Western Region

Grant Beglarian



The Western Regional Institute is composed of the largest number of schools of any of the Institutes, twelve in all. Five of them are active, seven associate.

Of the active members, all except Arizona State University (where Ronald LoPresti is the Program Head) are in California. Of the other four, three are members of the California State College systemCSC/Hayward (Fred Fox, Program Head), CSC/San Diego (David Ward-Steinman, Program Head), and CSC/San Jose (Wilson Coker, Program Head). The fifth active school is the University of Southern California, where the School of Music serves as administrative center for the Institute as a whole.

The associate members have varied considerably in the degree to which they have found it possible to coordinate their theory programs with the Institute as a whole. Immaculate Heart College and Occidental College (represented by Sister Mary Mark, and Robert Gross, respectively) are engaged in a Literature and Materials type approach. Immaculate Heart has developed special syllabi and brought together musical literature not hitherto available for their students. The others have, in some cases, been working on new programs without IMCE funding or influence, in other cases have participated chiefly as observers. Their role in the Institute in 1967-68 will be some greater than it was during 1966-67.


Region, Director and Administrative Center   Institutions and Program Heads
        Arizona State University, Ronald LoPresti
WESTERN REGION     California State College at Hayward, Frederick Fox
  Ellis Kohs     California State College at San Diego, David Ward-Steinman
  University of Southern California     California State College at San Jose, Wilson Coker; Gibson Walters
        University of Southern California, Ellis Kohs

ELLIS KOHSProgram Head

Major objectives of the 1966-67 IMCE program at USC were as follows:

Preparation and distribution of the first and second (of four) volumes of Projects in Musicianship, a theory text and workbook by Dr. Anthony Vazzana.

Preparation of eight (of sixteen) half-hour, videotaped classroom sessions as a demonstration of our collegium approach to the teaching of music theory. As an example of what is involved in this approach, the following are topics covered in the first four videotaped classes.

A. Melody

  1. Performance by class of an example of Gregorian Chant and by individual students of a Haydn rondo theme (piano) and an excerpt from Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra (oboe solo). Discussion of general principles of melodic construction (phrase, cadence, contour, climax, mode, etc.).
  2. Realization of student exercises in melody writing at the blackboard and performance by class. (Given a rhythm, supply the notes, etc.).

B. Combining Melodies

  1. Discussion of Victoria's "Christe," from the Missa Quarti Toni. Dissonance treatment, linear independence, relationship of bass line to upper parts, etc. Performance by class.
  2. Performance and discussion by students of their own compositions using the Victoria bass line as a cantus firmus in simplified 16th century style for various instrumental media available in class.

C. Keyboard Harmony, Figured Bass Realization

  1. Rosseter: Ayre, When Laura Smiles, Discussion of figured bass rules. Realization of accompaniment to voice line (solo recorder and piano) by several students. Also realization by guitar.
  2. Scheidt's "Quia fecit," from Magnificat XIII. Realization of simpler figured bass by less advanced students as an accompaniment to class singing with student conductors. Discussion of canon and imitation.

D. Chorale Harmonization

  1. Class discussion of historical function of chorale. Given the treble and bass of Chorale #22 (Schmücke dich o liebe Seele), realization by students of inner parts on the blackboard.
  2. Class performance of class realization and Bach's own. Comparison of the two.

The theory classes at the University of Southern California are taught in three sectionsthe division based primarily on keyboard facility. The class chosen for the project was a pianistically advanced group. Four of the fifteen students in the class are working on B.A. degrees, three in Music History and one in English. The others, who are working toward a B.M. degree, are in Music Education (3), Piano (2), Composition (3), Theory (2), and Harp (1).

The range of musical background of the students is enormousone has very tenuous experience in popular music, another is a concert pianist who made thirteen appearances as soloist or recitalist during his first (freshman) semester. All but one are entering freshmen.

Our attempt at maintaining classroom informality and spontaneity was at best only partially successful. In addition, the television-film medium proved to be rather more limited than anticipated. Thus, much of the enormous potential of the collegium approach was, we feel, inadequately demonstrated. The possible variations on this idea available to the individual theory teacher could not be made explicit.


Despite the cancellation of the television program, our fundamental purpose has not been altered. We have begun work on a new project with the same idea, namely, of demonstrating our collegium approach, but in a different format, a book-and-record combination.

