Nov 29, 2022  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music, B.M.

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Proficiency Expectations

Basic keyboard skills and the ability to read standard musical notation are prerequisites to the music major curriculum. All entering and transfer students will be given a placement examination in music theory during the audition process. Students with inadequate preparation in keyboard will be expected to take MUS 109 - Intensive Keyboard Lab I . Students without background in music theory will also be expected to take MUS 106 - Fundamentals of Music Theory .

Jazz studies majors, whether continuing or transfer students, must complete MUS 420 - Musicianship IV ; MUS 312 - Jazz Harmony and Arranging II ; MUS 389 - Jazz Improvisation III ; MUS 489 - Jazz Improvisation IV ; MUS 392 - Jazz Piano II ; and  MUS 412 - Jazz Composition .

Basic keyboard proficiency is a prerequisite to enrollment in MUS 110 - Theory I: Diatonicism . MUS 320  and MUS 309A /MUS 309B  (or MUS 392 ) are prerequisite to enrollment in certain upper-division music courses.

Lower-Division Program

All Freshman students are required to enroll in MUS 160A /MUS 160B , the Freshman Learning Community. The core of the lower-division program for music majors is a sequence of courses in musicianship, theory, and music literature. This sequence is a comprehensive approach to ear training in its broadest sense. It includes sight-singing, dictation, counterpoint, harmony, and historic and stylistic considerations as they relate to the development of aural and written skills. Materials and solfège techniques from a variety of musical styles are used. Lower-division students enroll in 300-level music ensembles.

Upper-Division Program

The upper-division program is designed to integrate studies of theory, musicianship, keyboard and aural skills, music history and analysis. Students who wish to specialize in jazz, music education, or performance music will be required to take classes that develop skills specific to these areas. MUS 310 - Theory III: Form and Analysis  and MUS 424 - Theory IV: 20th Century Techniques  must be taken in residence.

Capstone Experience

Bachelor of arts music majors and students in jazz studies are required to complete a senior project. MUS 490 - Senior Project , may take the form of directed research leading to a lecture-demonstration, a recital, an extended composition, a student instructed course, the preparation of a performing edition, or another project of substantial effort. Students enrolled in the performance music concentration and in music education must present a MUS 491 - Senior Recital . Performance majors must also complete a junior recital.

Performance Ensemble Requirement

Ensemble/Performance requirements for all students in performance, liberal arts, Composition and Technology, jazz studies and music education:

The Music Department regards continuous experience in active music-making to be an essential part of college music study. To provide this experience, the department offers a wide range of ensembles both vocal and instrumental.

  • All music majors (performance, jazz studies, liberal arts, and music education) must declare a major performance medium (instrument or voice) upon entering their program of study.
  • Every music major is required to be in one major performing ensemble during each semester of residence in which he or she plays his or her declared performance medium (instrument or voice). Students may be invited to play in additional major ensembles.
  • Students may substitute a minor ensemble for a major ensemble no more than twice.

Additional Ensemble for music students in all majors and concentrations:

  • Vocalists must participate in an instrumental ensemble (Brass Ensemble, Chamber Music, Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble, Rock Collegium, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Concert Jazz Ensembles, Latin Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra) at least one semester.
  • Instrumentalists must participate in choral ensemble (symphonic Chorus, Concert Choir) at least one semester.




Music Use Fee and Instrument Checkout

A nonrefundable fee of $25 per semester is charged for use of Music Department facilities and equipment. In addition, a $20 refundable deposit is charged for checking out a departmental instrument.

Private Instruction

The department funds 60-minute lessons for B.M. students and 45-minute lessons for B.A. music students.

All music majors will take studio instruction in their performing medium. It is department policy that music majors are required to study their major performance medium (instrument or voice) with an SSU faculty member.

Repertoire Classes and Forums

All music majors must be enrolled in a music repertoire or forum class each semester in residence, according to their concentration.

Classical Instrumental Repertoire Class (for classical instrumentalists) MUS 151 /MUS 451 
Vocal Repertoire Class (for vocalists) MUS 151 /MUS 451 
Jazz Forum (for jazz students) MUS 426 
Composers Forum (for student composers) MUS 425  


Each semester, enrolled music majors perform a jury before the assembled Music Department faculty members. Juries typically take place during the penultimate week of classes and are intended to monitor a student’s applied progress. Some of the repertoire is from a list of standard, graded works, compiled by the applied faculty. Adjudicators assess among other things, the performers’ musicality, technique, interpretation, and professionalism; expectations will be based on each student’s level in the program. Students are responsible for signing up for jury times and arranging accompanists as necessary. Students in the Bachelor of Music degree program must receive a jury score of 75% or better in order to pass. Students in the Bachelor of Arts degree program must receive a jury score of 65% or better in order to pass. The jury counts for 25% of the students private/ applied lesson grade.


Students who fall below jury performance level expectations (below 75% for B.M.; below 65% for B.A.) will be placed on Probationary status the following semester. Students on probation may, at the discretion of the faculty, be ineligible for state-supported lessons and will be required to remediate deficiencies at their own expense. At the end of the probation semester, the student must sign up for a jury and successfully pass all deficient material.

Continuation Jury

If at the end of the sophomore year two or more consecutive juries have not been passed the student can be dismissed or reassigned from the music major degree program. Bachelor of Music students can become Bachelor of Arts students, Bachelor of Arts students can become Music Minors.

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