General Requirements for the Bachelor of Music Degree (First year students who entered prior to Fall 2020 and transfer students entering in Fall 2020))
Joe Dieker (chair), James Martin, Chris Nakielski, Jama Stilwell
Cornell offers two majors leading to the degree of Bachelor of Music: a major in Performance and a major in Music Education. The first is designed to emphasize the study of music performance within the framework of the liberal arts and is the first step in the extensive professional preparation in performance that leads to a concert career or to teaching applied music in a college, university, conservatory, or private studio. The second generally leads to the profession of pre-collegiate school music teaching. For students interested in fields such as music therapy, music ministry, or community music, a major in Music Education is strongly recommended by some graduate schools and required by others. Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music will find these requirements listed under “Music,” in the Courses of Study.
Note: Students are not allowed to earn both a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Arts with a Music major. Students are also not allowed to earn a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music will find these requirments listed under ‘Music’, in Programs of Instruction.
1. A Minimum of 31 Course Credits
No more than four All-College Independent Study course credits may be counted toward satisfying the minimum credit requirement for this degree. No more than two full credit in 500-level adjunct courses may be counted toward satisfying the minimum 31 credits.
2. A Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0 or Higher
3. A Minimum of 10 Courses from Outside the Music Department:
To include a First Year Seminar (FYS), a writing-designated course (W) and three humanities courses (not counting the W course) from at least two of the following groupings: (1) English and Foreign Language; (2) History; (3) Philosophy; (4) Religion; (5) Art or Theatre; and (6) Education.
6. One Elective Course Credit in Music History or Theory
8. A Grade of “Pass” on All Parts of 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.
9. A Grade of “Pass” on All Parts of the Aural Skills Proficiency Requirement
All BA and BM 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 (levels required for the BA; 4 levels required for the BM) 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 selfpaced, computer-program-assisted, proficiency-based mode. Music Education majors must pass the Aural Skills Proficiency Requirement before applying for Student Teaching Placement.
10. Music Ensemble
At least one music ensemble each semester for eight semesters, as arranged by the student, the faculty advisor, and the ensemble conductor (see Ensemble Participation).
11. Completion of Senior Capstone Experience
The senior recital fulfill this requirement for Music Performance Majors. Please see e) Junior & Senior Recitals
Specific Requirements for the Major in Music Performance
Students who intend to major in Performance must audition before the Department of Music by the second semester of their sophomore year.
a. Four Course Credits in a Primary Performance Medium
Either voice or a keyboard, string, percussion, or wind instrument.
b. One Course Credit in Piano
Or another secondary performance medium selected in consultation with the department.
c. MUS 302 or MUS 304; and MUS 306
d. The Following Courses, According to Emphasis within the Major:
- Voice Majors
- Organ Majors
- Piano Majors
e. Junior and Senior Recitals
f. Language Requirement
Select one of the following courses or an equivalent
General Requirements for the Bachelor of Music Degree (First year students who entered Fall 2020 or later)
1. A Minimum of 31 Course Credits
No more than four Independent credit bearing courses (280/380, 290/390/490, 296/396/496) may be counted toward satisfying the minimum credit requirement for this degree. No more than two full credit in 500-level adjunct courses may be counted toward satisfying the minimum 31 credits.
2. A Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0 or Higher
3. Foundations-All College Seminars- (First-Year Seminar cannot be double-counted with other requirements; First-Year Writing Seminar and Second-Year Seminar can also count toward an elective in a major/minor and/or as meeting an Explorations requirement)
i. First-Year Seminar: Diving In (Block 1 and Student Success Component in Blocks 1-3. 1 credit) All students with less than 7 credits will enroll in a First-Year Seminar. Credits granted to students from examinations cannot be counted towards the total credits needed to exempt a student from a First-Year Seminar.
ii. FY Writing Seminar (1 credit): Topically based courses, with some common elements, taken in a student’s first year, and focused on the further development of academic writing skills. Through both informal and formal writing, students will focus on the process of writing, explore writing techniques and strategies, reflect on their work, and use the revision process to develop and communicate their ideas more effectively. Students are only allowed to earn credit for one first-year writing seminar.
iii. Sophomore Year Seminar Citizenship in Practice (Block 1, 1 credit) All students with less than 14 credits will enroll in a second-year seminar. Credits granted to students from examinations cannot be counted towards the total credits needed to exempt a student from a Second Year Seminar. Topically based courses encouraging citizenship in practice by focusing on informed, creative problem-solving of real-world issues through disciplinary or multidisciplinary approaches. These courses may include community engagement and/or hands-on experiences such as field trips, off-campus study, service learning, simulations, performances, installations, exhibits, or lab work. SYS courses do not have prerequisites.
