Major programs are put together by the students in consultation with their advisors. The programs reflect the individual interests and needs of the students. The department requires that a program proposal, including all music courses previously taken and those planned for the future, be submitted at the time of application to be a major. A major program should have a healthy balance between courses in music history and culture; courses in music analysis, theory and composition; and courses in performance. It is a fundamental principle of the Wesleyan music program that the study of music and the experience of music should reinforce and inspire each other. A major program must show evidence of work in at least one musical tradition outside the area of the student’s prime concentration. The understanding that comes with new experiences is an essential part of the music opportunity at Wesleyan.
A music major's possible foci of study include Western classical music; new and experimental music; African American, Indonesian, Indian, and African musics; and European and American music outside the art tradition. These and other possibilities are not mutually exclusive but can be studied in combinations that reflect the interests of individual students. The music profession is international. In many areas of music study, at least one foreign language is essential.
Admission to the Major
Prerequisites to the music major:
|One Course in the Music Theory Gateway Category||1|
|Materials and Design|
|Theory and Analysis|
|Theory of Jazz Improvisation|
Note: MUSC103, a prerequisite for all other theory classes, may be waived on the basis of a placement test. For AP Music Theory credit questions, see "Additional Information."
|One Course in the History/Culture Gateway Category||1|
|A Thousand Years of Music History|
|Introduction to Experimental Music|
|Introduction to South Indian Music|
|Music and Theater of Indonesia|
|Introduction to North Indian Music|
Note: For the Class of 2019, the history/culture capability prerequisite can be met with any course in that category.
|One Course in the Performance Category||1|
MUSC 405, MUSC 413 through MUSC 464
Note: MUSC405 satisfies the prerequisite but will not count toward the requirements for the major.
Music majors take four courses in each of three capabilities: theory/composition, history/culture, and performance. Two additional courses from the MUSC300-level Seminars for Music Majors bring the number of music credits to 14. The required senior project or senior honors thesis brings the total number of music credits to 15 or 16, respectively. Diversity of musical experience is a core value of the Music Department and is expected of all music majors. To move toward this goal, at least two of the 14 music credits must be outside the student’s main area of interest.
The Music Department expects its majors to continue to refine and extend their performance skills throughout their undergraduate careers, which may mean accumulating more than 15 or 16 credits in music. No more than 16 credits in music may be counted toward the 32 credits required for graduation, however, and students must therefore complete 16 or 17 credits outside of music.
Courses For Non-Majors
With the exception of MUSC300, all classes offered by the Music Department are open to non-majors.
Music majors are advised to complete their General Education Expectations (three each of HA, NSM, and SBS courses). Prospective majors who have not taken enough courses outside of the Music Department may be refused entry into the major. Students who fail to fulfill the General Education Expectations are generally not considered for department prizes and honors.
Student Learning Goals
At graduation, music majors will be able to:
- Think analytically and critically about musical languages, histories, and cultures
- Write effectively about music
- Perform and/or create music with proficiency and creativity
- Engage unfamiliar traditions and paradigms of humanly organized sound with sensitivity and insight
- Apply their musical knowledge and skills within broader investigations of the human experience
AP theory credit is considered as follows:
AP Theory Credit on the student’s Wesleyan transcript
- Counts as one of the 4 theory/composition requirements for the music major
- Student needs to complete 3 additional theory/composition credits for the major
Passed the AP test with 4 or 5 but the AP Credit Will not appear on the student's Wesleyan transcript
- Student may begin theory coursework at a higher level
- Student will still be required to take 4 theory/composition courses for the major
Students with questions regarding AP Theory
- Should meet with the theory faculty of the Music Department teaching MUSC103 to discuss options
Merit-based awards that may be awarded annually
Elizabeth Verveer Tishler Prize
Established in 1981 by a gift from Mrs. Tishler. Expanded in 1989 for excellence in piano performance.
