The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a music major is designed to prepare students for entry into professional musical careers or graduate school.
In addition to this catalog, detailed information regarding program policies and procedures and specific requirements for applied music and ensemble participation can be found on the website at www.marshall.edu/music.
Entrance and Program Requirements
Students desiring entry into the B.F.A. degree or the music education program or the music minor must be formally admitted to the music program. This admittance is based upon an audition in the student’s major performance area (instrument or voice) and an interview with the area faculty. Students desiring to enter the theory and composition area of emphasis should be prepared to show evidence of music theory study and/or compositions. Students should contact the music office to arrange for an audition and interview. Music majors returning after having not enrolled in applied music study for two or more consecutive semesters must re-audition before permission to continue in the major will be granted. Students should consult the music program website for specific audition requirements for their instrument.
Majors must also satisfy the following program requirements:
- All coursework in the music and music education majors must be completed with a grade of C or above. A course with a grade of D or F must be repeated with at least a grade of C to count for graduation or be used as a prerequisite for another required course.
- All music and music education majors are required to pass a piano proficiency examination prior to the capstone semester.
- A total of 120 credit hours is required for the B.F.A. degree with a music major. In addition to university and degree program requirements listed under the Bachelor of Fine Arts, candidates for the B.F.A. in music must complete 73 credit hours of study in music, divided into the core curriculum of 18 credit hours and 55 credit hours devoted to one of four areas of emphasis.
- Forty (40) credit hours must be earned in courses numbered 300-499.
- No course in the major requirements for graduation may be taken Credit/Non-Credit unless the course is so specified.
- Upon completion of the fourth semester of 100-level applied music study on the principal instrument, students must pass a sophomore hearing for promotion to upper-division (300-level) applied music study on the principal instrument. Students are permitted a maximum of two attempts to pass the sophomore hearing.
Following the entrance audition, and upon the recommendation of the area faculty, acceptance into the music or music education major or the music minor will be given by the school director. The student’s principal instrument will be the one on which he/she performed the entrance audition.
For music majors, applied music lessons on the principal instrument include one hour of lesson time per week, with two hours minimum of daily preparation expected. For music minors or elective students, applied music lessons include one half-hour of lesson time per week, with one hour minimum of daily preparation expected. All applied music students are expected to attend weekly studio class. Applied music students are not permitted to drop lessons during the course of a term without specific permission from the department chair. This permission is granted only for extraordinary reasons in exceptional cases. Registration for all applied music study requires the permission of the music office. Music majors returning after having not enrolled in applied music study for two or more consecutive semesters must re-audition before permission to continue in the major will be granted.
All music minors and music or music education majors registering for applied music must enroll concurrently in a principal ensemble. If all other ensemble requirements have been met (see “Ensemble Requirements” below), the ensemble should be chosen in consultation with the studio teacher. Elective students registering for applied music may be required by their instructor to enroll concurrently in an ensemble.
- All music education majors are required to complete 12 credit hours of study on the principal instrument — 6 hours of lower division and 6 hours of upper division. These are earned over 7 different semesters.
- All music majors enrolled in the jazz studies or performance area of emphasis must complete 16 credit hours of study on the principal instrument — 8 hours of lower division (100 level) and 8 hours of upper division (300 level). These are earned over 8 different semesters.
- All students enrolled in the theory and composition area of emphasis must complete 4-8 credit hours of study on the principal instrument at the 100 level and 16 credit hours of applied composition - 8 hours of lower division (MUS 180 Applied Composition) and 8 hours of upper division (MUS 380 Applied Composition). These are earned over 8 different semesters. Students in this area of emphasis will complete a sophomore hearing after 8 hours of applied composition study (100 level) by submitting a portfolio of compositions for review. A maximum of two attempts are allowed to pass the sophomore hearing.
- All students enrolled in the multidisciplinary studies area of emphasis must complete 12 hours of study on the principal instrument–8 hours of lower division (100 level) and 4 hours of upper division (300 level). These are earned over 6 different semesters.
- All students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Music program must complete 4 lower-division credit hours of study on the principal instrument. These are earned over 4 different semesters. In some BA emphasis areas, additional applied music studies are required.
- All students pursuing the music minor must complete 4 semesters of study on the principal applied instrument. Continuation of applied study beyond these credits shall occur after consultation with the applied studio teacher. Music minors desiring to continue applied study at the upper division (300 level) must pass a sophomore hearing before permission will be granted.
- Each applied music student must be approved through jury examination at the end of each semester before registering for additional study on the principal instrument. At the end of the fourth semester, students must complete the sophomore hearing before upper division (5th semester) applied music study may be started. Students not approved for advancement will be required to repeat lower level work until successfully completing the sophomore hearing. Students are permitted a maximum of two attempts to pass the sophomore hearing.
