Master of Sacred Music


MSM 5201: Research Methodology and Bibliography

The Bibliography course is usually taken during the first year of study and is taught by the music librarian. It introduces students to the resources necessary to do research in music courses.

MSM 5300: Sacred Music Seminar I

Masses, Passions and Requiems. An historical survey of Western sacred vocal repertoire, from Gregorian chant to the development of polyphony in Masses, Passions and Requiems by composers such as Leonin and Perotin, Shutz, Bach and Mozart.

MSM 5302: Children's Choirs

Techniques for working with children singing in choirs. Including a survey of children's liturgical music literature. Home-schooled students may often be used as a resource.

MSM 5303: Chant

A study and practice of chant. An historical survey of Gregorian chant and its place in the liturgy. Latin chant and chant in other languages.

MSM 5305: Theory Seminar

This is a synthesis course in which students will need to apply Music Theory Knowledge to analyze, criticize, compose and arrange music works.

MSM 5307: Sacred Music Seminar II

An examination of the beginnings of Church hymnody, the Western sacred vocal repertoire of French and Italian composers of the Romantic period, and British and American 20th and 21st century sacred music, including the African-American spiritual and Gospel repertoire.

MSM 5311: Diction

A study of English, Latin, French, German, Italian and Spanish pronunciation. Presenting texts through music that are comprehensible for the worshiper.

MSM 5312: Conducting

The director's role in presenting liturgical choral music, including rehearsal techniques, diction, balance, phrasing, interpretation and working with instruments.

MSM 5313: Anatomy and Function of the Singing Voice

Techniques for singing as a soloist/cantor and the role of the voice in a choral setting. The student should have at least two semesters of previous collegiate-level private studio voice study for success in this course. A pianist/organist should have two semesters of voice lessons as a prerequisite and is required to accompany a student singer during several voice lessons. Students will be required to teach a short sequence of lessons to a non-major student, and demonstrate teaching for the class.

MSM 5320: Liturgy I

The Roman calendar, liturgical year, 3-year cycle of readings, the role of music in liturgy, liturgy of the mass.

MSM 5321: Liturgy II

Other forms of liturgy including liturgy of the hours, weddings, funerals and ordinations, role of cantors, chant, singing of psalms, hymnody, and documents of the Church.

MSM 5330: Practicum

1) MSM students will be invited to two or three larger Houston-area parishes with thriving amateur choral programs for adults and children to observe rehearsals and liturgies directed by professional church musicians. 2) MSM students will be mentored by musicians who have worked in the field and better understand how clergy and church musicians collaborate to prepare meaningful and thoughtful music appropriate for the liturgical year. They will accomplish this by attending worship committee and/or liturgy planning meetings; by learning fundamentals of administration, including planning, finances and budgeting; by developing procedures for forming a choir and engaging the congregation in the musical life of the church. 3) MSM students will write a paper on a topic related to observations made. 4) The MSM student will be required to plan and conduct or accompany a mass with appropriate liturgical music in the Chapel of St. Basil on the UST campus, with the permission of the clergy of the Chapel. 5) It is strongly suggested that the student sing with the RC Diocesan Choir as well as being more fully connected to the larger diocesan community. In the Houston area there often are opportunities also to sing larger oratorio and mass settings with an orchestra.

MSM 5392: Independent Study

Student research on a selected problem in the field pursued under the guidance of an assigned member of the faculty.

MSM 6293: Special Topics

Graduate level treatment of selected topics of mutual interest to the faculty member and students.

MSM 6393: Special Topics

Graduate level treatment of selected topics of mutual interest to the faculty member and students.