Gwen Livingston Pokora Prize
Established in 1993, awarded annually to the outstanding undergraduate student in music composition.
Leavell Memorial Prize
Awarded annually to a senior who has done outstanding work in music and whose work manifests the ideals of the World Music Program in the Music Department.
The gift of the Reverend and Mrs. Bailey G. Lipsky in memory of their son, Francis Jules Lipsky, Class of 1931, to the member of the choir possessing in the highest degree unfailing kindliness, quiet dignity, and brilliant scholarship.
Samuel C. Silipo Prize
Awarded annually for the most valuable player(s) of the Wesleyan orchestra.
The department supports a number of unusual activities, many of which are available to the student body in general as well as to music majors. Among them are ensembles in various Asian, African, American, and European traditions, as well as a variety of chamber ensembles.
Private Lessons Program
Private lessons are available for many instruments and voice in Western art music, African American music, and a variety of other musics from around the world. Lessons are considered one-credit-per-semester courses. An additional fee, $780 per semester, is charged for these private lessons (financial aid may be available to students eligible for university financial aid). Approved music majors in their junior and senior years are eligible for partial subsidy when taking one (1) private lesson, per semester, for academic credit with a private lessons teacher.
An ongoing departmental colloquium is intended for the entire music community. It includes presentations by Wesleyan faculty, students, and outside speakers and encourages general discussion of broad issues in the world of music.
The study facilities include a working collection of musical instruments from many different cultures; a music-instrument manufacturing workshop; a 45-piece Javanese Gamelan Orchestra; a large formal concert hall and a small multipurpose concert hall; an electronic music studio coupled to a professional recording studio; a computer-arts studio capable of producing electronic music, video art, and environmental simulations; a music and record library; an electronic keyboard lab; and an archive of world music.
The following is a listing according to capabilities of courses offered by the department:
|MUSC103||Materials and Design||1|
|MUSC202||Theory and Analysis||1|
|MUSC210||Theory of Jazz Improvisation||1|
|MUSC106||A Thousand Years of Music History||1|
|MUSC109||Introduction to Experimental Music||1|
|MUSC110||Introduction to South Indian Music||1|
|MUSC111||Music and Theater of Indonesia||1|
|MUSC115||Introduction to North Indian Music||1|
|MUSC116F||Visual Sounds: Exploring the Landscape and Architecture of Musical Notation (FYS)||1|
|MUSC117F||Musicking Body (FYS)||1|
|MUSC118F||Bob Dylan and His World: Sources and Legacies (FYS)||1|
|MUSC119F||Jazz in the 1960s (FYS)||1|
|MUSC120F||Music, Place, and Culture: An Exploration of African American Soundscapes and Traditions (FYS)||1|
|MUSC124F||Mapping Culture (FYS)||1|
|MUSC125F||Music and Downtown New York, 1950-1970 (FYS)||1|
|MUSC126F||Poetry and Song (FYS)||1|
|MUSC204||20th Century Compositional Techniques||1|
|MUSC205||Song: Music and Text||1|
|MUSC208||Post-Tonal Music Theory||1|
|MUSC212||South Indian Music: Solkattu||1|
|MUSC220||Composing, Performing, and Listening to Experimental Music||1|
|MUSC221||Live-Electronics for Composition, Improvisation, and Sound Art||1|
|MUSC223||Music, Recording, and Sound Design||1|
|MUSC230||Music Theater Workshop (cross list)||1|
|MUSC308||Composition in the Arts||1|
|MUSC108||History of Rock and R&B||1|
|MUSC127||Popular Music in Reform China||1|
|MUSC241||Allegory and Devotion in Medieval and Renaissance Music (cross list)||1|
