Academic Program

The Department of Music gives students the opportunity to study music from cultural, historical, theoretical, psychological, creative, and interpretive perspectives, including study of Western and non-Western classical, popular, and experimental 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, 110, 203, 212, 248, and 249—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. Students seeking to begin course work in music theory (MUS 110 or 231) should contact the chair of the music department to arrange a placement exam by the beginning of the semester. MUS 218, DC/MU 219, and MUS 235 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 American String Band, College Choir, College Orchestra, Gamelan Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, and Steel Pan Orchestra.

More information on the music department is available on the website (

Major Requirements

Music majors are required to earn a minimum of eleven course credits.
All of the following:
MUS 210. Classical Music in Western Culture.
AM/MU 212. How Music Performs Culture: Introduction to Ethnomusicology.
MUS 231. Music Theory I. Foundational Concepts of Music Theory.
MUS 232. Music Theory II. Diatonic Harmony, Form, and Analysis.
MUS 331. Music Theory III. Chromatic Harmony, Form, and Analysis.
MUS 457 or 458. Senior Thesis.

One of the following cultural musicology courses:
MUS 247. History of Jazz.
MUS 248. Music in Contemporary Popular Culture.
AF/MU 249. African American Popular Music.
MUS 266. Miles Davis.

The remaining courses are chosen in consultation with the thesis advisor. No more than a total of two credits of applied music (MUS 270) and/or ensemble performance (MUS 290) may be counted toward the major.

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 (which may include PHYS 103, Musical Acoustics/Lab), and up to one credit (two semesters) of applied music or musical ensemble performance. MUS 101 cannot count toward the minor.

Pass/Fail Grading Option.

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