Degree Requirements

Music Major (B.A. Degree)

Performance Requirements

Majors in music are required to complete the private lessons and recital or project requirements as specified in the area of emphasis. In addition to course requirements students must pass the appropriate Keyboard Proficiency and Performance Skills Examinations. All majors and minors taking private lessons are required to perform a Performance Jury each semester unless they are registered for the junior or senior recital. Declared music majors must participate in one core ensemble each term. For specific ensemble requirements based on instrument or area of study, please refer to the Music Department Handbook. Students should take a mixture of core and small ensembles chosen in consultation with their private teacher, department chair, and area coordinator.

A major in music requires the completion of the requirements of the five core courses and the requirements of the selected area of emphasis.

Private Lessons

Music performance majors and performance minors must enroll for two-credit-hour lessons on their primary instrument; non-performance minors must enroll for one-credit-hour lesson. The minimum number of required lessons must be taken on the same instrument (or voice). One credit-hour is given for one half-hour lesson per week and two credit-hours are given for one-hour-long lesson per week. A one-credit-hour student is expected to practice one hour daily and a two-credit-hour student is expected to practice two hours daily. Students enrolled in Private Lessons should also be concurrently enrolled in an ensemble. There is an applied music fee of $550 for each academic credit hour. All declared Music Majors receive two waived credits (three with chair's permission) for private lesson instruction each semester; Performance Minors receive two waived credits and General Minors receive one waived credit. Beginning students should opt for the class lessons in class piano, class voice and class guitar. There is no extra fee for class lessons. (For costs, see Department of Music Fees in the Annual Costs section of the catalog). Students who drop private lessons after the drop date will still be responsible for their lesson fee.

Concert Attendance Journal

All music majors and minors are required to submit a concert attendance journal each term. The journal is reviewed by the appropriate area coordinator and filed in the music office. Music students are notified at the beginning of each semester regarding the specific attendance requirements. Guidelines for the journal are available in the Music Office.

Core Ensemble

Declared music majors and minors must participate in at least one core ensemble each semester. Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble all satisfy the core ensemble requirement. For composition majors/minors and American Roots majors, Composition Seminar and American Roots Seminar respectively satisfy core ensemble requirements.  Students should take a mixture of core and small ensembles chosen in consultation with their private lesson instructor. Students must be enrolled in the ensemble in which they perform. Students wishing to substitute their core ensemble must submit a Core Ensemble Substitution form and receive approval from the Music Department to do so. The request form is available from the Music Department Office and is to be submitted before the Add/Drop deadline.

Emphasis Options

Four Core Courses

MUS 200Music Theory I
MUS 205Music Theory II
MUS 250Music, Society, and Identity
MUS 305Music Theory III

The Music Department faculty strongly recommend that students complete Theory I and II during their first year in the program and that they continue with History I and II and Theory III in the second. All music majors must also pass the Keyboard Proficiency and Performance Skills Exam or complete MUSP 127 - Keyboard Skills I and MUSP 128 - Keyboard Skills II.

In addition to the four core courses and a demonstration of keyboard proficiency, the following courses are required in each music emphasis option.

Composition

MUSP 129Composition Seminar
MUS 206Conducting and Orchestration
MUS 32920th Century Music (Majors/Minors)
MUS 217Computer Music: Electronic Composition
One music elective at the 300-level
Private Composition Lessons (minimum 6)
MUS 402Senior Project
or MUS 401 Senior Recital

In addition, composition majors must enroll in MUSP 129 - Composition Seminar each term, which satisfies the requirement for ensemble participation.

Music (General)

  • Three music electives at the 300-level
  • Private Lessons each term (minimum 6 semesters)
  • Core Ensembles each term (minimum 6 semesters)
  • Two semesters of MUSP 129 - Composition Seminar
  • MUS 401 - Senior Recital or MUS 402 - Senior Project

Music History

  • Four Music History electives taken at the 300-level
  • Core Ensembles (minimum 4 semesters) 
  • Private Lessons (minimum 4 semesters)
  • Two semesters of MUSP 129 - Composition Seminar, and MUS 402 - Senior Project

History electives are determined in consultation with the Musicology coordinator.

