Office: A15
Phone: 408.864.8511

Office Hours: Fall & Winter

Monday and Wednesday
  8:50 am - 9:20 am
  11:20 am - 11:50 am
 Tuesday and Thursday
  8:30 am - 9:20 am

Office Hours: Spring

 Monday thru Thursday
  8:50 am-9:20 am
  11:20 am-11:50 am
 (other times by appointment)


Music 1A: Introduction to Music
(Fall, Winter, Spring)
MW at 9:30-11:20 in A11 (MUSID001A01 CRN:01652)
TTh at 9:30-11:20 in A11 (MUSID001A02 CRN:01654)

Music 51: Introduction to Electronic Music
(Fall, Winter, Spring)
MW at 12:30-2:45 in A91 (MUSID051.01 CRN:01712)

Music 8: Intermediate Electronic Music
Spring quarter only)
TTh at 12:30-2:45 in A91

The De Anza College website has admissions/registration information and class schedules.


I am also a photographer

My book, California's Fall Color: A Photographer's Guide to Autumn in the Sierra (Heyday Books, Berkeley) was published in the summer of 2015.

Update 1/17/17: Two of my night photography prints have been accepted into the Nocturnes and Noir exhibit at the Harvey Milk Photo Center in San Francisco. Show runs February 11 through April 2, 2017. Opening reception on February 11 at 5:30-8:00PM.

Update 12/20/16: For the fifth consecutive year my photography has been selected for inclusion in the Yosemite Renaissance exhibit in Yosemite Valley and elsewhere in California. Opening reception in Yosemite Valley on February 24, 2017.

Five of my prints were included in The Great Certainty: Photographs Commemorating 100 Years of National Park Stewardship at the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Valley, August 6 through September 10.

In September 2016 I present book talks at several Bay Area REI stores.

  • Tuesday, September 13: 7:00 PM at the Mountain View REI store, Charleston Plaza, 2450 Charleston Rd.
  • Wednesday September 14: 7:00 PM at the San Francisco REI store, 840 Brannan.
  • Tuesday, September 20: 7:00 PM at the Saratoga REI store, 400 El Paseo de Saratoga, San Jose.

In October I exhibited at San Francisco Artspan 2016 Open Studios with Studio Nocturne SF — a San Francisco Bay Area group of night photographers.

I am not a member the photography faculty, but I can assure you that De Anza College has a wonderful photography program — consider enrolling in our photography classes!

Current News and Information

Spring 2017 REGISTER NOW!

Music 8: INTERMEDIATE Electronic Music is offered only once per year, in the spring term — so sign up now! (It won’t be offered again until at least 2018.) Music 51 is a prerequisite, but contact me if you think you may have sufficient background to succeed in the class.

My spring quarter schedule:

  • Music 1A: Introduction to Music — Monday/Wednesday 9:30-11:20
  • Music 1A: Introduction to Music — Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-11:20
  • Music 51: Introduction to Electronic Music — Monday/Wednesday 12:30-2:45 (FULL)
  • Music 8: Intermediate Electronic Music — Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-2:45

Winter quarter final exam schedule

The week of March 27 through March 31 is final exams week at De Anza College. The schedule changes and we use the official final exam schedule to determine when classes meet this week. Here are the exam session times and days for my winter quarter classes.

  • Monday/Wednesday 9:30am-11:20am Music 1A: Introduction to Music class
    Final exam session: Monday, March 27 at 9:15am – 11:15am
  • Tuesday/Thursday 9:30am-11:20am Music 1A: Introduction to Music class
    Final exam session: Tuesday, March 28 at 9:15am-11:15am
  • Monday/Wednesday 12:30pm-2:45pm Music 51: Intro to Electronic Music class
    Final exam session: Wednesday, March 29 at 11:30am-1:30pm

I also intend to open the A91 lab at 12:30pm on Monday, March 27 for Music 51 students who want a bit more time to put finishing touches on their final projects.

Now We Know

From the Washington Post, an article about the recent discover that a composition attributed to Felix Mendelssohn was actually composed by his sister, composer Fanny Mendelssohn.

