FAQ Undergraduate Courses

Can I take music courses if I am not a music major or minor?
Yes. Students pursuing other majors are welcome in music classes. Please note, however, that certain music classes have prerequisites, and these must be completed before enrolling in more advanced classes.

What kinds of music courses are offered, and what topics do they cover?
There are three categories of undergraduate courses: those that fulfill general education requirements in the Humanities or Social Sciences, those for students interested in music but not necessarily planning to make it their major, and those that are a part of the required curriculum for the music major. General Education classes provide introductions to the history of Western music (MUSI 10100), to World music (MUSI 10200), to the basics of music composition (MUSI 10300), and to the analysis and criticism of music (MUSI 10400). Other classes explore harmony and voice leading, topics in music history and popular music, computer music, and other topics depending upon the specialties of visiting faculty members. Advanced undergraduates can register for certain graduate courses and seminars with the consent of the instructor and approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. A full listing of courses is available in the College Catalog.

Which music courses fulfill Common Core requirements? 
Students seeking to meet the general education requirement in dramatic, musical, and visual arts with music courses can choose from among the following: Introduction to Western Music (MUSI 10100), Introduction to World Music (MUSI 10200), Introduction to Music: Materials and Design (MUSI 10300), or Introduction to Music Analysis and Criticism (MUSI 10400). Students seeking to meet the general education requirement in civilization studies may select the two-quarter sequence Music in Western Civilization (MUSI 12100 - 12200). More information can be found here and in the College Catalog. Additional questions about core curriculum classes should be addressed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Sam Pluta

Who teaches the music classes? 
Most music courses are taught by professors in the Department of Music. Faculty represent the highest level of current scholarship, including: opera, aesthetics, criticism, tonal and atonal theory, jazz, blues, film and pop music; internationally recognized composers with interests in the performance and analysis of contemporary music, and world leaders in ethnomusicology, including musical cultures of Europe, America, and South Asia. Visiting faculty members, including post-doctoral fellows, occasionally offer special classes encompassing particular areas of expertise. A portion of core curriculum classes are taught by advanced graduate students in the Department. 

Can I take composition lessons? 
Yes. Once you have met the prerequisites of the program, you can enroll in one-on-one lessons with a faculty composer for credit. Students interested in composition should work with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to determine an appropriate series of courses to meet the student’s skills and needs.