Major

All majors will take a seven-course core curriculum:
101, 102
125, 126
245, 246
One course from MUAC 351, 352, 353, 354

All majors are required to participate for two complete semesters in one or more department ensembles (MUEN courses) to fulfill the ensemble requirement for the degree. Majors are also expected to participate in ensembles every semester in residence on campus.

Music Composition Emphasis (11 total courses): seven-course core; 255, 256, 491, 492. The 300-level seminar, taken as part of the core, must be 354 or another seminar by permission of department chair.

Music History Emphasis (10 total courses): seven-course core; two additional courses from 351, 352, 353, 354, and either 495 or 496 by advisement, culminating in a research paper.

Music Theory Emphasis (10 total courses): seven-course core; 345; one additional course from MUAC 351, 352, 353, 354; and 493 or 494.

Music Performance Emphasis (12 total courses): seven course core; one course from MUAC 351, 352, 353, 354; MUPS 323 and 324; MUPS 423 and 424. Music performance majors must pass an upper divisional performance examination at the end of 224, in order to remain in the performance emphasis. Majors with this emphasis who wish to apply for study abroad in the junior year must have their advisor?s permission to pursue the Performance Studies emphasis before the end of fall semester, sophomore year. Once declared, music performance majors are required to participate in ensembles every semester in residence on campus.

Minor

Six courses:

1) The student's choice of one full introductory sequence, either MUAC 101 and 102 or 125 and 126.

2) Four full-credit electives to be drawn from the following eligible courses:

MUAC 101, 102, 115, 125, 126, 206, 209, 221, 245, 246, 251, 253, 255, 256, 345, 351, 352, 353, 354

MUPS 213, 214, 313, 314, 413, 414 (NOTE: only full-hour MUPS lessons count. Half-hour lessons cannot be combined towards one credit. Performance Studies fees will be assessed to minors.)

3) Participation for two complete semesters in one or more department ensembles (MUEN) to fulfill the ensemble participation requirement.

Music Department Ensembles

Admission to all department ensembles is by audition at the beginning of the academic year or by permission of the director. Instrumental ensembles meet once a week for 2 to 2 1/2 hours each. Choral ensembles meet twice a week for 1 to 1 1/4 hours each. Credit for participation in department ensembles is noted on participants' transcripts.

MUEN 009-01, Collegium The Dickinson Collegium consists of a small choir of 24 voices, and small instrumental ensembles that occasionally perform in conjunction with the choir. The groups specialize in, but are not limited to, music of the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras. The Collegium performs in a variety of settings, including an annual Christmas concert in Memorial Hall.

MUEN 009-02, College Choir This mixed choir performs several major choral works each year at Dickinson with the Orchestra.

MUEN 009-03, DICE (Dickinson Improvisation and Collaboration Ensemble), a flexible, open-instrumentation ensemble (woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings and voice). Repertoire is diverse but focuses mostly on masterworks and lesser-known pieces of the 20th and 21st centuries.

MUEN 009-04, Jazz Band This ensemble performs classic big band arrangements and also features small combos from the larger group. Concerts regularly feature nationally-known guest soloists.

MUEN 009-05, College-Community Orchestra Open to students and faculty at the college and to instrumentalists from the surrounding area interested in the performance and study of the best in orchestral literature.

MUEN 009-06, Chamber Music Ensembles The department coordinates, coaches and supports performances of student chamber music ensembles according to student demand and availability. These ensembles are featured at the end of the academic year in a student chamber music concert.

Suggested curricular flow through the major

First Year
MUAC 125 (fall only), MUAC 126 (spring only)
MUAC 101 and/or MUAC 102 (these latter two may be taken out of sequence)
Performance Studies majors should begin enrolling in studio lessons (Voice majors begin their study with Vocal Technique Class, MUPS 111-02)

Sophomore Year
MUAC 245 (fall only), MUAC 246 (spring only)
MUAC 101 and/or 102 (if not taken earlier)
Possibly MUAC 255 for composition or theory emphasis if simultaneous with 245

Junior Year
Remaining 200-level courses
MUAC 351-354 seminars
Performance majors should be enrolled in MUPS 323/324 (junior recital), rather than 313/314 (for non-majors)

Senior Year
All 400-level courses (senior projects in history, theory, composition or performance)
Any remaining 300-level seminars

Music majors are strongly advised:

  • to begin the theory sequence (125/126/245/246) as soon as possible, ideally enrolling in MUAC 125 during the first semester of the first year.
  • to complete the core requirements (101-102, 125-126, 245-246) by the end of the sophomore year, in preparation for the more advanced research and analysis undertaken in courses numbered above 250.
  • to carefully plan any study abroad activity if they intend to pursue the performance emphasis. The required junior recital (MUPS 324/325) can be difficult to achieve for the student planning to go abroad for the entire junior year, and may require a student to undertake a semester abroad only.
  • enroll as early as possible in Vocal Technique class (MUPS 111-02) if they intend to pursue a vocal performance emphasis.

