Music

Faculty: Christopher Quinn (Director), Karlyn Bond, Michael Chipman, Brandon Derfler (Chair)

Program Goals

  • A solid understanding of music theory from the common practice period to the present, including tonal theory (i.e. harmony, the rules of voice leading, and four-part writing), and post-tonal theory
  • Aural skills sufficient for competent melodic/harmonic/rhythmic dictation and sight-singing—collectively necessary for a balanced understanding of music theory, the ability to learn music accurately and efficiently, and to perform it capably and artistically
  • Knowledge of the basic history of Western classical music—its forms and styles, and its connections to Western culture; and more in-depth knowledge of a few special topics within this overarching history
  • Excellence on a particular instrument or voice in solo and ensemble performance
  • The ability to write clearly and meaningfully about music and subjects relating to it

Objectives

The Music Department at Westminster offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music and also offers a music minor. The major has a built-in choice of emphasis: academic or performance; each student must pick one. The BA degree in music is an excellent choice for talented students who plan to pursue graduate work in music, for liberal arts students pursuing two majors in preparation for graduate school, and for musical pre-law or pre-med students. It is also a degree that would qualify students for any number of music-related jobs following college. Among musicians with sufficient talent and training for careers in the field, those with degrees in music are at an advantage over those without.

The Department of Music also offers opportunities for anyone on campus interested in making music, regardless of backgrounds or areas of formal study. School performing ensembles—open to capable and committed students and, in some cases, members of the community—include the Westminster Community Choir, Westminster Chamber Singers, SugarTown, Westminster Chamber Orchestra, Westminster Jazz Ensemble, Westminster Chamber Players, and Westminster Opera Studio. (All of the above require at least an informal audition.) Private lessons and survey courses in music are also available to students.

Program Requirements

An audition is required for status as a major or minor in music. Students must choose a primary instrument and audition on that particular instrument (e.g., piano, voice, guitar, violin, etc.). Live auditions are held each year on specific dates as announced on the Music Department Web page. Music major aspirants auditioning before the end of March who are planning to enroll as freshmen the following fall semester will automatically be considered for music scholarships. All auditions taking place after March 31 will be for major or minor status only. Due to strict course sequencing, students wishing to graduate with a music major within a four-year course of study must begin their required course work fall semester of their freshman year, and audition for status no later than the end of their first semester. Students seeking a music minor must audition before their sophomore year and begin their required course work no later than fall semester of that same year. In order to maintain music major or minor status, each student must maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA in music courses, and additionally pass each required music course with a minimum grade of C-. All students must additionally meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to those of the music major: 1) 124 total hours, 2) 30 upper-division hours, and 3) W-Core requirements. Transfer students wishing to complete a music major at Westminster must complete at least half their total number of required music credits at Westminster, and be enrolled in a performing ensemble each semester while at Westminster. Transfer students wishing to complete a music minor must complete a minimum of nine credits of music—including two semesters of ensemble credit—at Westminster College. For more information, email the Music Department Chair, currently Dr. Brandon Derfler, at bderfler@westminstercollege.edu.

For course prerequisites, please refer to the course descriptions.

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Music major:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • WCore requirements

Music Major–Academic Emphasis

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8
Music majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world
language.
II. Introductory Coursework 0–2
MUSC 108 Keyboard Skills (first semester, if applicable) (2)
III. Performance-Based Coursework 10–14
Private Lessons (primary instrument) (4-8)
Four consecutive semesters are required.
MUSC 191, 192, 291, 292 (1-2 credits each)
Performing Ensembles (6)
One or more of the following must be taken six different semesters:
MUSC 115/315 Westminster Community Choir (1) placement audition required
MUSC 125/325 Westminster Jazz Ensemble (1) audition required
MUSC 135/335 Westminster Chamber Orchestra (1) audition required
MUSC 145/345 Westminster Chamber Singers (1) audition required
MUSC 155/355 Westminster Flute Choir (1) audition required
MUSC 165/365 Westminster Opera Studio (1) audition required
MUSC 175/375 Westminster Percussion Ensemble (1) placement audition required
MUSC 185/385 Westminster Chamber Players (1) audition required
MUSC 195/395 SugarTown (1) audition required
IV. Academic Coursework 35
MUSC 171 Music Theory I (3) MUSC 108 (if applicable); MUSC 181, co-requisite
MUSC 181 Aural Skills I (2) MUSC 108 (if applicable); MUSC 171, co-requisite
MUSC 271 Music Theory II (3) MUSC 171 & 181; MUSC 281, co-requisite
MUSC 281 Aural Skills II (2) MUSC 171 & 181; MUSC 271, co-requisite
MUSC 351 History of Western Classical Music I (3) MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 352 History of Western Classical Music II (3) MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 353 History of Western Classical Music III (3) MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 354 History of Western Classical Music IV (3) MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 371 Music Theory III (3) MUSC 271 & 281; MUSC 381, co-requisite
MUSC 381 Aural Skills III (2) MUSC 271 & 281; MUSC 371, co-requisite
MUSC 471 Music Theory IV (3) MUSC 371 & 381; MUSC 481, co-requisite
MUSC 481 Aural Skills IV (2) MUSC 371 & 381; MUSC 471, co-requisite
Special Topics: Music History (3)
V. Elective Courses 8
Eight hours of music coursework
VI. Senior Project 1
MUSC 421 Senior Project (1)
TOTAL HOURS FOR ACADEMIC MUSIC MAJOR 62–68

