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Bachelor of Arts in Music

The undergraduate major in Music is built around a series of foundation courses in theory, musicianship, and music history, in addition to performance and the proficiency requirements outlined below. Majors must complete a minimum of 66 units within the department. All required courses for the B.A. in any concentration must be taken for a letter grade. Electives may be taken credit/no credit, but any courses taken towards concentration requirements must carry a letter grade.

SUGGESTED PREPARATION FOR THE MAJOR

Because of the sequence of courses, it takes more than two years to complete the requirements for the major. Students are required to meet with the undergraduate student services officer in the department prior to declaring the major. It is recommended that prospective majors schedule this consultation with the undergraduate student services officer as early as possible in their careers in order to plan a program that allows sufficient time for major course work, practice, and University requirements outside the major. Early planning is especially important for students wishing to double-major, for those contemplating overseas study during their undergraduate years, for those wishing to do an in-depth concentration in the Music major, and for those with particular musical talents and interests. It is recommended that music majors complete MUSIC 21, 22, and 23 in the freshman year; the series should be completed by Autumn Quarter of the junior year. It is recommended that music majors complete MUSIC 40, 41, and 42 in the sophomore year; the series should be completed by the end of the junior year.

Suggested Preparatory Course—MUSIC 19. Introduction to Music Theory.

FIELDS OF STUDY OR DEGREE OPTIONS

Concentrations are offered in: performance; conducting; composition; history and theory; or music, science, and technology. Each of these concentration areas is declarable in Axess as a subplan. Specific guidelines and information on the concentration tracks are available from the Department of Music office and students are urged to select this option no later than the middle of their junior year in order to complete all of the requirements in a timely manner.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

In conjunction with the undergraduate student services officer, the student is assigned a departmental adviser with whom the student is required to meet at least one time each quarter. Total units and courses required to graduate for each concentration are specified in the relevant section following.

Required Courses—The following courses are required of all majors.

  1. Theory—

    MUSIC 21. Elements of Music I (4 units)

    MUSIC 22. Elements of Music II (4 units)

    MUSIC 23. Elements of Music III (4 units)

  2. History—

    MUSIC 40. Music History to 1600 (4 units)

    MUSIC 41. Music History 1600-1830 (4 units)

    MUSIC 42. Music History Since 1830 (4 units)

  3. Analysis—

    MUSIC 121. Analysis of Tonal Music (4 units)

    and two at the 4-unit level, from:

    MUSIC 122A. Renaissance and Baroque Counterpoint

    MUSIC 122B. Harmonic Materials of the 19th Century

    MUSIC 122C. Introduction to 20th-Century Composition

  4. Writing in the Major (WIM)—Three (at least two at the 4-unit level) from:

    MUSIC 140. Studies in Medieval Music

    MUSIC 141. Studies in Renaissance Music

    MUSIC 142. Studies in Baroque Music

    MUSIC 143. Studies in Classical Music

    MUSIC 144. Studies in Romantic Music

    MUSIC 145. Studies in Modern Music

    MUSIC 146. Music and Urban Film

    MUSIC 147. The Soul Tradition in African American Music

    MUSIC 148. Musical Shakespeare: Theater, Song, Opera, and Film

    MUSIC 149. Reactions to the Record: Early Recordings, Lost Styles, and Music's Future

    MUSIC 190H. Sex, Sacrifice, and Civilization: Baroque Opera and Tragedy

    MUSIC 251. Psychophysics and Music Cognition

  5. Applied—
    1. A minimum of five quarters totaling 15 units of private instruction in instrumental and/or vocal performance (MUSIC 172/272-177/277); students who do not qualify for private instruction at the intermediate or advanced level, but who wish to pursue the major may take introductory voice (MUSIC 65 and 73), piano (MUSIC 12 and 72A), or guitar (MUSIC 74C) to reach the minimum proficiency levels required to be accepted into a private studio and then complete their 5 quarters. Requirements for the minimum levels of proficiency in each instrument for private instruction are posted at: http://music.stanford.edu/Academics/Auditions.html.
    2. A minimum of five quarters totaling at least 5 units of work in one or more of the department's organizations or chamber groups. To fulfill the ensemble requirement, Music majors need at least three quarters of participation in the department's traditional large ensembles (MUSIC 159–167), with the exception of students whose primary instrument is harp, keyboard, or guitar, who need to participate at least one quarter in the ensembles above, but who may fulfill the rest of the requirement with chamber music (MUSIC 171). MUSIC 181 and MUSIC 156 may count for up to two of the ensemble-unit requirements for the Music major.

      Note—MUSIC 128, Composition, Coding, and Performance with SLOrk; MUSIC 157, Mariachi Band; MUSIC 158, Soundwire Ensemble; MUSIC 160A, Stanford Philharmonia Orchestra; MUSIC 160B, Stanford New Ensemble; MUSIC 161C, Red Vest Band; and MUSIC 161D, Stanford Brass Ensemble do not satisfy this requirement.