Honors

The distinction of Honors in Music--the highest distinction that the Department can bestow--is awarded to a graduating senior or seniors who have met the requisite academic standards:

1) Maintenance of a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the core courses of the music major (7 courses: MUAC 101, 102, 125, 126, 245, 246, one 350-level seminar)and the courses specific to the major's concentration:

and
History: 35x, 35x
Theory: 35x, 345
Performance: 35x, 323, 324
Composition: 255, 256

2) An "A" grade in the capstone course and capstone project according to the major's concentration, and a successful public presentation at the majors' colloquium for a full-time faculty panel:
History: 495 OR 496
Theory: 493 OR 494
Performance: 423 AND 424
Composition: 491/492 (must take both - 0.5 credit each)

3) Satisfactory fulfillment of the ensemble participation requirement in every semester the student enrolls in an ensemble.

The student's final GPA will be certified at the end of the senior year just prior to graduation.

Courses

MUAC 101 History of Music
An introductory course for students with some previous music experience providing training in intelligent listening through chronological discussion and analysis of selected representative works from the Middle Ages to 1750. 

MUAC 102 History of Music
Why do we consider Mozart and Beethoven geniuses? What distinguishes music from sound and noise? How do opera and song encode cultural mores? How have social and political issues influenced supposed "abstract" music? Is music a more definite language than words? These are some of the aesthetic and philosophical issues that students will consider in this course, which explores musical composition from the death of Bach (1750) to avant-garde and minimalist composers. Students will develop skills associated with intelligent listening while also consulting primary sources in order to understand the contexts of musical production over the past 250 years. The ability to read music is not required for this course and non-musicians are welcome and encouraged. 

MUPS 111-01 Performance Studies: Piano
Introduction to piano technique and keyboard fundamentals in a group setting. Recommended for all students with no keyboard experience regardless of major. Course content includes both group and solo playing, individual practice sessions, basic music theory, and expository writing. Learning objectives include being able to read and play basic piano music with two hands and pedal. 
Will meet prerequisite for continued study in piano (114). Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

MUPS 111-02 Performance Studies: Vocal Technique
An introduction to vocal technique in a group setting. Course content includes physiology, both group and solo singing, independent practice sessions, IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), written listening assignments and required concert attendance.
Will meet prerequisite for continued study in voice (114). Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

MUPS 111-03 Performance Studies: Guitar
Introduction to plectrum and finger style guitar technique in a group setting. Recommended for all students wanting to learn guitar at Dickinson with little or no prior experience and for those music majors or future music majors with no guitar experience. Course content includes both group and solo playing, individual practice sessions, music notation, listening assignments, fretboard theory, basic musicianship and required concert attendance. While the emphasis in reading will be on standard notation, tablature and chord chart diagrams will be explored. 
Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

MUPS 113 Performance Studies I
Private study open to all students who demonstrate some acquaintance with musical notation, and who should continue to study voice or an instrument at the basic level.
One-half or one course each semester. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

MUPS 114 Performance Studies I
Private study open to all students who demonstrate some acquaintance with musical notation, and who should continue to study voice or an instrument at the basic level.
One-half or one course each semester. Prerequisite: MUPS 113.

MUAC 115 Fundamentals of Music
A hands-on introduction to the fundamentals of music through reading, writing, listening, singing, and basic keyboard skills. Emphasis is upon the acquisition of musical literacy grounded in a thorough knowledge of music notation.
The course is intended for non-majors with little or no theory background, and for minors and majors as a preparation for Music 125.

MUAC 125 Theory of Music I, with lab
An introduction to the basic materials of music by means of discussion, analysis, and written exercises, with a complementary lab component comprising practice in sight singing, ear training, and keyboard harmony. Course includes a one hour lab each week.
Prerequisite: 115, placement exam, or permission of the instructor. This course fulfills the DIV I.c. distribution requirement and QR graduation requirement. Offered every fall semester.

MUAC 126 Theory of Music II, with lab
An introduction to the basic materials of music by means of discussion, analysis, and written exercises, with a complementary lab component comprising practice in sight singing, ear training, and keyboard harmony. Course includes a one hour lab each week.
Prerequisite: 125, placement exam, or permission of the instructor. This course fulfills the DIV I.c. distribution requirement and QR graduation requirement. Offered every spring semester.

