Music History and Literature Faculty

Classical Music History and Literature
Stratis Minakakis
Hermann Hudde

Jazz History
Rick McLaughlin

‡ also College faculty

Certificate Programs

A Certificate of Merit is available in Music History. Check out our Certificates page for more information.


The Art and Soul of Cinema: An Appreciation of Film Music

This course explains the various functions of music in film and clearly describes the roles of producers, directors and all other roles in cinema and shows how they each relate to the composer and the musical score for a given film. The evolution of film music from 1895 to the present is discussed and examined covering many of the representative film scores, film composers and styles and trends along the journey. Functions of film scoring and the operational aspects of the film music industry are also discussed along with interviews of music editors, orchestrators, film music agents, studio musicians, music copyists, music contractors and others within the business. Composers will be further examined using video and audio excerpts, representative scores, biography and a listing of the composer’s recognizable compositional style.  This course is a must for movie goers, composers and film music enthusiasts. This course fulfills the Music History/Literature requirement for Certificate Students.

For more information or to register, please see the Film Music page.


Music of the World

For more information on this course or to enroll, please visit the Contemporary Improvisation page.

The History of Western Music I:
From the 9th through the early 18th Centuries

2 Credits: $1400
Non-credit: $930

The recorded history of music in Christianized Europe begins with the notation of sacred chant in the 9th century.  The development of that repertory over the next several centuries laid the foundations on which the composition of music, sacred and secular, was based for generations to come.  We will trace in this class the course of music's development from its long gestation in the bosom of the Church through its phases of courtly and aristocratic patronage, stopping at the Enlightenment.  The focus of study will center on the changes of musical style that occurred over time, and on the social-cultural circumstances that engendered those changes.  Among the composers to be studied:  Perotin, Machaut, Dufay, Josquin, Palestrina, Monteverdi, Lully, Corelli, Bach, and Handel. There will be a mid-term and final exam, and one written critique of an assigned reading.


The History of Western Music II: From the Enlightenment to Recent Times

Fredericka King, Instructor
Tuesdays 6:00 - 8:00 pm
2 Credits: $1350
Non-credit: $900

Many of the notions we hold today regarding music and its role in society are rooted in ideas that emerged in the Enlightenment of the 18th century. We will begin with a close study of those ideas and the music it fostered, then follow the rise of music to its preeminent role among the arts in the 19th century. Finally, we will explore the alternative paths composers pursued following the rupture with tonality and with conventional views on music at the start of the 20th century. Works from Bach to Babbitt will be included in our survey. There will be a mid-term and final exam, and one short writing assignment--optional for non-credit students.

Jazz History I

To learn more, or to enroll for this course, please visit the Jazz Studies page.

Jazz History II

To learn more, or to enroll for this course, please visit the Jazz Studies page.

Experiencing American Popular Music


Fredericka King, Instructor
Tuesdays 6:30-7:30pm
1 Credit: $700
Non-credit: $465


This course is intended to help you think creatively and critically about popular music. We will study the most significant styles of American music in chronological order, beginning with the roots in the 19th century and continuing through the present day. We will explore several recurring themes throughout the course utilizing recordings, film and video examples of:
•    The interaction of European American, African American, and Latin American traditions
•    The influence of mass media and technology (printing, recording, radio, video, Internet)
•    The role of popular music as a symbol of identity (race, class, gender, generation)
The course will enhance your enjoyment and understanding of the music you already know, as well as introduce you to less familiar styles and genres. You will develop critical listening skills and become more informed consumers of popular music.  This course fulfills the Music History/Literature requirement for Certificate Students. Any specific questions regarding this course should be directed to

Latin American Classical Traditions I

Hermann Hudde, Instructor
1 Credit: $700
Non-credit: $465

The history of Latin American art music stretches back more than 500 years and is extremely rich and varied.  The course portraits chamber music, concertos, operas, ballets, art songs, choral and instrumental music by Latin American composers. This level includes classes on the following topics: Latin American Colonial Music (sacred and secular); the schools of ‘Minas Gerais’ from Brazil and ‘Chacao’ from Venezuela during the end of the Eighteenth century; Nineteenth Century Latin American Music; Latin American Music Indigenism and Africanism as well as Latin American Nationalism. The combined political, social, cultural, historical, economic, and musical aspects of this course will be of particular interest to students seeking the kind of innovative and interdisciplinary learning between music, culture, history, society, politics and economics. The students will hear music by composers including: Gaspar Fernández (1566–1629), José de Cascante (1646 –1702),  Juan de Herrera (ca.1665 -1738), Juan de Araujo (1646–1712), Juan Manuel Olivares (1760-1797) José Ángel Lamas (1775-1814), José Joaquim Emerico Lobo de Mesquita (1746-1805) José Mauricio Nunes Garcia (1767-1830), Manuel Saumell (1818-1870), Antônio Carlos Gomes (1836-1896), Ignacio Cervantes (1847-1905), Teresa Carreño (1856-1917), Felipe Villanueva (1862-1893), Alberto Nepomuceno (1864-1920), Manuel Ponce (1882-1947), Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940), Amadeo Roldán (1900-1939), Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959), Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) and Carlos Chávez (1899-1978).

Latin American Classical Traditions II


Hermann Hudde, Instructor
1 Credit: $700
Non-credit: $465
Spring Semester Only

This level include classes on the following topics: s, Latin American Modernism, Music Panamericanism; Latin American art songs, Latin American Music Syncretisms, Latin American Music after 1950; the Grupo de los Cuatro in Mexico, Grupo de Renovación Musical  in Cuba, Grupo Renovación  in Argentina and Música Nova  and  Música Viva in Brazil; the influence of Latin American music in European and North American composers, Latin American Avant-garde and Post-modern Music,  and one class dedicated exclusively to the Venezuelan social and musical program, “El Sistema,” established 37 years ago by Dr. José Antonio Abreu. In this class, the students will learn more about the music of composers such as Juan Carlos Paz (1901-1972), José Pablo Moncayo (1912-1958), Francisco Mignone (1897 –1986), Camargo Guarnieri (1907-1993), Ernesto Lecuona (1895 –1963), Leo Brouwer (1939), Miguel del Águila (1956), Julián Carrillo (1875-1965) and his Sonido 13, Roberto Sierra (1953), Mario Davidovsky (1934), Paul Desenne (1959), Gabriela Ortiz (1964), Max Lifchitz (1948), Miguel del Águila (1957), Tania León (1943), Aurelio de la Vega (1925), and Mario la Vista (1943). Discover and enjoy how the genres, rhythms, melodies and harmonies have been transformed in Latin America as well as the examination of the origin and development of each nation's musical identity and its connections to cultural studies. For all music lovers!