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Music, B.A.

The Bachelor of Arts music major provides students with a broad foundation for studying, performing and communicating about music.   

The major includes core classes in music theory and history, applied instruction and ensemble involvement within a Liberal Arts context. Students have a great deal of flexibility in determining their possible minors or may choose to double major in a number of other disciplines. A semester of study abroad may be included in the degree. 

A senior capstone project is presented with direction from a faculty mentor. This may be research driven, performance related, or a combination of both. Students are encouraged to develop independent work that may combine various disciplines. The B.A. in music is an excellent choice for many transfer students as well as students who wish to consider future graduate study.


What We're Doing

Mark McConathy

Tennessee native honored to be first student enrolled in program

Growing up in nearby Spring Hill, Tennessee, Mark McConathy, knew from a young age that he wanted to pursue music as a career. “I began my musical studies playing the violin for six years, and then switched to the piano in 2015 to pursue studies in composition and music history,” he explained. Now as the first student of the Bachelor of Arts in Music program, McConathy said he’s honored to be the first student enrolled in the program. “I would encourage students to apply to this program if they are interested in entering the fields of Music History, Theory or who just want to add extra liberal arts electives to their undergraduate coursework.” 


Related Media

  • MTSU College of Graduate Studies

    MTSU College of Graduate Studies

 
 
 

The Bachelor of Arts in Music degree allows students to prepare for professional music careers or graduate study in Music or Liberal Arts. The degree may lead to some of the following possible careers: 

  • Arranger
  • Band leader
  • College professor
  • Composer
  • Conductor
  • Copyright specialist
  • Film music director/editor
  • Free-lance performer
  • Music critic/journalist
  • Music editor and publisher
  • Music educator
  • Music librarian
  • Music software programmer
  • Music theater director
  • Musicologist
  • Orchestra librarian
  • Orchestrator
  • Private studio teacher
  • Recording technician/engineer/mixer
  • Songwriter
  • Studio musician

Bachelor of Arts in Music 

Music, B.A.

Music
(615) 898-2474
David Loucky, program coordinator
David.Loucky@mtsu.edu

The Bachelor of Arts music major provides students with a broad foundation for studying, performing, and communicating about music. Bachelor of Arts music majors have a great degree of flexibility in their coursework compared to other music majors and may be able to complete a second major in many disciplines.  Students should consult with their advisors about options.

The major includes core classes in music theory and history, applied instruction and ensemble involvement within a Liberal Arts context. Students have a great deal of flexibility in determining their possible minors, or may choose to double major in a number of other disciplines. A semester of study abroad may be included in the degree.

A senior capstone project is presented with direction from a faculty mentor. This may be research driven, performance related, or a combination of both. Students are encouraged to develop independent work that may combine various disciplines. The B.A. in music is an excellent choice for many transfer students as well as students who wish to consider future graduate study.

Auditions

Most prospective music majors expect to audition for admission to a music program. While a formal audition is technically not required to enter the B.A. major, students do need to be admitted to a private studio in order to complete the applied music component. Therefore, prospective B.A. majors must consult with the private instructors of their instrument or voice to be admitted to their studios. Alternatively, B.A. students may take a formal audition along with other music majors and minors.

Jury Examinations

Jury examinations are performance exams held at the conclusion of each semester to measure the student's progress. All students enrolled in private instruction perform juries at the discretion of the private instructor.

B.A. students planning a senior capstone project in performance (a recital or lecture-recital) are expected to continue taking private instruction and have the private instructor act as the capstone advisor.

Undergraduate Music majors must pass the Upper Division jury to qualify for applied music study at the MUAP 3000 or 4000 level. B.A. students do not need to pass the Upper Division jury unless required by the capstone advisor. This would apply if the student's capstone project is performance related.

Class Piano/Theory and Aural Skills

All undergraduate music majors (except keyboard principals) must take class piano every semester as indicated on the advising check sheets until the required piano proficiency exam is successfully completed. Concurrent enrollment in Class Piano I and Theory and Aural Skills I is required, with the following exceptions: (1) The student successfully passed either Class Piano I or Theory and Aural Skills I, but not both, or (2) the student successfully passed one or more levels of Class Piano by examination. Students should see their advisors for details.