MUAC 206 Music in the United States
This course explores the wide variety of music that composers and musicians created to reflect their own experience of and attitude toward American culture. The course explores not only the diverse means by which identity is encoded in musical language, including race, class, gender, ethnicity, and local practices, but also the ways in which music is employed within American culture, including religious life, social movements, wartime conflicts and protest movements, labor, and geo-political commentary. Unlike other courses at Dickinson, Music in the United States draws examples from a lengthy time-span (1600s to the present day), fosters critical listening skills (i.e., how do I listen to jazz?), and interrogates the dialogues between musical genres that are often viewed as being on opposite sides of the "high/lo" art divide (classical, religious, folk, blues, jazz, pop, rock, hip hop). 
Offered every two years.

MUAC 209 World Music
This course explores the musical cultures of six regions (Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Middle East, North American, and Europe) from the disciplinary perspective of ethnomusicology, a field that emphasizes the direct connections between social structures and musical sound/aesthetics. Students are exposed to the disciplinary methods of ethnomusicology, including its basic terminology and classification systems, and then apply these tools to the study of non-Western musics in a series of analytical assignments and presentations. Some of the questions posed in the class include: What differentiates music from sound, speech, and dance? How does music reflect cultural values and social structures? How does one learn to listen to non-western music? How has globalism affected local musical cultures? How does western musical terminology limit our understanding of another's music? What are the ideological and physical boundaries that hinder the experience of another culture's music? 
This course fulfills the DIV I.c. distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement. Offered every two years.

MUPS 213 Performance Studies II
Private study open to students who demonstrate a basic technique, and who should continue to study voice or an instrument at the intermediate level.
One-half or one course each semester. Prerequisite: MUPS 114.

MUPS 214 Performance Studies II
Private study open to students who demonstrate a basic technique, and who should continue to study voice or an instrument at the intermediate level.
One-half or one course each semester. Prerequisite: MUPS 213.

MUAC 221 Music in Film
An introduction to the role and subject of music in film. This course will focus upon films made between ca. 1933 and the present, chosen for the variety and significance of their musical scores. Through critical reading, listening, and viewing, students will be taught to analyze the various functions of music in film, and to appreciate music as an essential and distinctive component of film narrative. No prior background in music is required for this course.

MUPS 223 Performance Studies II (Performance Emphasis)
Private study for music majors with a performance emphasis. One credit course each semester (MUPS 223-224). May be taken out of sequence.
Prerequisite: MUPS 111 or 113, 114, permission of the instructor and director of performance studies. This course fulfills the DIV I.c. distribution requirement. Offered every semester.

MUPS 224 Performance Studies II (Performance Emphasis)
Private study for music majors with a performance emphasis; culminates in required Upper Divisional juried performance exam. One credit course each semester (MUPS 223-224). May be taken out of sequence.
Prerequisites: MUPS 111 or 113, 114 or 223, permission of the instructor and director of performance studies. This course fulfills the DIV I.c. distribution requirement. Offered every semester.

MUAC 245 Music Theory III, with lab
A continuation of MUAC 126, this course focuses on the evolution of chromatic harmony through the 19th century and selected techniques in 20th century music. Increased emphasis is placed upon formal analysis and analytical writing. Advanced skills of ear-training, sight-singing, and keyboard harmony will be developed in the complementary lab component. This course includes two forty-five minute labs per week.  
Prerequisite: 126, placement exam or permission of the instructor. This course fulfills the DIV I.c. distribution requirement and QR graduation requirement. Offered every fall semester.

MUAC 246 Music Theory IV, with lab
A continuation of MUAC 126, this course focuses on the evolution of chromatic harmony through the 19th century and selected techniques in 20th century music. Increased emphasis is placed upon formal analysis and analytical writing. Advanced skills of ear-training, sight-singing, and keyboard harmony will be developed in the complementary lab component. This course includes two forty-five minute labs per week.  
Prerequisite: 126, placement exam or permission of the instructor. This course fulfills the DIV I.c. distribution requirement and QR graduation requirement. Offered every spring semester.

MUAC 251 Score Study and Conducting
An intermediate course in conducting vocal and instrumental ensembles following fundamentals of conducting taught in Music Theory 125-246. Principals of score study and analysis, score preparation, baton technique, expressivity, recitative and concerto-accompanying will be addressed. Texts include tradition choral and instrumental repertoire, examining the variety of problems and technical challenges of leading an ensemble and in developing an interpretation. 
Prerequisite: 245.

MUAC 253 Orchestration
A course in orchestrating music for a complete range of traditional Western orchestral, chamber and solo instruments. Issues of balance, transposition, score format, instrument ranges, characteristics and technical limitations will be studied. Students will practice arranging for a thorough array of instruments and will have their final orchestrations read by an ensemble. 
Prerequisite: 126.

