Bachelor of Music (BM) in Performance

Performance Areas

• Flute • Trumpet • Voice
• Clarinet • Trombone • Violin
• Bassoon • Euphonium • Viola
• Saxophone • Tuba • Cello
• French Horn • Percussion • Bass
• Harp • Piano
• Oboe • Organ

Each student is assigned to a member of the faculty for private instruction. Individual instruction is given in one-hour lessons; every effort is made to consider the student’s preferences in studio assignment.

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 keyboard 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 semester. 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. Performance majors are required to perform recitals during their junior and senior years.

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.

Chamber Music

All undergraduate music performance majors are required to take Chamber Music. Two semesters are required for piano majors, and six semesters are required for string, woodwind, and brass majors. Due to limited repertoire, standard substitutions include Percussion Ensemble for percussion majors, Orchestral Techniques for bass majors, and approved electives for harp majors. Students will be placed in appropriate groups by the faculty based on auditions held in September.

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.

First Year 1st 2nd
ML 501 Applied Piano 3 3
MT 101, 102 Music Theory 1, 2 3 3
MT 111, 112 Ear-Training and Sight-Singing 1, 2 1 1
MP 603 Musical Organization: Symphonic Chorus .5 .5
CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar 4
CAS WR 150 Writing and Research 4
Liberal Arts Electives 4 4
Music Electives 1 1
Total credits 16.5 16.5
Second Year
ML 501 Applied Piano 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
MP 610 Musical Organization: Ensemble for Pianists 1 1
CAS EN XXX English Literature 4
Liberal Arts Elective 4
Electives 2 2
Total credits 17 17
Third Year
ML 501 Applied Piano 4 4
MT 301, 302 Music Theory 5, 6 2 2
Music History Electives 3 3
MP 621 Musical Organization: Collaborative Piano 1 1
Liberal Arts Electives 4 4
MP 411, 412 Piano Literature 1, 2 3 3
MP 381 Introduction to the Organ 1
MP 382 Harpsichord for Keyboard Majors 1
Total credits 18 18
Fourth Year
ML 501 Applied Piano 4 4
MP 603 Musical Organization: Symphonic Chorus .5 .5
MP 608 Musical Organization: Chamber Music 1 1
MP 413, 414 Piano Literature 3, 4 3 3
MP 415, 416 Piano Pedagogy and Practicum 1, 2 2 2
Electives 2 2
MP 390 Intro to Conducting 2
MP 391 or 393 Instrumental or Choral Conducting 2
Total credits 14.5 14.5


First Year 1st 2nd
ML 505 Applied Organ 3 3
MT 101, 102 Music Theory 1, 2 3 3
MT 111, 112 Ear-Training and Sight-Singing 1, 2 1 1
MP 603 Musical Organization: Symphonic Chorus .5 .5
CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar 4
CAS WR 150 Writing and Research 4
Liberal Arts Electives 4 4
Music Electives 1 1
Total credits 16.5 16.5
Second Year
ML 505 Applied Organ 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
MP 609 Musical Organization: Baroque Chamber Music 1 1
CAS EN XXX English Literature 4
Liberal Arts Elective 4
Electives 2 2
Total credits 17 17
Third Year
ML 505 Applied Organ 4 4
MT 301, 302 Music Theory 5, 6 2 2
Music History Electives 4 3
MP 609 Musical Organization: Baroque Chamber Music 1 1
Liberal Arts Electives 4 4
Music Theory Electives 3 3
MP 382 Harpsichord for Keyboard Majors 1
Total credits 18 18
Fourth Year
ML 505 Applied Organ 4 4
MP 603 Musical Organization: Symphonic Chorus .5 .5
MP 609 Musical Organization: Baroque Chamber Music 1 1
MP 685 Organ Seminar 2 2
MP 341, 342 Modal and Tonal Counterpoint 2 2
Electives 3 3
MP 390 Intro to Conducting 2
MP 391 or 393 Instrumental or Choral Conducting 2
Total credits 14.5 14.5


