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 H203, MUSC H204, and MUSC H303.
    • Musicology: Three courses, MUSC H229, plus any two of MUSC H220, MUSC H221, MUSC H222, MUSC H223, MUSC H224, or MUSC H225.
    • Two electives in Music, from: MUSC H149, MUSC H207, MUSC H220, MUSC H221, MUSC H222, MUSC H223, MUSC H224, MUSC H225, MUSC H227, MUSC H250, MUSC H254, MUSC H265, MUSC H266, MUSC H270, MUSC H304, and MUSC H325.
    • Performance
      • Participation in a department-sponsored performance group for at least a year.
      • MUSC H208, MUSC H209, or MUSC H210 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.
    • Students may take only one elective course abroad or at another institution in the U.S., including within the Tri-College Consortium or at Penn, with prior written approval from the Chair of the Music Department.

  • Minor

    • Composition/Theory: MUSC H203 and MUSC H204.
    • Musicology: MUSC H229; plus any one of MUSC H220, MUSC H221, MUSC H222, MUSC H223, MUSC H224, or MUSC H225.
    • One elective from the following: MUSC H149, MUSC H207, MUSC H220, MUSC H221, MUSC H222, MUSC H223, MUSC H224, MUSC H225, MUSC H227, MUSC H250, MUSC H254, MUSC H265, MUSC H266, MUSC H270, MUSC H303, MUSC H304, and MUSC H325.
    • MUSC H208, MUSC H209, MUSC H210 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.

    Students may take only one elective course abroad or at another institution in the U.S., including within the Tri-College Consortium or at Penn, with prior written approval from the Chair of the Music Department.

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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You can find detailed instructions and information on the Application Instructions page. If you need to contact us directly, please send an email to admission@haverford.edu.

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