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Degrees in Music Theory & Composition


Music Theory & Composition Undergraduate Degree Options

Students new to KU in Fall 2013 (and all semesters thereafter) must follow the degree requirement check sheets posted here, which include the KU Core. Students who were admitted to their current degree at KU prior to Fall 2013, please continue to follow the requirements in place when you began. In some instances, students who began prior to Fall 2013 can elect to change to the new degree requirements that include the KU Core. Please contact Rita Riley in the School of Music Student Services Office, Room 450 Murphy Hall, if you have any questions.


Music Theory & Composition Professional Sequence

Students wishing to pursue the Bachelor of Music in Composition, the Bachelor of Music in Theory, or the Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory degrees must apply for admission to the professional sequence, which includes an application form, recommendation from a member of the theory faculty (for a theory degree) or the composition faculty (for a composition degree), recommendation from an applied teacher, and a portfolio of original writings (for a theory degree) or compositions (for a composition degree). The entire theory and composition faculty will review the application materials.


Music Theory & Composition Graduate Degree Options


The MTHC Course Descriptions catalog below contains a complete listing of the courses offered by KU School of Music. Please visit the KU Schedule of Classes for a listing of the courses currently offered by School of Music.

MTHC Course Descriptions

MTHC 105 Theory I
The first semester of an integrated two-year theory sequence that examines the harmonic, melodic, rhythmic, and formal organization of music while developing critical listening and keyboard skills. Prerequisite: Music major or consent of instructor. LEC.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Berghout, Elizabeth
MTWRF 08:00-08:50 AM MUR 440 - LAWRENCE
4 25062
LEC Gage, Christopher
MTWRF 08:00-08:50 AM MUR 123 - LAWRENCE
4 25063
LEC Wilcken, Geoffrey
MTWRF 08:00-08:50 AM MUR 574 - LAWRENCE
4 25064
LEC Stolzel, Ingrid
MTWRF 08:00-08:50 AM MUR 442 - LAWRENCE
4 25065
LEC Osborn, Bradley
MTWRF 08:00-08:50 AM MUR 402 - LAWRENCE
4 25066
MTHC 115 Theory II
The second semester of an integrated two-year theory sequence that examines the harmonic, rhythmic, and formal organization of music while developing critical listening and keyboard skills. Prerequisite: MTHC 105. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 150 Introduction to Music Theory: Reading, Listening, Composing
An introductory course for non-music majors, emphasizing western art and vernacular styles of music. Students will participate in and interact with various parameters of music through the acquisition of basic musical skills. For freshmen and sophomores. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 205 Theory III
The third semester of an integrated two-year theory sequence that examines the harmonic, melodic, rhythmic, and formal organization of music while developing critical listening and keyboard skills. Prerequisite: MTHC 115. LEC.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Gage, Christopher
MTWF 09:00-09:50 AM MUR 440 - LAWRENCE
4 12935
LBN Gage, Christopher
R 09:00-09:50 AM MUR 111 - LAWRENCE
4 12936
LBN Gage, Christopher
R 11:00-11:50 AM MUR 111 - LAWRENCE
4 12937
LEC Wilcken, Geoffrey
MTRF 09:00-09:50 AM MUR 402 - LAWRENCE
4 12941
LBN Wilcken, Geoffrey
W 09:00-09:50 AM MUR 111 - LAWRENCE
4 12942
LBN Wilcken, Geoffrey
W 11:00-11:50 AM MUR 111 - LAWRENCE
4 12943
LEC Murphy, Scott
MWRF 09:00-09:50 AM MUR 442 - LAWRENCE
4 12938
LBN Murphy, Scott
T 09:00-09:50 AM MUR 111 - LAWRENCE
4 12939
LBN Murphy, Scott
T 11:00-11:50 AM MUR 111 - LAWRENCE
4 12940
MTHC 253 Composition
For music theory and composition majors. Creative writing using basic concepts in harmony, melody, and form. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: MTHC 115. IND.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
IND Stolzel, Ingrid
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
2 12945
IND Gailey, Daniel
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
2 12944
IND Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
2 12946
IND Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
2 12947
MTHC 315 Theory IV
The fourth semester of an integrated two-year theory sequence that examines the harmonic, melodic, rhythmic, and formal organization of music while developing critical listening and keyboard skills. Prerequisite: MTHC 205. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 316 Tonal Form and Post-Tonal Techniques
A study of musical forms from the common practice period through the present day and analytical techniques for post-tonal music. The class is designed for music education and music therapy majors. Prerequisite: MTHC 205, music education, or music therapy major. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 350 Introduction to Music Theory: Reading, Listening, Composing
An introductory course for non-music majors, emphasizing western art and vernacular styles of music. Students will participate in and interact with various parameters of music through the acquisition of basic musical skills. For juniors and seniors. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 355 Readings in Music Theory: _____
Investigation of a subject by means of directed readings using primary scholarly sources. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. LEC.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12948
LEC Murphy, Scott
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12951
LEC Osborn, Bradley
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12950
LEC Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 15710
LEC Street, David
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12949
MTHC 400 Graduate Review: Written Theory
A review of basic harmonic and voice-leading principles relevant to the common-practice period. For graduate students deficient in undergraduate harmonic theory. LEC.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Webber, Miriam
MW 06:00-06:50 PM MUR 402 - LAWRENCE
1 23586
MTHC 402 Graduate Review: Aural Skills
A review of aural and sight-reading skills relevant to the common-practice period. For graduate students deficient in undergraduate aural theory. LEC.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Webber, Miriam
MW 06:00-06:50 PM MUR 402 - LAWRENCE
1 23587
MTHC 404 Graduate Review: Form