The book will consist of eight projects oriented, as were the television shows, around specific musical works and demonstrating the applicability of each to the topical and functional areas of an integrated course in musicianship. Each item will be approached from the standpoint of general theory plus class and/or individual sight-singing, keyboard harmony, written exercises, and ear-training. In addition, the progression from one project to the next will follow an historical succession from Gregorian Chant through Webern's Cantata No. 2, and perhaps beyond. The text will attempt to document the use of the various pieces in the classroom and suggest additional or alternative applications. It will include examples of student exercises, transcribed class discussion and analyses as presented to the class.

The recordings will include taped class discussions, student performances of presented works, student compositions, keyboard exercises, etc., pertinent to and coordinated with the projects in the text.

It is hoped that this work will be much more than a dry formulation or demonstration of a teaching technique. Ideally it will serve as a stimulus to the imaginations of all who teach the art of music in any aspect.



A. Selection of Students

Twenty-four entering students (12 male, 12 female) were selected during the summer and fall of 1966 by means of standardized music theory aptitude tests. Four students were chosen from the high percentiles (90 and above), sixteen from the medium percentiles (50-90), two from the 40-50th percentiles, and two who ordinarily would be placed in a remedial theory course. They were chosen from a large body of volunteers. All are music majors though their degree programs and their performance media are varied. The final selection of participants contained a cross section of instruments. The equal distribution of male and female was toward the establishment of a balanced mixed chorus for study and performance of choral music of all periods.

(Of the original twenty-four students, four left the University during the first semester.)

B. Credit Hours and Distribution of Credit

The course meets two hours daily, five days a week and carries 6 hours credit per semester. Students completing the two-year program will receive 24 hours credit as follows:

  Four semesters of Integrated Theory 12 hrs.
* Composition 4  
* Form and Analysis 2  
* Orchestration (or Choral Arranging) 2  
  First Year Conducting (Soph.) 1  
* Second Year Conducting (Junior) 2  
  Basic Piano 1  
    24 hrs.
* Upper Division Courses    

In the piano area it has not been possible to cover any "literature" with the non-pianists of the class. They have done the usual scales, chords, etc., but their working knowledge of the piano is scant. I have encouraged them to study class piano. Should this course be adopted at this University I am of the opinion that no credit should be given toward fulfillment of basic piano proficiency.

16th Century Counterpoint has been carefully studied. The student has demonstrated his knowledge and understanding of the material through composition, performance, conducting, and analysis. While not all members of the class have an adequate grasp of this material, several have an understanding equal to or better than some of our third year students. I feel that at least some of the students in the experimental program should not be subjected to a full semester review of counterpoint. They should have the opportunity to be exempted from that course.

C. The Philosophy of the Approach

A written assignment in musical composition presupposes first of all that the student has digested a certain amount of musical material. His knowledge comes from visual study (analysis) and from the aural experience of performance. He is expected to take these materials and put them to work within definite bounds.

Once the experience of composition is well under way, he deals with the problems of application. The orchestration of his example, in addition to requiring a knowledge of the instruments, presents the mechanical problems of calligraphy and transposition. In addition to the theoretical knowledge before composition, the actual composition itself, the orchestration and calligraphy, he is expected to perform, conduct, and justify (through analysis) his work.

Each of these demands requires a tangible application of the student's knowledge, which in turn requires an understanding of the basic material of music.

D. An Informal Evaluation by the Instructor

The students have done well to learn the amount of material that they've studied. The most rapid strides have been made by those who have decided that they wish to make a career of music. The ones who "enjoy" music or are not career minded have not been able to commit themselves to the intense study that this program demands. A few are still too young to properly discipline their study time.

I feel that any tests we devise may be somewhat helpful in determining the relative success of the experimental approach. Perhaps periodic evaluation of the student's performance during his Junior and Senior years, and his growth "on the job" will offer a more accurate analysis.

FRED FOXProgram Head

At this institution a three-quarter sequence in music fundamentals has been implemented as follows:

A. First quarter

  1. Theoretical considerations include: basic acoustics, notation, scalar theory (major, minor, modal), elementary dodecaphonic theory, form (motivic), and tertian diatonic harmony (triadic).
  2. Skills include intervallic and simple rhythmic solfeggio and dictation.
  3. Creative assignments include rhythmic compositions, and vocal melodies developed motivically, major, minor, modal, and dodecaphonic.

