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The Music Major

The major carries the study of music to an advanced level through the integration of scholarship and performance, involving close engagement with the creation and reception of music across an array of historical, theoretical, and cultural contexts. It is designed to accommodate both students who are oriented toward eventual graduate study or professional work in music and those who wish to take a more general approach, often in conjunction with a major in another department.

Incoming students who intend to major in music should schedule a Pre-Major Advising Consultation during Orientation Week by signing up at the Arts & Science Open House or by emailing the Director of Undergraduate Studies. At this consultation, students will discuss their musical background and demonstrate their level of experience with theory and performance.

Students who decide to pursue the music major after their Freshman Year should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies to devise a program of study.

All potential majors are strongly encouraged to enroll in MUSIC 1101 – Elements of Music in the Fall semester of their Freshman Year and MUSIC 2201 – Introduction to Music Studies in the Spring. This will maximize flexibility in scheduling the remaining Core Curriculum courses and electives.

MUSIC 2101 – Theory, Materials and Techniques I and MUSIC 2102 – Theory, Materials and Techniques II form a two-semester sequence that will generally be taken in the Sophomore Year. Based on their Pre-Major Advising Consultation and subject to the instructor’s permission, however, suitably qualified students may take MUSIC 2101 and 2102 in their Freshman Year.

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences usually declare their majors during their Sophomore Year. Prerequisites for admission to the major are completion of  MUSIC 2101 – Theory, Materials and Techniques I  and MUSIC 2201 – Introduction to Music Studies with a grade of B or better in both courses. In consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, students must choose an advisor from among the department faculty before applying for admission to the major, which is decided by the faculty as a whole. Once admitted to the major, students design their program of study with their advisors.

Music majors must complete the Core Curriculum plus at least two electives. The electives allow students to focus on diverse topics, such as composition, performance, jazz studies, Western art music, Asian music, vernacular musics, etc. Elective courses are generally numbered 3000-4000 and are 4 credits. A selection of 1000-2000 courses can be enhanced with additional content and an extra credit by combining the course with MUSIC 3901: students should consult the relevant instructor for information on this option’s availability and the extra work it entails. Students intending to pursue graduate study or professional work in music should consult with their advisors about taking further advanced courses in addition to the two required electives.