McIntire Department of Music
122 Old Cabell Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400176
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176
(434) 924-3052 Fax: (434) 924-6033
Overview The Department of Music serves students who are interested in many kinds of music. Academic courses and performance instruction are available, from introductory courses, requiring no previous musical study, to advanced work for ambitious majors.
The academic faculty includes historians, ethnomusicologists, theorists, and composers. Academic courses address the historical development of music, relations between music and cultural contexts, and the concepts and materials of music. The department offers opportunities for study in Western European art music, acoustic composition, computer music, jazz, popular music, African music, and other traditions of world music.
The performance faculty includes an orchestral conductor, a choral conductor, the director of the African Drum and Dance Ensemble, and several jazz musicians, along with instructors for strings, brass, winds, percussion, piano, harp, guitar and voice. In addition to private lessons, we offer some small ensembles and often have specialized courses such as jazz improvisation.
The department offers courses for non-majors ranging from an introduction to music, basic music theory, and keyboard skills, to special topics such as the history of jazz, black popular performance, orchestral music, Bach, Beethoven, opera and composition. Courses for majors cover a wide range of topics in ethnomusicology, music history, theory, and composition, including the use of new technologies. We also offer courses in special topics such as performance practice, music of the black Atlantic, women and music, the ethnography of performance, musical aesthetics and multimedia composition. Many courses have no prerequisites; courses at the 300 level and above require knowledge of music notation or have other prerequisites.
Individual performance instruction for credit is available for many instruments and voice. Students receive academic credit for participation in faculty-directed ensembles, which include the Symphony orchestra, University Singers, African Drum and Dance Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Early Music Ensemble, New Music Ensemble, and various other ensembles. In addition there are numerous student-directed and community performance groups, including singing groups such as the Glee Club, Women’s Chorus, and Black Voices.
Faculty The department has an exceptionally strong faculty of innovative scholars and composers. The outstanding faculty in music composition, have received numerous commissions and awards, including those from the National Endowment for the Arts. Members of the history, ethnomusicology, and theory faculty have published influential articles in anthologies and in prominent journals such as the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Ethnomusicology, Music Theory Spectrum, and Cambridge Opera Journal.
The department’s scholars cover a broad range of approaches, including nineteenth century, Italian opera, jazz, African music and ethnomusicology, recent American music, aesthetics, performance theory, feminist criticism, and gender studies. Composers offer courses in music composition, theory, new technologies, and analysis, while full-time conductors offer conducting as well as other courses.
The department also has over thirty experienced performance instructors. They have made commercial recordings and offer an exciting series of both traditional and new works on the annual McIntire Chamber Series. They also contribute to the vitality of the musical life both at UVa and in the larger community.
Students There are about seventy-five music majors. Some continue professionally in music, though many have careers in other areas such as law or medicine. Many students combine a major in music with a major or minor in another department.
Music majors have extensive contact with faculty. Classes for the major are small, ranging from five to thirty-five students, and all are taught by faculty members. Consultation with department faculty is readily available to students.
Although the department has only minimal performance requirements for majors, almost all music majors choose to supplement their academic studies with extensive musical performance in ensembles and/or individual instruction, for which some scholarship assistance is available through audition.
The Music Library The largest in the commonwealth, the Music Library contains over 50,000 books and scores and 32,000 sound recordings. The collection has traditionally focused on classical music, jazz, and folk music; recently it added an excellent collection of opera videos, and has begun to build up its popular music collection. Students may borrow recordings and videos as well as books and scores.
The Virginia Center for Computer Music Founded in 1988, the center serves undergraduates, graduates, and faculty, and offers an exceptionally wide range of musical possibilities. The facilities provide a wide assortment of music software and a rich development environment. It is also one of very few music centers where software developed in-house is used for compositional work. A CD of works produced at the center by faculty and graduate students was released in 1999 on the Centaur CDCM series.The VCCM offers multiple workstations for music composition and research application. Macintosh computers are used for both digital audio and MIDI-based work. Linux-based workstations support advanced audio processing and direct digital synthesis. Different types of MIDI controllers (e.g., guitar and percussion controllers, and a Disklavier grand piano) are available. A variety of program environments are available. Students interested in combining sound and video may work with video images in the VCCM and at the University’s New Media Center.