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Undergraduate Program

Overview

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Music, science and engineering play vital roles at the University of Rochester and in our broader communities. The Undergraduate Program in Music and Sound offers students the opportunity to explore the science of sound from interdisciplinary perspectives. Areas of study and research include:

  • The structure of music or of language
  • Acoustics and sound waves
  • How the brain processes auditory signals and decodes meaning

Undergraduate clusters are available in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Students interested in deeper study can pursue one of two minors.

We also encourage undergraduate students to enhance their studies in music and sound by exploring faculty research or participating in the Music Cognition Symposium.

Questions about the program? Contact us.

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Music and Sound Clusters

We offer five clusters spanning all three divisions of the College: natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

No more than one course may overlap between the cluster and the student’s major or minor.

Natural Sciences Clusters

Music Cognition (N1MAS002)
This cluster provides an introduction to cognitive science through the window of music perception. Learn the fundamentals of musical structure and basic principles of cognition, and then use this knowledge to explore how music is perceived and remembered.

Music Cognition for Musicians (N1MAS001)
This cluster is designed for music majors or minors who have already taken MUR 110/111.  Learn basic principles of cognition and the auditory system, and then use this knowledge to explore how music is perceived and remembered.

Music and Language for Musicians (N1MAS003)
This clustered is designed for music majors or minors who have already taken MUR 110/111 or equivalent. It explores the structural relations between music, cognition and language systems. 

Social Sciences Cluster

Music and Linguistics for Musicians (S1MAS001)
This cluster is designed for music majors or minors who have already taken MUR 110/111 or the equivalent. Explore the structural relations between music and language systems, and how we perceive them.

Humanities Cluster

Music Culture and Understanding (H1MAS001)
This cluster provides an introduction to music as a window on cognition and culture. Learn fundamentals of music reading and structure, then use this knowledge to explore how music is perceived and remembered, and about the role it plays in one or more cultural groups.

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Music and Sound Minors

We offer two minors, with six courses required for each minor. No more than two courses may overlap with the student’s major or another minor.

Eastman School music theory courses are acceptable in place of MUR 111 or MUR 112.

Music Cognition Minor

The music cognition minor satisfies the natural sciences division of the College’s curriculum requirements. This minor requires a total of six courses.

All three of the following:

  • BCS 260: Music and the Mind
  • MUR 111: Theory I
  • MUR 112: Theory II

Plus one of the following:

  • BCS 110: Neural Foundations of Behavior
  • BCS 111: Foundations of Cognitive Science

And two of the following:

  • BCS 152: Language and Psycholinguistics
  • BCS 153: Cognition
  • BCS 221: Auditory Perception
  • BCS 265: Language and the Brain

Music and Linguistics Minor

The music and linguistics minor satisfies the social sciences division of the College’s curriculum requirements. This minor requires a total of six courses.

All four of the following:

  • BCS 260: Music and the Mind
  • LIN 110: Introduction to Linguistic Analysis
  • MUR 111: Theory I
  • MUR 112: Theory II 

Plus two of the following:

  • LIN 210: Introduction to Language Sound Systems
  • LIN 220: Introduction to Grammatical Systems
  • LIN 225: Introduction to Semantic Analysis
  • LIN 227: Topics in Phonetics and Phonology

Related Academic Programs

In addition, the following departments at Rochester offer undergraduate or graduate degree programs for students interested in studying music and sound:

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Faculty Research

Faculty from across the University conduct research related to music and sound. Areas of relevant research areas include:

Want to get involved with research? Start by finding the faculty member whose research interests best align with your own. Then, contact the appropriate faculty member to ask about available research opportunities. 

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Music Cognition Symposium

The University of Rochester, the Eastman School of Music, and Cornell University collaborate to produce a Music Cognition Symposium, which meets four times per year and often features guest speakers.

Visit the Eastman School’s Music Cognition page for more information.

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Contact Us

Undergraduate Coordinator

Melinda Adelman
Office: 363 Meliora Hall
madelma2@ur.rochester.edu
Book an appointment online

Faculty Advisors

Elizabeth West Marvin
Professor of Music Theory
River Campus Office: 322 Meliora Hall
Eastman School Office: 26 Gibbs Street
bmarvin@esm.rochester.edu

David Temperley
Professor of Music Theory
River Campus Office: 322 Meliora Hall
Eastman School Office: 26 Gibbs Street
dtemperley@esm.rochester.edu

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