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Music Major & Minor

The Department of Music offers courses in the disciplines of composition, ethnomusicology, musicology, performance and theory. Our curriculum is inclusive and diverse, including emphasis on the traditions of Western classical music, American music, world music, jazz and new music. We enthusiastically endorse individual study of instrumental and vocal performance and participation in performing ensembles, for which both major and non-major music students may earn academic credit. Students who study music in college prepare themselves for a lifetime appreciation of the musical arts. Musical studies are interdisciplinary, drawing upon the arts, humanities, social sciences, mathematics and natural sciences. 

The music major at the University of Richmond provides a strong basic background in performance, theory of music, history of music, social/cultural musical context and musical composition. As a result, Richmond music graduates are well equipped to:

  • Go on to the best graduate programs in the country
  • Enter the entertainment industry as performers, composers or producers
  • Proceed into careers as secondary school teachers
  • Develop careers in sales and marketing for the arts community

The Music Major

Note: A grade of C- (1.7) or better is required in each course comprising the major or minor.

11.5 units, including:

General Core, 2.5 units:

MUS 095 Repertoire/Colloquium Class (0 units)

MUS 401 Senior Thesis/Project (.5 units)

MSAP minimum of two semesters study on same instrument (1 unit)

MSEN minimum of two semesters in the same ensemble selected from (1 unit):

  • MSEN 190 Womens' Chorale
  • MSEN 191 University Orchestra
  • MSEN 192 Jazz Ensemble
  • MSEN 193 University Band
  • MSEN 196 Schola Cantorum
  • MSEN 201 Chamber Music

Theory/Composition Core, three units:

MUS 110 Tonal Harmony I: Common Practice Period

MUS 211 Tonal Harmony II: Chromaticism

MUS 306 Introduction to Composition

Musicology Core, three units:

MUS 226 Music and Media in Popular Culture

MUS 228 Historical Musicology

MUS 229 Cultural Musicology

Focus Series, three units

A) three 200-level or higher music electives in student's Focus Area

OR

B) two 200-level or higher music electives in student's Focus Area AND one approved non-music course related to the student's area of concentration

Musicology Focus--the following courses satisfy this area: MUS 201, MUS 202, MUS 204, MUS 208, MUS 217, MUS 234, MUS 235

Performance Focus--the following courses satisfy this area: MUS 205, MUS 206, MUS 207, MUS 216, MUS 231, MUS 255, MUS 304, MUS 350. Performance concentrators may count one additional unit (two semesters) of 200-level MSAP in the same instrument toward the Focus Series requirement beyond the applied units required for the major, and will present a solo recital as their MUS 401 project.

Music Theory/Composition Focus--the following courses satisfy this area: MUS 212, MUS 213, MUS 214, MUS 307, MUS 309, MUS 311, MUS 313

The Music Minor

Note: A grade of C- (1.7) or better is required in each course comprising the major or minor.

5.5 units, including

General Core, 1.5 units:

MUS 095 Repertoire/Colloquium Class minimum of two semesters (0 units)

MSAP minimum of two semesters study on same instrument (1 unit)

MSEN minimum of one semester selected from (0.5 unit):

  • MSEN 190 Womens' Chorale
  • MSEN 191 University Orchestra
  • MSEN 192 Jazz Ensemble
  • MSEN 193 University Band
  • MSEN 196 Schola Cantorum
  • MSEN 201 Chamber Music

Theory/Composition, two units:

MUS 110 Tonal Harmony I: Common Practice Period

MUS 211 Tonal Harmony II: Chromaticism

Musicology Core, one unit, chosen from:

MUS 226 Music and Media in Popular Culture

MUS 228 Historical Musicology

MUS 229 Cultural Musicology

Elective: One unit selected from any 200-level or above MUS course that has not been used to fulfill a Core requirement.

Honors Program

The music honors program recognizes the most distinguished majors, who complete an advanced course of study, culminating in an honors thesis. Successful applicants will be assigned an advisor to guide their work and monitor their progress.

Students should declare their intention to seek honors and meet with the honors coordinator in their sophomore year.

Students must have completed 18 or more units of course work and at least four or more units in music (excluding prerequisites) with an overall grade point of at least 3.3 or above. Honors candidates must be recommended by at least one full-time member of the Department of Music.

Application for departmental honors must include:

(1) a one-page letter from the student describing how the program requirements will be met,
(2) a letter of recommendation from a full-time faculty member of the music department,
(3) the student's transcript, and
(4) a writing sample consisting of a paper written in a music course.

Applications must be submitted to the department chair by November 1 (March 1 for the spring term applicant) of the junior year, approved by the music faculty and submitted to the arts and sciences honors committee by November 15 (March 15 for the spring term applicant).

To earn departmental honors, students must complete 3.5 units of honors course work, including MUS 400, MUS 401 / MUS 402, and two honors independent study courses or two standard elective courses with special work above and beyond the norm.

Units earned from MUS 400, MUS 401, and MUS 402 are in addition to the 12 units required for the music major. Honors students are to maintain a grade point average of at least 3.3 while participating in the program.

Curriculum

The following courses may be used to satisfy each Focus Area:

Musicology

MUS 201 Documents of Music History

MUS 202 Global Repertoires

MUS 204 Choral Music and Creed

MUS 208 Global Pop

MUS 217 Soundscapes

MUS 226 Music and Media in Popular Culture

MUS 228 Historical Musicology

MUS 229 Cultural Musicology

MUS 234 Women in Opera

MUS 235 I Want My MTV: Music Video and the Transformation of the Music Industry

Performance

MUS 204 Music Entrepreneurship

MUS 205 Diction for Singers

MUS 206 Selected Topics in Vocal Performance

MUS 207 Musical Theatre and Opera Scene Workshop

MUS 231 Conducting Fundamentals

MUS 255 Historical Performance Practice

Compositon/Theory

MUS 213 Recording/Transforming/Organizing Sound

MUS 214 Jazz Arranging

MUS 307 Composition Lessons

MUS 309 Orchestration

MUS 311 Form and Analysis

MUS 313 Advance Computer Music

MUS 413 Special Topics in Computer Music