MUS - Music course descriptions
MUSG - Music (groups/ensembles) course descriptions
MUSL - Music lesson course descriptions


Mathew Kelly (chair), Mark Babcock, Stan Dahl, Gabriel Espinosa, Cynthia Krenzel, Eileen McGonigal, Ian Moschenross, Sean Stephenson, Sarah Van Waardhuizen


Statement of philosophy

The Bachelor of Arts in Music is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to music in the context of a comprehensive liberal arts program. It can serve as a foundation for further study for students desiring careers as performers, music scholars, music teachers, church musicians or other music professionals. Through a balanced emphasis on the analytical, historical, cultural and creative aspects of music, it also provides excellent preparation for any endeavor for which a solid liberal-arts background is valuable. Recognizing the value of study in other cultures, the department is committed to encouraging music majors’ participation in Central's study abroad programs.

The department seeks to assist non-music majors and members of the broader community to achieve competence in an artistic discipline and to gain an appreciation of the fine arts. The department serves the campus and community by providing a rich and varied cultural life on campus and in the community at large.

The Visual and Performing Arts Department stresses academic integrity in all aspects of the music curriculum. The department is committed to the development of students and to the recruitment of students with strong academic potential.


Major Communication Skills

In order to be certified for graduation, a music major must show competency in reading, writing and speaking. The evaluation criteria are as follows:

  1. Reading: a paper for MUS 211 or MUS 212 based on two scholarly articles chosen by the instructor.
  2. Writing: a grade of 80% or higher on a research paper in MUS 211 or 212.
  3. Oral Skills: an oral presentation given in MUS 313.


Music Major Requirements (37 credits)

  1. Complete all of the following:
    MUS 120 Theory and Aural Skills I (4)
    MUS 125 Theory and Aural Skills II (4)
    MUS 211 History of Western Music: Antiquity to 1750 (3)
    MUS 212 History of Western Music: Pre-Classical to 1940 (3)
    MUS 215 Piano for Proficiency I (1)*
    MUS 216 Piano for Proficiency II (1)*
    MUS 220 Theory & Aural Skills III (4)
    MUS 231 Conducting (2)
    MUS 235 Theory & Aural Skills IV (4)
    MUS 313 Music History: 1940-Present (3)
    *with permission of the music department MUS 215 or/and MUS 216 may be waived
  2. Complete 10 credits of applied lessons (MUSL) in the primary area of music study.
  3. Maintain continuous enrollment in a primary ensemble (MUSG).   
    Note: Primary ensembles are MUSG 222 (vocal), 223 (insturmental), 224 (string players only). Piano majors: any of the above, with approval from the department.  
  4. Pass the piano proficiency exam.
    Passing MUS 215 and 216 fulfills the piano proficiency requirements for the major, with the following exception: Failed courses must be repeated. Students with significant keyboard experience may request a screening, after which a waiver of one or both courses may be granted.
  5. Present a senior recital of a minimum of one-half hour in the student's primary area of music study (or other approved significant senior project)
  6. Complete the concert attendance requirement.
    Music education majors are required to attend 48 recitals or concerts prior to graduation. Further information is provided in the department‘s Music Major Handbook.

Music Minor Requirements (22 credits)

  1.  Complete all of the following:
    MUS 120 Theory and Aural Skills I (4)
    MUS 125 Theory and Aural Skills II (4)
    MUS 212 History of Western Music: Pre-Classical to 1940 (3)
  2. Complete one of the following:
    MUS 211 History of Western Music: Antiquity to 1750 (3)
    MUS 313 History of Western Music: 1940 to Present (3)
  3. Complete 4 credits of applied lessons (MUSL)
  4. Complete 4 credits of music electives (MUS/MUSG/MUSL)