Ross Feller joined Kenyon’s faculty in 2011. He teaches classes in music composition, theory and computer music. His compositions have been performed throughout the USA and Europe at major venues and festivals. His awards include the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, ASCAP Young Composer’s Competition and the Gaudeamus Foundation International Composer’s Competition. He is one of the foremost scholars in the world on the music of Brian Ferneyhough and the New Complexity. As a saxophonist he has toured and performed internationally with bands including Doctor Nerve, Cheer-Accident and Faust. He has also performed extensively with choreographer Kora Radella as Double Edge Dance. Recordings of his compositions are available on Tesuji Records, New Dynamic Records and Innova, which was nominated for a Grammy Award.
He previously taught composition at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, was a yearlong Guest Scholar at the Paul Sacher Stiftung, Basel, and currently is the Reviews Editor for the Computer Music Journal, The MIT Press.
Areas of Expertise
Composition, improvisation, contemporary music
Courses Recently Taught
This is an intensive course in the basic materials of music: pitch elements (scales, intervals, chords), time elements (meter, rhythm) and notation. Emphasis is on the development of basic techniques of music-making: sight-singing, ear-training and keyboard work. Suggested for first-year students or those new to the department. No prerequisite. Generally offered every semester.
MUSC 122Y will cover extended chromatic harmony. Emphasis will be on writing skills and visual/aural analyses of musical scores. Also included will be an in-depth study of the parameters of music and how these parameters function within a composition. This course takes a holistic approach to style and compares elements of music with similar principles in the other arts. Student work will include short composition projects. MUSC 102, 105 or 107, which can be taken concurrently with this course, are recommended, however students can take only one of the introductory courses. This counts toward the theory requirement for the major and minor. Prerequisite: MUSC 101 or placement. Offered each fall.
This course introduces students to the principles of computer music. Beginning with a historical overview and introductions to the physics of sound and digital audio, the course will provide students with an understanding of basic acoustics, tuning, synthesis techniques, musique concréte, MIDI, and the composition, processing and recording of digital audio using Macintosh-based software programs. Students will compose, edit and mix original work, as well as remix extant material, and will learn how to discuss, critique and write about issues, techniques and approaches of importance to the field of computer music. This counts as an elective for the major and minor. No prerequisite. Offered every year.
This course provides an intensive study of post-tonal compositional techniques and systems, emphasizing visual and aural analyses of musical scores and recordings, featuring a wide range of musical forms and compositional techniques from the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will engage with this music through detailed study of existing pieces, the application of relevant analytical techniques, and composition. Students will learn how to transform their intuitions about post-tonal composition into organized arguments about it, and develop their analytical writing and presentational skills. This counts as an elective for the major and minor. Prerequisite: MUSC 102, 105 or 107 (may be taken concurrently) and 122Y. Offered every other year.
This course is designed for students who have some familiarity with popular forms of music and computer technology. Students will learn how to write songs in various forms through hands-on activities, analysis and listening assignments, and how to create and utilize powerful lyrics. Software programs such as Logic Pro and GarageBand will be used to assist with songwriting work and production. Students will be encouraged to explore their original ‘voices’ and approaches to the craft of songwriting and novel uses of technology. The ability to sing or play an instrument, although highly recommended, is not required. This counts as an elective for the major and minor. Prerequisite: MUSC 101 or 124, or permission of instructor.
This course offers instruction in the craft of composition. Exploring a variety of approaches and aesthetics, students will be encouraged to employ traditional formal structures, tonal and atonal materials, as well as recent techniques from the 20th and 21st centuries. Students' work will be routinely presented and discussed during class time and presented in a final concert at the end of the semester. Attendance at concerts in metropolitan areas such as Columbus and Cleveland will be required. This course may be repeated for credit one time. This counts as an elective for the major and minor. Prerequisite: MUSC 102, 105 or 107 and 122Y. Offered every year.
This course is designed to be a follow-up to the current introductory course in computer music. Students will continue to develop fluency with the technological tools for composing and producing original, computer-assisted music. Students will learn about algorithmic composition, advanced synthesis and processing techniques, and how to implement them, designing their own patches and applications using current software packages such as Max, ProTools and various open source programs. This counts as an elective for the major and minor. Prerequisite: MUSC 124 or permission of instructor. Offered every other year.\n
This course offers study of improvisational techniques, jazz and jazz fusion from the early 1900s to the present. Application is toward individual style and ensemble performance. Work will include reading of lead sheets, transposition and playing by ear. One or two concerts per semester will be given, with the strong possibility of other performance opportunities and possible inclusion of original works. This is not a yearlong course and registration is required each semester. Permission of instructor required. No prerequisite.
Individual study is available to junior or senior music majors wishing to explore, with a music department faculty member, a topic not normally offered in the curriculum. The student proposes the topic to the faculty member, who then brings the proposal before the department for approval. The department will discuss the feasibility of any proposal. Individual studies supplement the music curriculum and may not be used to satisfy major requirements. Individual studies will earn either 0.25 or 0.50 units. After identifying a faculty member willing to oversee the individual study, the student should work with that professor to develop a short (one-page) proposal that will be shared with the department for approval. The proposal should articulate the nature of the proposed study; present planned readings, assignments and other work; and describe how or what in the proposed study will be assessed at the end of the semester. Meeting schedules may vary, but at a minimum the department expects that students will meet once per week with the faculty member. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval before the established deadline.