Written in 1829, the manuscript of “Easter Sonata” was considered “lost” for more than 140 years, until the original turned up in a French book shop bearing the signature “F Mendelssohn.” The collector who bought it concluded the “F” stood for Felix.

It took yet another four decades and a lot of clever musicological sleuthing, but in 2010 a Duke University graduate student revealed what some had suspected all along: “Easter Sonata” was not written by Felix Mendelssohn, but by his sister, Fanny Mendelssohn, herself a musical prodigy.

On Wednesday, in honor of International Women’s Day, “Easter Sonata” was performed under Fanny Mendelssohn’s name for the first time in a public concert hall, bringing Fanny and her widely recognized masterpiece out of her brother’s shadow after 188 years.

Aukland City Brass Band

Watch this!

What Matters


West African Drumming Workshop


West African Drumming and Dance Workshop

West African Drumming and Dance Workshop

On Sunday, March 12, at 4:30pm in A31, there will be a West African Drumming and Dance Workshop led by Dr. Royal Hartigan of UMass Dartmouth (and formerly San Jose State). Dr. Hartigan is very passionate and knowledgeable about West African drumming and dance and will demonstrate rhythms on various instruments as well as some dance. The workshop is open to any student who would like to participate or just watch.

Music 1A Extra Credit Events

As described in class earlier this week, a list of qualifying De Anza College concerts is available on the Music 1A Extra Credit page. As of this writing there are four concerts, though it is possible that a few more may be added.

The page also includes requirements for the extra credit — please read the page carefully before attending events.

Professor Anita Hill at De Anza

From the Office of Equity, Social Justice, and Multicultural Education:

On behalf of the Office of Equity, Social Justice, and Multicultural Education, we are honored to confirm that Professor Anita Hill will be speaking at De Anza College on Thursday, March 23rd, from 11:00 a.m. -12:15 p.m. in the VPAC.  Her talk will be on “Equity in Post-Obama America” followed by discussion with students.  The event is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of Equity, DASB Heritage Months, and the Visiting Speakers Series; it is co-sponsored by African American Studies, the Black Leadership Collective, and Women’s Studies.

In anticipation of Professor Hill’s visit, the Jean Miller Resource Room (JMRR) of the Office of Equity will be hosting a screening of the HBO film Confirmation, starring Kerry Washington, on Thursday, March 16th, from 6:40-8:45 p.m., in Conference Room B. Please direct any questions about the film screening to Claudia Andrade, Faculty Coordinator for JMRR.  Also, the documentary entitled Anita: Speaking Truth to Power is available for streaming from our library via Kanopy as well as books authored by Professor Hill.

If you have any questions about the Anita Hill program, please feel free to email me off of the Listserv.  The event is free, ADA accessible, and open to the public. All are welcome. Please see attached flyer.  Thank you in advance for your support.

Music 51: Overview of Remaining Weeks



Use your class computer to sign up today!

Week 12 — Final exam session on 3/29

  • Monday, March 27 — NO regular class meeting, but possible open lab at about 12:30.
  • Wednesday, March 29 11:30-1:30: Final exam session. Final project playback. Attendance required. NOTE THE EARLIER-THAN-USUAL START TIME!!!

Maximizing Your Music 1A Grade

Music 1A students who are working to maximize their grade potential can do a number of things to raise their grades during the remaining weeks of the term. In some cases the total effect could be as much as several letter grades, especially for students who may have low test and report grades and be missing a homework assignment.

Details including deadline dates are listed in the class calendar, but here is a description of some options available to you.

Optional Second Concert Report — You may raise your overall concert report grade by completing an optional second report. The lower your grade on the first report the greater the positive effect of completing the optional second report. If you second report grade is higher than your first, you will earn a weighted average of the two grades that gives twice as much weight to the second report. (For example, a student with a F on the first report and an on the second will end up with an overall B- on concert reports.) Students who failed the first concert report or who did not turn one must complete the second report in order to earn a passing grade.

Resubmit one listening assignment — You may resubmit one listening assignment from #1-#7. You will replace the original grade with the grade you earn on the resubmitted assignment. It may be an assignment on which you earned a low grade the first time or even one that you missed.

Retake Test #1 or Test #2 at the final exam session  — You will earn the average of the two grades with more weight given to the retake version of the test. Students with two failing test grades or who missed one of the tests must retake a test at the final exam session in order to pass the class.