A review of basic forms relevant to the common-practice period. For graduate students deficient in undergraduate form. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 406 Graduate Review: Post-Tonal Music
A review of basic theories and techniques relevant for understanding post-tonal music. For graduate students deficient in undergraduate post-tonal theory. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 410 Tonal Forms
Phrase structure and formal design in common-practice tonal music. Structural analysis of binary, ternary, rondo, sonata, variations, and contrapuntal, and multi-movement forms. Prerequisite: MTHC 205. LEC.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Osborn, Bradley
MWF 12:00-12:50 PM MUR 238 - LAWRENCE
3 12952
MTHC 432 Introduction to the Analysis Contemporary Music
Introductory course in the sequence, presenting the basic tools of post-tonal and 20th century composition, including, serial techniques, set theory, extended tertian harmony, minimalist techniques, contemporary tonality and other trends. Exploration of form and complex rhythmic structures as well as aural skills appropriate to the subject matter. Prerequisite: MTHC 315. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 433 Advanced Analysis of Contemporary Music
Analysis seminar, emphasizing intense study of larger contemporary works, using techniques learned in the first course (MTHC 732). Further content will vary according to the instructor. Includes aural skills work appropriate to the subject matter. Prerequisite: MTHC 432. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 459 Scoring for Field Band
Primary voicings and textural possibilities for wind and percussion instruments will be stressed as these resources relate to the arranging of music for marching and pep bands at the secondary level. (Same as BAND 459.) Prerequisite: MTHC 205. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 485 Composing and Arranging for Educational Ensembles
For music majors interested in learning to write for primary and secondary educational performing groups. Emphasizes conventional tonal practices and idiomatic, accessible writing for young players. Prerequisite: MTHC 205, MTHC 484, and MTHC 459. IND.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 498 Undergraduate Recital
Composition recital for undergraduate music composition majors. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. IND.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
IND Stolzel, Ingrid
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1 15006
IND Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1 15073
IND Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1 15074
MTHC 499 Senior Research Project
For seniors majoring in music theory who will normally enroll for two credits in each of the last two semesters. Students will write a scholarly paper on an approved topic. May be repeated for credit. IND.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
IND Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 17059
IND Murphy, Scott
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12956
IND Osborn, Bradley
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12955
IND Street, David
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12954
MTHC 541 Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint
A study of eighteenth century style with analysis and original work. Prerequisite: MTHC 205. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 542 Sixteenth-Century Counterpoint
A study of sixteenth-century style with analysis and original work. Prerequisite: MTHC 205. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 559 Scoring for Concert Band
Curriculum includes idiomatic writing, tonal balance, scoring for large percussion sections, and analysis of wind colors and instrumental combinations found in music of Holst, Vaughan Williams, Grainger, Stravinsky, Hindemith, and C. Williams. (Same as BAND 559.) Prerequisite: MTHC 205 and MTHC 459. IND.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 563 Survey in Jazz Composition and Arranging
Analysis of jazz composition and orchestration, beginning with early procedures (Louis Armstrong through the "Big Band Era") and culminating with analysis of scores by Gil Evans and Bob Brookmeyer. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor required. LEC.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Gailey, Daniel
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
3 25719
MTHC 583 Composition
Advanced composition including larger forms in a variety of media. Composition majors will present a public recital of original works during the fourth semester of enrollment. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: MTHC 253 or consent of instructor. IND.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
IND Stolzel, Ingrid
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
2 12959
IND Gailey, Daniel
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
2 12958
IND Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
2 18245
IND Murphy, Scott
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
2 12960
IND Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
2 12961
MTHC 610 Tonal Forms
Phrase structure and formal design in common-practice tonal music. Structural analysis of binary, ternary, rondo, sonata, variations and contrapuntal, multi-movement forms. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 643 Contemporary Repertoire
Comprehensive overview of major composers and works of the past beginning in the mid 20th Century, but focusing on music written in the last 40 years, major contemporary ensembles and granting organizations. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in MTHC or permission of instructor. LEC.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Pierce, Forrest
MWF 12:00-12:50 PM MUR 402 - LAWRENCE
3 29740
MTHC 655 Readings in Music Theory: _____
Investigation of a subject by means of directed readings of primary scholarly sources. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: MTHC 410 and consent of instructor. IND.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
IND Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 23324
IND Stolzel, Ingrid
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12962
IND Gailey, Daniel
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 19963
IND Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12963
IND Murphy, Scott
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12965
IND Osborn, Bradley
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12966
IND Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12967
