The music major provides students with an understanding of the Western art music tradition and the other music traditions which have shaped it through a series of combination theory/music history courses and complementary performance courses. Consistent with the expectations of graduate programs in music, students completing a music major should be able to:

  • demonstrate listening, sight singing, keyboard and written theory skills at a high intermediate level
  • analyze and discuss musical works from a theoretical and historical perspective, both in oral presentations and in formal essays
  • apply a wide variety of music research materials to their own analytic and performance projects
  • demonstrate familiarity with the major genres, styles and composers associated with the music of the West, as well as familiarity with a number of music types outside the Western classical mainstream
  • perform on voice or an instrument at more than an intermediate level, both from a technical and interpretive standpoint.

The five required introductory courses, ideally completed no later than the end of the Sophomore year, are MU 145A Tonal Theory Ia, MU 146 Tonal Theory Ib, MU 221A Introduction to Music Literature, either MU 326E American Musical Landscape or MU 356G World Music, and either MU 245A Choral Literature and Ensemble or MU 246A Instrumental Ensemble. Entry into MU 145A assumes note reading and notation skills, the ability to recognize intervals, triads and common scale patterns by ear, as well as basic keyboard skills. These skills may be demonstrated through a placement test or successful completion of MU 101A Music Fundamentals. Competency on an instrument or in voice at an intermediate or higher level is a requirement for completing the major. Enrollment in MU 442A Applied Music from the time a student enters the program is, therefore, highly recommended.

The four required advanced courses are MU 341 Renaissance and Baroque Music, MU 342 Classic Period Music, MU 443 Romantic Music, and MU 444 Modern Music. Students with plans to enter graduate school in any field related to music should expect to enroll in additional electives. Continued participation in either MU 245A Choral Literature and Ensemble or MU 246A Instrumental Ensemble, as well as in MU 442A Applied Music, is also strongly advised, and would be expected by most graduate programs. A comprehensive examination will be administered following a period of review in the senior year to determine competency in the academic and interpretive aspects of music. Advanced students may be invited to complete a thesis on an academic subject or in composition in lieu of the comprehensive exam. Highly skilled performers may be invited to present a senior recital as part of the Music at Eckerd series.

The minor in music consists of six courses as follows: four foundational academic courses: MU 145A Tonal Theory Ia, MU 146A Tonal Theory Ib, MU 221A Introduction to Music Literature, and either MU 356G World Music or MU 326E American Musical Landscape; at least one advanced academic course from the group MU 341, MU 342, MU 443 and MU 444; and a minimum of one performance course MU 245A Choral Literature and Ensemble, MU 246A Instrumental Ensemble or MU 442A Applied Music.