2016-17 Pomona College Catalog 
    Jun 24, 2024  
2016-17 Pomona College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Use the dropdown above to select the current 2023-24 catalog.

Music Major

Requirements for the Major in Music

Students majoring in music are expected to integrate their studies in performance, theory and musicianship, music history and ethnomusicology. By the end of the music program, students are expected to have developed the knowledge, skills, concepts and sensitivities necessary to enter the real world as informed musicians who are able to make a personally expressive contribution to society. The music major should have acquired the necessary background to continue music studies at the graduate level.

Students gain basic technical and conceptual competence in an instrument (or voice), a condensed and selective knowledge of music and music literature, the ability to integrate musical knowledge and skills, sensitivity to Western and non-Western musical styles and an insight into the role of music in intellectual and cultural life. By the end of their studies in our department, students:

  1. Develop the ability to hear, identify and work conceptually with elements of music such as rhythm, melody, harmony, timbre, texture and form
  2. Develop an understanding of and the ability to read and realize musical notation
  3. Develop an understanding of compositional processes, aesthetic properties of style and the ways these shape and are shaped by artistic and cultural forces
  4. Develop knowledge of a wide selection of musical literature and its associated eras, genres and cultural sources
  5. Refine the ability to develop and defend musical judgments
  6. Learn to interpret, analyze and perform a variety of musical styles

These goals are pursued through making, listening to and studying music. Instruction in a performing medium, participation in ensembles and public performance are vital to the music major’s experience in our program.

Requirements for the major consist of the following:

  1. Engaging Music (MUS 051 PO ), Music Theory courses (MUS 080 PO , MUS 081 PO , MUS 082 PO ), Music History seminars (MUS 121 PO , MUS 122 PO ) and 20th Century Music History and Theory (MUS 184 PO ). Must receive a grade of C or higher to count these classes toward the major.
  2. Two course credits earned over a minimum of four semesters in a Pomona College music ensemble, e.g., choir (MUS 031 PO ), orchestra (MUS 033 PO ), etc. and four semesters of music performance at level II (20 or 100) on the same or related instruments, for which the qualifying examination should be passed in the first or sophomore year.
  3. At least one elective in ethnomusicology (e.g. MUS 065 PO , MUS 070 PO ).
  4. Senior Colloquium (MUS 190 PO ) and Senior Project (MUS 192 PO ).

The requirements above (totaling 12 to 13.5 course credits) are sufficient to satisfy the Music Department’s major requirements. It is possible to combine this basic major with one from another department or program to create a double major. In any case, students are encouraged to take additional elective courses offered by the Music Department. It is possible to pursue an area of specialization by augmenting the core curriculum as detailed below. If a student chooses one of the following concentrations, the Music Department will provide certification that the appropriate requirements have been met.

Concentration Requirements. Those who intend to complete a concentration must discuss a proposal with an advisor who is a member of the full-time music faculty. This conversation should take place no later than the end of the fall semester of the junior year.

  1. Composition: Electronic Music Studio (MUS 096A PO ) Orchestration and Instrumentation (MUS 113 PO ) and Senior Project (MUS 192 PO  - full course) for the preparation of a senior composition.
  2. Performance: At least four semesters of MUS 100 PO  on a single instrument or voice are required. Ensemble participation increased to three course credits earned over a minimum of six semesters. One music elective with a course number above 100. At least four performances from: student recitals, chamber music recitals, senior compositions, senior recitals of colleagues, competition-winning appearances or other venues approved by the department. MUS 192 PO  (half course) for the preparation and performance of a senior recital, with program notes and, if needed, text/translations. MUS 192 PO  or MUS 100 PO  are normally taken the same semester as the senior recital is given. Presentation of a junior recital recommended.
  3. History, Ethnomusicology, theory or other specializations: At least one elective from the relevant field. MUS 192 PO  (full course) for the preparation of a senior project. These concentrations involve individually-designed music specializations and are done in consultation with students’ advisors.

Recitals. All students studying at Level II are encouraged to perform in public student recitals sponsored by the department, provided they obtain the approval of their instructors. Full- or half-length recitals require approval of the instructor and permission of the department.

Considerations. Students who expect to major in music should possess or develop the ability to read music at the keyboard. They should take MUS 051 PO , MUS 065 PO  or MUS 070 PO , and the required theory and history courses (MUS 080 PO , MUS 081 PO , MUS 082 PO , MUS 121 PO , MUS 122 PO , MUS 184 PO ) as soon as possible. In rare cases, and with permission of the department, one of the required music theory courses may be satisfied by examination, without credit. All new students, both first-year students and those transferring from other institutions, are placed in theory and history classes according to their experience and ability. For graduate work in music, languages (e.g., Latin, Italian, French and German) are important, depending upon the area of specialization.

All courses required for the music major that are offered for a letter grade must be taken for a letter grade. Students are encouraged to consult with the Music Department in advance to determine whether academic work completed on study abroad, at one of the other Claremont Colleges or at another institution can fulfill the major requirements.