Music

View Music Department web site

We provide students, majors and non-majors, with a full range of musical opportunities, academic and performance, guided with a high level of personal attention. We offer instrumental and vocal instruction (private and class), the opportunity to participate in a variety of excellent ensembles, and course work that supports an understanding of music in its wider historical, social, cultural, and geographical contexts. Our numerous college-level and professional-level performance activities provide a substantial educational foundation and serve as an important cultural resource for our region. The unique summer international and orchestral programs offer students the opportunity to expand horizons and deepen understanding of worlds beyond their own by engaging in conservatory-like, pre-professional training here and abroad. Taken together, these endeavors prepare our students for advanced training and careers in a variety of fields such as performance, composition, music scholarship, education, and arts administration.

Students who graduate with a major in music will have achieved college- level proficiency in:

Skills in these areas of music will be demonstrated in:

The final project (St. Mary's Project) will show, in addition to the above, proficiency in:

The B.A. in music incorporates a high degree of flexibility beyond the core of required courses. All students pursue electives in music, and additionally some students undertake double majors or minors in other subjects.  This helps students prepare for careers and graduate study in a wide variety of musical areas.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR

To earn a bachelor of arts degree with a major in music, a student must satisfy the following minimum requirements with an overall minimum GPA of 2.0 in required MUSA/MUSC courses.

NOTE: Some music requirements may be waived (by the department chair in consultation with the music faculty) for transfer students or for students with experience or knowledge equivalent to the material of a particular course.

  1. General College Requirements (see “Curriculum” section), including the following requirements to satisfy the major.
  2. Core Music Courses. A grade of C- or better must be received in each course under 2. Courses taken for credit/no credit may not be used to satisfy requirements under 2.
    1. Music Theory:
      • MUSC 203 & 201: Music Theory I & Sight Singing and Dictation I
      • MUSC 204 & 202: Music Theory II & Sight Singing and Dictation II
      • MUSC 303 & 309: Music Theory III & Sight Singing and Dictation III
      • MUSC 311: Sight Singing and Dictation IV
      • One course chosen from:
        • MUSC 304: Music Theory IV
        • MUSC 332: Form and Analysis
    2. Music History
      • MUSC 210: Music History Survey I
      • MUSC 211: Music History Survey II
      • MUSC 320: Music History Survey III
    3. Ethnomusicology:
      • MUSC 216 Introduction to the World’s Music or
      • MUSC 323 Topics in Ethnomusicology
  3. Performance Requirements. A grade of C or better must be received in each course under this requirement. Courses taken for credit/no credit may not be used to satisfy the performance requirement. Students earning below a C in any semester will need to re-audition for private instruction and ensemble participation.
    1. Private Instruction: at least seven semesters (one credit hour each) chosen from MUSA 280, 281, 284,285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 380, 381, 384, 385, 386, 387, 388, 389. Students who are at St. Mary's less than four years must consult with the department chair regarding this requirement.
    2. Ensemble Participation: at least seven semesters (one credit hour each) of large ensemble (MUSA 180/480 Choir, MUSA 186/486 Jazz Ensemble, or MUSA 189/489 Orchestra). Students who are at St. Mary's less than four years must consult with the department chair regarding this requirement.

    NOTE: A student will not be permitted to take more than four credit hours of applied music (MUSA) courses during one semester without consent of the music faculty. Acceptance into the Alba program provides faculty consent for exceeding four MUSA credit hours in that semester. For purposes of fulfilling the total semester requirement for private instruction and ensemble participation, each four-credit MUSA experience in Alba counts as equivalent to two semesters, with a maximum of four semester equivalencies applicable towards the music major MUSA requirement: two in private instruction, two in ensemble participation. Nevertheless, all credits earned in Alba will be counted in the student's transcript.

