Requirements for Major
This program presents the study of music as one of the liberal arts. Students develop their understanding of music through critical and comparative studies; theory and analysis; composition; and development of skills in musicianship and performance.
In order to fulfill the requirements for a major in music, a student must complete at least 30 credits of academic course work. No course receiving a grade lower than C- will count toward major requirements. Note that a student may not use the same course to satisfy more than one requirement. For example, a student may use MUSI 4710 (Instrumental Conducting) to satisfy either an elective requirement or the performance requirement, but not both.
It is possible to complete the music major in two years. However, we recommend that students interested in music study begin taking major-level courses during their first two years. MUSI 3050 and MUSI 3310 are appropriate choices, because they introduce concepts and skills that are helpful in other major-level courses; other 3000-level MUSI courses are also good choices for first- and second-year students who have some musical experience.
Students planning careers in music should try to complete at least 12 credits of advanced departmental course work beyond the major requirements, choosing these courses in consultation with their major advisor. In addition, advanced and ambitious students are encouraged to consider applying for the Distinguished Major Program, whether to produce a senior recital, a research thesis, a composition portfolio, or some combination thereof.
We strongly encourage students who may major in music and who have had instrumental or vocal training to continue their performance studies through MUPF offerings and to participate in curricular performing groups, MUEN and MUBD. CLAS students may apply up to 16 performance credits in music towards the baccalaureate degree, of which 8 credits must be drawn from 3000-level courses and above. In addition, students completing Distinguished Major recitals in music may earn an additional 4 performance credits (i.e. two semesters of 4000-level private lessons). Music majors performing a DMP recital could thus potentially earn a total of 20 performance credits in Music. This ruling pertains only to overall undergraduate credits earned; only 2 of those credits count towards the 30 credits required of the Music Major. Please note, however, that this ruling includes all performance credits; if a music major also takes drama or dance performance credits, they also count towards the 16 credit cap.
Introduction to major-level study - 3 credits.
II. Four Core Courses
- Critical and comparative studies in music – at least 6 credits. Two courses, including one course chosen from MUSI 3000 (Studies in Pre-Modern Music [to 1500], MUSI 3010 (Studies in Early Modern Music [1500-1700]), MUSI 3020 (Studies in Eighteenth-Century Music), MUSI 3030 (Studies in Nineteenth-Century Music), and MUSI 3040 (Studies in Twentieth-Century Music); and another course chosen from MUSI 3070 (Introduction to Musical Ethnography), MUSI 3080 (American Music), MUSI 3090 (Performance in Africa), and MUSI 3120 (Jazz Studies).
- Basic Theory – 3 credits. MUSI 3310 (Theory I). This course requires fluency in music notation. Students not meeting this prerequisite may improve their skills by taking MUSI 1310 (Basic Musicial Skills), but the latter course does not count toward the 30 credits required for the major.
- Composition – 3 credits. One course chosen from MUSI 3360 (Tonal Composition), MUSI 3370 (Songwriting), MUSI 3380 (Introduction to Post-Tonal Composition), MUSI 3390 (Introduction to Music and Computers), MUSI 3400 (Ecoacoustics)MUSI 4331 (Theory III), MUSI 4534 (Tonal Counterpoint), MUSI 4535 (Interactive Media), MUSI 4540 (Computer Sound Generation and Spatial Processing), MUSI 4543 (Sound Studio), MUSI 4545 (Computer Applications in Music), MUSI 4547 (Materials of Contemporary Music).
- Performance – 2 credits. One course (2 or more credits) or, in the case of 1-credit lessons or ensembles, two semesters of the same course. Any 1- or 2-credit course listed under the mnemonic MUBD, MUEN or MUPF may count toward this requirement. Other courses satisfying this requirement include academic courses with performance emphasis: MUSI 2302 (Keyboard Skills [Beginning], 2 credits), MUSI 2304 (Keyboard Skills [Intermediate], 2 credits), MUSI 2306 (Fretboard Harmony, 2 credits), MUSI 2340 (Learn to Groove), MUSI 2342 (Learn to Groove [Intermediate]), MUSI 2500 (Jazz Keyboard Skills), MUSI 2600 (Jazz Improvisation), MUSI 3090 (Performance in Africa, 4 credits), MUSI 4506 (Basso Continuo, 3 credits), MUSI 4574 (Music in Performance, 3 credits), MUSI 4710 or 4720 (Instrumental Conducting, 3 credits), and MUSI 4750 or 4760
(Choral Conducting, 3 credits).
- Musicianship – 2 credits. MUSI 3332, 3334 or 3336. Further credits for musicianship at this level do not count toward the minimum 30 credits for the major.
IV. Four Electives
- Electives – at least 12 credits. Four additional MUSI courses (at least 3 credits each) at the 3000-level or above. Of these, at least one must be a seminar, that is, a 4000-level special-topic course, taught with an emphasis on reading and discussion, and in which each student accomplishes substantial original work, either in several projects through the semester or a single, large-scale project. In every case, the selection of electives must have the approval of the music advisor.
Distinguished Majors Program In Music
The Distinguished Majors Program allows outstanding music majors to work on large-scale projects during their last two semesters at the University. The project may consist of a thesis, a composition, or the performance of a full recital; a project that combines these components is also possible.
Majors normally apply to the program during their sixth semester. After a preliminary discussion with the DUP, a student arranges supervision by a main advisor and another other committee member, and submits a proposal to the DUP. Each spring, the DUP announces detailed application procedures and a deadline.
Work on the Distinguished Majors project normally takes place through three credits of independent work in the last two semesters at the University. These credits do not count toward music major requirements. A student working on a thesis or composition normally takes MUSI 4993, at three credits each. A student preparing a recital normally takes honors-level private performance lessons, MUPF 4930-4940, at two credits each, as well as an academic independent study pertinent to the recital program, MUSI 4993, at one or more credits each.
Projects are due, at the latest, by the last day of classes in the second semester of work; a student’s committee may set an earlier date of completion. The committee evaluates the completed project and submits a report to the full-time faculty. Students completing projects may receive the B.A. with Distinction, High Distinction, or Highest Distinction in Music, provided the cumulative GPA at graduation is 3.4 or above (a CLAS rule).
Any level of distinction is an unusual honor, showing strong Department admiration for a student’s work. The Department awards Highest Distinction only rarely.
For more information, contact Tina Knight, McIntire Department of Music, 112 Old Cabell Hall, P.O. Box 400176, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176; (434) 924-3052; www.virginia.edu/music.