Music consists of sounds and silences. Diverse composers, songwriters, performers, and improvisers use these basic materials in accordance with their particular musical idioms and traditions. Sometimes music is passed down aurally; sometimes it is written down as a set of instructions for performers or as a record of an ephemeral sonic event. This course is an introduction to contemporary Western musical design and notation. Throughout the semester, we'll improve our musicianship through singing, playing, listening, analyzing, reading, and composing. We'll learn common terminology for sounds and their properties of frequency, duration, volume, and timbre. We'll analyze and employ methods of organizing musical materials into songs and compositions. We'll learn the notational system widely used for European art music, discussing it strengths, weaknesses, and relevance to popular and non-Western musics. By the end of the semester, students will be able to recognize written symbols and vocabulary for pitch, rhythm, volume, speed, form, articulation, and expression; perform simple notated pieces vocally or at the keyboard; transcribe, perform, and/or transpose simple pieces of music by ear; and compose simple pieces in the style of Renaissance counterpoint. Students can achieve success in this course without previous musical knowledge.