  4. Elective Courses (10 credit hours): Ten credit hours of music courses chosen by the student subject to approval by a full-time music faculty member. Courses in fields other than music can satisfy this requirement with the approval of the department chair in music. Electives can be used to pursue areas of special music ability or interest, or to explore the relations between music and other areas.
  5. Performance proficiency in vocal or instrumental music, to be demonstrated by public recital or audition before the music faculty, with the acceptable option for each student to be determined by the music faculty.
  6. Proficiency in piano as a basic tool, to be determined by examination. The student should complete this examination by the end of the junior year.
  7. Completion of MUSC 493/494 St. Mary’s Project in Music (eight credit hours). This requirement is waived if the student completes either a senior seminar or a St. Mary’s Project outside the Music Department. Students exercising this option must obtain prior approval of the music faculty.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR

To earn a minor in music, a student must not be a music major and must satisfy either the performance option or the academic option. A grade of C or better must be received in each course. Courses taken for credit/no credit may not be used to satisfy requirements in the minor. Students earning below a C in any semester will need to re-audition for private instruction and ensemble participation. Restrictions noted in “Degree Requirements for the Major,” section 3.b., will apply.

Performance Option (18 credit-hours)
  1. Performance requirements: At least 14 credit hours chosen from a combination of private instruction and ensemble participation as approved by the music faculty:
    1. Private Instruction: between 4 and 10 credit-hours chosen from MUSA 280, 281, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 380, 381, 384, 385, 386, 387, 388, 389.
    2. Ensemble Participation: between 4 and 10 credit hours of large ensemble (MUSA 180/480 Choir, MUSA 186/486 Jazz Ensemble, or MUSA 189/489 Orchestra).
  2. Academic requirements: At least four credit-hours chosen from MUSC 201, 202, 203, 204, 210, 211, 216, 217, 310, 320, 321, 323, 360.
Academic Option (19 credit-hours)

Performance Requirements: At least three credit hours chosen from MUSA 180/480, 196/486/ 189/489, 280/380, 281/381, 284/384, 285/385, 286/386, 287/387, 288/388, 289/389.

Academic requirements: At least 16 credit hours chosen from MUSC 201, 202, 203, 204, 210, 211, 216, 217, 303, 304, 309, 310, 311, 320, 321, 323, 332, 340, 342, 360.

REQUIREMENTS FOR TEACHER CERTIFICATION

A Master of Arts in Teaching program is available at St. Mary’s College of Maryland after completion of the baccalaureate degree. Students who are interested in becoming teachers should contact the chair of the Department of Educational Studies or an education adviser in their major field of study for suggested coursework in educational studies, and their specific major. These consultations should take place during the first semester of the sophomore year.

ALBA, ITALY PROGRAM

The courses listed as MUSA 473, 474, 475, 476, 477, and 479 are special courses offered only through the College’s program in Alba, Italy. MUSA 473 provides a way for students to earn credit for participating in a two-week international music festival in the summer. The other five courses are part of a one-semester total-immersion musical experience that will also include academic music classes. Students in Alba for an entire semester will also study Italian language. Please consult with the music faculty for further details.

FACULTY

David Froom , Sterling Lambert, Deborah Lawrence (acting department chair), Jeffrey B. Silberschlag, Larry E. Vote

MUSIC COURSES (MUSC) AND APPLIED MUSIC (MUSA)

MUSC 112. Music as Communication (4)

Designed for the general student, this course will explore the way that music functions as a form of communication. While the specific content of the course will vary, depending on instructor, it will include an introduction to Western music notation, some exposure to music from non-Western cultures, and some component of original music composition. This course fulfills the Core Curriculum requirement in Arts. Students interested in the major should take MUSC 201 and MUSC 203 instead of this course.

MUSA 170-176. Beginning Class Instruction (1E)

170 Guitar; 173, 174 Piano; 176 Voice. Basic skills, including music reading, positions, and techniques. Opportunity for individual advancement through use of solo and duet literature. Open to beginning students only. Music 170 (Guitar Class) and Music 176 (Voice Class) satisfy the teacher education methods requirements in the areas of guitar and voice respectively. An additional fee must be paid for these classes. (See “Expenses and Financial Aid” section.)

