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MIT Course Catalog 2014-2015

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Music and Theater Arts


The Music Program offers a broad range of opportunities to experience and engage critically with all areas of music. Introductory classes (21M.0XX) assume no previous knowledge of reading or performing music, but all, with the exception of Fundamentals of Music (21M.051), are appropriate for advanced musicians as well. Most non-introductory subjects are arranged into one of three categories: history/culture (21M.2XX), composition/theory (21M.3XX), and performance (21M.4XX). Subjects in music and technology are distributed throughout the curriculum. Additional subjects in special topics/advanced seminars and graduate-credit classes (including music and media) are offered.

Academic credit is given for classroom subjects, advanced solo and small group performance, and for participation in departmental ensembles including the orchestra, choral groups, wind and jazz ensembles, and world music groups such as Senegalese drumming and Balinese Gamelan. Participation in most of these groups is through auditions held at the beginning of each term. UROPs and independent study in music are also available.

The academic program is guided and taught by a permanent staff of professors and lecturers, often supplemented by guest artists and visiting faculty.

Bachelor of Science in Music/Course 21M
[see degree chart]

The undergraduate program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Music degree comprises a grounding in foundational skills in music history and culture, performance, and music theory; a capstone Advanced Seminar; and a coherent program in a musical specialty. Six required subjects (one of which consists of two terms of performance, and two of which satisfy the CI-M requirement) and five restricted electives satisfy these requirements, but should be supplemented by additional electives. The program is analogous to those for music majors at leading liberal arts institutions and prepares a student for graduate study in music. Students should demonstrate proficiency in musical fundamentals and have performance experience before declaring the major and should consult the major advisor in music no later than the first term of their junior year.

Minor in Music

The Minor in Music requires six subjects that will give students experience within the three main branches of music: history/culture, composition/theory, and performance.

Tier I   Introduction
    One to two subjects from 21M.001-21M.099*

Tier II   Breadth: Three subjects, one from each category
    History/Culture: 21M.201-21M.299
    Composition/Theory: 21M.301
    Performance (two terms): 21M.401–21M.499

Tier III   Electives: One to two subjects from the following:
  History/Culture: 21M.201–21M.299
    Composition/Theory: 21M.302–21M.399
  Performance (four terms): 21M.401–21M.499
  Advanced Seminar in Music 21M.500

  *A total of three subjects must come from Tiers I and III combined.


Joint Degree Programs

The undergraduate program leading to the 21E (Humanities and Engineering) or 21S (Humanities and Science) degree with a focus in music, provides an opportunity to study and combine music with a scientific or engineering field. The joint major requires nearly the same foundational and capstone subjects as the full major (five subjects: the additional CI-M in music is not required), six subjects beyond the GIRs in a coherent program in engineering or science (often a subset of a departmental major), and a musical specialty of four subjects. Ideally, some of the subjects in the science or engineering program as well as the musical specialty should complement the forms of learning in the other, adding cohesion to the program. Students should demonstrate proficiency in musical fundamentals and have performance experience before declaring the major and should consult the major advisor in music no later than the first term of their junior year.

Subjects in music are described in the online MIT Subject Listing & Schedule, Further information on subjects and programs may be obtained from the Music Section Office, Room 4-246, 617-253-3210.

Theater Arts

The Program in Theater Arts offers the opportunity for an imaginative and rigorous engagement with the arts and disciplines of theater: acting, directing, playwriting, design, production, and scholarship. The program combines work in the classroom, in the studio, and on the stage. Performance is the testing ground for what is learned in the classroom and the experiences, from student-generated workshops to fully-mounted productions by Theater Arts, Dramashop, and Playwrights-in-Performance. These activities are guided by a professional faculty and staff, often with the enriching participation of guest artists. A degree is offered under Course 21; see the Department of Humanities section for details.

Minor in Theater Arts

The Minor in Theater Arts is designed to give students the opportunity to experiment in the making of theater. The flexibility of the minor allows students either to explore the basic principles of several theater disciplines or to concentrate more deeply on one.

