Major Requirements

MAJOR

All students pursuing a Music major must complete the following courses:

MUSC 151Theory and Practice of Music I

4 units

MUSC 250Theory and Practice of Music II

4 units

MUSC 490Senior Seminar

4 units

When MUSC 490 is not offered, students must then complete two semesters of MUSC 474.

In addition to these 12 units required of all Music majors, students majoring in Music must pursue one of the following tracks: Music Composition, Instrumental Performance, Vocal Performance, Ethnomusicology/Popular Music, Music History, or Music Theory & Analysis. At the present time, students interested in a Music Production track need to contact the Chair to devise their curriculum.

Music Composition

MUSC 230Topics in Electronic Music

2 units

MUSC 261Western Music and Culture: 1600-1789

4 units

MUSC 272Instrumental Conducting

2 units

MUSC 351Theory and Practice of Music III

4 units

One MUSC 200-level or above popular or non-Western music course (must satisfy Second-Stage Writing)

4 units

Two semesters of ensemble participation (MUSC 120-130)

2-4 units

Four semesters of MUSC 257

16 units

Instrumental Performance

MUSC 114Introduction to the Orchestra

4 units

MUSC 261Western Music and Culture: 1600-1789

4 units

MUSC 272Instrumental Conducting

2 units

One MUSC 200-level or above popular or non-Western music course (must satisfy Second-Stage Writing)

4 units

A minimum of five semesters of private lessons on one's principal instrument (MUSA courses 2xx and above)

5 units

A minimum of five semesters of ensemble participation (MUSC 120-130)

10 - 16 units

Vocal Performance

MUSC 115Topics in Opera

4 units

MUSC 261Western Music and Culture: 1600-1789

4 units

MUSC 273Choral Conducting

2 units

One MUSC 200-level or above popular or non-Western music course (must satisfy Second-Stage Writing)

4 units

A minimum of five semesters of private lessons on one's principal instrument (MUSA courses 2xx and above)

5 units

A minimum of five semesters of ensemble participation (MUSC 120-130)

10 - 16 units

Ethnomusicology or Popular Music

MUSC 245Music Business

2 units

MUSC 261Western Music and Culture: 1600-1789

4 units

Two 100-level popular or non-Western music courses

8 units

Four MUSC 200-level or above popular or non-Western music courses (one must satisfy Second-Stage Writing)

16 units

Two semesters of participation in MUSC 123, MUSC 124, or MUSC 127

2 units

Two semesters of private lessons (a MUSA 200-level course)

2 units

Music History or Musicology

MUSC 114Introduction to the Orchestra

4 units

MUSC 115Topics in Opera

4 units

MUSC 261Western Music and Culture: 1600-1789

4 units

MUSC 263Western Music and Culture in the 20th Century

4 units

MUSC 351Theory and Practice of Music III

4 units

Two MUSC 200- or 300-level history or culture electives chosen in consultation with one's Music major advisor, one of which must be a popular non-Western music course and one of which must fulfill the second-stage writing requirement.

8 units

Two semesters of ensemble participation (MUSC 120-130)

2-4 units

Two semesters of private lessons (MUSA courses)

2 units

Music Theory and Analysis

MUSC 113Learning to Compose

4 units

MUSC 261Western Music and Culture: 1600-1789

4 units

MUSC 263Western Music and Culture in the 20th Century

4 units

MUSC 351Theory and Practice of Music III

4 units

One MUSC 200- or 300-level analysis-rich course that fulfills the second-stage writing requirement

4 units

Two semesters of MUSC 350

4 units

Two semesters of ensemble participation (MUSC 120-130)

2-4 units

Two semesters of private lessons (MUSA courses)

2 units

SECOND-STAGE WRITING REQUIREMENT

Students majoring in Music will satisfy the second-stage component of Occidental College's college-wide writing requirement by successfully completing a designated writing-intensive 200-level course in the sophomore or junior year with a grade of B- or better and receiving a notation of "Satisfactory" for its writing component. Students not achieving a "satisfactory" notation by either of these means will be required to undertake additional coursework in academic writing during the final two semesters of study. Students should familiarize themselves with the departmental requirement at the time of declaring the major.

COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENT

Senior music majors complete a senior project related to the student's area of interest. All senior projects involve both a written and an oral component. The written component (thesis; or analytic, argument-driven essay plus recital program notes) must be completed by the end of MUSC 490, which is offered in the fall semester. Each component is graded High Pass (HP), Pass (P), or Fail (F). A final grade of Pass with Distinction (PD) on the senior comprehensive will be awarded if all components (written, oral, and performance, if applicable) are graded High Pass.

In the Fall semester of their junior year, students submit a proposal for their senior project to the Music Department faculty for approval. Students pursuing tracks in Ethnomusicology/Popular Music, Music History/Musicology, or Music Theory & Analysis will propose a senior thesis of 6500 words or more in length (excluding footnotes and bibliography). Students with a particular interest in composition will prepare a portfolio of original compositions, including both acoustic and electro-acoustic music, some of which will be presented in a composition recital during the senior year. Composers will write an argument-driven analytic paper of 2500 words or more in length, focusing on the work of a composer whose work has influenced their styles. Students with a demonstrated ability in performance will propose a junior and a senior recital, and will write an argument-driven analytic paper of 2500 words or more in length on a piece or pieces of music on the senior recital. Students pursuing a music production will complete a project designed with their advisor and in consultation with the Music faculty.

All seniors will present their work in a public forum during the spring semester. If the Music faculty determines that the senior has not sufficiently prepared to complete the project in time, the senior must take a written examination in lieu of the recital or thesis submission/presentation in order to fulfill the senior comprehensive requirement. The faculty will supply questions drawn from the material of that senior’s course of music study at Occidental.

HONORS

Students who have achieved at least a 3.25 average in their music courses and have demonstrated exceptional potential their Music sub field of study (one of the tracks listed above) may apply for the Honors Program at the beginning of their junior year. For information about the Honors Program, students should consult with their Music Department faculty advisor. See the Honors Program for additional information.