Music Courses

Surround Yourself in Sound

At RIT you won’t just study music, you’ll live it. The courses you take will acknowledge the past, explore the contemporary, and focus on the future. Learn theory and put it into practice and pursue the endless possibilities created by the use and influence of technology.

Courses

FNRT-256
Credits 1
Students will receive private (one-to-one) instrumental or voice lessons and participate in studio performance opportunities. Private lessons are offered to support the RIT ensembles program, therefore only students who are active participants in an approved RIT ensemble will be eligible for lessons.
FNRT-110
Credits 3
An introduction to music as a fine art. Students develop skills in listening, evaluation and analysis through an examination of music's forms, constituent elements, and its cultural, stylistic and historical development.
FNRT-205
Credits 3
This course is designed for the student who has basic musical literacy (ability to read music notation). In addition to the writing of melody, two-part counterpoint and four-part harmony, some attention will be given to the analysis of form and style. Because it is important that theoretical understanding be coordinated with musical application, time will be devoted to the development of musicianship. Consideration will be given to individual skills and abilities, hopefully allowing for the maximum development of each student. (Elementary music reading ability)
FNRT-212
Credits 3
This course explores the composition, arrangement, mixing, and mastering of modern electronic music. Topics include aesthetics of formal song structure and melodic and harmonic construction techniques, synthesis and sound design, using a digital audio workstation (DAW) to program musical elements using audio or MIDI, sound processing using effects such as equalization and compression, and introductory mastering techniques.
FNRT-328
Credits 3
An audio professional working in the gaming industry is required to possess not only musical and audio talent, but also knowledge and experience with typical audio workflow. Composing for Video Games and Interactive Media prepares the student for a career in the industry by covering the many facets of sound production and engineering that are particular to game music and other forms of interactive media.
FNRT-201
Credits 3
This course is a survey of music in the United States from the time of European colonization to the present. Particular emphasis is placed upon the question of what makes music distinctively American.
FNRT-202
Credits 3
A course designed to explore selected music cultures from North America, South America, Africa, India, Asia, East Asia, and Central and Southeastern Europe. The primary goal of the course will be to expand understanding of and perceptions about music both outside and within Western cultural traditions. In addition to class discussions, students will have opportunities for hands-on activities associated with the cultures studied.
FNRT-203
Credits 3
This course examines the history and elements of popular and rock music in the United States from the end of the 19th century to current times. Emphasis will be placed on the music that was written and performed after WWII. Students will be introduced to various styles of this genre as well as an introduction to those musical elements necessary to define a rudimentary analysis of the music. Among the composers and performers to be studied are early Minstrel performers, Louis Armstrong, Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, Blues musicians, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, R and B musicians, country and western, Elvis Presley, Motown, Ray Charles, folk, Jimi Hendrix, disco, punk, metal, grunge, and pop.
FNRT-204
Credits 3
A historical and cultural survey of collaboration between the arts of music and theatre, focusing on a selection of significant creative products that combine music and drama. Possible works studied include those by Shakespeare, Monteverdi, Mozart-Daponte, John Gay, Beethoven-Goethe, Wagner, Puccini, Brecht-Weill, and Bernstein, spanning the genres of Renaissance tragedy and comedy, opera seria, opera buffa, ballad opera, incidental music, romantic drama, Italian opera, music-drama, epic theatre, cabaret, vaudeville, and musical comedy.
FNRT-209
Credits 3
The beginning of the Western tradition of art music can be traced to Medieval Europe ca. 600 CE, as systems of music notation began to develop in and disseminate through important liturgical text sources. This desire to preserve and disseminate certain musical-textual traditions grew and developed steadily throughout Christendom over the next millennium, in both sacred and secular contexts. This course examines this development of music and text during the Medieval and Renaissance periods (ca. 600-1600 CE), with attention drawn to specific aspects of cultural context and performance practices that offer modern musicians and music connoisseurs a solid basis for experiencing the music in live performance, both in active listening (concert/liturgy attendence) and in participating (in-class singing).
FNRT-210
Credits 3
European society experienced many changes during the late 16th through the early 18th centuries, and music's role and development within the context of these changes was varied, and profound. This course explores the creation and performance of music within the context of European cultural, religious, political and artistic ideals from 1580 to 1750, culminating in in-depth discussion of the life and works of J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel.
FNRT-211
Credits 3
Many of the characteristics of art music up to the present day have their beginnings in the late 18th century. This course explores the creation and performance of music within the context of European cultural, political and artistic ideals from 1740 to 1825, with particular attention given to the works of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
FNRT-320
Credits 3
Survey of the rise of romanticism from Beethoven to Strauss in the context of the development of 19th century musical styles in general. Topics of exploration include national trends in 19th century music, the rise of the general public as arbiters of musical taste, philosophical influences, and performance considerations.
FNRT-321
Credits 3
Survey of the cultivated traditions of music in the 20th and 21st centuries, particularly in the U.S., taking into account its political, social, and historical frameworks.
FNRT-322
Credits 3
This course will survey the development of American jazz music, highlighting representative composers and performers and significant works. Particular attention will be drawn to the multi-racial influences on the creation of jazz music and its relationship to American culture as a whole.
FNRT-323
Credits 3
This course is a survey of African American music through an examination of the major forms of music-making and dance developed among African Americans in the United States from the early 17th century to the present. A brief introduction to West African cultural characteristics, especially music and dance, as well as discussions of the African diaspora in the New World, will serve as background for this survey.
FNRT-324
Credits 3
This course is designed to explore the variety of ways music has served as commentary on and/or symbolic representation of social circumstances and events in America and throughout the world, historically and in the present. Students will research, listen to, analyze, and discuss music representing a variety of genres, styles, and cultures, ranging from various forms of European and American folk, popular, and concert music to selected non-western music. Topics will include race, gender, sexuality, economics, class, war, and politics, among others.
FNRT-325
Credits 3
