Stravinsky, Dmitri Shostakovich, Gloria Coates, Anton Webern, Galina Ustvolskaya, Amy Beach, Per Nørgård, Wolfgang Rihm, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, John Adams, and others. The evolution of many styles will be explored, including spectralism, serialism, microtonalism, eclecticism, minimalism, and brutalism.

Faculty

Previous Courses

Theory II: Basic Tonal Theory and Composition

Component

The materials of this course are prerequisite to any Advanced Theory course. Survey of Western Music is required for all students taking Theory II who have not had a similar history course.

As a skill-building course in the language of tonal music, this course covers diatonic harmony and voice leading, elementary counterpoint, and simple forms. Students will develop an understanding through part writing, analysis, composition, and aural skills.

Faculty

Advanced Theory: Orchestration and Score Study

Component

Although this course will be important for composers, it is predicated on the conviction that learning more about the capabilities of instruments—both individually and in combination—is invaluable to the appreciation of music for anyone. Of course, a composer needs to learn the timbral palettes of various instruments, as well as how to write idiomatically for them; but performers, theorists, and historians benefit enormously, as well. They learn both why some musical choices were necessary, but also why some choices are especially clever or even astonishing. The first semester will focus on basic characteristics and some extended techniques of the primary orchestral instruments and will include considerations and examples for orchestral and chamber literature. The second semester will add a few more advanced and/or less-standard instruments—such as the harp, guitar, and synthesizer—but will primarily focus on extensive score study with an eye toward varied approaches to orchestration. Examples will include works from the Baroque era all the way to the present day. All students will compose small excerpts for solo instruments and chamber groups as each instrument is introduced. For composers, the first-semester project will be an arrangement of part of an assigned piano piece for full orchestra; the final project will be a relatively brief original composition for large chamber group or full orchestra. Non-composition students will have the option to either do those projects or substitute with relatively brief papers, analyzing the orchestration in pieces chosen from a list provided by the instructor.

Faculty

The Modern String Quartet: Evolutions and Styles

Component—Fall

This course will begin with the origins of the string quartet form in the Classical and Romantic eras and will then explore the many “-isms” of the 20th and 21st centuries as they manifested themselves in that format. The course will function as both a history course—introducing the biographies of many composers, as well the evolution of the most important stylistic trends of the modern and contemporary eras—and as a music literature course—acquainting the student with seminal string quartets and unsung classics of the genre. In addition to the usual common-practice suspects, students will be introduced to the lives and works of Béla Bartók, Dmitri Shostakovich, Gloria Coates, Anton Webern, Ruth Crawford-Seeger, Sofia Gubaidulina, Per Nørgård, Ben Johnston, Joan Tower, Philip Glass, and others. The evolution of many styles will be explored, including spectralism, serialism, microtonalism, eclecticism, minimalism, and brutalism.

Faculty

The Modern Symphony: Evolutions and Styles

Component—Spring

This course will begin with the origins of the symphonic form in the Classical and Romantic eras, and will then explore the many “-isms” of the 20th and 21st centuries as they manifested themselves in that format. The course will function as both a history course—introducing the biographies of many composers, as well as the evolution of the most important stylistic trends of the modern and contemporary eras—and as a music literature course—acquainting the student with seminal symphonies and unsung classics of the genre. In addition to the usual common-practice suspects, students will be introduced to the lives and works of Igor Stravinsky, Dmitri Shostakovich, Gloria Coates, Anton Webern, Galina Ustvolskaya, Amy Beach, Per Nørgård, Wolfgang Rihm, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, John Adams and others. The evolution of many styles will be explored, including spectralism, serialism, microtonalism, eclecticism, minimalism, and brutalism.

Faculty