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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 MUSC 111: Theory I will be asked to enroll in MUSC 110: Introduction to Music Theory during the first year.

A pdf of the degree requirements (Major and Minor), including tracks may be found here.

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):

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

Musicianship (2–4 credits):

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

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

Music History (16 credits):

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

In addition, music majors must take one topics course in Music History.  Classes include MUSC 122A, 122B, 123, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 135A, 135B, 137, 139, 140, 144, 147, 205, 218.

Music in World Cultures (4 credits)

MUSC 121 or 210 or 236*

[*For Music in World Cultures track, MUSC 210 or 236 - see 'Tracks" below] 

Keyboard Skills (4 credits):

  • MUSC 116: Keyboard Skills I
  • MUSC 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
  • Sansifanyi
  • 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 (MUSC 155), Jazz Combos (MUSC 157A) and/or Mbira Ensemble MUSC 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 (see current degree requirements pdf for details on each track).

Each track has a specific faculty advisor.

Basic Track

This track is 63 credits and consists of the core requirements, plus:

  • 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 the core requirements, plus:

  • 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 the core requirements, plus: 

  • 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 consists of the core requirements (note exception to 'Music in World Cultures' core requirement above), plus:

  • Two semesters of studio lessons
  • Two semesters of world music ensemble
    • West African Drumming Ensemble
    • Sansifanyi (advanced West African drumming ensemble)
    • Mbira Ensemble (Eastman)
    • Gamelan Ensemble (Eastman)
    • Capoeira (Dance & Movement Program)
  • Two semesters of an ensemble of student's choice (including world music ensembles)
  • MUSC 121: World Music in Context (or equivalent MHS course)
  • MUSC 280: Approaches to Ethnography (offered every other year at ESM; please plan ahead)
  • Four elective credits of world music courses.

Musical Theater Track

This track is 69 credits and consists of the core requirements, plus:

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

Performance Track

This track is 73 credits and consists of the core requirements, plus:

  • Six semesters (16 credits) of studio lessons (note: students must qualify for and enroll in at least two semesters of one-hour [four-credit] 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 the core requirements, plus:

  • 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 the core requirements, plus:

  • 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 MUSC 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.