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Academic Program

The Department of Music gives students the opportunity to study music from cultural, historical, theoretical, creative, and interpretive perspectives, including study of Western and non-Western classical and popular musical traditions. Most of the courses offered are suitable for general liberal arts students. Music majors and minors have the opportunity to pursue individual interests in depth. In recent years, students have completed interdisciplinary and double-major programs including substantial work in music.

MUS 101, 103, 104, 212, 241, 249, 254, and 262—courses introducing musical traditions and concepts—are open to all students without prerequisite. MUS 231 is the beginning course in music theory; students considering a major or minor in music should take it as early as possible. MUS 235, 237, and 238 are introductory courses in composition. MUS 270, private instruction in vocal or instrumental performance, is open to first-year students with permission of the instructor. MUS 290 (Musical Ensemble Performance) is open to any student who qualifies to participate in one of the department's faculty-directed performing organizations: the College Choir, the College Orchestra, Chase the Fiddlers, the Gamelan Ensemble, the Jazz Band, the Jazz Combo, and the Steel Pan Orchestra.

More information on the music department is available on the website (bates.edu/Music).

Major Requirements. Students majoring in music choose one of three tracks in the major: performance, composition, or cultural musicology. All majors take MUS 231, 232, 331, and 332; MUS 210, 212, and any cultural musicology course in the field of music of the Americas; and MUS 457 or 458 (thesis). Cultural musicology majors may, with permission, substitute another course for 332.

In addition, students on the performance track take MUS 220 or s26, and 222, and two credits (four semesters) of applied music (MUS 270), and complete four semesters of credit or participation in a faculty-directed ensemble appropriate to their applied music study and two semesters of credit or participation in a different faculty-directed ensemble, employing a different instrumental or vocal medium. Students on the composition track take MUS 235 and 237 and two other courses in composition or orchestration. Performance and composition majors may fulfill the [W3] requirement by completing a junior-senior seminar in the senior year or a [W3] course in a second major. Students on the cultural musicology track take a junior-senior seminar and three other music courses, not counting MUS 101 or 103 or more than one credit of applied music or musical ensemble performance; for one of these three courses they may substitute a course pertinent to their musical interests, offered in another department or program. Students on this track only may count thesis as their [W3].

Study of foreign languages is strongly recommended for students planning graduate work in music.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may be elected for one course applied toward the major.

Minor Requirements. The minor in music consists of seven courses: MUS 231-232 and five additional music courses, not counting MUS 101 or more than one credit of applied music or musical ensemble performance.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may be elected for one course applied toward the minor.


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