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Undergraduate Program

Major Requirements

The Department of Music, in cooperation with the Eastman School of Music, offers a bachelor of arts in music. This degree program mixes academic courses, private instruction, and ensemble experience to foster an understanding of musical languages, historical developments, and compositional styles while encouraging excellence in performance.

Although the music major is demanding, it is flexible enough to allow students to pursue a double major, pre-law, or pre-medicine.

In accordance with University policy, no more than 80 credit hours can be taken in a student's concentration.

Although the major requirements can be met in three years, any student who is considering a music major is urged to begin the music theory sequence in the fall semester of the first year. The theory placement exam is given during summer orientation. Students with limited background in music who do not qualify for MUR 111: Theory I will be asked to enroll in MUR 110: Introduction to Music Theory during the first year.

Incoming Students

First-year students who plan to major in music should take the music theory placement exam during summer orientation to learn whether they should enroll in MUR 110 or 111 for the fall semester.

Prospective music majors should also request (during the summer) an application for applied music lessons and prepare to audition for an ensemble during the first week of classes.

Core Requirements

Music Theory (16 credits):

  • MUR 111: Theory I
  • MUR 112: Theory II
  • MUR 211: Theory III
  • MUR 212: Theory IV

Musicianship (2–4 credits):

  • MUR 109: Musicianship I: Literacy Skills (if needed)
  • MUR 113: Musicianship II (one credit)
  • MUR 114: Musicianship III (one credit)
  • MUR 115: Musicianship IV

Music majors normally begin their musicianship work with MUR 113. However, the faculty member supervising the musicianship courses may instruct a student to begin with another course.

Music History (16 credits):

  • MUR 221: History of Western Music to 1600
  • MUR 222: History of Western Music 1600–1800
  • MUR 223: History of Western Music 1800–present

In addition, music majors must take one topics course in Music History.  Classes include MUR 122A, 122B, 123, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 135A, 135B, 137, 140, 144, 147, 205, 218.

Music in World Cultures (4 credits)

MUR 121 or 210 or 236

Keyboard Skills (4 credits):

  • MUR 116: Keyboard Skills I
  • MUR 117: Keyboard Skills II

Students can also fulfill they keyboard requirement by passing an equivalent proficiency exam for each course.

Ensembles

Students must participate in one or more faculty-directed ensembles sponsored by the College's music department:

  • Women’s Chorus
  • Chamber Singers
  • Concert Choir
  • Gospel Choir
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Wind Symphony
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Rock Repertory Ensemble
  • Brass Choir
  • West African Drumming
  • Sansifani
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Gamelan

Students are encouraged to participate in one or more ensembles beyond the minimum requirement, which varies depending upon the specific track, although no more than eight credits can be applied toward the degree (the performance track is an exception). 

Participation in Chamber Ensembles (MUR 155), Jazz Combos (MUR 157A) and/or Mbira Ensemble MUR 165) will not count toward the ensemble requirement.

Private Instruction

Minimum required credit hours for studio lessons at Eastman or on the Carillon vary depending upon the specific track. Students are strongly encouraged to continue their private study beyond the required number of semesters (track dependent), although no more than 8 credits can be applied toward the degree (the performance track is an exception).

See the lessons page for more information about private instruction.

Tracks

Students must choose from one of the following tracks:

Each track has a specific faculty advisor.

Basic Track

This track is 63 credits and consists of:

  • Four semesters of studio lessons
  • Four semesters of ensemble
  • Eight elective credits (not lessons or ensembles)

Composition Track

This track is 67 credits and consists of:

  • Four semesters of studio lessons or composition instruction
  • Four semesters of ensembles
  • Twelve credits of composition and/or theory electives

History/Theory Track

This track is 63 credits and consists of: 

  • Two semesters of studio lessons
  • Four semesters of ensembles
  • Twelve credits of electives in history and/or theory

Music in World Cultures Track

This track is 63 credits and consist of:

  • Two semesters of studio lessons
  • Two semesters of world music ensemble
  • Two semesters of an ensemble of student's choice
  • MUR 121: World Music in Context (or equivalent MHS course)
  • Intro to Ethnomusicology
  • Four elective credits of anthropologically oriented courses

Musical Theater Track

This track is 69 credits and consists of:

  • Four semesters of studio voice lessons
  • Two semesters of ensembles
  • MUR 133: Musical Theater Workshop
  • MUR 135: Sondheim and Modern Musical Theater
  • MUR 233: Advanced Musical Theater Workshop
  • Four credits of electives

Performance Track

This track is 73 credits and consists of:

  • Six semesters (16 credits) of studio lessons
  • Six semesters of ensembles
  • Eight elective credits (can include additional studio lessons and ensembles)

Popular Music/Jazz Track

This track is 63 credits and consists of:

  • Two semesters of studio instruction
  • Four semesters of ensembles
  • Twelve elective credits in popular music courses

Audio and Music Engineering Track

This track is 63 credits and consists of:

  • Two semesters of studio instruction
  • Four semesters of ensembles
  • Twelve elective credits in audio and music engineering courses

Electives

Credits can be chosen from any MUR course numbered 120 or higher and/or Eastman School course numbered 200 or higher (except Eastman MHS 421-6). Unless stated otherwise in the requirements for the track, no ensemble, class lessons or private instruction credits may be included.