Performance

  • Performance audition
  • MUS 206 - Conducting and Orchestration
  • Private Lessons, 2 credit hours each semester; minimum 6 semesters
  • Core Ensembles each semester; minimum 6 semesters
  • Two semesters of MUSP 129 - Composition Seminar, MUS 301 - Junior Recital and MUS 401 - Senior Recital

American Roots Music

MUS 330The History of American Folk and Country Music (Majors/Minors)
MUS 337History of Bluegrass Music (Majors/Minors)
MUSP 126Bluegrass Seminar
MUSP 129Composition Seminar
MUSP 135Bluegrass Ensemble
MUS 301
MUS 401
Junior Recital
and Senior Recital
Private Lessons at the 100 level, minimum 6 semesters
Core Ensembles, minimum 6 semesters
Keyboard Proficiency & Performance Skills Exam OR
MUSP 127
MUSP 128
Keyboard Skills I
and Keyboard Skills II

Music Minor

Performance Minor 

  • Performance Audition
  • Private Lessons, 2 credit hours each semester, minimum 6 semesters
  • MUS 200 - Music Theory I & MUS 250 - Music, Society, and Identity
  • One music elective at the 300-level
  • Core Ensembles, each semester, minimum 6 semesters
  • MUS 401 - Senior Recital
  • Keyboard Proficiency and Performance Skills Exams
  • Performance Juries each term.

Performance minors must also perform in the Performance Minor Recital every spring semester up through their senior year.

Admission by audition should be prior to enrollment in Denison. However, entry into the program will be possible up to the end of the first year. The Performance Minor would count toward graduation as an academic minor.

Performance Minors must be enrolled in one-hour, 2 credit hours, lessons for each term they are registered as a Performance Minor. The applied lesson fee will be waived for music performance minors.

Music Minor

  • MUS 200 - Music Theory I & MUS 250 - Music, Society, and Identity 
  • Private Lessons, minimum 4 semesters on the same instrument
  • 2 Music Electives at the 300 Level
  • Core Ensembles, minimum 4 semesters
  • Keyboard Proficiency and Performance Skills Exam
  • Performance Juries each term

Composition Minor

MUS 200Music Theory I
MUS 205Music Theory II
MUS 217Computer Music: Electronic Composition
MUS 32920th Century Music (Majors/Minors)
MUSP 129Composition Seminar
Private Composition Lessons, minimum 4 semesters
Keyboard Proficiency & Performance Skills Exam
MUS 402Senior Project

American Roots Music Minor

MUS 200Music Theory I
MUS 330The History of American Folk and Country Music (Majors/Minors)
MUS 337History of Bluegrass Music (Majors/Minors)
MUSP 135Bluegrass Ensemble
Private Lessons, minimum 4 semesters at the 100 level (voice, violin*, mandolin, banjo, bluegrass guitar, bass)
MUSP 126Bluegrass Seminar (two semesters)
Keyboard Proficiency & Performance Skills Exam OR
MUSP 127
MUSP 128
Keyboard Skills I
and Keyboard Skills II
Performance Juries each Term

*Violin students pursuing the American Roots Minor will replace private lessons with MUSP 145 - Class Strings Ensemble-02, Fiddle Ensemble.

Music Electives  

The following courses are considered to be music electives:

MUS 206Conducting and Orchestration
MUS 216Sound Editing and Recording
MUS 217Computer Music: Electronic Composition
MUS 224Computer Music: Digital Performance
MUS 303Beethoven's Hero (Majors/Minors) (W)
MUS 314Music in America (Majors/Minors)
MUS 315Popular Musical Theater in America
MUS 319Music and Globalization (Majors/Minors)
MUS 320Women in Music (Majors/Minors)
MUS 325Music of the Baroque
MUS 326Classical Era: Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven (Majors/Minors)
MUS 32819th Century Music (Majors/Minors)
MUS 32920th Century Music (Majors/Minors)
MUS 330The History of American Folk and Country Music (Majors/Minors)
MUS 331Film Music and Sound
MUS 332Music and Sexuality
MUS 334History of African American Gospel Music (Majors/Minors)
MUS 335Latin American Music History
MUS 337History of Bluegrass Music (Majors/Minors)
MUS 339The History of Rock Music (Majors/Minors)

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