Students wishing to continue piano after successfully completing the required class piano sequence may audition for piano applied lessons.

Keyboard principals must take MUS 2550, Keyboard Skills for Pianists I, and MUS 2560, Keyboard Skills for Pianists II, in lieu of class piano.

Academic Map

Following is a printable, suggested four-year schedule of courses:

Music, B.A., Academic Map 

Degree Requirements

General Education41 hours
Major Requirements51 hours
     Major Core   27 hours
     Music Performance/Area of Emphasis   24 hours
Approved Bachelor of Arts Minor15 hours
Foreign Language6-12 hours
Electives1-7 hours
TOTAL120 hours

 

General Education (41 hours)

General Educationrequirements (shown in curricular listings below) include courses in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences.

Major Requirements (51 hours)

Music Core (27 hours)

All music majors must take class piano or private piano instruction until they pass the piano proficiency examination prescribed by their degree programs. Students should see their advisors for details.

Students must earn a grade of C- or higher in MUTH 1110, MUTH 1120, MUTH 2110, MUTH 2120 (music theory sequence) and MUHL 1610, MUHL 3010, MUHL 3020 (music history sequence).

  • MUS 1010 - Recital Attendance  0 credit hours  
    (6 semesters)(6 semesters)  dotslash:(6 semesters) title:(6 semesters) 
    (6 semesters) 

    MUS 1010 - Recital Attendance

    0 credit hours

    Attendance at a minimum number of recitals and concerts given by students, faculty, and guest artists. Six semesters required for undergraduate music majors (see School of Music handbook for details). May be repeated multiple times. Pass/Fail.

  • MUTH 1110 - Theory and Aural Skills I

    4 credit hours

    Prerequisite: MUTH 1000 with grade of C- or higher or satisfactory score on theory diagnostic exam. Harmonic tonality and fixed-do solfège through chorale analysis and harmonizations of given bass lines. Major and minor scales and harmonizations through secondary function. Meets for five hours per week.

  • MUTH 1120 - Theory and Aural Skills II

    4 credit hours

    Prerequisite: MUTH 1110. Harmonic tonality and fixed-do solfège through chorale analysis and harmonizations of given bass lines. Modal scales, harmonization, and analysis through the augmented sixth. Meets for five hours per week.

  • MUTH 2110 - Theory and Aural Skills III

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: MUTH 1120. Harmonic tonality and twentieth-century vocabularies. Nineteenth-century chromaticism. Meets for four hours per week.

  • MUTH 2120 - Theory and Aural Skills IV

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: MUTH 2110. Continued study of harmonic tonality and twentieth-century vocabularies. Twentieth-century practices. Meets for four hours per week.

  • MUHL 1610 - The World of Music

    3 credit hours

    A study of culture and music through a chronological survey of styles, genres, and composers of Western art music and through the comparative study of various non-Western musical practices.

  • MUHL 3010 - History of Western Art Music I

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: MUHL 1610 with grade of C- or better. Second required music history course for Music majors. A survey of Western art music from antiquity through the eighteenth century, including Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods.

  • MUHL 3020 - History of Western Art Music II

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: MUHL 1610 with grade of C- or better. Third required music history course for music majors. A survey of Western art music of the eighteenth through twenty-first century, including Classical, Romantic, Modern, and Postmodern periods.

 

  • MUS 3140 - Basic Conducting  2 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    MUS 3140 - Basic Conducting

    2 credit hours

    Prerequisites: MUTH 2120. Interpretation of scores, fundamental diagrams with and without baton, terminology, and stage deportment.

  • MUPD 3050 - Jazz Pedagogy  2 credit hours  

    MUPD 3050 - Jazz Pedagogy

    2 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Techniques and methods of teaching jazz studies including the training of jazz ensembles and combos.

 

  • MUAP 4343 - Jazz Arranging, Applied Study

    2 credit hours

    Prerequisite: MUTH 1120. Focuses on the art of writing a jazz arrangement. Various orchestration techniques (both linear and horizontal), writing for the rhythm section, ranges and transposition of instruments, form and historical approaches to arranging for jazz ensembles presented. Preparation of arrangements for several performances required during the semester.