IND Street, David
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12964
MTHC 670 Scoring for Voice
Composing and arranging for voice, including solo voice, choral and operatic settings. Prerequisite: Six hours of MTHC 253 and MTHC 541 and consent of instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 674 Orchestration I
A study of the four families of orchestral instruments (woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings) concentrating on ranges, transpositions, timbres, and techniques of the various instruments. Scoring projects concentrate on voicing and balance within the individual choirs of the orchestra. Prerequisite: MTHC 205. LEC.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Stolzel, Ingrid
MWF 10:00-10:50 AM MUR 440 - LAWRENCE
3 12968
MTHC 676 Orchestration II
A continuation of MTHC 674. Emphasis on scoring for full symphony orchestra and the large wind ensemble. Prerequisite: MTHC 674. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 678 Electro-Acoustic Composition I
Survey of concepts and practices of electronic sound synthesis. Required of music theory and composition majors, and open to other music majors by consent of department. Prerequisite: MTHC 315 or MTHC 316. LEC.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Haaheim, Bryan
TR 02:00-03:15 PM MUR 412 - LAWRENCE
3 12969
MTHC 680 Electro-Acoustic Composition II
Basic concepts and techniques of electronic composition. For majors in music theory and composition. Prerequisite: MTHC 678 and consent of division. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 732 Introduction to the Analysis of Contemporary Music
Introductory course in the sequence, presenting the basic tools of post-tonal and 20th century composition, including, serial techniques, set theory, extended tertian harmony, minimalist techniques, contemporary tonality and other trends. Exploration of form and complex rhythmic structures as well as aural skills appropriate to the subject matter. Prerequisite: MTHC 315 or MTHC 316. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 733 Advanced Analysis of Contemporary Music
Analytical seminar, emphasizing intense study of larger contemporary works, using techniques learned in the first course (MTHC 732). Further content will vary according to the instructor. Includes aural skills work appropriate to the subject matter. Prerequisite: MTHC 732. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 741 Canon and Fugue
A study of strict imitation and fugal writing. Practical work in two, three, and four parts in various media. Prerequisite: MTHC 541. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 778 History of Music Theory
A historical survey of music theory, both practical and speculative, from the ancient Greeks to the late twentieth century. (Same as MUSC 778.) LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 789 Seminar on Selected Topics: _____
Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for credit. LEC.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Osborn, Bradley
MWF 10:00-10:50 AM MUR 238 - LAWRENCE
3 25720
MTHC 801 Advanced Analysis I
A bibliographic survey intended to explore aspects of both structure (rhythm, texture and timber) and methodology (semiotics, gesture and cognition) that variously complement the pitch-based approaches to musical interpretation associated with Schenkerian tonal analysis and pitch-class theory. Prerequisite: MTHC 732 Introduction to the Analysis of Contemporary Music or permission of instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 802 Advanced Analysis II
A bibliographic survey intended to explore in depth the pitch grammars developed by composers of Western Art Music since circa 1910, and the various methodologies assembled to codify them. Prerequisite: MTHC 732 Introduction to the Analysis of Contemporary Music or permission of instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 810 Advanced Form
An investigation of formal types, processes and functions in the music of the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, focusing on instrumental genres. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 820 Seminar in Schenkerian Analysis
A study of the theories and analytical methodologies developed by the Austrian theorist Heinrich Schenker. Prerequisite: MTHC 410 or permission of the instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 825 Computers in Music and Music Research
A seminar designed to develop and explore the use and programming of microcomputers as an aid in research and the production of music. Topics will include composition and production tools for music, structured program design, data representation, and basic computer-assisted instruction models. Prerequisite: EECS 138 or equivalent or permission of the instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 830 Pedagogy of Music Theory
Procedures for teaching theoretical concepts and skills. Survey of available texts and related materials. Three credits when offered during a full academic term; one-two credits when offered as a short-term institute. Prerequisite: MTHC 315 or MTHC 316 or permission of instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 840 Pedagogy of Music Composition
This course provides an overview of pedagogical philosophies in music composition and is designed to prepare students for a teaching position in higher education. The course emphasizes broad critical understanding of historic, aesthetic, and theoretical perspectives pertinent to the field of composition pedagogy. Teaching methodologies are explored for one-on-one studio instruction, group lesson instruction, masterclass, and classroom instruction. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 853 Advanced Composition
Essentially for theory and composition majors on the master's level. May be repeated for credit. Summer session limit one to three hours. RSH.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
RSH Stolzel, Ingrid
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 12972
RSH Gailey, Daniel
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 12971
RSH Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 12973
RSH Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 12974
MTHC 887 Advanced Orchestration
Prerequisite: MTHC 676, or consent of department. May be repeated for credit. RSH.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
RSH Stolzel, Ingrid
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
3 12975
MTHC 889 Seminar on Selected Topics: _____
Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for credit. LEC.