First Year** 1st 2nd
Applied Music (varies by instrument) 3 3
MT 101, 102 Music Theory 1, 2 3 3
MT 111, 112 Ear-Training and Sight-Singing 1, 2 1 1
MP 600 Musical Organization 1 1
CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar 4
CAS WR 150 Writing and Research 4
Liberal Arts Electives 4 4
MP 111, 112 Group Piano 1, 2 1 1
Total credits 17 17
Second Year**
Applied Music (varies by instrument) 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
MP 600 Musical Organization 1 1
CAS EN XXX English Literature 4
Liberal Arts Elective 4
MP 608 Chamber Music* 1 1
Electives 2 2
Total credits 18 18
Third Year**
Applied Music (varies by instrument) 4 4
MT 301, 302 Music Theory 5, 6 2 2
Music History Electives 3 3
MP 600 Music Organization 1 1
Liberal Arts Electives 4 4
Electives 1 1
MP 608 Chamber Music* 1 1
Total credits 16 16
Fourth Year
Applied Music (varies by instrument) 4 4
MP 600 Musical Organization 1 1
MP 441, 442 String Literature 1, 2** 2 2
MP 445, 446 String Pedagogy and Practicum 1, 2** 2 2
MP 608 Chamber Music* 1 1
Electives 3 3
MP 390 Intro to Conducting 2
MP 391 Instrumental Conducting 2
Total credits 15 15

*Bass majors may substitute MP 440 Orchestral Techniques, and harp majors may substitute approved electives.

**Harpists fulfill the literature and pedagogy requirement by enrolling in MP 449 (Harp Pedagogy/Literature/Ensemble) for all eight semesters.


First Year 1st 2nd
ML 507 Applied Voice 3 3
MT 101, 102 Music Theory 1, 2 3 3
MT 111, 112 Ear-Training and Sight-Singing 1, 2 1 1
MP 603 Musical Organization: Symphonic Chorus .5 .5
MP 604 Musical Organization: Small Choral Ensemble .5 .5
CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar 4
CAS WR 150 Writing and Research 4
CAS LI 111, 112 Modern Language (Italian) 4 4
MP 111, 112 Group Piano 1, 2 1 1
MP 131, 132 Phonetics for Singing 1, 2 1 1
Total credits 18 18
Second Year
ML 507 Applied 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
MP 603 Musical Organization: Symphonic Chorus .5 .5
MP 604 Musical Organization: Small Choral Ensemble .5 .5
Modern Language 4 4
MP 231, 232 Diction (English, Italian) 1 1
Electives 1 1
Total credits 17 17
Third Year
ML 507 Applied Voice 4 4
MT 301, 302 Music Theory 5, 6 2 2
Music History Electives 3 3
MP 603 Musical Organization: Symphonic Chorus .5 .5
MP 604 Musical Organization: Small Choral Ensemble .5 .5
MP 233, 234 Diction (French, German) 1 1
MP 331, 332 Song Literature 1, 2 2 2
MP 390 Intro to Conducting 2
Electives 4 2
Total credits 17 17
Fourth Year
ML 507 Applied Voice 4 4
MP 603 Musical Organization: Symphonic Chorus .5 .5
MP 604 Musical Organization: Small Choral Ensemble .5 .5
Liberal Arts Electives 4 4
CAS EN XXX English Literature 4
MP 333 Song Literature 3 2
Electives 3
Voice Department Elective 1
Total credits 15 13


First Year 1st 2nd
Applied Music (varies by instrument) 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) 1 1
CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar 4
CAS WR 150 Writing and Research 4
Liberal Arts Elective 4 4
MP 111, 112 Group Piano 1, 2 1 1
MP 608 Chamber Music* 1 1
Total credits 18 18
Second Year
Applied Music (varies by instrument) 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) 1 1
CAS EN XXX English Literature 4
Liberal Arts Elective 4
MP 608 Chamber Music* 1 1
Electives 2 2
Total credits 18 18
Third Year
Applied Music (varies by instrument) 4 4
MT 301, 302 Music Theory 5, 6 2 2
Music History Electives 3 3
Musical Organization (varies) 1 1
Liberal Arts Electives 4 4
MP 390 Intro to Conducting 2
MP 391 Instrumental Conducting 2
MP 608 Chamber Music* 1
Total credits 16 17
Fourth Year
Applied Music (varies by instrument) 4 4
Musical Organization (varies) 1 1
MP 465 Pedagogy and Practicum 2
MP 608 Chamber Music* 1
Electives 3
3
4
4
Total credits 14 13

* Percussionists may substitute MP 671 Percussion Ensemble.