Complete extra-credit concert “reviews” — You may attend up to three De Anza College Music Department performances during the final weeks of the term and submit one-page (maximum!) double-spaced informal reviews on each event. If you do all three you are guaranteed to earn a course grade that is one-third of a letter grade higher.

Stay tuned — I’ll have more to say about these options in class.


Graded Concert Reports

Concert reports have been graded and grades will be posted by late morning today, Monday, February 27. A few notes follow:

  • Many of you did fine work on the reports. Congratulations! I make up even excellent reports, so please talk to me if you have any questions about your grade or my comments on your paper.
  • You should always talk to me (or any of your teachers!) if you don’t earn the grade you expected or if you have questions about the assignment. We can usually help you understand and often can help you improve the situation.
  • In a few cases I have returned papers without a grade. Students with ungraded papers should talk to me before leaving class on the day the papers are returned. In some cases the issues are minor and I just need to ask a question or two. In others we may need to discuss some aspects of your paper. In all cases, talking to me is required and is the first step to ensuring that you end up with a successful concert report this quarter.
  • While papers are graded primarily on content in the context of the focus and requirements of the concert report assignment, when writing issues interfere with the clear communication of your observations and ideas this can affect your grade. If this happened to you, I would like to make you an offer: Do the optional second concert report, but bring a draft of all or part of your paper to me at least a week before the deadline and I will help you find and fix problems… and likely earn a significantly higher grade.
  • In a few cases students did not follow the assignment guidelines… and my offer to work with you on the optional second report applies.

The Optional Second Concert Report

No matter how you did on the concert report, you have may submit the optional second concert report and improve the concert report portion of your grade. The final course report grade will be an weighted average of the grades on the two reports that heavily favors the second reportIn other words, it can have a big effect on your grade, even if you got a very low grade on the first report or did not even turn one in. (For students in the latter group, the optional second report is critical, since you must earn a non-failing grade on one concert report.)

I advise students doing the optional second report to avoid traps that might have had a negative effect on your first report — start very early, bring your work to me for review a week before the deadline, carefully follow the report guidelines, and attend a concert right away!

Message to Campus Community From President Murphy

Dear Colleagues,

This weekend, several anti-Semitic posters and stickers were found in the S Quad, two in the L Quad and one near the Campus Center. We ensured they were removed immediately, and that district police began an investigation into who is responsible.

The placement of this hateful material is an attack on the culture and commitment of De Anza to be an inclusive and welcoming community, and an effort to intimidate Jewish and non-Jewish students alike. A message on two of the posters repeated the historic lie that has long been the staple of white supremacists and anti-Semites: the astonishing claim that the Holocaust did not happen.

The Holocaust did happen. The Nazis killed six million Jewish people. The Nazis killed others in marginalized groups. Saying the Holocaust did not happen is not an “alternative fact.” It is a lie, and it is hateful.

Anti-Semitic threats continue to occur across the nation, including at synagogues and Jewish community centers. At the same time, Muslim community centers and mosques have also been the targets of violence and defacement. Hatred does not restrict itself to one group. It seeks to isolate and marginalize; it seeks to divide us.

Our campus has a long history of inclusion and engagement across our multiple identities. But like everywhere else, we are not immune to the currents of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the culture. There have been other incidents, including occasional offensive graffiti, and the roving preacher who at times verbally attacks students. Still, it is true that the campus is a remarkably safe and welcoming place, one where we can take some comfort in knowing that the vast majority of our community stands against hatred.

But incidents like the anti-Semitic postings demand more than condemnation. In addition to ensuring a thorough investigation, we are convening a forum, De Anza Stands Against Anti-Semitism and Other Hatreds, this Thursday, Feb. 23, from 1:30-3 p.m. in Campus Center Conference Rooms A&B.

Last week was the 75th anniversary of the unconstitutional and racist internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Thanks to the leadership of Tom Izu of the California History Center, the annual Day of Remembrance reminded us of the consequences of not standing up to an incursion on civil liberties when it is right in front of us. We need to stand together now, too, to respond to hatred when it assaults anyone among us.

In community,

Brian Murphy