Toscano, Roberto

Roberto Toscano
DMA Student in Composition
Contact Information
Email Address:
Telephone Number(s): 

Bird, David

David Bird
DMA Student in Composition
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Prof. David Sulzer and Computer Music Center Featured in Columbia News!

Columbia University News features an article on Prof. David Sulzer (Depts. of Psychiatry, Neurology and Pharmacology), a neuroscientist at Columbia who has been working with Prof. Brad Garton at Columbia's Computer Music Center on a project to create music from brain waves. The piece is by Adam Piore, and is entitled: Neuroscientist David Sulzer Turns Brain Waves Into Music

Fall 2012 Courses in Music

The attached poster describes many of our featured and new courses in Music for Fall 2012!  Download (Featured Courses or All Courses) as PDFs  or click the thumbnails below for full size images.


2012 Commencement: Congratulations to All Our Grads!

The Department of Music at Columbia University warmly congratulates all of our graduating majors, concentrators, and graduate students and their families on the occasion of the 2012 Columbia University Commencement.

Alumnus Profile: Graduating Music Major Matthew Star Wins Louis Sudler Prize!

Above photo: Matthew Star (CC '12) and Sarah Dooley (BC '11) in the recording studio. Click to enlarge.

Graduating Music Major Matthew Star wins Louis Sudler Prize

The Department of Music congratulates graduating senior and music major Matthew Star, who has been awarded Columbia's prestigious Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts.  The Sudler Prize is awarded annually to a graduating Columbia College senior who, in the opinion of the Faculty, has demonstrated excellence of the highest standards of proficiency in performance or execution or in the field of composition in one of the following general areas of performing and creative arts: music, theatre, painting, sculpture, design, architecture, or film.

Mr. Star was awarded the Sudler Prize for his senior honors thesis, which entailed producing a new album of music by Sarah Dooley's (herself a Barnard College alumna, 2011). This project grew out of conversations Mr. Star had with the Computer Music Center's Terry Pender about what it means to be a 21st century music producer, especially with the advances in recording technology.   Star writes that "after [these] discussions, I read as much as I could about record producing and recording techniques to learn how to use all of the Computer Music Center's recording equipment and microphones. Sarah had always wanted to record an album of her original songs; she's an amazing songwriter but she's always been a solo artist, meaning each song only has vocals and piano parts. In producing her album, I arranged and recorded instrumental parts, and then mixed them all together."  He also worked extensively with Prof. Brad Garton, Director of the Computer Music Center.

Two of the completed songs produced by Mr. Star for Ms. Dooley's album may be heard at Ms. Dooley's website:

Mr. Star is spending the summer in New York City, recording, building up his music library and doing freelance jobs, as well as scoring a web series and a video game, and recording as much music as he can. He plans to continue his career in music and media production.

Mr. Star is also bassist for the band Capital, which features fellow Columbia graduating seniors and Jazz Performance Program students Jesse Chevan and Evan Johnston.

Matthew Star Biography:
Mr. Star got his first taste of music with piano lessons when he was 6 years old.

Columbia DMA Alumni Alex Mincek, Kate Soper, & Huck Hodge Win 2012 Guggenheim Fellowships

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded Fellowships to Columbia Composition (DMA) alumni Kate Soper, Alex Mincek, and Huck Hodge.  Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the 181 successful candidates for 2012 Guggenheim Fellowships were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants.

World Music Ensembles for Fall 2012 -- Bluegrass, Gagaku, Hogaku, Middle Eastern, Klezmer, Latin! (MUSI V1625)

Course Information

Course Title: 
World Music Ensembles (ALL)
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V1625
Varies by ensemble

For Fall 2012, the Department of Music and the Music Performance Program are pleased to offer six "World Music" ensembles, including Bluegrass, Klezmer, Japanese Gagaku/Hogaku (separate ensembles), Middle Eastern, and Latin groups.  All four are offfered as 1 or 2 credit ensembles under the course number MUSI V1625. (Click on each section number to go to the associated Directory of Classes listing.)

NB: For most participants, these ensembles expect a year-long commitment (fall and spring semester registration) and hold auditions for new members ONLY in the Fall.

For more information on these ensembles, contact:
The CU Music Performance Program (Becky Lu, Program Coordinator)
Office Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 12:00 to 5:00PM in 618 Dodge
Email:         Phone: (212) 854-1257

Section 001

Call Number: 64457 Points: 1-2 
Instructor: Jordan Shapiro


Orchestration (MUSI W4526, Fall 2012)

Course Information

Course Title: 
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI W4526

Fall 2012 Music W4526
Section 001 Call Number: 65942 Points: 3
Day/Time: TR 8:40am-9:55am
Location: To be announced
Instructor: TBA

Classical and Romantic music is normally studied with an eye to the vertical and horizontal organization of tones (harmony and counterpoint) and to the organization of form and rhythm (musical analysis), as well as from a historical perspective. Rules of orchestration are also crucial to fully understanding a work of music.

The goal of this course is to study different principles of "functional" orchestration, with examples taken mainly from eighteenth and nineteenth century music (Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Wagner, Mahler, etc.). "Functional orchestration" designates different instrumental techniques for organizing the musical work such as crescendos, contrasts, opposition of themes, climax, melodic movements, counterpoint and voice leading, distinction and fusion, resonance, "wet"/"dry" sounds, doubling and mixtures, complex textures, etc.

Students will also write practical exercises "in the style of" various composers under the instructor's supervision.This seminar is for undergraduate students as well as for graduate students in composition, historical musicology, and music theory. It is given once a year only. The ability to read and write orchestral music is required.

Techniques of Twentieth-Century Music

Course Information

Course Title: 
Techniques of 20th Century Music
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V3310

Fall 2012 Music V3310
Section 001 Call Number: 22386 Points: 3
Time/day, location, instructor TBA shortly
Materials, styles, and techniques of 20th-century music. Topics include scales, chords, sets, atonality, serialism, neoclassicism, and rhythm. Prerequisites: MUSI V3322 or instructor's permission.

This course fulfills the requirement of the 3000-level advanced theory elective, or the non-tonal repertoire course (not both) for the Major.

The prerequisite for this course is V3321x Chromatic Harmony and Counterpoint I.