Nov 30, 2022  
2019-2020 Catalogue 
2019-2020 Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Music- Music History and Culture, 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.


1) A minimum of 11 course credits which include:

  • FRE 205 , GER 205 , LAT 205 , or SPA 205 
  • or ENG 371 - Literary Theory (1)  (371 is preferred, when it is available)
  • 1 elective of any MUS course on a Music History topic at the 200 level or above, not to include MUS 212  
  • 1 elective in the Humanities at the 200 level or above, chosen in consultation with the advisor
  • 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 Music majors must pass the Aural Skills Proficiency Requirement in order to complete the 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.  (MUS 798 or MUS 799) (MUS 485)

    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.


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