Music Major and Minor

We bring outstanding students and faculty together to explore the rich diversity of music in the context of a challenging liberal arts curriculum. Our rigorous program develops skills in performance and composition as well as a deep understanding of musical works in their cultural and social contexts. We offer undergraduates an exceptionally broad range of academic and performance opportunities, while emphasizing mentoring and student-faculty collaboration. Our dynamic program is further enriched by visiting artist residencies and by our proximity to the world-class musical life of Philadelphia.

Curriculum & Courses

Our curriculum is comprised of courses in theory/composition, musicology, and performance. Through theory classes our majors gain proficiency in aural and keyboard skills as well as harmony and counterpoint. We emphasize composition in traditional forms as well as experimentation with contemporary styles, and we encourage students to forge their own creative paths. Students also pursue musicology courses that place music in social, religious, and aesthetic contexts and embrace European, North American, and Asian traditions. Students hone their performance skills through participation in our many fine instrumental and vocal ensembles as well as in private study.

  • Major

    • Composition/Theory: MUSC 203, 204, and 303.
    • Musicology: Three courses, MUSC 229, plus any two of MUSC 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, or 225.
    • Two electives in Music, from: MUSC 149, 207, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 227, 250, 254, 265, 266, 270, 304, and 325.
    • Performance
      • Participation in a department-sponsored performance group for at least a year.
      • MUSC 208, 209, or 210 instrumental or vocal private study for one year.
      • We strongly urge continuing ensemble participation and instrumental or vocal private study.
    • A Senior Project (as detailed below)
    • We expect majors to attend the majority of department-sponsored concerts, lectures, and colloquia.
  • Minor

    • Composition/Theory: MUSC 203 and 204.
    • Musicology: MUSC 229; plus any one of 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, or 225.
    • One elective from the following: MUSC 149, 207, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 227, 250, 254, 265, 266, 270, 303, 304, and 325.
    • MUSC 208, 209, 210 instrumental/vocal private study or department ensemble participation for one year.
    • We expect minors to attend the majority of department-sponsored concerts, lectures, and colloquia.

Research & Outreach

All majors participate in our senior experience, during which they produce an independent study project. Projects typically take the form of original compositions, solo recitals, or musicological research papers. Alternatively, projects are undertaken within the context of an advanced music course. A public presentation is also required. The culmination of our majors’ undergraduate training, the senior experience is designed to stimulate reflection on the discipline as a whole while demonstrating particular achievement within a focused area of musical study.

After Graduation

Our graduates are musical thinkers and thinking musicians, possessing skills that equip them superbly for graduate work in music and careers in music and related fields. Our alumni are active in all areas of the musical world as professional performers, composers, and educators; arts administrators with leading cultural organizations; and innovators in various technologies, including sound design, sound recording, and web design for the music industry.

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