Chamber music encompasses some of the greatest masterpieces of the Western tradition, yet is portable enough to be played anywhere. The Butler School of Music Chamber Music Department defines chamber music groups as un-conducted ensembles of three of more players, one person per part. The chamber music faculty are committed to the philosophy that small group collaborations, from duo sonatas to larger, un-conducted chamber groups, establish an essential foundation in musical communication and listening skills while providing rewarding music-making opportunities. The chamber music program offers course credit towards undergraduate and graduate degree requirements in piano, strings, brass and woodwinds.

All students registered for chamber music courses must complete certain requirements for credit, including registering for the appropriate class, performing on a master class, participating in an outreach seminar offered by any member of the chamber music faculty, performing in a community outreach situation coordinated through the Outreach Office of Daniel Seriff, and performing on a chamber music recital appropriate to the student's group. At the beginning of each semester, all chamber music information is explained at the Chamber Music Organizational Meeting.

Groups with strings have the opportunity to be coached and taught by the internationally recognized Miró String Quartet. With the Miró Quartet, string chamber music at the Butler School of Music is a dynamic affair. Every student group receives individual coaching with a Miró Quartetmember, as well as multiple master class opportunities with the Miró Quartet and visiting artists. Student performances at the end of the semester are open to the public, and student groups give additional recitals both on and off campus. Repertoire studied covers the entire gamut of the chamber music genre: baroque, classical, romantic, 20th and 21st century pieces, as well as every ensemble configuration from duos to octets, with a special emphasis on the core string quartet literature. The communication, listening and interpretive skills essential to every mature string player are mastered in the study and performance of chamber music. Each fall the Miró Quartet teaches an intensive string quartet class focused on the repertoire of a particular composer. Six quartets are selected annually for this special course, which culminates in a full performance of all six quartets at the end of the semester.

Useful Documents

Forming Groups and Registering for the Course

Students wishing to participate in the chamber music course for Fall 2019 must complete the Qualtrics online form by April 26, 2019, which is the end of the first advising period for continuing or readmitted students, and preferably as a pre-formed group, since these groups will be given priority. Students without a group may submit the form individually, and the chamber music faculty will attempt to form groups with unattached players. Only students needing this particular course for degree requirements should participate, and registration is required. Spots in the course will be filled on a first come, first-served basis, so groups and individuals must submit the completed online form by the end of the advising period for continuing or readmitted students in the prior semester (April for fall participation, and October for spring participation). First semester students may not register for the course.

Although registration is open to music majors, the chamber music faculty reserves the right to require that a student drop the course who is not assigned to a group by the second class day, or sooner if all spots in the course for individuals and groups have been filled. Students wishing to participate in a group without receiving credit must seek special permission to do so from the chamber music area coordinator(s) during the first advising period, reporting all intended groups that they wish to participate in, and should be prepared to be replaced by students who need the course credit.

The Butler School of Music Chamber and Collaborative Music Division defines chamber music groups as un-conducted ensembles of three or more players, one person per part. Due to a lack of three-or-more repertoire for harp and guitar, groups including those instruments may contain only two players. Like-instrument groups such as oboe trios or clarinet quartets are discouraged from registering and may do so only with the consent of the chamber music faculty.

There will be a mandatory meeting of all chamber music students on the second class day, time and location to be determined. Please revisit this page for updates to Chamber Music.