Semester Courses (including Ensembles) for First-Year Students

History and Literature; Ethnomusicology

Music 51 - Engaging Music

Expands and refines engagement with composed music throughout history, from plainchant and Palestrina to present-day artists from the classical and popular music worlds. Develops skills of close and critical listening. Open to all students; required for music majors; recommended for potential music majors and minors. GE Area 1.

Music 57 - Queer Voices in Music

Through directed reading, listening, and in-depth group discussion, this class examines the lives and works of a wide range of musicians and composers who transcend, evade, or otherwise subvert established norms of gender and sexuality in their given context. More than presenting a series of individual case studies, we seek and forge pathways of understanding across time period and national divide, to articulate ways in which queerness—here broadly defined as the experience of ‘otherness’ in gender or sexual identity relative to societal expectations—inevitably enlivens and drives forward the very cultures and characters that ostensibly serve to suppress it. In mapping European and American music’s queer underground, we delve into provocative topics like operatic castration practices, eroticism in convent music, synthesizers and transgender embodiment, David Bowie’s and Prince’s gender-fluid personae, LGBTQIA+ roots of Disco and House (EDM), and more. Open to all students; no prior knowledge of music theory or notation required. Fall only. GE Area 1 | Analyzing Difference.

Music 65 - Introduction to World Music

Introduction to the diversity of musical traditions, with attention to their place within cultural formations. Focuses on the function and context of performance in geographically representative samples. Examines such issues as gender, religion, politics, and ethnicity through the lens of musical practices. Spring only. GE Area 1.

Music 70 - Ethnomusicology: Theory Method Practice

Examines ethnomusicology (the cultural study of music) as a changing and vital discipline. Focus on the development of ethnomusicological discourse, highlighting its major trends, core ideas, and dilemmas. Topics include attitudes towards cross-cultural musical comparison, the search for universals, insider-outsider epistemologies, definitions of the field and fieldwork, and postcolonial criticism. Letter grade only. Fall only. GE Area 1 | Analyzing Difference.


Music 4 - Materials of Music

Engagement with the fundamental materials of music—harmony, melody, and rhythm—and facility in reading and notation. Open to all students. GE Area 1.

Music 80 - Music Theory I

Two-part counterpoint, four-part writing, lead sheet realization, diatonic harmony, and analysis. Ability to read music and some prior musical training required. Two additional musicianship sessions per week. GE Area 1. Music Theory Placement test.

Music 87 - Jazz/Pop Improvisation: Theory and Practice

A performance-oriented music theory course to develop ear training, improvisation and fluency in contemporary styles of American music such as jazz, rock, and blues. Development of fluency in all keys through the study of scales, chords, arpeggios, chord progressions, melodic development and improvisation rooted in lead sheet notation. Requires vocal or instrumental ability and fluency in musical notation. Fall only. GE Area 1

Performance – Lessons

Music 7 - Group Piano

Introduction to keyboard basics and notation. Intended for beginners. Two sections. PERM required to register. Open to all students. GE Area 6.

Music 8 - Group Guitar

Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of classical guitar technique and repertoire, developing musicianship skills through engagement with notated music and chord charts. No experience is required, but students must have a nylon-string classical guitar and guitar footstool. Priority for private lessons in guitar will be given to students who have taken this course. PERM required to register. Open to all students. GE Area 6.

Registration for individual music lessons takes place online at the LESSON REGISTRATION SITE, not through For the registration link and more information visit the Private Lessons webpage.

Music 10 - Individual Instruction – Level I

Half-hour private music lesson weekly. Open to beginners and advanced students. P/NC only. Cumulative (quarter) credit.  Availability may be limited for some instruments. GE Area 6.

Music 100 - Individual Instruction – Level II

Hour-long private music lesson weekly. Interested student must pass a Qualifying Exam on Friday 12/9. Ask the Music Department Administrative Coordinator (Thatcher 104) or Professor Genevieve Lee (Thatcher 110) for more information. Half credit. GE Area 6.

Performance – Ensembles

All ensembles are half-credit courses and graded P/NP

Music 31 - Pomona College Choir

Large choral ensemble with repertoire drawn mainly from the Western classical tradition from the 16th century to the present, and written specifically for choral ensemble. Two consecutive semesters fulfills GE Area 6.

Meeting Times: T/Th 6:30–8:00 p.m.
Must Students Audition? - Yes; Contact Professor Di Grazia in the fall semester or before classes start in January.
1st class mtg: T  1/16

Music 32 - Pomona College Glee Club

Advanced chamber choir that explores repertoire spanning the 16th century to the present, and written specifically for small choral ensemble. Annual domestic or international tour each May. GE Area 6.

Meeting Times: Spring only (T 11:10 a.m.–12:40 p.m. and Th 4:10-5:40 p.m.)
Must Students Audition? - Yes; normally, students must also be a member of the Pomona College Choir both semesters. Contact Professor Di Grazia for details.
1st class mtg: T 1/16

Music 33 - Pomona College Orchestra

Draws from the full symphonic literature for four different programs each academic year, with repertoire from the 18th through the 21st centuries. GE Area 6.

Meeting Times: T/Th 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Must Students Audition? - Yes; Fall–9/2 and 9/3; sign up in Thatcher lobby (1st floor); Spring–contact Professor Lindholm. Questions contact Professor Lindholm
1st class mtg: T 1/16

Music 35 - Pomona College Band

Concert Band that plays both original works and arrangements, primarily from the 19th through 21st centuries. Includes students, faculty, and staff from all of the Claremont Colleges, as well as members of the local community. GE Area 6.

Meeting Times: M/W 6:30–7:55 p.m.
Must Students Audition? - No; attend first class meeting or contact Professor Beeks to express interest.
1st class mtg: W 1/17

Music 37 - Jazz Ensemble

Plays in a variety of styles, both on and off campus; instrumentation is flexible according to the specialties of qualifies students. GE Area 6.

Meeting Times: T/Th 4:15–5:45 p.m.
Must Students Audition? - Yes; visit the Jazz Ensemble webpage; Questions? Contact Barb Catlin.
1st class mtg: Th 1/18

Music 41 - Balinese Gamelan, Giri Kusuma

Indonesian percussion orchestra of bronze gongs and keyed instruments performing music characterized by rhythmic inventiveness and interlocking melodies; no previous experience required. GE Area 6. Instructor: I Nyoman Wenten

Meeting Times: M 4:15–6:30 p.m.
Must Students Audition? - No; contact Professor Rockwell to express interest.
1st class mtg: M 1/22

Music 42B - Afro-Cuban Ensemble

Introduction to Afro-Cuban drumming with an emphasis on the music of the polytheistic tradition known as Santería; no previous experience required. GE Area 6. Instructor: Joseph Addington.

Meeting Times: Spring only, M 6:30–9:15 p.m.
Must Students Audition? - No; contact Professor Schreffler to express interest.
1st class mtg: M 1/22

Music 42C - West African Ensemble

Introduction to West African percussion, singing, and dance, with an emphasis on Ghanaian Anlo-Ewe techniques and styles; no previous experience required. GE Area 6. Instructor: 

Meeting Times: Fall only, M 6:30–9:15 p.m.
Must Students Audition? - No; contact Nani Agbeli to express interest.
1st class mtg: M 8/28