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MUSIC-BA - Music (BA)

Music Undergraduate Matriculated BA - Bachelor of Arts

Program Overview

The Department of Music at Stanford combines music-making with scholarly research in composition, conducting, performance, music history, ethnomusicology, music theory, cognitive science, intermedia, and computer-based technologies.

Departmental activities serve a broad and diverse constituency on campus and in local communities, with abundant courses, concerts, performance opportunities, research projects, workshops, and lectures throughout the year. Ensembles from various world cultures are open to all students: orchestras, jazz and chamber ensembles, taiko, guzheng, steelpan, and several choral groups. Many of the faculty have affiliations with other departments, programs, and interdisciplinary centers, such as Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Art and Art History, German Studies, Neuroscience, Symbolic Systems, Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and Islamic Studies. Alumni include faculty in universities and conservatories around the world, researchers in the technologies of music and acoustics, members of major orchestras, soloists, chamber musicians, sound artists, composers, and arrangers in contemporary, film, and game music.

The Department of Music offers a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Students can pursue one of eleven possible subplans associated with the major. Eligible students may also be awarded a Bachelor of Arts with Honors. The department also offers a minor in music.

Subplans (concentrations) are offered in eleven areas:

  • Composition

  • Conducting

  • Music, Science, and Technology

  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology

  • Musicology/Ethnomusicology and Performance

  • Performance in Keyboard Studies

  • Performance in String Studies

  • Performance in Vocal Studies

  • Performance in Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion Studies

  • Theory

  • Self-designed concentration

Subplans are declared in Axess and appear on the student’s transcript and diploma. The department website explains Guidelines and application information at Declare a Major. Students should allow more than two years for completion of the major. Students pursuing multiple concentrations must fulfill all the requirements of each and may need more than two years to do so. The undergraduate student services officer in Music must approve requests to declare a concentration.

Suggested Preparation for the Major 

Recommended prerequisites for students without prior experience reading music in standard Western notation. A placement evaluation on the first day of instruction determines the appropriate entry level into music theory coursework.

course - Introduction to Music Theory

course - Intermediate Music Theory

Requirements for the minimum proficiency levels in each instrument for private instruction at Lessons on the department’s website.

Students should allow more than two years for completion of the major, in part because of sequential courses with prerequisite requirements. Early planning is essential for students who plan to double-major, study abroad or pursue any of the concentrations described below. Music majors should attempt to complete sequential courses in the order below.

Free Form Requisites

Course Requirements

All required courses for the B.A. in Music must be taken for a letter grade, as must all courses taken toward concentration requirements. Electives may be taken credit/no credit. Upper Division History Courses (MUSIC 141 - 148) taken for at least 4 units satisfy the Writing In the Major (WIM) requirement).

Course List

Units

Lower Division Theory/Ear Training

Take 6 courses for at least 12 units

12

course

Elements of Music I

course

Elements of Music II

course

Elements of Music III

course

Ear Training I

course

Ear Training II

course

Ear Training III

Piano Proficency Exam

See "Optional Coursework" for introductory piano proficiency course sequence

Ear Training Exit Exam

See "Proficiency Exams" for information about the ear training exit examination

Lower Division History

Take 3 courses

course

Music History to 1600

4

course

Music History 1600-1830

4

course

Music History Since 1830

4

Upper division History & Analysis

Take 3 courses, one of each Analysis and History, plus one by choice

12

1. Upper Division Analysis Courses

course

Counterpoint

course

Analysis of Tonal Music

course

Introduction to 20th-Century Composition

2. Upper Division History Courses

MUSIC 141: Studies in Music of the Renaissance

MUSIC 142: Studies in Music of the Baroque

MUSIC 143: Studies in Music of the Classical Period

MUSIC 144: Studies in Music of the Romantic Period

MUSIC 145: Studies in Western Art Music Since 1900

MUSIC 146: Studies in Ethnomusicology

MUSIC 147: Studies in Music, Media, and Popular Culture

MUSIC 148: Studies in Performance Practice

Performance

Take 3 units

3

course

Thoroughbass Accompaniment

1-3

course

Elementary Instrumental Conducting

2

course

Elementary Choral Conducting

2

course

"sic": Improvisation Collective

course

Cardinal Calypso--Steelpan Ensemble

course

Early Music Singers

course

Stanford Symphony Orchestra

MUSIC 161 Stanford Wind Symphony (anything in the 161 series except for 161D)