MUAC 255 Techniques of Composition
An introduction to various compositional trends which emerged during the twentieth century. Techniques such as extended chromaticism, modal composition, free atonal counterpoint and serialism, are explored as well as the resources of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). Current notational procedures are examined and practiced. The course concludes with a final composition project for solo or chamber instrumental or vocal forces. The music department is equipped with a computer music lab for student use on assignments and projects. 
Prerequisite: 125 and 126 and permission of the instructor.

MUAC 256 Composition Seminar
This course explores in depth composition for instruments or voices, and emphasizes scoring for large ensembles, including orchestra, symphonic band, and chorus. Extended instrumental techniques are discussed as well as advanced notational procedures. The course concludes with a final composition project appropriate to one of the college co-curricular ensembles. 
Prerequisite: 255 or permission of the instructor.

MUPS 313 Performance Studies III
Private study open to non-majors and majors with a performance emphasis, who demonstrate a fully developed technical skill and who should continue study on the advanced level. May be repeated for credit with the permission of the instructor.
One-half or one course each semester. Prerequisite: MUPS 214.

MUPS 314 Performance Studies III
Private study open to non-majors and majors with a performance emphasis, who demonstrate a fully developed technical skill and who should continue study on the advanced level. May be repeated for credit with the permission of the instructor.
One-half or one course each semester. Prerequisite: MUPS 313.

MUPS 323, 324 Performance Studies III (Performance Emphasis, with junior recital)
A two-semester sequence of private study for music majors with a performance emphasis, culminating in a public junior recital (324) that includes a variety of musical styles and, for vocalists, a variety of languages. A recital hearing is required at the end of 323 to determine if the student is prepared for the required junior recital (324). One course each semester; may be taken out of sequence. Prerequisite for 323: successful Upper Divisional Performance exam at the end of 224, permission of the instructor and director of performance studies. Prerequisite for 324: successful recital hearing at the end of 323, permission of the instructor and director of performance studies. 

MUAC 345 Analytical Theory
Drawing on analytical skills and experience gained in Music Theory (MUAC 125-246), students will read major music-theoretical literature from the Renaissance to the present day and will write analyses in which they apply the theories they have read. Students will also develop the ability to postulate and apply original theories of music. 
Prerequisite: 246.

MUAC 351 Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music
Studies in selected topics of the history of music from chant to ca. 1600. 
Prerequisite: 101 and 126 or permission of the instructor. Offered alternate years.

MUAC 352 Seminar in Baroque Music
Studies in selected topics of the history of music ca. 1600-1750. 
Prerequisite: 101 and 126 or permission of the instructor. Offered alternate years.

MUAC 353 Seminar in Classic and Romantic Music
Studies in selected topics of the history of music from ca. 1750 to 1900. 
Prerequisite: 102 and 126 or permission of the instructor. Offered alternate years.

MUAC 354 Seminar in Contemporary Music
Studies in selected topics of the history of music ca. 1900 to the present. 
Prerequisite: 102 and 126 or permission of the instructor. Offered alternate years.

MUPS 413, 414 Performance Studies IV
Private study for non-majors or majors without a performance emphasis who will continue study at an advanced level. 
Prerequisite: 314 and permission of the instructor.

MUPS 423, 424 Performance Studies IV (Performance Emphasis, with senior recital)
A two-semester sequence of private study for senior music majors with a performance emphasis, culminating in a public senior recital (MUPS 424) that includes a variety of musical styles and, for vocalists, a variety of languages. The course content of MUPS 423 is the research, selection and preparation of the solo recital repertoire for the senior recital (MUPS 424). The culmination of MUPS 423 is an annotated bibliography and written program notes (about the composers, genres, poets, and other relevant information), to be published in the recital program booklet (MUPS 424). One course each semester. Must be taken in sequence within the same academic year. Prerequisite for MUPS 423: MUPS 324, permission of the instructor and director of performance studies. Prerequisite for MUPS 424: MUPS 423, including successful completion of annotated bibliography, written program notes, and Recital Hearing at the end of MUPS 423; permission of the instructor and director of performance studies.

MUAC 491, 492 Senior Seminar in Composition
Advanced independent study culminating in the creation of a substantial composition. The course must be taken as a fall-spring pair of half-credit courses. Open to seniors majoring in music. 
Prerequisite: 245, 246, 255 and permission of the department chair.

MUAC 493, 494 Senior Seminar in Analytical Theory
Advanced independent study in musical analysis culminating in the creation of a major analytical essay. Open to seniors majoring in music. 
Prerequisite: 245, 246, the relevant 300-level seminar, and permission of the department chair.

MUAC 495, 496 Senior Seminar
Advanced independent study in music history culminating in a major research paper. Open to seniors majoring in music. 
Prerequisite: two courses from 351-354 and permission of the department chair.

NOTE: Students may withdraw from performance studies courses with a full refund (minus charges for lessons taken) up to the end of the add/drop period. After the add/drop period, no refund is made.