The Minor in Theater Arts consists of the equivalent of six subjects arranged in three levels of study as follows:

Tier I   Theoretical Studies
One subject from the following:
21M.611   Foundations of Theater Practice
21M.703J   Media and Methods: Performing
21M.710   Script Analysis
21M.711   Production Seminar
21M.846   Topics in Performance Studies

Tier II   Practical Studies
Four subjects from the following:
21M.600 Introduction to Acting
21M.603   Introduction to Design for the Theater
21M.604   Playwriting I
21M.605   Voice and Speech for the Actor
21M.606   Introduction to Stagecraft
21M.624   Acting with the Camera
21M.645   Motion Theater
21M.704   Musical Theater Workshop
21M.705   The Actor and the Text
21M.715 Topics in Theater Arts
21M.732   Costume Design for the Theater
21M.733   Scenic Design
21M.734   Lighting Design for the Theater
21M.735   Technical Design for Performance
21M.785J   Playwrights' Workshop
21M.790   Directing
21M.830   Acting: Techniques and Style
21M.840   Performance Media
21M.863   Advanced Topics in Theater Arts

Tier III   Performance and Design
Twelve units from the following subjects:
21M.805   Performance and Design Practicum
21M.815   Production Practicum
21M.851 Independent Study in Production and Performance


Subjects in theater arts are described in the online MIT Subject Listing & Schedule, For further information on subjects and programs, contact the Music and Theater Arts Office, Room 4-246, 617-253-3210.

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Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Teaching Staff

Peter Child, PhD
Class of 1949 Professor of Music
Section Head


Alan Brody, PhD
Professor of Theater Arts

John Harbison, MFA
Professor of Music
Institute Professor

Jay Scheib, MFA
Professor of Theater Arts

Janet Sonenberg, MFA
Professor of Theater Arts
(On leave, spring)

Marcus Aurelius Thompson, DMA
Robert R. Taylor Professor of Music

Evan Ziporyn
Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music

Associate Professors

Michael Scott Cuthbert, PhD
Associate Professor of Music

Keeril Makan, PhD
Associate Professor of Music

Patricia J. Tang, PhD
Associate Professor of Music

Assistant Professors

Charlotte Brathwaite, MFA
Assistant Professor of Theater Arts

Emily Richmond Pollock, PhD
Class of 1949 Career Development Assistant Professor of Music
(On leave, spring)

Senior Lecturers

David Deveau, MM
Senior Lecturer in Music
(On leave, fall)

Anna Kohler
Senior Lecturer in Theater Arts

Martin Marks, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Music

Charles Shadle, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Music
(On leave, fall)

Pamela Sharon Wood, MM
Senior Lecturer in Music
(On leave, fall)


Adam Boyles, DMA
Lecturer in Music
Director, Orchestra

Sara Brown, MFA
Lecturer in Theater Arts
Director of Design

William C. Cutter, DMA
Lecturer in Music
Director, Choral Programs

Frederick Harris, PhD
Lecturer in Music
Director, Wind Ensembles

Mark Harvey, PhD
Lecturer in Music

Kim Mancuso, MFA
Lecturer in Theater Arts

Teresa Neff, PhD
Lecturer in Music

Jean Rife, BM
Lecturer in Music

Elena L. Ruehr, PhD
Lecturer in Music

Peter Whincop, MA
Lecturer in Music


Bozkurt Karasu
Technical Instructor in Theater Arts

Faculty Emeriti

Jeanne Shapiro Bamberger, MA
Professor of Music, Emerita

Stephen Erdely
Professor of Music, Emeritus

Ellen T. Harris, PhD
Professor of Music, Emerita

Lowell Edwin Lindgren, PhD
Professor of Music, Emeritus

Michael Ouellette, MFA
Senior Lecturer in Theater Arts, Emeritus

Barry Lloyd Vercoe, DMA
Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, Emeritus


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