Majoring in Music: Requirements

Music Major Plan of Study

Music Majors take at least nine courses in the Department, in addition to the two prerequisite courses (MUS105-106/MUS205-206):

1) a second year of theory (MUS205-206);

2) three Group I (Western Music History Sequence) courses;

3) one Group II (Non-Western and Non-Canonical Musics) course;

4) and three 300-level(+) electives, including the Junior Seminar.

If MUS205-206 was used as a prerequisite, Majors take two more electives. Music Majors in the Performance Program may use MUS213, 214, 215, or 298/299 as one elective.

In the junior and senior years, Majors also complete Independent Work projects: two in the junior year, and a senior thesis. The senior comprehensive exam, taken soon after Dean’s Date, is the final requirement.

Group I: Western Music History (Choose Three)

Choose at least three (3) courses that relate to Western Music History.
In the past, these have included the courses listed below:

MUS 230: Music in the Middle Ages
MUS 232: Music in the Renaissance
MUS 234: Music of the Baroque
MUS 236: Music of the Classical Period
MUS 238: Music of the Romantic Era
MUS 240: Musical Modernism 1890-1945
MUS 242: Music Since 1945
MUS 270: Medieval and Renaissance Music from Original Notation

Group II: Non-Western and Non-Canonical Musics (Choose One)

Choose at least one (1) course that focuses on music beyond the western art music tradition.
In the past, these have included the courses listed below:

MUS 224 Ballads, Blues, and Banjos: Folk Music in America
MUS 250: Musical Cultures of the World,
MUS 251: Music and Film
MUS 254: Popular Music in Japan
MUS 255: Taiko Drumming Workshop
MUS 257: Introduction to the Music of India
MUS 258: Music of Africa
MUS 259: Music in the Caribbean
MUS 260: Music in the United States
MUS 262: Evolution of Jazz Styles
MUS 264: Urban Blues and the Golden Age of Rock
MUS 265: History of Popular Music: Rock, R&B, and Hip-Hop

Junior Seminar

In the fall of the Junior year, Music Majors participate in a Junior Seminar under the direction of the Departmental Representative.

The goal of the seminar is to introduce students to the academic study of music from a variety of perspectives (with particular emphasis on the specialties of Music Department faculty); to familiarize students with basic research and compositional skills; and to explore topics and repertoire not considered in their course work.  The final written project, the first Junior Paper, will be either a paper or composition.  Additional weekly assignments will also be required. 

Performance for Departmental Concentrators

We urge our students to take an active part in performing music. Music Majors can involve themselves in performance study by taking free vocal or instrumental lessons. It is recommended that prospective and current Majors without at least minimal keyboard skills study piano. Students can also gain exposure to performance by participating in one of the Departmental Ensembles