- For Music Education majors- 1 course from each Division plus an additional course in the Humanities not in the Music Department.
- For Music Performance majors- A minimum of 10 courses from outside the music department to include three humanities courses (not counting the W course) from at least two of the following groupings: (1) English and Foreign Language; (2) History; (3) Philosophy; (4) Religion; (5) Art or Theatre & Dance; and (6) Education.
5. Essential Abilities
a. Writing. 1 credit Intensive course and 1 credit Encounter course; or 3 credits Encounter courses.
In addition to the All-College Seminars that emphasize writing, students must also either take one Writing Intensive and one Writing Encounter course or take three Writing Encounter Courses. Students must take one of these designated Writing courses (either an intensive or encounter) within one of their majors.
b. Intercultural Literacy
i. Music Performance majors- Demonstration of foreign language competency at the 205 level or above.
FRE 205, GER 205, GRE 205, LAT 205, RUS 205, SPA 205 or equivalent.
- Note: Students who take the language placement test and place into the 301 level or above have demonstrated competency at the 205 level and are considered done with the foreign language requirement. International students whose native language is other than English satisfy this requirement through meeting the admissions requirements.
ii. Music Education majors- 1 credit Intensive course or 1 credit Encounter course.
- Intercultural literacy is the possession of knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to appropriately and effectively include, communicate, cooperate, and collaborate with diverse individuals in a variety of settings.In Intercultural Literacy-designated classes, students focus on developing intercultural literacy, communication and critical thinking abilities, and understanding power structures, in order to prepare them for local and global citizenship. Courses focus on identifying and comparing cultural patterns and the relationship between experiences, ideologies, and culture; focusing on cultural self-awareness, cultural knowledge, and intercultural communication.
6. Ingenuity in Action - 2 Experiences among 6 Categories
The Ingenuity in Action program encourages students to apply their knowledge and understanding, to expand their education beyond the classroom walls, and to find connections among the many activities they engage in. Students must complete two experiences selected from different categories (Civic Engagement, Creative Expression, Global Connections, Leadership, Professional Exploration, and Research). The Ingenuity in Action program requires a reflective component to encourage students to be intentional and form connections among their educational experiences.
7. Ingenuity ePortfolio
All students will develop an ePortfolio to curate and reflect on their Cornell experiences. Development of the portfolio is an ongoing process and embedded in curricular and co-curricular work. Metacognitive reflection on learning encourages students to take ownership over their education and to embrace opportunities for improvement in an ongoing, developmental way. The expectations for the portfolio aim to reinforce the college’s educational priorities, as well as students’ ongoing progress throughout their Cornell education.
Specific Requirements for Major in Music Performance
Major in Music Performance - Students who intend to major in Performance must audition before the Department of Music by the second semester of their sophomore year.
a. Music Theory: MUS 110 , MUS 210 , MUS 310 , and MUS 343 . Music History: MUS 321 , MUS 322 , and MUS 323 .
b. One elective course credit in music history or theory, selected from MUS 215 -MUS 275 , MUS 315 , or MUS 348 -MUS 363 or MUS 370 .
c.Receive a passing grade (P) in MUS 701 for a minimum of five semesters (see “Music Performance Seminar”).
d. A grade of “Pass” on all parts of the Piano Proficiency Requirement. All majors are required to pass the Piano Proficiency Requirement by the end of the sophomore year. Music Education majors must pass the Piano Proficiency Requirement before application for Student Teaching placement.
e. A grade of “Pass” on all parts of the Aural Skills Proficiency Requirement (four levels). Music Education majors must pass the Aural Skills Proficiency requirement before application for Student Teaching placement.
f. At least one music ensemble each semester for eight semesters, as arranged by the student, the faculty advisor, and the ensemble conductor (see “Ensemble Participation”).
g. Completion of a senior capstone experience. Student Teaching fulfills this requirement for Music Education majors. The senior recital fulfills this requirement for Music Performance majors.
h. Four course credits in a primary performance medium, either voice or a keyboard, string, percussion, or wind instrument.
i. One course credit in piano, or another secondary performance medium selected in consultation with the department.
j. MUS 302 or MUS 304; and MUS 306; MUS 207 and MUS 308 for voice majors; MUS 303 for organ majors; or MUS 307 for piano majors.
k. MUS 798 (junior year) and MUS 799 (senior year).