course

Symphonic Chorus

course

Memorial Church Choir

course

Chamber Chorale

course

University Singers

course

Chamber Music

MUSIC 172/272 - Keyboard Instruments

course/273 - Voice

MUSIC 174/274 - String Instruments

MUSIC 175/275 - Wind Instruments

MUSIC 176/276 - Brass Instruments

course/277 - Percussion

course

Jazz Combos

course

German Art Song Interpretation

course

French Art Song Interpretation

course

Interpretation of Musical Theater Repertoire

course

Musical Theater

course

Singing for Musicals

course

Editing and Performing Early Music

course

Topics on the Musical Stage

course

Dramatic Vocal Arts: Songs and Scenes Onstage

See "Optional Coursework" for introductory instrumental and voice course sequences

Composition/MST/MUSIC 127

Take 3 units

3

course

Jazz Arranging and Composition

course

Introduction to Creating Electronic Sounds

course

Film Scoring

course

Introduction to Instrumental Composition

course

Advanced Jazz Improvisation

course

Undergraduate Seminar in Composition: Rhythmic Design

course

Undergraduate Seminar in Composition: Pitch Design

course

Undergraduate Seminar in Composition: World Music

course

Songwriters Workshop

course

Songwriters Workshop

course

Individual Undergraduate Projects in Composition

course

Instrumentation and Orchestration

course

Advanced Orchestration

course

Band Arranging

course

Stanford Laptop Orchestra: Composition, Coding, and Performance

course

Intermedia Workshop

course

Foundations of Sound-Recording Technology

course

Advanced Sound Recording Technology

course

Session Recording

course

Fundamentals of Computer-Generated Sound

course

Compositional Algorithms, Psychoacoustics, and Computational Music

course

Research Seminar in Computer-Generated Music

course

Research in Computer-Generated Music

course

Sonic Experiments in Composition

course

Physical Interaction Design for Music

course

Interaction - Intermedia - Immersion

course

Music, Computing, Design: The Art of Design

course

Music, Computing, Design II: Virtual and Augmented Reality for Music

Concentration

20

Courses taken to fulfill Core Breadth requirements may not be double-counted towards the fulfillment of concentration requirements.

Total Units

67-69

Optional Coursework

Course List

Units

Piano Proficiency

course

Introductory Piano Class

1

course

Introductory Piano Class

1

course

Introductory Piano Class

1

Voice Introductory Course Sequence

course

Voice Class I

1

course

Voice Class II

1

Piano Introductory Course Sequence

course

Introductory Piano Class

1

course

Intermediate Piano Class

1

Guitar Introductory Course

course

Classical Guitar Class

1

Proficiency Exams

  • Piano Proficiency:  Majors are required to pass a piano proficiency examination as part of the music theory core (course Elements of Music I, course Elements of Music II, course Elements of Music III). The examination is given in the first two weeks of course. Students who do not pass the piano proficiency examination are required to enroll in either course Introductory Piano Class, course Introductory Piano Class, or course Introductory Piano Class concurrently with the music theory core until they are able to pass the examination. The examination consists of scales and arpeggios, performance of a simple tune to be set by the examiner, sight-reading, and the performance of prepared pieces. Download additional information regarding the proficiency examination.

  • Ear Training Exit Exam: in conjunction with the music theory series, majors are required to pass an aural skills proficiency examination administered at the end of their junior year. This assesses the ability to transcribe, represent, and reproduce music vocally and at the keyboard, and must be passed before June of the senior year. The exam is scheduled once a year in Spring Quarter for a date and time in Braun Music Center announced a few weeks ahead of time by the ear training advisor. Visit the Music website for additional information about ear training.