UNDERGRADUATE DEPARTMENTAL ADVISING EXPERTS 2017–2018: Paula Matthusen; B. Balasubrahmaniyan
The Music Department is based on the belief that all of the world's musics warrant close study and that all musicians should cultivate the ability to engage with unfamiliar musical traditions. The department provides performance opportunities for the entire Wesleyan community through orchestra, Chinese orchestra, concert choir, the Collegium Musicum, organ, South Indian voice and percussion instruction, wind ensemble, jazz orchestra, Korean drumming and creative music ensemble, laptop ensemble, Javanese gamelan, West African drumming, South Indian music, steel band, and taiko. These offerings are supplemented by an extensive private lessons program. Courses in music history, music as a cultural practice, music theory, and composition are offered at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Music majors design their own programs of study in consultation with an advisor. Program proposals must demonstrate a balance between performance, historical/cultural study, and music theoretic/compositional investigation. Each proposal is reviewed by the director of undergraduate study and ratified by the entire department.
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.
With the exception of MUSC300, all classes offered by the Music Department are open to non-majors.
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.
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
Prerequisites to the music major:
|Course||Course Title||Credit Hours|
|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."
|Course||Course Title||Credit Hours|
|One Course in the History/Culture Gateway Category||1|
|Music History Seen From Keyboard Instruments|
|History of European Art Music|
|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.
|Course||Course Title||Credit Hours|
|One Course in the Performance Category||1|
MUSC 405 through MUSC 499
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.
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.
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.
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 a 4 or 5 but Will not have the credit 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
Gwen Livingston Pokora Prize
Leavell Memorial Prize
Samuel C. Silipo Prize
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, $795 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:
|Course||Course Title||Credit Hours|
|MUSC103||Materials and Design||1|
|MUSC202||Theory and Analysis||1|
|MUSC210||Theory of Jazz Improvisation||1|
|MUSC105||Music History Seen From Keyboard Instruments||1|
|MUSC106||History of European Art Music||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|
|MUSC116||Visual Sounds: Graphic Notation in Theory and Practice||1|
|MUSC125||Music and Downtown New York, 1950-1970||1|
|MUSC126||Poetry and Song||1|
|MUSC129||The Art of Listening||1|
|MUSC204||20th-Century Compositional Techniques||1|
|MUSC208||Post-Tonal Music Theory||1|
|MUSC212||South Indian Music-SOLKATTU||1|
|MUSC220||Composing, Performing, and Listening to Experimental Music||1|
|MUSC222||Sound Art, Music, and Interactive Media||1|
|MUSC223||Music, Recording, and Sound Design||1|
|MUSC230||Music Theater Workshop (cross list)||1|
|MUSC231||Performing Arts Videography (cross list)||1|
|MUSC108||History of Rock and r&b||1|
|MUSC127||Popular Music in Contemporary China||1|
|MUSC241||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|
|MUSC250||Film and Folk Music of India||1|
|MUSC261||Music and Modernity in China, Japan, and Korea||1|
|MUSC269||Sacred and Secular African American Musics||1|
|MUSC274||Hymnody in the United States Before the Civil War||1|
|MUSC276||History of Musical Theater (cross list)||1|
|MUSC280||Sociology of Music in Social Movements (cross list)||1|
|MUSC285||Modernism and the Total Work of Art (cross list)||1|
|MUSC290||How Ethnomusicology Works||1|
|MUSC291||The Gendering of Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective||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|
|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||Pipe Organ in Theory and Practice, from Sanctuary to Stage: A Performance-Based Examination of Music||1|
|MUSC442||Chamber Music Ensemble||1|
|MUSC443||Wesleyan Wind Ensemble (WesWinds)||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|
|MUSC459||Real-Time Autoschediasms for Electroacoustic Creative Orchestra Part I||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 Studies in Contemporary Music||1|
|MUSC510||Graduate Proseminar in World Music Studies||1|
|MUSC513||Improvisation in Cross-Cultural Perspective||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|
|MUSC525||Academic Writing for Graduate Students||1|
|MUSC530||Music Department Colloquium||0.25|
DIRECTOR OF GRADUATE STUDIES IN MUSIC: Roger Mathew Grant
The World Music Program offers degrees at both the master’s and doctoral levels. The MA in music has concentrations in scholarship (ethnomusicology/musicology), experimental music/composition, and performance. The PhD is in ethnomusicology only. Many musics are represented by faculty members through teaching and performing African American, Indonesian, West African, the Caribbean, East Asian, South Indian (Karnatak), Euro-American, and experimental music, and there are many opportunities for individual and ensemble study/performance.
Degree of Master of Arts
A total of 11 credits of coursework. Students are required to take MUSC510, four graduate seminars other than MUSC510 (two in the area of concentration), two performance courses, a course outside the department, a two-semester thesis tutorial (MUSC591/MUSC592), and four semesters of MUSC530.
Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Satisfactory completion of courses totaling at least 12 credits. Students are required to take three core seminars (MUSC519, MUSC521, MUSC520/MUSC522), three elective graduate-level seminars other than the core seminars (two of which may be satisfied with appropriate courses already taken at the master’s level), two credits of performance (in different musics), one course outside the department, two credits of thesis tutorial (MUSC591/MUSC592), and four semesters of MUSC530.
One foreign language is required for the MA. All incoming students are required to take the language examination administered by the department at the beginning of their first term.
Two foreign languages are required for the PhD: one field language and one research language. All incoming students are required to take the language examination administered by the department at the beginning of their first term.
Qualification for the degree of doctor of philosophy. At the conclusion of the second year in residence, students take a qualifying examination consisting of a set of essays and a follow-up oral examination.
- Thesis and defense. The thesis must constitute an archivable product displaying mastery of and an original contribution to the understanding of an aspect of world music. The MA thesis may follow various formats and modes of musical investigation, but performance per se does not constitute a thesis without substantial written ancillary materials. Work such as bibliographies, translations, and journals do not normally constitute theses. After completing all department requirements and acceptance of the thesis by the committee, the candidate is scheduled for an oral thesis defense administered by the committee.
- Dissertation and defense. The dissertation must constitute an archivable product displaying mastery of and an original contribution to the understanding of an aspect of world music. After completing all department requirements and acceptance of the dissertation by the committee, the candidate is scheduled for an oral dissertation defense administered by the committee.
For additional information, please visit the department website at wesleyan.edu/music/graduate.