  6. Additional requirements—
    1. Majors are required to pass a Piano Proficiency examination as part of the music theory core (MUSIC 21, 22, 23). The examination is given in the first two weeks of MUSIC 21. Students who do not pass the Piano Proficiency examination are required to enroll in MUSIC 12 concurrently with the music theory core until they are able to pass the examination. The examination consists of scales and arpeggios, performance of a simple tune to be set by the examiner, sight-reading, and the performance of prepared pieces. Information regarding the proficiency examination may be downloaded at http://music.stanford.edu/private/downloads/PIANO%20PROFICIENCY%20EXAM.doc
    2. Majors must also pass an ear-training proficiency examination, which is one of the requirements to complete MUSIC 23. It may be taken by arrangement and demonstrates a student's ability to hear music accurately and to perform it at sight.
  7. Electives

I. Concentration in Performance—In addition to degree requirements required of majors listed above, students in the Performance concentration must:

  1. Complete at least 6 additional, graded course units in performance. Acceptable courses are described under "Applied" in the section describing private instruction and ensemble course work above. Additional courses might include, but are not limited to:

MUSIC 126. Introduction to Thoroughbass

MUSIC 154. Composition and Performance of Instrumental Music with Electronics

MUSIC 182. Diction for Singers

MUSIC 183. Art Song Interpretation

MUSIC 269. Research in Performance Practices

  1. Register for an independent project (MUSIC 198, 4 units) in the senior year under faculty supervision, leading to a senior recital.

II. Concentration in Conducting—In addition to degree requirements required of majors listed above, students in the Conducting concentration must:

  1. Complete at least 6 additional, graded course units in conducting. Additional courses might include, but are not limited to:

MUSIC 127. Instrumentation and Orchestration

MUSIC 130. Elementary Conducting

MUSIC 230. Advanced Orchestral Conducting

MUSIC 231. Advanced Choral Conducting

  1. Register for an independent project (MUSIC 198, 4 units) in the senior year under faculty supervision, leading to a senior conducting project.

III. Concentration in Composition—In addition to degree requirements required of majors listed above, students in the Composition concentration must:

  1. Complete at least 6 additional, graded course units in composition. Additional courses might include, but are not limited to:

MUSIC 123. Undergraduate Seminar in Composition

MUSIC 125. Individual Undergraduate Projects in Composition

MUSIC 127. Instrumentation and Orchestration

MUSIC 150. Musical Acoustics

MUSIC 154. Composition and Performance of Instrumental Music with Electronics

MUSIC 220A, B, or C—any of the series in computer-generated sound, music, and composition

  1. Register for an independent project (MUSIC 198, 4 units) in the senior year under faculty supervision, leading to a composition.

IV. Concentration in History and Theory—In addition to degree requirements required of majors listed above, students in the History and Theory concentration must:

  1. Complete at least 6 additional, graded course units in history and theory. Additional courses might include, but are not limited to:

MUSIC 122A, B, or C—any course not taken in fulfillment of the major requirement

MUSIC 140-149/240-249, 251—any courses not taken in fulfillment of the major requirement

MUSIC 221. Topics in the History of Theory

MUSIC 220A, B, or C—any of the series in computer-generated sound, music, and composition

  1. Register for an independent project (MUSIC 198, 4 units) in the senior year under faculty supervision, leading to a senior research paper.

V. Concentration in Music, Science, and Technology—Requires completion of 66 units of course work that differs from that of the major and is delineated below. This field of study is designed for those students interested in the musical ramifications of rapidly evolving computer technology and digital audio, and in the acoustic and psychoacoustic foundations of music. This program can serve as a complementary major to students in the sciences and engineering. Students in the program are required to include the following courses in their studies:

  1. Theory and Analysis—

MUSIC 21. Elements of Music I (4 units)

MUSIC 22. Elements of Music II (4 units)

MUSIC 23. Elements of Music III (4 units; includes passing the piano and ear-training proficiency examinations, as described for the major)

MUSIC 121. Analysis of Tonal Music (4 units)

MUSIC 150. Musical Acoustics (3 units)

MUSIC 251. Psychophysics and Music Cognition (WIM) (4 units)

MUSIC 220A. Fundamentals of Computer-Generated Sound (4 units)

MUSIC 220B. Compositional Algorithms, Psychoacoustics, and Spatial Processing (4 units)

MUSIC 220C. Research Seminar in Computer-Generated Music (4 units)

MUSIC 220D. Research in Computer-Generated Music (4 units)

MUSIC 250A. Human-Computer Interface Theory and Practice (4 units)

  1. Applied—
    1. Individual studies in performance, MUSIC 171/272-177/277, (6 units), or MUSIC 192A, Foundations of Sound Recording Technology and MUSIC 192B, Advanced Sound-Recording Technology (3 units each).
    2. Ensemble as described above for the major (5 units) or MUSIC 192C. Session Recording (5 units).
  2. History—Two at the 4-unit level from:

MUSIC 40. Music History to 1600

MUSIC 41. Music History 1600–1830

MUSIC 42. Music History Since 1830

  1. The program requires a senior research project (4 units) completed under faculty guidance. May be completed in conjunction with enrollment in any of the following: MUSIC 220D; MUSIC 199; MUSIC 198.

HONORS PROGRAM

Honors in Music are awarded by the faculty to concentrators who have produced an independent project of exceptional quality and meet certain departmental standards in musicianship, scholarship, and academic standing. The conferral of honors is done solely through faculty consultation. Students do not petition for honors.

OVERSEAS STUDY OR STUDY ABROAD

Courses in Music are often available at Stanford overseas programs, especially in Berlin, Paris, Florence, and Oxford. See the "Overseas Studies Program" section of this bulletin for this year's listings. Music majors and minors should talk to the Department of Music undergraduate administrator prior to going overseas.

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