The class is not offered for the Fall 2016 semester.

MTHC 898 Recital
Recorded grade for MM Composition recital. LEC.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
LEC Stolzel, Ingrid
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1 21583
LEC Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1 21584
LEC Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1 21585
MTHC 899 Thesis
May be repeated for credit. THE.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
THE Stolzel, Ingrid
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 12976
THE Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 12977
THE Murphy, Scott
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 12981
THE Osborn, Bradley
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 12980
THE Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 12978
THE Street, David
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 12979
MTHC 953 Advanced Composition
Essentially for theory and composition majors on the doctoral level. May be repeated for credit. Summer session limit one to three hours. RSH.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
RSH Stolzel, Ingrid
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 15217
RSH Gailey, Daniel
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 19934
RSH Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 12982
RSH Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-6 12983
MTHC 965 Doctoral Composition Recital
May be repeated for credit. RSH.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
RSH Stolzel, Ingrid
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
2 16278
RSH Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
2 16279
RSH Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
2 16364
MTHC 970 D.M.A
A lecture-recital and scholarly paper on a subject pertinent to the student's major field. Open only to candidates for the D.M.A. in performance. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. RSH.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
RSH Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 24868
RSH Murphy, Scott
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 24869
RSH Osborn, Bradley
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 24870
RSH Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 24871
RSH Street, David
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 24872
MTHC 972 D.M.A
A scholarly paper on a subject pertinent to the student's major field. Open only to candidates for the D.M.A. in performance and conducting. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. THE.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
THE Stolzel, Ingrid
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 17533
THE Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12984
THE Murphy, Scott
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12987
THE Osborn, Bradley
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12986
THE Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 12985
THE Street, David
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-4 24867
MTHC 999 Dissertation
May be repeated for credit. THE.
Fall 2016
Type Time/Place and Instructor Credit Hours Class #
THE Stolzel, Ingrid
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-12 16235
THE Haaheim, Bryan
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-12 12988
THE Murphy, Scott
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-12 12991
THE Osborn, Bradley
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-12 12990
THE Pierce, Forrest
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-12 12989
THE Street, David
APPT- KULC APPT - LAWRENCE
1-12 19077


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