This course will survey the development of the American popular song and its composers and performers, taking into account the political, social, and historical perspectives reflected in this commercial part of our vernacular music tradition.
FNRT-326
Credits 3
The development of music in the Western art tradition had a mutually influential relationship with the changes in construction and manufacturing of musical instruments. Recent research into the various and special sounds of instruments from different historical periods has been pivotal in new approaches to performance over the past quarter century (Historically Informed Performance). This course explores the historical development of musical instruments commonly used in performing Western art music, including various technologies influencing manufacturing techniques and construction, performing techniques, historical audience expectations of musical sound, and comparative performance practices.
FNRT-250
Credits 1
The RIT Singers is an experiential-learning course in which students learn music theory and historical context by learning pieces from the 16th century to the present and performing them at three major concerts a year. Participation in learning and performing such music gives students an experiential appreciation and understanding of the role of music in modern society. In addition, students from the RIT Singers have opportunities to sing in a variety of small vocal ensembles. Auditions will be held to assess proper placement. Contact instructor for more information.
FNRT-251
Credits 1
The RIT Orchestra performs three major concerts a year of standard orchestral repertoire from the 16th century to the present. In addition, students from the RIT Orchestra have the opportunity to play in a variety of chamber music ensembles. Auditions will be held to assess proper placement. Contact instructor for more information.
FNRT-252
Credits 1
The RIT Concert Band is an experiential-learning course in which students learn music theory and historical context by learning several works from the Concert Band literature including standard wind band literature, contemporary compositions, marches, and orchestral transcriptions. The ensemble prepares to perform three major concerts a year and participates in departmental performances. Participation in learning and performing such music gives students an experiential appreciation and understanding of the role of music in modern society. Auditions will be held to assess proper placement. Contact instructor for more information.
FNRT-253
Credits 1
The World Music Ensemble is a hands-on course, in which students learn the fundamentals of music as a sociological phenomenon and a variety of concepts and world views to answer the question, What is music? This is accomplished by introducing students to several music cultures, through learning fundamental instrumental and dance techniques, with African music being central to the study. Ensemble is coached four-to-six-times-a-year by professional musicians and dancers, including Ghanaian Master Drummer Martin Kwaku Obeng, and performs several times each school year, both on campus and in the community. Enrollment is open to all interested students, faculty, and staff, regardless of musical proficiency. Developing cooperation and teamwork is a necessary outcome of participation in this ensemble. Auditions will be held to assess proper placement. Contact instructor for more information.
FNRT-254
Credits 1
Preparing for and performing concerts of jazz repertoire offers students the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of and appreciation for music, and its role in society, through the careful analysis of musical forms and ideas, and the comparison of exemplary works from a variety of times, places and social/cultural necessities. The RIT Jazz Ensemble performs three major concerts a year of standard repertoire from the early 20th century to the present. Students from the RIT Jazz Ensemble also have the opportunity to play in a variety of informal performances both on and off campus. Auditions will be held to assess proper placement. Contact instructor for more information.
FNRT-255
Credits 1
Preparing for and performing concerts of orchestral repertoire offers students the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of and appreciation for music, and its role in society, through the careful analysis of musical forms and ideas, and the comparison of exemplary works from a variety of times, places and social/cultural necessities. The RIT Chamber Orchestra is a select group of advanced players It performs concerts and engages in other activities, in particular the exploration of performing practices and stylistic considerations apropos to 17th, 18th, and 20th century music. In particular, the RIT Chamber Orchestra revives works from the 18th and early 19th centuries that have not been performed in modern times. Participation is by invitation of the music director, or by audition. Contact instructor for more information.
EEET-261
Credits 3
This course provides a fundamental study of the technology and practice used in recording, editing, mixing, production, and distribution of sound. Topics include microphone types, selection and application the mixing console, mixing techniques and introduction to Signal Processing equipment and associated techniques, an introduction to the concepts relating to digital audio technology such as sampling, the Nyquist theorem, alias frequencies, quantization, dynamic range, compression and their applications will be covered. Topics include basics of digital audio, session creation, importing media, recording techniques, editing, mixing, and mastering. In addition, the course teaches how-to-listen sonic difference to appropriately apply the technical knowledge and to achieve highest sound quality.
EEET-361
Credits 3
Sound, voice, music, and effects play a critical role in telephone communication and entertainment systems. Development of integrated multi-channel acoustic information is a complex process. This course provides an intermediate level study of the technology used in recording, editing, mixing, and mastering audio. Students are introduced to core concepts and skills necessary to operate a system running large sessions with up to 48 tracks. Students will develop an appreciation of and the requisite skills to create, organize, mix, filter, process, enhance, and coordinate sound information in digital format. Topics include MIDI, virtual instruments, filtering, processing for sound enhancement, editing and adjusting time bases, mixing and mastering, and audio production. Students will develop critical listening skills as well as technical skills.
IGME-570
Credits 3
Technologies and techniques for producing and manipulating digital audio are explored. Topics include digital representations of sound, digital audio recording and production, MIDI, synthesis techniques, real-time performance issues, and the application of digital audio to multimedia and Web production.
IGME-571
Credits 3
This course provides students with exposure to the design, creation and production of audio in interactive applications and computer games. Students will become familiar with the use of sound libraries, recording sounds in the studio and in the field, generating sound with synthesizers, and effects processing. Students will create sound designs for interactive media, integrating music, dialog, ambient sound, sound effects and interface sounds within interactive programs.
FNRT-485
Credits 3
This course is designed for the student who has a knowledge of basic music theory and an understanding of four-part diatonic composition. In addition to the continuing study of melodic construction and development, thematic development in two-part counterpoint, four-part harmony, chromatic materials and modulation, and analysis of form and style, emphases will be placed on the development of individual music skills.

