Bachelor of Music (BM) in Musicology

General Degree Requirements

To attain the Bachelor of Music, 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 a minimum of 132 credits (please refer to the Boston University Residency Requirement policy
  • Demonstration of proficiency in all technical and professional courses, including satisfactory recitals at the junior and senior levels (for performance majors) and a recital of original compositions (for composition majors)

The curriculum falls into four main categories: Musicianship, Applied Studies and Ensembles, Departmental Requirements, and Liberal Studies. For specific policies and procedures, please refer to the School of Music Undergraduate Handbook.

Musicianship

Music Theory Sequence and Ear-Training/Sight-Singing

All undergraduate music majors must satisfy both the written music theory and sight-singing/ear-training requirement. Music theory consists of a six-semester sequence, while the sight-singing sequence lasts four semesters. All entering undergraduate music majors are required to take placement examinations in both music theory and aural skills. Exams are given during the Summer Orientation and at the start of each semester. Based on the results of these placement exams, students may test out of some, but not all, of these courses.

Group Piano

All undergraduate music majors, with the exception of piano performance majors, have a two-semester Group Piano requirement. A non-mandatory Keyboard Proficiency Exam is offered for students wishing to test out of this requirement.

Conducting

All undergraduate music majors have a two-semester conducting requirement, with the exception of voice performance majors, whose requirement is one. An introductory course is required of all students, covering basic techniques, terminology, and transpositions. The second semester specializes in either instrumental or choral techniques.

Music History

All undergraduate music majors are required to take four semesters of music history. MH 201 (211) History and Literature of Music 1 and MH 202 (212) History and Literature of Music 2 are required. The remaining music history requirement may be taken from a selection of elective offerings. The list of electives is broken down into two series. Series A, MH 321–328, which includes period, opera, and performance practice courses, requires the two survey courses as a prerequisite. Series B, MH 331–336, which includes courses in non-Western, jazz, and popular repertories, as well as interdisciplinary topics, is open to all students and has no prerequisite.

Applied Studies and Ensembles

Applied Lessons

All undergraduate music majors must study a major instrument. Instruction is offered in the following areas: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, piano, organ, harp, voice, violin, viola, cello, and bass. Prescribed levels of proficiency are adjudicated through juries and recital permission hearings.

Musical Organizations

All undergraduate music majors are required to perform in a musical organization for credit every semester in residence, up to a maximum of eight semesters.

Departmental Requirements

Each major has a number of courses tailored specifically to that major. These courses complement the rest of the general Musicianship and Liberal Arts components of the curriculum, and are a combination of professional development courses, literature and pedagogy courses, and electives.

Liberal Studies

All undergraduate music majors are required to take a minimum of 32 credits of liberal arts courses from the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). The exact requirement varies by program, with some majors requiring 36 credits. All majors must complete CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar, CAS WR 150 Writing and Research, and one English literature course. The remaining courses are specified in the program outline for each major.

Musicology Program Outline

First Year 1st 2nd
Applied Music (varies by instrument/voice) 3 3
MT 101, 102 Music Theory 1, 2 3 3
MT 111, 112 Ear-Training and Sight-Singing 1, 2 1 1
Musical Organization (varies by ensemble) 1 1
CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar 4
CAS WR 150 Writing and Research 4
European History (varies) 4 4
Group Piano/Class Instrument (varies) 1 1
Total credits
17 17
Second Year
Applied Music (varies by instrument/voice) 3 3
MT 201, 202 Music Theory 3, 4 3 3
MT 211, 212 Ear-Training and Sight-Singing 3, 4 1 1
MH 201, 202 Music History 1, 2 3 3
Musical Organization (varies by ensemble) 1 1
CAS LG 111, 112 Modern Language 1, 2 (German) 4 4
MP 390 Intro to Conducting 2
MP 391 or 393 Instrumental or Choral Conducting 2
Total credits
17 17
Third Year
Applied Music (varies by instrument/voice) 2 2
MT 301, 302 Music Theory 5, 6 2 2
Music History Electives 3 3
Musical Organization (varies by ensemble) 1 1
CAS HI XXX History Elective 4
CAS AH XXX Art History Elective 4
CAS LG 211, 212 Modern Language 3, 4 (German) 4 4
Total credits
16 16
Fourth Year
Applied Music (varies by instrument/voice) 2 2
Musical Organization (varies by ensemble) 1 1
Liberal Arts Electives 4 4
CAS EN XXX  English Literature 4
MT 341, 342 Modal and Tonal Counterpoint 2 2
Musicology Free Electives 3 3
Free Electives 4
Total credits
16 16