Course Descriptions

Undergraduate Courses

SM121 Survey of Sacred Music Literature (3)
Broad survey of Christian music. Through standard repertoire, major historical genres of sacred music are explored from biblical routes in the Old and New Testament to the postmodern expressions of our time.

SM122 The Biblical Message: Worship and Theology (3)
A study of the content, theology and history of the Old and New Testament narratives that the church recounts and celebrates in its liturgical year.

SM158 Introduction to Handbell Leadership Training (1 credit, 2 hours per week)
For students with little or no previous handbell experience. Instruction includes how to initiate a handbell program, basic ringing techniques, positioning of bells and ringers, beginning repertoire, and leadership training.

SM340 Church Field Education (1)
A practical program in which students take responsibility for the music program of an assigned affiliate church. Under supervision, students exercise the skills and concepts learned in the classroom. Enrolled students also meet in a weekly preceptorial. Sacred Music majors must take two consecutive semesters, normally in the junior year. Prerequisites: SM121, 122.

SM354 Hymnody and Psalmody (3)
A study of the origins and development of Christian song. The first part of the course deals with the nature of the Psalms in their Biblical setting and their use in the worship of different traditions. The second part of the course deals with the history of congregational hymnody – texts, tunes, styles and functions – from the 16th century to the present. The course aims to develop an awareness of the textual and musical treasures available for both congregational and choral use.

SM454 German Church Music (3)
A study of church choral literature by German composers from the 16th century to the present focusing on the pre-Bach and post-Bach cantata. Class performances of selected works. Complements SM455.

SM455 Bach Cantatas (3)
A study of the history, performance practices, and liturgical setting of the cantatas of J.S. Bach. Class performances of selected cantatas. Complements SM454.

SM456 The Organ in Worship (3)
A practical study of the role of the organ in worship. Topics covered include anthem accompaniment, hymn playing, the service music of major denominations and solo organ repertoire for liturgical use.

SM507 Jubilation (1 credit, 2 hours per week)
A comprehensive survey of sacred music from African-American worship experiences. The course begins with West African roots and traces the evolution of such genres as spirituals and gospel music.

SM509 Jubilee Singers (1 credit, 2 hours per week)
This auditioned ensemble is devoted to the performance of sacred music from the African-American tradition.

SM511 Sacred Music Lab (0)
Series of classes that addresses a variety of experiences in Sacred Music while rotating principal themes and ideas. Student preparation of monthly worship settings will put studied concepts into practice.

SM517 Concert Handbell Choir II (1 credit, 2 hours per week)
Open by audition to students who have had previous handbell experience. Intermediate to advanced repertoire, with opportunities for concert performance.

SM519 Concert Handbell Choir I (1 credit, 4.5 hours per week)
A choir selected by audition from the most experienced and capable bell ringers among the student body at large. This ensemble utilizes advanced repertoire and techniques, aiming primarily at presenting concerts both on and off campus, including a two-week annual tour.

SM525 Sacred Music Ensemble (1)
A chamber ensemble which serves the worship and conducting needs of the Sacred Music Department.

SM531 Colloquium in Sacred Music (1)
A lecture series/colloquium intended to address a wide variety of concerns in the field of Sacred Music while rotating principal themes and ideas.

SM540 Choir Training for Young Singers (3)
A practicum combined with study designed to teach students how to organize and direct a children’s choir program that emphasizes musical training as a basic requirement. The course focuses on teaching children good vocal techniques and sight-reading skills and includes practice teaching in a local school under instructor supervision. Other areas covered include musical readiness skills, voice-change problems, and repertoire.

SM541 Conducting Church Choirs: Pedagogy and Management (3)
A practical course devoted to the building and maintenance of church music programs serving persons of all ages.

Graduate Courses

SM621 Oratorio Solo Literature (3)
A performance course surveying solo and ensemble portions of oratorios, masses, passions, and cantatas from the early Baroque period to the present, with emphasis on appropriate performance techniques for stylistic integrity.

SM630 Conducting Coaching (1-2)
Structured preparation and faculty coaching of the culminating choral recital in the graduate Sacred Music curriculum.

SM631 Worship Planning for the 21st Century (3)
Designed to facilitate the planning of worship, this practical course will be an immersion in the musical and theological materials available to those who create worship.

SM640 Liturgies (3)
A study of the origins of liturgy, its development in the main Christian traditions, and its relation to ecclesiastical history, with particular attention given to the differing styles and traditions of liturgical music. Contemporary liturgies are viewed against this historical background.

SM641 Hymnology (3)
A study of the origins and development of Christian hymnody, with reference to the theological emphases of various periods from the beginnings to the present, aiming to arouse interest in the textual and musical content of hymns and in their effective use in worship.

SM654 German Church Music (3)
Same as SM454; for graduate students.

SM655 Bach Cantatas (3)
Same as SM455; for graduate students.

SM656 The Organ in Worship (3)
Same as SM456; for graduate students.

SM712 The History of Sacred Music I (3)
Study and research into the history of Western Christian music and its most important genres beginning with the Old Testament and continuing until the death of J.S. Bach in 1750.

SM713 The History of Sacred Music II (3)
Continuation of SM712, beginning with the Classical Viennese Mass and continuing until today. Emphasis on the development of the American church and its worship music.

SM722 Theology, Liturgy and Worship (3)
A detailed study of the Bible. Principal thematic and narrative elements are correlated to the development of the church's historic liturgies and the theological principles behind them.

SM760 Church Music Foundation I (3)
Study, research, and instruction covering the period from Biblical times to 1750, including the music of temple and synagogue; music in the development of the early liturgy and its music; Gregorian chant, organum and early polyphony; Franco-Flemish polyphony; Reformation music and the congregational hymn; polychoral music of Catholic Italy and Spain; the concerted music of Lutheran Germany; the anthem of Anglican England; and the metrical psalm of Reformed Europe.

SM761 Church Music Foundation II (3)
Study, research, and instruction in sacred music of the United States from colonial times to the present, including: Billings and the New England group; the Moravians of Pennsylvania; Black spirituals and their influence; 19th-century romanticism; gospel hymns; and 20th-century eclecticism and experimentation. Prerequisite: SM760

SM762 Church Music Foundation III (3)
Study, research, and instruction in sacred music of Britain from the foundation of the Church of England (1549) to the present, including: anthems, canticles, communion settings and hymns of the Tudor, Stuart, Restoration, and Hanoverian dynasties; the rise of Methodism and its influence on hymnody; romanticism and sentimentality of the Victorian era; the Oxford Movement and its influence on liturgical music; the English Hymnal and its influence; and post-World War II experimentation. Prerequisite: SM760.