Feb 26, 2021  
2019-2020 Catalogue 
2019-2020 Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Music, B.A.

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Lisa Hearne (chair), Martin Hearne, James Martin, Jama Stilwell

Cornell College offers majors in Music within the framework of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Special Studies degrees.  The Department of Music also oversees the Bachelor of Music degree, with majors in either Performance or in Music Education (see Bachelor of Music Degree, alongside the Bachelor of Arts Degree under Degree Programs).

The Bachelor of Arts allows the student with a strong interest in music the opportunity to explore various musical pursuits within the general liberal arts program of the College. There are three tracks from which to choose: Music, Music Composition, and Music History & Culture.  Instruction in a performing medium and participation in solo performance and ensemble courses are required components of the first track.

Note: Students are not allowed to earn both a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Music degree.


A Minimum of One and One-Half Course Credits in Solo Performance Courses

Of which one course credit must be in one medium selected from

A Minimum of One and One-Half Course Credits in Large Music Ensembles

Of which one course credit must be earned in one ensemble selected from

An Elective of any MUS Course Numbered 200 and Above

Not to include MUS 212  or any 700 numbered course other than 702 (Composition).

2) Passing the Piano Proficiency Requirement

All Music majors, regardless of degree or program, must pass the Piano Proficiency Requirement by the end of the sophomore year. If this requirement is not passed by this time, the student must take applied piano (MUS 761  or MUS 762 ) until the requirement has been passed. The requirement consists of six components: performance of three prepared works; scales; arpeggios; sight reading; and melody harmonization. A student may pass the requirement in segments. 

3) Passing the Aural Skills Proficiency Requirement

All BA Music majors must pass the Aural Skills Proficiency Requirement in order to complete the Music Major. These students must pass each of a series of graduated exams (3 levels required for the BA; that test in the following Aural Skills areas: intervals, chords, scales, melodic dictation, harmonic dictation, and sight singing. These topics will be taught both within the four required Music Theory courses, as well as in a longer-term self-paced, computer-program-assisted, proficiency-based mode. 

4) Completion of a Senior Capstone Experience

All senior Music majors must complete a senior capstone experience. There are two categories from which to choose: recital (MUS 798  or MUS 799 ); or paper/project (MUS 485 ). Students may choose both of these options if they wish. Students who plan to complete MUS 485 as their capstone must submit a description of the proposed project for departmental approval by October 1 of their senior year.

5) Passing Grade in MUS 701 For a Minimum of Five Semesters

MUS 701: The Music Performance Seminar (MUS 701) is a semester-long program that consists of attendance at music events. The purpose of this Seminar is to help nurture an understanding of diverse musical styles and musical ensembles and to provide opportunities for student performances. Attendance at concerts, recitals, and Friday afternoon Music Performance Seminar Student Recitals is required of all Music majors and minors, as well as all other students who are enrolled in music lessons. (Students who have accepted a Music Scholarship must satisfy, at minimum, the recital attendance requirement for a Music minor.) The number of required events changes from semester to semester. Students should contact the Department of Music each semester for details. Music majors must receive a passing grade in Music Performance Seminar (MUS 701) in a minimum of five semesters in order to complete the major. Failure to meet the attendance requirement will result in the student’s receiving an F for Music Performance Seminar. No course credit is given for this Seminar. It is offered on a Pass/Fail basis.

6) All Music Majors Must enroll in a Solo Performance course (music lesson) and in a music ensemble during their final three semesters, unless excused by the Music Department.

General Music Department Information for All Students

Ensemble and Solo Performance Courses:

Music courses numbered 711 through 793 are open to all qualified students upon audition, may be repeated for credit, and may be counted toward the fulfillment of the Fine Arts General Education Requirement. Any combination of these courses that totals a full course credit will satisfy this requirement. These courses normally encompass four terms and are taken along with principal and concurrent courses. MUS 718/728 (Cornell Lyric Theatre) is an exception. The regulations governing the adding and dropping of Solo Performance (music lessons) and Ensemble courses are given under “Music Lessons at Cornell” and “Ensemble Participation.” These regulations apply to all students taking these courses whether or not they are Music majors. To enroll, students register online in Terms 1 and 5. Only juniors and seniors who are candidates for the B.Mus. degree with a major in Performance are permitted to register for a full course credit in a Solo Performance course. Students considering the B.Mus. degree with a major in Performance should register each semester of their first and sophomore years for a half-credit lesson in their primary performance medium and for a full course credit each semester during their last two years. Other music students take lessons for a quarter-course credit each semester or, with the permission of the Department, for a half-course credit.

Ensemble Participation:

Participation in large music ensembles (MUS 712 , MUS 713 , MUS 715 , MUS 716 , and MUS 717 ) is required of all Music majors and music scholarship students, regardless of degree or program. Requirements vary, depending on the degree program. The student must perform within an ensemble on his/her primary instrument unless otherwise approved by the Department of Music. Pianists must complete one full-credit from the large ensembles (MUS 712 , MUS 713 , MUS 714 , MUS 715 , MUS 716 ) before they may count MUS 719  or MUS 711  as their primary ensemble credit. Only pianists may use MUS 719  or MUS 711  to fulfill an ensemble requirement. Regulations governing adding and dropping ensembles are the same as for Music Lessons, with the exception of MUS 718 .

Music Lessons, Fees:

(Solo Performance Courses)*

Music Majors: $200 for one half-hour lesson per week for four terms (one-quarter course credit); $300 for one hour-long lesson per week for four terms (one-half course credit). These fees are the same for lessons on secondary instruments. Piano lessons leading toward the passing of the piano proficiency exam are $100 for one half-hour lesson per week for four terms (one-quarter course credit).

Non-Music Majors: $350 for one half-hour lesson per week for four terms (one-quarter course credit). The fee is the same for lessons on secondary instruments.

Recipients of Music Scholarships and Awards will not be charged for lessons on their principal (scholarship audition) instrument.

Music Lessons at Cornell:

Students register for Solo Performance courses (music lessons) at the beginning of Term One and Term Five. These courses are taught over four consecutive terms. Registration entails additional costs (see Music Lessons, Fees*). Students may withdraw from these courses only during the first of the four terms. If a student withdraws from a Solo Performance course during the drop period, he or she will be charged only for the lessons scheduled between the beginning of the course and the date when the course is officially dropped and no entry concerning the course will appear on the student’s transcript. After the drop period has passed, if a student ceases to attend, a grade of F will appear on the student’s transcript and the student will be billed for the full semester charge. All music scholarship students must be enrolled in music lessons to retain their scholarships. All students enrolled in lessons are automatically enrolled in MUS 701  (Music Performance Seminar). Please see course description above.


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