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The concentration in music is designed to encourage students to expand their abilities in all dimensions of music, allowing them to intensify their involvement in performance, composition, or musicology, while introducing them to a wider musical and cultural context. The student concentrating in music is expected to attain a level of proficiency in score reading and a basic understanding of theoretical concepts, as well as to develop a concrete grasp of a performance tradition through active participation on a musical instrument or voice. From this platform, the students explore their particular musical interests—intensively through a series of activities or courses that require increasingly sophisticated musical skill or intellectual insight, and extensively through exposure to varied repertory, materials, and approaches. Students are expected to choose a group of courses that broaden and diversify their concept of the field and that connect to related disciplines. Each student’s creativity and point of view is considered integral to endeavors in this concentration.


Students who concentrate in music may choose to focus in one of these five areas: Cultural and Historical Studies; Composition and Theory; Jazz Performance and Literature; Electronic Music; Performance and Theory. Other theoretically coherent groupings of courses may be designed by the student in consultation with the Moderation Committee. The minimum needed to fulfill the concentration requirements is 18 credits.

Minimum Requirements

6 credits for Theory I and Theory II (required of all concentrations)
4 credits for Theory III (required of all concentrations)
4 credits (semesters) of performing activity:
   Two semesters of private lessons
   Two semesters of performing organization (Chorus, Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble,
   Madrigal Group, Collegium)
Ten credits from a core area (see below)
Credit Totals: 24

Core Areas

  1. Cultural and Historical Studies
    Equivalent of two semesters of musicology courses (minimum six credits); an additional semester of a musicology course at the 300-level; strongly recommended: Non-music courses in history or cultural studies
  2. Composition and Theory
    Composition at the 200 level or Jazz Composing and Arranging; composition at the 300 level; Music Since World War I or Jazz: An American Encounter; strongly recommended: Theory IV and V
  3. Jazz Performance and Literature
    Jazz Improvisation Workshop I; Jazz Improvisation Workshop II; Jazz: an American Encounter
  4. Electronic Music
    Intro to Electronic Music; Composition; Music Since World War I; strongly recommended: Interactive Arts Workshop and Analog and Digital Electronics
  5. Performance and Theory
    Theory IV; Small Chamber Ensembles or Jazz Improvisation Workshop or Vocal Performance: Opera and Musical Theater or three semesters of performing activity beyond the basic four; one semester of a musicology course; strongly recommended: Independent Music Project
  6. Student-designed Core
    Two classes at 200 level; one at 300 level (excluding Theory I and II) to be determined at Moderation; recommended additional courses to be determined at Moderation

Musicology Courses

Euro-American Music History: Medieval, Renaissance, Early and Later Baroque; Mozart and Haydn; Beethoven and Schubert; Romantic Music; Music since World War I; Music in Film
Modules: Charles Ives; The Piano
World Music Cultures: Music in World Cultures; The Music of India; Jazz: An American Encounter

Composition Courses

Any Introduction to Electronic Music
Composition (200-level)
Composition (300-level)

Theory Classes

(That count toward the concentration)
Theory III, IV, V
Performing Organizations
Jazz Ensemble
Chamber Ensemble
Madrigal Group

Recent Senior Theses

“Sankofa: Communicating Ghanaian Music-Dance Traditions”
“Wynton Marsalis’s ‘In This House, On This Morning’: A Study”
“Longing for the Past: Original Jazz Compositions Reflecting Traditional Styles”
“Where the Wild Things Are: A Study in Musical Affect”
“A Study of Divergent Musical Styles through Five Original Compositions”
“Parnassus the Hard Way”
“Six Dramatic Songs for Voices, Clarinet, and Piano”
“Al-Mal hun: A Study of a Moroccan Musical Tradition”
“20th-Century Violin and Piano Music: An Integrated Approach to Performance and Theory”
“Schoenberg Had Feelings, Too”


Jack Brown, Clive Davis, Anne Legêne, John Myers, Gigi Teeley, Laurence Wallach, Cheng-Chia Wu, Community Music Program Faculty
Faculty Contacts: John Myers, Laurence Wallach