- Performance on the principal instrument is required at least once each semester on weekly daytime recitals held for this purpose (MUS 100 Applied Music Laboratory). First semester music education majors may be exempted from student recital performance at the discretion of the studio teacher. All senior music and music education majors, and junior B.F.A. majors must give a recital as part of the requirements for graduation. Music Education majors must complete the senior recital before the student teaching semester begins. Approval to plan a recital must be obtained during the jury examination preceding the recital semester. During the junior recital semester, B.F.A. students co-register for applied study on the principal instrument and MUS 376 Recital. During the senior recital semester, B.F.A. students co-register for applied study on the principal instrument and MUS 476 Senior Recital. The capstone course (MUS 497 Capstone Project in Music) is generally taken during the final semester.
All music and music education majors are required to pass a piano proficiency examination as part of the degree requirements. Music education majors must pass the entire proficiency examination prior to beginning the student teaching semester. B.F.A. students must complete the piano proficiency prior to the capstone semester. Piano proficiency may be demonstrated through passing the piano proficiency exam or upon successful completion of MUS 179D Class Piano or MUS 279D Jazz Piano Class.
A placement test will be given on the first day of theory class Fall and Spring semesters. All students must demonstrate the ability to read bass and treble clefs; identify scales, key signatures, intervals, and triads aurally and in written form, and perform rudimentary melodic and rhythmic dictation. Students needing developmental assistance in theory will be enrolled in MUS 101 Basic Musicianship.
Students may elect applied music study on a secondary instrument, upon the approval of the school director and the studio teacher, and receive one credit hour per semester. Elective lessons provide one half-hour lesson per week and require one hour of daily preparation. These lessons are permitted on a first-come, first-served basis according to availability. In piano, voice, and guitar, special beginning classes are listed in the Schedule of Courses. Elective students registering for applied music may be required by their instructor to enroll concurrently in an ensemble.
All students registering for the capstone course, MUS 497 Capstone Project in Music, will be required to complete a written and oral comprehensive examination. Students may not register for MUS 497 Capstone Project in Music prior to completing the piano proficiency requirement. Before registering for MUS 497 Capstone Project in Music, students must have completed or co-registered for the final required semester of applied music, MUS 476 Senior Recital (if required), and the final course of the music history sequence.
Students participate in ensembles that are varied both in size and nature and chosen from those appropriate to the area of specialization. With the approval of the ensemble conductor and the academic advisor, a student may enroll in more than one ensemble in a semester. Enrollment in some ensembles requires the permission of the instructor. The actual number of clock hours per week of rehearsal may vary depending on the ensemble. All ensembles receive one semester hour credit.
Principal and Secondary Ensembles
The principal ensembles are Chamber Choir, University Chorus, Jazz Ensemble, University Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Wind Symphony. Secondary ensembles are Marching Band, Choral Union, Opera Workshop, Jazz Improvisation Ensemble, Pep Band, chamber ensembles (Brass, Woodwind, Percussion, Guitar, and String), and any others not listed as principal ensembles. Jazz Ensemble counts as a principal ensemble for jazz studies majors only.
Music Education and Multidisciplinary Studies Majors
All full-time music education and multidisciplinary studies majors are required to participate in ensembles in each semester of residence. Seven semester hours (four lower division and three upper division) in a principal ensemble are required. These must be earned in seven different semesters. All music education majors whose principal applied area is an instrument other than voice are required to complete one semester in a choral ensemble. During the fall semester of the first two years, Marching Band and Orchestra (audition required), Wind Symphony (audition required) or Symphonic Band are corequisites for students whose principal applied area is a wind, brass, or percussion instrument. In the spring of the junior year, these students may petition the school director to substitute University Chorus or Chamber Choir (audition required) for Marching Band during the fall semester of the senior year, during which they also must enroll in a principal ensemble related to their area of principal applied study.
During one fall semester, music education majors whose principal instrument is voice, keyboard, or strings (including guitar) must register concurrently for Marching Band and a principal ensemble related to their area of principal applied study. String performers (including guitar) must complete four semester hours of String Ensemble or Chamber Music. Upon approval of the applied teacher, guitar and keyboard performers may substitute up to two semesters of an appropriate chamber ensemble or accompanying for two semesters of a principal ensemble.
Performance and Jazz Studies
All full-time performance and jazz studies majors are required to participate in ensembles in each semester of residence. Eight semester hours (four lower division and four upper division) in a principal ensemble are required. These must be earned in eight different semesters. Although not required to do so, wind and percussion performers are encouraged to participate in the Marching Band (fall semester only) following consultation with the applied teacher. String performers must complete four semester hours of String Ensemble or Chamber Music. Upon approval of the applied teacher, guitar and keyboard performers may substitute up to two semesters of an appropriate chamber ensemble or accompanying for two semesters of a principal ensemble.
Theory and Composition Majors
All full-time theory and composition majors are required to participate in ensembles in each semester of residence. Four semester hours of lower-division credit in a principal ensemble are required. These must be earned in four different semesters. Composers may substitute one semester of MUS 270 Musical Prods Practicum for 200-level principal ensemble.
Bachelor of Arts in Music Majors
All full-time BA-Music majors are required to participate in four semesters of a principal ensemble at the 200 level. Additional ensemble requirements vary, according to the student’s selection of emphasis area.