|MUSC242||Baroque and Classical Music||1|
|MUSC243||Music of the 19th Century||1|
|MUSC244||Music of the 20th Century||1|
|MUSC246||The Symphony: Evolution of Genre||1|
|MUSC248||Music in Outer Space||1|
|MUSC250||Film and Folk Music of India||1|
|MUSC261||Music and Modernity in China, Japan, and Korea||1|
|MUSC265||African Presences I: Music in Africa||1|
|MUSC269||Sacred and Secular African American Musics||1|
|MUSC272||History of Jazz in American Culture||1|
|MUSC274||Hymnody in the United States Before the Civil War||1|
|MUSC275||Music and Downtown New York||1|
|MUSC290||Research Skills in Ethnomusicology--IRL & Digital||1|
|MUSC291||The Gendering of Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective||1|
|MUSC296||Soundscapes of Islam||1|
|MUSC297||Music of Central Asia||1|
|MUSC300||Seminar for Music Majors||1|
|MUSC304||Arranging and Composing for Jazz Orchestra||1|
|MUSC405||Private Music Lessons for Nonmusic Majors||1|
|MUSC406||Private Music Lessons for Declared Music Majors||1|
|MUSC413||Korean Drumming and Creative Music||1|
|MUSC414||Korean Drumming and Creative Music Advanced||1|
|MUSC416||Beginning Taiko--Japanese Drumming Ensemble||1|
|MUSC418||Advanced Taiko--Japanese Drumming Ensemble||1|
|MUSC428||Chinese Music Ensemble||1|
|MUSC430||South Indian Voice--Beginning||1|
|MUSC431||South Indian Voice--Intermediate||1|
|MUSC432||South Indian Voice--Advanced||1|
|MUSC433||South Indian Music--Percussion||1|
|MUSC434||Improvisational Techniques in South Indian Music||1|
|MUSC436||Wesleyan Concert Choir||1|
|MUSC438||Wesleyan University Collegium Musicum (cross list)||1|
|MUSC439||Wesleyan University Orchestra||1|
|MUSC441||Piping Performance: An Exploration of Artistic Expression through the Pipe Organ||1|
|MUSC442||Chamber Music Ensemble||1|
|MUSC443||Wesleyan Wind Ensemble (WesWinds)||1|
|MUSC444||African Popular Music Performance||1|
|MUSC445||West African Music and Culture--Beginners||1|
|MUSC446||West African Music and Culture--Intermediate||1|
|MUSC447||West African Music and Culture--Advanced||1|
|MUSC448||Ebony Singers: Gospel Music||0.5|
|MUSC456||Jazz Improvisation Performance||1|
|MUSC457||Jazz Orchestra I||1|
|MUSC458||Jazz Orchestra II||1|
|MUSC461||Sound Systems: The How of Hearing||1|
|MUSC463||Teaching Music Lessons to Children in Local Schools||1|
|MUSC505||Topics in Applied Ethnomusicology/Public Musicology||1|
|MUSC508||Graduate Seminar in Composition||1|
|MUSC509||Special Topics in Contemporary Music||1|
|MUSC510||Graduate Proseminar in World Music Studies||1|
|MUSC513||Improvisation in Cross-Cultural Perspective||1|
|MUSC517||Sex/Gender/Queerness in Music and Music Scholarship||1|
|MUSC519||Current Issues in Ethnomusicology||1|
|MUSC520||Explorations in Musicology||1|
|MUSC521||Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies||1|
|MUSC522||Seminar in Comparative Music Theory||1|
|MUSC530||Department of Music Colloquium||0.25|
The senior project requirement may be satisfied by the completion of an honors project, a project that may encompass a composition, a concert, etc., but the honors project always contains a substantial written component; for this reason it is called the honors thesis. An honors thesis satisfies the departmental requirement for a senior project, even if it is not awarded honors. The honors thesis tutorial is always a two-semester undertaking.
All music majors are required to complete a senior project by the end of their final year. The purpose of the project is to give focus to the major by means of independent, creative work and to encourage independent study with the close advice and support of a faculty member. Students who choose to undertake an honors thesis may count this as their senior project.