The music department offers a wide range of courses and performance opportunities for majors and nonmajors, as well as private instrumental and vocal lessons. Many courses have no prerequisites.
Pursuit of the music major prepares students for a senior thesis in music history or analysis, ethnomusicological research, or composition. Majors should complete two units of music theory (200 level or above), Music History I and II, and one unit of ethnomusicology before beginning their junior year, and take the junior seminar.
Majors are expected to participate in performance activities; therefore, fees for private instruction in one instrument or voice are waived for junior and senior music majors.
For the junior qualifying examination in music, students will write analytic essays on a selection of notated and/or recorded examples of music from different historical periods and cultures.
Independent study courses (Music 481) in subjects not offered in the regular curriculum are available for junior and senior music majors.
Requirements for the Major
- Theory courses—two units at the 200 level or above;
- History courses—Music 221 and 222, which should be taken before the junior year;
- One unit of ethnomusicology;
- One unit of ensemble from among 104 (orchestra), 105 (chorus), 106 (contemporary ensemble), 107 (Collegium), 108 (jazz ensemble), 109 (chamber music);
- One unit of private instruction (vocal or instrumental);
- Junior seminar;
- Three additional one-unit courses in the department (at the 200 level or above);
- Thesis (470).
Students planning a thesis in ethnomusicology should take two units of anthropology for Group X.
The following courses of study are recommended, depending on the nature of the senior thesis:
- Music history or analysis: Music 150, Music 211, Music 221, Music 222, Music 343, junior seminar, three additional courses, at least one unit of private instruction, at least one unit of ensemble, thesis.
- Ethnomusicology: Music 150, Music 211, Music 221, Music 222, Music 312, junior seminar, two units in anthropology, three additional units in ethnomusicology, at least one unit of private instruction, at least one unit of ensemble, thesis.
- Composition: Music 150, Music 211, Music 221, Music 222, Music 312, Music 314, Music 343, junior seminar, Music 481 (independent study in advanced composition), at least one unit of private instruction, at least one unit of ensemble, thesis.
Before beginning their senior year, students planning to do a thesis in music must demonstrate their competence in the particular area in which they wish to work. That is, they may not use the thesis as an occasion to explore an entirely new area. The thesis may be an extended historical, ethnomusicological or analytical project, which may include a performance; or a composition thesis, which must include a printed score, a recording of a performance, and an analytical essay. At the beginning of the senior year, students prepare short written proposals describing the nature of their theses for discussion with the entire music department prior to submitting proposals to the Division of the Arts for approval.