B. Second quarter

  1. Theory: form (harmonic relationships), tonal progressions, diatonic modulation, introduction of secondary seventh chords.
  2. Two part counterpoint, tonal and dodecaphonic, species 1-5.
  3. Skills: solfeggio and dictation with monaural melodies, introduction of two part material, start of two part rhythmic patterns (imitation).
  4. Creative assignments: harmonically controlled and dodecaphonic melodies, vocal and instrumental; two part vocal compositions; development of integrated forms.

C. Third quarter

  1. Theory: chromatic harmony, modal substitution, secondary dominants, chromatic modulations, augmented sixths, ninths, etc., enharmonic modulations.
  2. Free two part counterpoint, three part species (tonal and dodecaphonic).
  3. Solfeggio and dictation: further complicated monaural work and continuation of two part (tonal and dodecaphonic); introduction of three part material; one and two part rhythmic patterns continued; three part patterns started using relatively different pitched percussion instruments.
  4. Creative assignments: two part free compositions for any available instrumentation; three part vocal composition; a free composition for any number of voices or instruments.


As previously proposed and approved, the CMP Program Head for San Diego State [David Ward-Steinman] was to serve as Composer-Consultant for the Elementary-Jr. High In-Service Program directed by Mary Val Marsh and Dr. Edith Savage during 1966-67, and to prepare an outline and syllabus for the two-year Comprehensive Musicianship program beginning 1967-68.

At this stage of planning, a broad outline has been developed and principal topics of study selected.

Comprehensive Musicianship course, to be offered fall, 1967.

1. First year: monophony, homophony. Topics to be covered include the cadence; the harmonized melody as upper voice, cantus firmus, and ground bass; articulation of form: contrast and repetition; the ostinato.

2. Second year: polyphony, heterophony. Topics include imitation: motivic and melodic (canon, fugue), rhythmic (iso-rhythmic motets, dance forms), and harmonic (chaconne, blues); articulation of form: variation, through-composed; improvisation; permutation.

3. Art/Music analogs as teaching aids:

a. historical correlates (stylistic)
b. textural correlates
c. formal-principle correlates
d. literal correlates (works in one medium based directly on another, e.g., Schuller 7 Studies on Themes of Paul Klee)

4. Topics chosen for universality and crossing of stylistic borders. Where possible, subjects will be traced in non-western music as well. Class will meet 4 days per week, 2 hours a day, for four semesters. No formal text. Scores, recordings, and slides to form primary material. Usual drillssight-singing, keyboard, dictationplus performance to be based directly on scores studied.

An Elementary-Junior High In-Service Program, coordinated by Mary Val Marsh, taught by Miss Marsh and Edith Savage, with David Ward-Steinman as composer-consultant. Two semesters, 18 area teachers and supervisors. The purposes of the program are:

1. To provide for continuing study of ways to upgrade music education in the elementary and junior high curriculums, with particular emphasis on the incorporation of contemporary music.

2. To search out contemporary works which are particularly appropriate for use at these levels, and to develop techniques and approaches for presenting these to children of various ages.

3. To try out above mentioned materials and approaches, with emphasis on children's exploratory and creative experiences.

4. To relate contemporary music to the mainstream of music history.

5. To prepare for publication a framework or guide for incorporating contemporary music at all elementary and junior high levels. This would, in a sense, be a supplement to Experiments in Musical Creativity, but would utilize different materials, and represent all grade levels.


The IMCE activities at California State College at San Jose are grouped into three areas of work, which are proceeding simultaneously. These are the course in Modern Harmony for 15 area school teachers, the lower division Musicianship course, and taping for television of the main parts of the other activities. In conjunction with the Modern Harmony activity a series of summer workshops and courses on jazz performance, history, and composition are being offered.

Graduate level program in Uses of Modern Harmony and the in-school work of San Jose area teachers and their students. Objectives include:

  1. To determine the extent to which twentieth century music can be used effectively in giving fundamental musical training.
  2. To find what background enables public school teachers to utilize modern music appropriately, so that (a) it is related to the great tradition of other times and (b) it is judiciously integrated into the larger musical curriculum.
  3. To give project teachers the training needed to realize goals given here.
  4. To prepare outlines for units of instruction in modern music to be used at elementary and secondary levels.
  5. To locate and to create new music and teaching materials needed to employ a variety of modern music in musicianship training.
  6. To seek out criteria for evaluation of this activity.
  7. To recognize and use unexpected results in evaluating and revising our goals and activities.

Undergraduate level program in college musicianship classes. Objectives include:

  1. Greater correlation with theory, music literature and creative writing.
  2. Parallel four semesters of sight-singing with music history.
  3. Study tape laboratories for use in dictation.