MUSA 180-490. Ensembles (1E)

180/480 Choir; 182/482 Chamber Singers; 185/485 Wind Ensemble; 186/486 Jazz Ensemble; 187/487 Chamber Ensembles; 189/489 Orchestra; 190/490 Piano Accompanist. Experience in performing groups with repertoire selected from a wide spectrum of literature. Limited outside engagements. May be repeated for credit. Junior and senior students will receive upper-division credit. Enrollment by audition.

MUSA 200. Concert Attendance (0E)

A co-requisite course with any private music instruction. Music majors will be required to attend eight concerts per semester. Non-music majors will be required to attend four concerts per semester. Each concert designated as acceptable towards satisfying the requirement will have an attendance sheet at the door for the students to sign as they arrive and leave. Acceptable concerts include student recitals in which one performs. Exceptions are the ensemble concerts, for which the performers do not receive attendance credit.

MUSC 201, 202. Sight Singing and Dictation I, II (1F, 1S)

Elements of pitch and rhythmic training from the recognition and performance standpoint. Includes rhythmic and melodic sight singing and dictation (one- and two-part) with keyboard harmony. These courses must be taken in sequence. Prerequisite for MUSC 202: MUSC 201.

MUSC 203, 204. Music Theory I, II (3F, 3S)

Review of such fundamentals as notation, intervals, scales, key signatures, chord construction, and study of Western common practice harmony. MUSC 203 (with co-requisite MUSC 201) fulfills the Core Curriculum requirement in Arts. Co-requisite for MUSC 203: MUSC 201; Prerequisite for MUSC 204: MUSC 203; Co-requisite for MUSC 204: MUSC 202.

MUSC 205. Music in History (4)

Designed for the general student, this course serves as an introduction to music and composers with a focus on historical periods. Listening to music is emphasized. This course fulfills the Core Curriculum requirement in Arts.

MUSA 206-209. Class Methods (1E)

206 Class Wind Methods; 207 Class Brass Methods; 208 Class String Methods; 209 Class Percussion Methods. Designed primarily for music education students; includes group study, performance, and the teaching of voice and various instruments.

MUSC 210. Music History Survey I  (4S)

A study of the development of music in the Western world from classical antiquity to the early Baroque. Prerequisites: Ability to read music plus completion of MUSC 203 (or its equivalent) are required.

MUSC 211. Music History Survey II  (4F)

A continuation of MUSC 210 encompassing music of the late Baroque through early Romanticism. Prerequisites: Ability to read music plus completion of MUSC 204 (or its equivalent) are required.

MUSC 216. Introduction to the World’s Music (4)

Designed for the general student, this course serves as an introduction to music and musical practices around the world. This course addresses the challenge of listening to unfamiliar sounds as “music” and explores the relationship between music and society. This course fulfills the Core Curriculum requirement in Cultural Perspectives.

MUSC 217. The Jazz Makers (4)

This course, designed for the general student, traces jazz from its historical roots, and then follows its development to present day practices. The focus is on the artists and social issues that shape the idiom, using recordings, videos, films, and transcribed solos. The ability to read music is helpful but not essential for successful participation. The format is lecture/discussion. This course fulfills the Core Curriculum requirement in Arts.

MUSA 273. Intermediate Class Piano (1S)

Continuation of MUSA 174, designed particularly to help music majors pass the piano proficiency requirement, or to provide further instruction in piano to any student not advanced enough to enroll in MUSA 284/384. Instructor may, at his or her discretion, meet students individually, in groups, or as a class. An additional fee must be paid for this class. (See “Expenses and Financial Aid” section.) This course is repeatable for credit.

MUSA 280-288/380-388. Private Instruction (1E)

280/380 Guitar; 281/381 Piano; 284/384 Brass; 285/385 Strings; 286/386 Voice; 287/387 Percussion; 288/388 Woodwinds. Intensive study of techniques and repertory. Juniors and seniors will receive upper-division credit. May be repeated for credit. Enrollment by audition. An additional fee must be paid for private instruction. (See “Expenses and Financial Aid” section.) Co-requisite for all: MUSA 200.