Recommended Plan of Study for Music Major—Academic Emphasis

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year MUSC 108 (if applicable)
MUSC 191
Music Ensemble
World Language
MUSC 171
MUSC 181
MUSC 192
Music Ensemble
World Language
Sophomore Year

MUSC 271
MUSC 281
MUSC 291
Music Ensemble


MUSC 292
MUSC 371
MUSC 381
Music Ensemble

Junior Year

MUSC 351 or 353
MUSC 471
MUSC 481
Music Ensemble


MUSC 352 or 354
Music Ensemble
(Music Elective and/or Special Topics Course in Music History)

Senior Year

MUSC 351 or 353
(Music Elective and/or Special Topics Course in Music History)


MUSC 352 or 354
MUSC 421
(Music Elective and/or Special Topics Course in Music History)


Music Major—Performance Emphasis (Instrumental)

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8
Music majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.
II. Introductory Coursework 0–2
MUSC 108 Keyboard Harmony (first semester, if applicable) (2)
III. Performance-Based Coursework 28
Private Music Lessons 
Two credits must be taken every semester except the eighth.
MUSC 191, 192, 291, 292, 391, 392, 491, 492 (15)
MUSC 420 (Senior Recital – final year) (1)
Performing Ensembles (8)
One of more of the following—in which the primary instrument is played—must be taken every semester:
MUSC 125/325 Westminster Jazz Ensemble (1) audition required
MUSC 135/335 Westminster Chamber Orchestra (1) audition required
MUSC 155/355 Westminster Flute Choir (1) audition required
MUSC 175/375 Westminster Percussion Ensemble (1) placement audition required
MUSC 185/385 Westminster Chamber Players (1) audition required
Conducting Courses (4)
MUSC 301 Choral Conducting (2)
MUSC 302 Instrumental Conducting (2)
IV. Academic Coursework 32
MUSC 171 Music Theory I (3) MUSC 108 (if applicable); MUSC 181, co-requisite
MUSC 181 Aural Skills I (2) MUSC 108 (if applicable); MUSC 171, co-requisite
MUSC 271 Music Theory II (3) MUSC 171 & 181; MUSC 281, co-requisite
MUSC 281 Aural Skills II (2) MUSC 171 & 181; MUSC 271, co-requisite
MUSC 351 History of Western Classical Music I (3) MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 352 History of Western Classical Music II (3) MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 353 History of Western Classical Music III (3) MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 354 History of Western Classical Music IV (3) MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 371 Music Theory III (3) MUSC 271 & 281; MUSC 381, co-requisite
MUSC 381 Aural Skills III (2) MUSC 271 & 281; MUSC 371, co-requisite
MUSC 471 Music Theory IV (3) MUSC 371 & 381; MUSC 481, co-requisite
MUSC 481 Aural Skills IV (2) MUSC 371 & 381; MUSC 471, co-requisite
V. Elective Courses 3
Three hours of music coursework
TOTAL HOURS FOR INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMANCE MAJOR 71–73

Recommended Plan of Study for Performance (Instrumental) Music Major

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year MUSC 108 (if applicable)
MUSC 191
Music Ensemble
World Language
MUSC 171
MUSC 181
MUSC 192
Music Ensemble
World Language
Sophomore Year

MUSC 271
MUSC 281
MUSC 291
Music Ensemble


MUSC 292
MUSC 371
MUSC 381
Music Ensemble

Junior Year

MUSC 351 or 353
MUSC 391
MUSC 471
MUSC 481
Music Ensemble


MUSC 352 or 354
MUSC 392
Music Ensemble
(Music Elective and/or Special Topics Course in Music History)

Senior Year

MUSC 301
MUSC 351 or 353
MUSC 491
Music Ensemble
(Music Elective and/or Special Topics Course in Music History)


MUSC 302
MUSC 352 or 354
MUSC 420
MUSC 429
Music Ensemble
(Music Elective and/or Special Topics Course in Music History)


Music Major—Performance Emphasis (Vocal)

