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 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, 110, 212, 248, 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 American String Band, College Choir, College Orchestra, Gamelan Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Steel Pan Orchestra, and West African Music and Dance Ensemble.

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

Major Requirements. Students majoring in music choose one of three tracks in the major: performance, composition, or cultural musicology.

All music majors take the following:
MUS 210. Classical Music in Western Culture.
MUS 212. Introduction to Ethnomusicology.
MUS 231. Music Theory I.
MUS 232. Music Theory II.
MUS 331. Music Theory III.
MUS 332. Music Theory IV.
MUS 457 or 458. Senior Thesis.

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

Cultural musicology majors may, with permission, substitute another course for 332.

Performance. Students on the performance track also take:
One of the following:
MUS 220. Performance in Western Classical Music.
MUS 222. Jazz Performance Workshop.
MUS s26. Performance in Western Classical Music

All of the following:
Two credits (four semesters) of applied music (MUS 270).
Four semesters of credit or participation in a faculty-directed ensemble appropriate to their applied music study.
Two semesters of credit or participation in a different faculty-directed ensemble, employing a different instrumental or vocal medium.

Composition. Students on the composition track also take:
MUS 235. Music Composition.
MUS 237. Computers, Music, and the Arts.
Two additional 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.

Cultural Musicology. Students on the cultural musicology track also take:
A junior-senior seminar (MUS 395-398).
Three other music courses, not including 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 the cultural musicology complete the [W3] requirement through the thesis (MUS 457, 458).

Study of languages other than English 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 (which may include PHYS 103, Musical Acoustics), 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.