MUSA 289/389. Private Instruction: Composition (1E)

Study of basic compositional techniques leading to the creation of original works for various performing media. Juniors and seniors will receive upper-division credit. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

MUSC 303. Music Theory III (3F)

Study of the theory of 19th-century music, with exercises in writing and analysis. Prerequisites: Successful completion of MUSC 202 and 204 or consent of the instructor; Co-requisite: MUSC 309.

MUSC 304. Music Theory IV (3AS)

Study of the theory of 20th-century music, with exercises in writing and analysis. Prerequisites: Successful completion of MUSC 303, MUSC 309, and the Core Curriculum requirement in mathematics or consent of the instructor; Co-requisite: MUSC 311.

MUSC 309, 311. Sight Singing and Dictation III, IV (1F, 1S)

Continuation of study of materials begun in MUSC 201 and 202. Drills in sight singing, melodic and harmonic dictation (diatonic, chromatic, atonal), reading music in all clefs. Prerequisites: Successful completion of MUSC 202 and 204 or consent of the instructor.

MUSC 310. Electronic Music (4AS)

An overview of the possibilities opened to musicians through digital technology. The course will include an introduction to music sequencing, the use of sampled sounds, digital sound editing, and computer music notation. Prerequisite: MUSC 203 or consent of the instructor.

MUSC 320. Music History Survey III (4S)

A continuation of MUSC 211 encompassing music of late Romanticism through the present day. Prerequisites: Ability to read music plus completion of MUSC 303 (or its equivalent) are required.

MUSC 321. Topics in Music History (4)

Specialized studies in music history. May be repeated for credit if the topic is different. Check the online “Schedule of Classes” for topics and prerequisites.

MUSC 323. Topics in Ethnomusicology (4)

Ethnomusicology may be defined as the anthropology of music; it thus encompasses all of the world’s music and emphasizes the relation between music and other aspects of culture. The topics covered may include a specific regional tradition, a musical genre viewed cross-culturally, the methodologies of ethnomusicology, or a musical topic viewed from an ethnomusicological perspective. May be repeated for credit if the topic is different.

MUSC 332. Form and Analysis (4AS)

A detailed study of musical forms (sonata, concerto, and rondo), and an introduction to advanced analytic techniques and the writing of formal musical analysis. Prerequisite: MUSC 303 or consent of the instructor.

MUSC 340. Orchestration and Arranging (4AF)

Study of the problems encountered when writing for orchestral instruments alone or in combination. The course will focus on writing and arranging for orchestra, both to provide practical experience in writing and arranging, and to enhance score-reading abilities. Prerequisite: MUSC 203 or consent of the instructor.

MUSC 342. Counterpoint (4AS)

A study of species and tonal counterpoint, with written exercises and analytical projects. Prerequisite: MUSC 303 or consent of the instructor.

MUSC 360. Choral and Instrumental Conducting (4S)

Study of beat patterns, baton techniques, and rehearsal techniques using critical score analysis of choral and instrumental literature. Class functions as its own performing laboratory.

MUSC 365. Diction for Singers (2F)

Designed for singers, this survey course introduces singers to the International Phonetic Alphabet and its use; the rules of correct pronunciation in English, Italian, German, French, and Spanish lyric (sung) diction; and the use of diction as an interpretive tool. Prerequisite: Music major status, or permission of the instructor.

MUSA 473. Alba International Music Festival (2 SU)

Participation at the Alba International Music Festival, a two-week intensive musical experience involving the study of European music in a European environment. Singers will rehearse and perform with the St. Mary’s College Chamber Singers. Instrumentalists will rehearse and perform chamber music and sit in with various professional ensembles. All students attend daily concerts and numerous master classes. Students in composition will have private lessons and daily composition master classes. This course may be repeated for credit.

MUSA 474. Brass and Woodwind Studies (4S)

Intensive, advanced study of techniques and repertory. Private lessons. Sections for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, and tuba. This course is offered only in Alba. See the note under Degree Requirements for the Major, section 3.b.