Music Performance and Area of Emphasis (24 hours)

  • MUS 1530 - Class Piano I  1 credit hour  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    MUS 1530 - Class Piano I

    1 credit hour

    Acquaints beginning piano students with the keyboard. Includes such skills as note reading, basic chords for harmonization of melodies, improvisation, basic exercises for development of coordination and technique, transposition, repertory, and sight reading. TBR Common Course: MUS 1027

    NOTE: All undergraduate music majors (except keyboard principals) must take class piano every semester as indicated on the advising check sheets until the required piano proficiency exam is successfully completed. Concurrent enrollment in Class Piano I and Theory and Aural Skills I is required with the following exceptions: (1) The student successfully passed either Class Piano I or Theory and Aural Skills I, but not both, or (2) the student successfully passed one or more levels of Class Piano by examination. Students should see their advisors for details.

    Students wishing to continue piano after successfully completing the required class piano sequence may audition for piano applied lessons. Keyboard principals must take MUS 2550 and MUS 2560 in lieu of class piano.

  • MUS 2550 - Keyboard Skills for Pianists I

    1 credit hour

    Elementary-level sight-playing; three-voice, open-score reading; improvisation; harmonization using primary chords; transposition; and common patterns in two-octave range (scales, arpeggios, progressions).

 

  • MUS 1540 - Class Piano II  1 credit hour  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    MUS 1540 - Class Piano II

    1 credit hour

    Prerequisite: MUS 1530. Continuation of skills and concepts taught in MUS 1530. Emphasis on standard piano repertory in addition to sight reading and functional piano skills. TBR Common Course: MUS 1127

    NOTE: All undergraduate music majors (except keyboard principals) must take class piano every semester as indicated on the advising check sheets until the required piano proficiency exam is successfully completed. Concurrent enrollment in Class Piano I and Theory and Aural Skills I is required with the following exceptions: (1) The student successfully passed either Class Piano I or Theory and Aural Skills I, but not both, or (2) the student successfully passed one or more levels of Class Piano by examination. Students should see their advisors for details.

    Students wishing to continue piano after successfully completing the required class piano sequence may audition for piano applied lessons. Keyboard principals must take MUS 2550 and MUS 2560 in lieu of class piano.

  • MUS 2560 - Keyboard Skills for Pianists II

    1 credit hour

    Intermediate-level ensemble and solo sight-playing; harmonization using primary and secondary chords; improvisation; transposition; four-voice, open-score reading; and common patterns in four-octave range (scales, arpeggios, progressions).

 

  • MUS 4460 - Bachelors of Arts in Music Capstone

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Completion of all MUHL and MUTH requirements; permission of department. Provides opportunity for students to complete a thesis, musical performance, composition, or some combination of these under faculty advisement and appropriate to the interests of the student. Must include written work in all cases.

  • MUAP + Private Instruction (2000 level) 4 credit hours
  • MUEN 3000-3999 6 credit hours
  • UD Emphasis Electives (approved by advisor and may include the following) 9 credit hours
    • MUHL 3000-4999
    • MUED 3000-4999
    • MUAP 4000-4999
    • MUPD 3000-4999
    • MUS 3000-4999
    • MUTH 3000-4999

Minor (15 hours)

  • Approved Bachelor of Arts minor (taken outside School of Music)

Foreign Language (6-12 hours)

Electives (1-7 hours)

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

Working closely with a faculty mentor, the Bachelor of Arts in Music culminates in a Senior Capstone Project. This may be research driven, performance related, or a combination of both. The student is expected to develop their project through nine credit hours of emphasis electives. The Capstone will be presented at the end of the senior year. 

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Contact Information

David L. Loucky
David.Loucky@mtsu.edu 
615-898-2474 | WMB 271 

Who is My Advisor?

Brad Baumgardner
Brad.Baumgardner@mtsu.edu
615-494-7649 | PH 129

Mailing Address

School of Music
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 47
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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