Liberal Arts Major in Music

Students should try to begin the major in their freshman or sophomore years; this will allow the completion of course work at a moderate pace.  However, it is possible to complete the music major in just two years, so that students who decide late to major in music can begin in their junior year and still graduate at the conclusion of their senior year. The flexibility within the major means that advising will play a crucial role, and in working out their selection of electives, and the pacing of the major as a whole, students are strongly encouraged to consult with the chair of undergraduate studies, their College advisors, and with other music faculty.  Regular consultation with the undergraduate chair will help insure an orderly progression through the requirements for the major.  ONLY ONE credit transferred from another institution (domestic or study abroad) may count toward minor requirements majors and minors must receive a grade of C or above to satisfy requirements (courses with grades of C- or below will not count).  Further, the student must have a minimum 2.0 GPA for all courses taken towards the major of minor. 

To declare the music major, interested students should have their premajor or College advisor update the official worksheet listing music as a major.  After this is done, students should plan to meet with the Undergraduate Chair and write a short Undergraduate Declaration


A. Theory - (4.5 c.u.)

Music 170 - Music Theory and Musicianship I 1.5 c.u. 

Music 171 - Music Theory and Musicianship II 1.5 c.u. 

Music 270 – Music Theory and Musicianship III. (Tier two) 1.5 c.u. (Offered in Fall Only)

(All three courses are required and meet five hours per week, with three hours of theory instruction and two of musicianship training).

B. Major Core Courses - (3 c.u.)

Music 130 - Introduction to European Art Music

Music 135 - Introduction to the Musical Life of America

Music 150 - Introduction to Ethnomusicology

(Prerequisite to each of these courses is Music 70 or the ability to read and analyze music.)


4 c.u. chosen from list below in consultation with their major advisor

A. History

Music 230 – Historical eras and topics:  earlier periods

Music 231 – Historical eras and topics:  later periods

Music 232 – Themes in Music History

Music 233 – Musical Thought and Scholarship

Music 234 – Music Makers

Music 235 – Studies in African-American Music

Music 236 – Performance, Analysis, History

Music 239 – Guided research in Musicology (prerequisite 130 and one other class from tier 1 or 2)

B. Ethnomusicology

Music 252 – Music, Religion, and Ritual in South and Southeast Asia

Music 255 – Accordions of the New World

Music 256 – Music and Performance of Africa

Music 257 – Caribbean Music and Diaspora

Music 258 – Latin American Music

Music 259 – Guided research in Ethnomusicology (prerequisite 150 and one other class from tier 1 or 2)

C. Theory and Composition

Music 271 – Compositional Practices 1

Music 272 – Compositional Practices 2

Music 273 – Orchestration [formerly 285]

Music 274 – Jazz Improvisation [formerly 145]

Music 275 – Electronic Music [formerly 286]

Music 276 – Performance and Analysis [formerly 012]

Music 277 – Music and Technology [formerly 172]

Music 278 – Composition for Musicians, prerequisite 170

Music 279 – Guided research in Theory and Composition, [formerly 099], prerequisite 170,171 and one other class from tier 1 or 2


All students take two seminars (in their Junior or Senior year—two courses total). The seminars may sometimes be offered as joint classes with the graduate program.

Music 330 – Seminars in Music History

Music 350 – Seminars in Ethnomusicology

Music 370 – Seminars in Theory and Composition

All majors are required to participate for at least four semesters (2.0 c.u.) in one of the following Music 007 performing groups: the University Orchestra, the University Wind Ensemble, the University Choir, the University Choral Society, the Chamber Music Society, Ancient Voices, the Baroque or Recorder Ensemble. Jazz Combo, or Samba Ensemble. (Regardless of major, all students are cordially invited to participate in these organizations, which require an audition and students may also elect to register for academic credit.)  This course must be taken for a letter grade (Pass/Fail registration option may not be utilized for this course). 



To be eligible for departmental honors, a student must have a 3.5 grade point average within the department, and must have completed a senior thesis. See guidelines.