MUSA 475. Strings, Voice, and Keyboard Studies (4S)

Intensive, advanced study of techniques and repertory. Private lessons. Sections for violin, viola, cello, bass, voice, and piano. This course is offered only in Alba. See the note under Degree Requirements for the Major, section 3.b.

MUSA 476. Recital (4S)

Design, preparation, and presentation of a full-length, professional-level recital to take place in one of the Alba city concert venues during the semester. Mentorship provided, but initiative and execution is the responsibility of the student. This course is offered only in Alba. See the note under Degree Requirements for the Major, section 3.b.

MUSA 477. Ensemble Studies (3-4S)

Guided, advanced, intensive ensemble work, under the guidance of coaches and conductors. Sections for chamber music (three credits), orchestra (three credits), and opera workshop (four credits). This course is offered only in Alba. See the note under Degree Requirements for the Major, section 3.b.

MUSA 479. Alba Seminar (1S)

Once weekly group meeting of all Alba participants. Guest lectures, special presentations, master classes. This course is offered only in Alba. See the note under Degree Requirements for the Major, section 3.b.

MUSC 493. St. Mary’s Project Seminar (4F)

Guided by a faculty mentor designated by the Music Department chair, this seminar will consist of an examination of the theme “Performance and Scholarship” through a variety of topics. In addition to participating in weekly class meetings, students will present a lecture recital (or acceptable alternative) to the class. The topic of the lecture-recital (or alternative) is to be chosen by the student, but must gain the approval and support of the faculty mentor and the Music Department. The lecture recital (or alternative) should be planned so as to lead to the design, preparation, and execution of a project that contains both a public performance and a research component (see MUSC 494). Students should request guidelines for projects from the music chair at the beginning of the junior year. Prerequisites: MUSC 211, and MUSC 304 or 332, or consent of the instructor.

MUSC 494. St. Mary’s Project (4S)

Guided by a faculty mentor designated by the Music Department chair, students will design, prepare, and execute a project that features a public performance and a research component. Typically, the performance will be a public, full- length recital, but other options are possible. The research component normally will consist of a paper on a topic related to the public performance and that demonstrates the student’s ability in music history or theory. The project must demonstrate methodological competence. It must draw on and extend knowledge, skills of analysis, and creative achievement developed through previous academic work. It must include a reflection on the social context, the body of literature, or the conceptual framework to which it is a contribution. Prerequisites: MUSC 493 and approval of the proposed project by the music faculty.

MUSC 195, 295, 395, 495. Guided Reading in Music (1-2E)

Coherently organized readings under the guidance of a music faculty member in an area of special interest to the student. A reading list and means of evaluation must be formalized in a learning contract prior to registration. Prerequisites: MUSC 303 and MUSC 211, consent of the instructor, and learning contract filed in the Office of the Registrar.

MUSC 197, 297, 397, 497. Directed Research in Music (1-4E)

Under the direct supervision of a music faculty member, a student undertakes a research project. A learning contract that specifies the research goals and methodology must be filed with the Office of the Registrar. A maximum of four credit hours of directed research in music (397 or 497 only) may be applied to major requirements in music. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Consent of the instructor, and learning contract filed in the Office of the Registrar.

MUSC 398, 498. Off-Campus Internship (4-16E)

A variety of off-campus experiential learning opportunities can be arranged through the Career Development Center. The off-campus internship is an individually designed experience that allows the student to explore the relationship between learning in the classroom and the practical application of knowledge in everyday work situations. Prerequisites: Admission to the Internship Program and approval of the department chair. (See “Internships” under “Academic Policies” section.) Credit/no credit grading.

MUSC 199, 299, 399, 499. Independent Study (1-4E)

This course consists of an independent creative or research project designed by the student and supervised by a music faculty member. The nature of the project, the schedule for accomplishment, and the means of evaluation must be formalized in a learning contract prior to registration. (See “Independent Study” under “Academic Policies” section.)