Bachelor of Music (BM) in Composition & Music Theory
General Degree Requirements
To attain the BM, each student must meet the following requirements:
- Satisfactory completion of all courses in the chosen program of study as prescribed by the School of Music
- Completion of at least 132 semester credits
- Registration for eight semesters as a full-time student, or the equivalent
- Demonstration of proficiency in all technical or professional courses, including a satisfactory recital at the senior level for performance majors and a recital of original compositions for composition majors
Performance Requirement (Applied Music)
Programs of study within the School of Music vary according to the degree sought, area of specialization, and major instrument. Every undergraduate degree candidate in music must study a major instrument. Instruction is offered in the following areas: bassoon, cello, clarinet, double bass, euphonium, flute, harp, horn, oboe, percussion, piano, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, tuba, viola, violin, and voice.
Each student taking applied music is assigned to a member of the faculty for private instruction. Individual instruction is given in half-hour or hour lessons. An effort is made to consider the student’s preference in studio assignment. Students prepare and present recitals under the tutelage of a School of Music faculty member. Recital Permission Examinations must be passed before the scheduled recital.
The School of Music employs the following system of levels to assess a student’s preparation or attainment in music performance.
Undergraduate Levels 1–8
These levels measure the student’s progress through the undergraduate program. Normally students progress one level each semester. Level 1 is the lowest level permitted for credit on the student’s major instrument. Level 6 is the minimum level required for graduation of students not majoring in performance. Level 8 is the minimum level required for graduation of performance majors.
Every full-time undergraduate student is required to perform in a musical organization for credit every semester in residence, up to a maximum of eight semesters. Music education students are exempt from musical organization during their semester of full-time practicum (student teaching).
Choral Requirements (CFA MU 653 and CFA MU 654)
For students who are not concentrating in an orchestral instrument, the organizations include the following:
|MU 653 A1||Symphonic Chorus||
|MU 654 A1||Chamber Chorus||
|MU 654 B1||Women’s Chorale||
|MU 654 C1||Concert Choir||
Students must register for two ensembles each semester,* including CFA MU 653 Symphonic Chorus and one of the CFA MU 654 sections, to be determined by audition. All undergraduate voice, keyboard, and musicology majors must audition for placement in one of the ensembles with a CFA MU 654 number. Freshman vocal performance majors must also attend the Movement Lab.
* Piano majors take MU 653 only in both semesters of the freshman and senior years. Please consult the Piano Program Outline for the remaining requirements.
- The student’s registration must be Symphonic Chorus (CFA MU 653) for .5 credit and one of the ensembles under the MU 654 number for .5 credit.
- Because placement cannot be determined until an audition is completed, the MU 654 section for purposes of preregistration is X1. Once an assignment has been made, the School of Music administration will substitute the appropriate section for X1.
All incoming and returning students must sign up online for an audition during the first days of the Fall Term. Those undergraduate students selected by the faculty for Opera Workshop should combine that registration (CFA MU 651) with one of the 654 sections, each for .5 credit.
Orchestra/Wind Ensemble—CFA MU 650
Students concentrating in an orchestral instrument are placed in Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and/or Wind Ensemble.
Initial assignments to large instrumental ensembles, and seating within them, will be made on the basis of auditions held during the first week of school.
Each new and returning instrumentalist planning to participate in CFA MU 650 must audition. The audition will last approximately 10 minutes. Sign up for auditions and audition repertoire are available online through the Music Student Resources link on our website. We advise students not to delay signing up—available times fill up quickly.
Music History Requirement
All undergraduate music majors are required to take four semesters of music history. MU 221/223 History and Literature of Music 1 and MU 222/224 History and Literature of Music 2 are required. The remaining music history requirements may be taken from a selection of elective offerings.
The list of electives is broken down into Series A and Series B. In order to take any course in Series A (up to MU 329/339), which includes all of the period courses along with Opera and Performance Practice, the prerequisites are MU 221/223 and MU 222/224.
Courses in Series B (beginning with MU 340/350), comprising non-Western, jazz, and popular repertories, as well as interdisciplinary topics, are open to all students and do not require a prerequisite.
Placement Examinations in Music Theory and Aural Skills
All entering undergraduate students are required to take Placement Examinations in both music theory and aural skills. These examinations are given during the Summer Orientation Sessions and in September before the start of classes. Accepted students are notified of the exam dates and are responsible for taking them. The material covered by the Placement Examinations includes basic harmony, aural skills, analysis, and counterpoint.
Composition & Music Theory Program Outline
During the final year of study, candidates for the BM in Composition & Music Theory must present a program of original compositions of approximately 30 minutes’ duration, which must be approved by the faculty. Candidates must participate in the rehearsal preparation and/or performance of at least one of the works. Group Piano* is required unless proficiency has been established.
|Applied Music, Level 1, 2||3||3|
|Music Theory 1, 2||3||3|
|Ear-Training and Sight-Singing 1, 2||1||1|
|Liberal Arts Elective||–||4|
|Approved Modern Language 1, 2||4||4|
|Applied Music, Level 3, 4||3||3|
|Music Theory 3, 4||3||3|
|Ear-Training and Sight-Singing 3, 4||1||1|
|Music History 1, 2||3||3|
|Approved Modern Language 3, 4||4||4|
|Group Piano* 1, 2||1||1|
|Applied Music, Level 5a, 5b||2||2|
|Music Theory 5, 6||2||2|
|Music History Electives||3||3|
|Applied Music, Level 6a, 6b||2||2|
|Liberal Arts Elective||–||4|
|Electronic Music 1||2||–|
|Orchestration 1, 2||2||2|
|Intro to Conducting||2||–|
|Choral or Instrumental Conducting||–||2|
*Refers to the Sophomore year, where Group Piano is found in the sequence.