BM, Theory/Composition Concentration majors are required to take four semesters of music theory and ear training, three semesters of music history, between two and five semesters of private composition lessons, orchestration, form, counterpoint, computer music, conducting and 13 credits of music electives. Majors are required to perform regularly in School of Music ensembles, take eight semesters of lessons on their major instrument, and pass a piano competency test. In the senior year, Theory/Composition majors prepare either a Senior Thesis (research project) or a Senior Composition Recital under the guidance of a faculty member in the Department of Music Theory and Composition. The BM degree program prepares the student for more advanced study in composition and/or theory at the graduate level.
The audition for the BM in Theory/Composition is based on two factors: 25% of the audition is a measure of the student's compositional and/or analytic skills. Prospective Composers will be expected to show and discuss three of their original scores. If a recording is available of the score, students are encouraged to bring it to the audition. Prospective Theorists will be expected to take a written analysis test, providing harmonic and formal analysis of three short compositions from different musical eras. 75% of the audition is a measure of the student's skills in sight-singing, dictation and piano. Students will be expected to sing diatonic melodies at sight, take dictation of diatonic chord progressions, and aurally identify a variety of tertian chords. Students are expected to prepare a piano work of early-intermediate level difficulty.
Elective course offerings in the BM and MM Music Theory/Composition degrees allow the student to customize a program that best meets his or her needs and specific interests. Recent topics for the department's popular upper-level seminars in music theory have included: The Psychology of Music, Medieval Music: Performance and Practice, Interactive Computer Music, Song writing: Analysis and Composition, and Music of Our Time. The weekly seminar in Composition features performances of students' works and presentations by guest composers. Past guest speakers have included Jennifer Higdon, Steven Mackey, Kile Smith, Daniel Asia, Robert Carl, Barbara White, Jay Reise, Anna Weesner, Thomas Whitman, Daniel Dorff, James Freeman, Tina Davidson, David Conte, Curt Caccioppo, and Jennifer Barker.
Performance, reading and recording opportunities:
Reading/recording sessions of student compositions by professional ensembles take place every year, featuring such ensembles as The Corigliano and Dover String Quartets, the American Brass Quintet, Network for New Music, Orchestra 2001 and Strata. The department coordinates concerts of new music each semester, featuring new compositions by student and faculty composers, performed by the New Music Ensemble (a collection of student and faculty performers). In addition, student composers regularly collaborate with the University Theatre and Dance programs. The Wilkinson Lecture Series provides frequent exposure to research by leading scholars of music history and theory from other major research universities.
BM, History Concentration majors receive intensive training in the materials and methods of music history, including the literature, genres, forms, styles, and technical vocabulary of Western art music, the development of musical style within a broader humanistic and cultural context, aural and written analysis of musical form and style, and advanced research tools of music history, leading to completion of a significant project of independent research.
*Minimum grade of C- required
Prospective BM, History Concentration majors must complete the 3 main parts of the Undergrad Audition Requirements (dictation, intonation and sight-singing, and major-level proficiency on an instrument, piano/organ, or voice), and may opt to take the piano placement exam.
The Elective Studies in an Outside Field program is designed for those students who desire a general music program while at the same time pursuing a secondary interest outside of the School of Music. The Handbook for Students in Music - Undergraduate Division should be consulted for the current general and music requirements.
This program is geared toward any WCU student with an interest in music. To be enrolled, students must have the permission of both their major advisor and the School of Music Undergraduate Program Counselor.