James Martin, Chris Nakielski, Joshua Neuenschwander, Jama Stilwell (chair)
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 in Music, which include:
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
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 the following components: performance of prepared works; scales; arpeggios; and sight reading. The requirement for BMus Music Education majors also includes melody harmonization and accompaniment. A student may pass the requirement in segments. Music Education majors must pass the Piano Proficiency Requirement before applying for Student Teaching Placement.
3) Passing the Aural Skills Proficiency Requirement
All BA and BMus 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; 4 levels required for the BMus) 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, software-assisted, proficiency-based mode. Music Education majors must pass the Aural Skills Proficiency Requirement before applying for Student Teaching Placement.
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 Exploration credit. 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 Blocks 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.
Students register for Ensemble courses at the beginning of block 1 and block 5. These courses are taught over four consecutive blocks. Students may withdraw from Ensemble courses only during the first of the four blocks in each semester. If a student withdraws during the drop period (before the end of block 1 in the fall semester, and before the end of block 5 in the spring semester), no entry concerning the course will appear on the student’s transcript. After the drop period has passed, if a student ceases to attend or to fulfill the course requirements, a grade of F will appear on the student’s transcript. If a student withdraws from the college after one month from the start of an ensemble, but before the end of the semester, a grade of W will be given. 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.
Music Lessons at Cornell:
Students register for Solo Performance courses (music lessons) at the beginning of block 1 and block 5. These courses are taught over four consecutive blocks. Registration entails additional costs (see Music Lessons, Fees*). Students may withdraw from these courses only during the first of the four blocks in each semester. If a student withdraws from a Solo Performance course during the drop period (before the end of block 1 in the fall semester, and before the end of block 5 in the spring semester), the student 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 or to fulfill the course requirements, a grade of F will appear on the student’s transcript and the student will be billed for the full semester charge. If a student withdraws from the college after one month from the start of lessons, but before the end of the semester, a grade of W will be given. 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.
Students should consult the College’s schedule of fees for music lesson fees.