Music Department Courses and Requirements

Students are expected to integrate their studies in performance, theory and musicianship, music history, and ethnomusicology. By the end of the music program, students are expected to have developed the knowledge, skills, concepts, and sensitivities necessary to enter the real world as informed musicians who are able to make personally expressive contributions to society in a number of fields. In addition a student who successfully completes the music major in depth should have acquired the background necessary to continue music studies at the graduate level.

Students gain basic technical and conceptual competence in an instrument or voice, a selective knowledge of music and music literature, the ability to integrate musical knowledge and skills, sensitivity to Western and non-Western musical styles, and an insight into the role of music in intellectual and cultural life.

By the end of their studies in our department, students:

  1. Develop the ability to hear, identify, and work conceptually with elements of music such as rhythm, melody, harmony, timbre, texture, and form.
  2. Develop an understanding of and the ability to read and realize musical notation.
  3. Develop an understanding of compositional processes, aesthetic properties of style, and the ways these shape and are shaped by artistic, cultural, and social forces.
  4. Develop a familiarity with a wide selection of musical literature and its associated eras, genres, and cultural sources.
  5. Refine the ability to develop and defend musical decisions.
  6. Interpret and analyze a variety of musical styles, and engage issues of musical meaning.
  7. Develop the ability to perform in both solo and ensemble contexts.
  8. Complete an independent senior project which engages a musical topic in depth.

These goals are pursued through making, listening to, and studying music. Instruction in a performing medium, participation in ensembles, and public performance are vital to the music major's experience in our program.