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8
Music majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.
II. Introductory Coursework 0–2
MUSC 108 Keyboard Harmony (first semester, if applicable) (2)
III. Performance-Based Coursework 28
Private Music Lessons (voice) 
Two credits must be taken every semester except the eighth.
MUSC 191, 192, 291, 292, 391, 392, 491, 492 (15)
MUSC 420 (Senior Recital – final year) (1)
Performing Ensembles (10)
One of more of the following—in which the primary instrument is played—must be taken every semester.
MUSC 145/345 Westminster Chamber Singers (1) [x6] audition required
MUSC 165/365 Westminster Opera Studio (1) [x4] audition required
Conducting Courses (2)
MUSC 301 Choral Conducting (2)
IV. Academic Coursework 31
MUSC 171 Music Theory I (3) MUSC 108 (if applicable); MUSC 181, co-requisite
MUSC 181 Aural Skills I (2) MUSC 108 (if applicable); MUSC 171, co-requisite
MUSC 201 English & Italian Diction for Singers (2)
MUSC 271 Music Theory II (3) MUSC 171 & 181; MUSC 281, co-requisite
MUSC 281 Aural Skills II (2) MUSC 171 & 181; MUSC 271, co-requisite
MUSC 351 History of Western Classical Music I (3) MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 352 History of Western Classical Music II (3) MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 371 Music Theory III (3) MUSC 271 & 281; MUSC 381, co-requisite
MUSC 381 Aural Skills III (2) MUSC 271 & 281; MUSC 371, co-requisite
MUSC 471 Music Theory IV (3) MUSC 371 & 381; MUSC 481, co-requisite
MUSC 481 Aural Skills IV (2) MUSC 371 & 381; MUSC 471, co-requisite
Choose one of the following:
  • MUSC 353 History of Western Classical Music III (3)
  • MUSC 354 History of Western Classical Music IV (3)
MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 271 & 281
Choose two of the following:
  • MUSC 202 French & German Diction for Singers (2)
  • MUSC 203 Vocal Pedagogy (2)
  • MUSC 204 Art Song Literature Survey (2)
  • MUSC 205 Opera Literature Survey (2)
TOTAL HOURS FOR VOCAL PERFORMANCE MAJOR 71-73

Recommended Plan of Study for Performance (Vocal) Music Major

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year MUSC 108 (if applicable)
MUSC 191
Music Ensemble
World Language
MUSC 171
MUSC 181
MUSC 192
Music Ensemble
World Language
Sophomore Year

MUSC 271
MUSC 281
MUSC 291
Music Ensemble


MUSC 292
MUSC 371
MUSC 381
Music Ensemble

Junior Year

MUSC 351 or 353
MUSC 391
MUSC 471
MUSC 481
Music Ensemble


MUSC 352 or 354
MUSC 392
Music Ensemble

Senior Year

MUSC 301
MUSC 351 or 353
MUSC 491
Music Ensemble


MUSC 302
MUSC 352 or 354
MUSC 420
MUSC 492
Music Ensemble

Diction, vocal literature, and vocal pedagogy courses (MUSC 201, 202, 203, 204, and 205 may be taken when offered and where they fit into schedules. Ideally, MUSC 201 – IPA / English and Italian Diction, would be taken first.


Music Minor

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Introductory Coursework 0–2
MUSC 108 Keyboard Harmony (first semester, if applicable) (2)
II. Performance-Based Coursework 4–6
Private Lessons (primary instrument) (2-4)
Two consecutive semesters are required.
MUSC 191, 192, (1-2 credits each)
Performing Ensembles (2)
One of more of the following must be taken two different semesters.
MUSC 115/315 Westminster Community Chorus (1) placement audition required
MUSC 125/325 Westminster Jazz Ensemble (1) audition required
MUSC 135/335 Westminster Chamber Orchestra (1) audition required
MUSC 145/345 Westminster Chamber Singers (1) audition required
MUSC 155/355 Westminster Flute Choir (1) audition required
MUSC 165/365 Westminster Opera Studio (1) audition required
MUSC 175/375 Westminster Percussion Ensemble (1) placement audition required
MUSC 185/385 Westminster Chamber Players (1) audition required
MUSC 195/395 SugarTown (1) audition required
III. Academic Coursework 16
MUSC 171 Music Theory I (3) MUSC 108 (if applicable); MUSC 181, co-requisite
MUSC 181 Aural Skills I (2) MUSC 108 (if applicable); MUSC 171, co-requisite
MUSC 271 Music Theory II (3) MUSC 171 & 181; MUSC 281, co-requisite
MUSC 281 Aural Skills II (2) MUSC 171 & 181; MUSC 271, co-requisite
Choose two of the following:
  • MUSC 351 History of Western Classical Music I (3)
  • MUSC 352 History of Western Classical Music II (3)
  • MUSC 353 History of Western Classical Music III (3)
  • MUSC 354 History of Western Classical Music IV (3)
MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 271 & 281
MUSC 271 & 281
IV. Elective Courses 4
Music Electives (4)
TOTAL HOURS FOR MUSIC MINOR 24–28

Recommended Plan of Study for Music Minor

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year MUSC 108 (if applicable)
MUSC 191
Music Ensemble
MUSC 171
MUSC 181
MUSC 192
Music Ensemble
Sophomore Year

MUSC 271
MUSC 281


Music Elective(s)

Junior Year

MUSC 351 or 353


MUSC 352 or 354

Senior Year

Music Elective(s)


Music Elective(s)

Note: Ensemble and elective scheduling are flexible within the four-year plan of study, but the Department of Music strongly encourages every music minor to participate in a music ensemble whenever his/her schedule allows.

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