Wellness Education Music Courses

WMUS-001
Credits 0
This course is designed for beginning guitarists who wish to understand the fundamentals of music and performance through the guitar. Prior instruction is not required. Basic skills such as chord strumming, tablature notation, improvisation, and ensemble playing will be covered. Students are required to have their own instrument. The use of a classical guitar nylon-string is highly recommended for the purposes of this course, but acoustic guitars (steel-string) will be accepted. Upon completing this course, students may continue their studies on the guitar through lessons (FNRT-256). **Fee: A course fee applied via SFS bill. See Course Notes for course fee information.**
WMUS-002
Credits 0
This course is designed for beginning musicians who wish to understand the fundamentals of music and performance through the performance of steel drums. The instructor/band director will instruct students using both western music pedagogy and rote learning techniques that emerge from Caribbean music traditions. In addition to studying instrumental technique and individual band parts, students will learn about the history and development of the instrument from its roots in African drumming, its evolution through found instruments and discarded oil barrels, to its modern form and practice. Prior instruction is not required. **Fee: A course fee applied via SFS bill. See Course Notes for course fee information.**
WMUS-004
Credits 0
Gospel Ensemble is a course for beginning musicians who wish to understand the fundamentals of music and performance through the performance of Gospel music. Students will learn to sing authentic Gospel music within an ensemble setting. Prior instruction is not required**A course fee is applied via SFS bill.
WMUS-005
Credits 0
This course is designed for beginning musicians who wish to understand the fundamentals of music and performance through the performance of American popular music. Students will learn to play and sing within an ensemble setting and learn about modern recording practices and post production practices within a recording room and mixing room. Some previous experience playing or singing is strongly encouraged. **Fee: A course fee applied via SFS bill.