For a complete listing of Music courses and requirements, please see the Course Catalog located at the Office of the Registrar, found here.

Music courses are designed to develop an understanding and appreciation of music as an art, and to prepare the student for composing, teaching, performing, and advanced work in music. Students majoring in music may select one of five tracks: Standard, Performance, Music History, Theory/Composition, or Jazz. A student who enters Whitman without any prior college-level preparation in music will have to complete 36 credits to fulfill the requirements for each of the tracks.

Proficiency in piano is required of all students majoring in music. On declaration of a music major, a student has two options. If the student has previous piano experience and is not a piano major, he or she may take the piano proficiency exam. The details of this exam are available from the head of the piano area at the request of the student. If the student opts not to take the exam, he or she must take three semesters of applied piano study, receiving a grade of B or better every semester.

Courses taken P-D-F may not be used to satisfy course and credit requirements for the major. Distribution: Courses in music apply to the fine arts distribution area, with the following exceptions:

  • Cultural pluralism or fine arts: Music 115, 129, 160, 207, 218, 220, 308, 354, 360.
  • Quantitative analysis and fine arts: Music 426

Learning Goals: Upon graduation, a student will be able to: participate in music making within a community and/or
be an informed member of an audience. Those students who major in music will be prepared for graduate school in either performance or academic music.

  •  Major-Specific Areas of Knowledge
    • Develop an understanding and appreciation of music as an art through performing and scholarly activities.
    • All music courses are accessible to all Whitman students through particular preparatory/gateway courses, and all Whitman students, whether or not they enter the college with a music background, are provided this opportunity.
  •  After College
    • Be prepared for advanced work at any major university or conservatory for those students who seek a career in music (history, theory, composition, teaching, performing).

The Music Major

The music major is separated into tracks. Those tracks, and their requirements, are shown below. All tracks require piano proficiency; see above description for additional information.

History Track

  • A minimum of 36 credits including Music 126, 127, 226, 227, 297, 298, 299, 326
  • 497 or 498
  • one course to be selected from 207, 218, 220, 260, 308, 360
  • three credits of ensembles chosen from 211, 212, 231, 232, 241, 242, 245, 246, 253, 254, 261, 262
  • four credits of applied music with no more than two credits at the 100 level.
  • A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required in Music 227
  • Students are strongly encouraged to take either Music 257 or 354 as an elective.

Theory Track

  • A minimum of 36 credits including Music 126, 127, 226, 227, 297, 298, 299, 326
  • 497 or 498
  • one course to be selected from 207, 218, 220, 260, 308, 360
  • three credits of ensembles chosen from 211, 212, 231, 232, 241, 242, 245, 246, 253, 254, 261, 262
  • four credits of applied music with no more than two credits at the 100-level
  • A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required in Music 227
  • Students are strongly encouraged to take Music 260 or 426 as an elective.

Composition Track

  • A minimum of 36 credits including Music 126, 127, 226, 227, 297, 298, 299, 326
  • 497 or 498
  • one course to be selected from 207, 218, 220, 260, 308, 360; six credits of 480
  • three credits of ensembles chosen from 211, 212, 231, 232, 241, 242, 245, 246, 253, 254, 261, 262
  • three credits of applied music with no more than two at the 100- level
  • A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required in Music 227.


Performance Track

  • A minimum of 36 credits including Music 126, 127, 226, 227, 297, 298, 299, 326
  • one course to be selected from 207, 218, 220, 260, 308, 360
  • three credits of ensembles chosen from 211, 212, 231, 232, 241, 242, 245, 246, 253, 254, 261, 262
  • five credits of applied music with two credits at the 400-level on the primary instrument
  • two credits of 473, 474, 475, or 476
  • A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required in Music 227
  • Students are strongly encouraged to take Music 368 as an elective.

Standard Track

  • A minimum of 36 credits including Music 126, 127, 226, 227, 297, 298, 299, 326
  • 497 or 498
  • one course to be selected from 207, 218, 220, 260, 308, 360
  • three credits of ensembles chosen from 211, 212, 231, 232, 241, 242, 245, 246, 253, 254, 261, 262
  • four credits of applied music with two credits at the 300-level on the primary instrument
  • two credits of 373, 374, 375, or 376
  • A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required in Music 227
  • Students are strongly encouraged to take Music 368 as an elective.

Jazz Track

  • A minimum of 36 credits including Music 126, 127, 226, 227, 260, 297, 298, 299, 326, 360
  • one course to be selected from 145, 207, 218, 220, 257, 308, 310, 342, 354, 368, 426
  • three credits of ensembles chosen from 211, 212, 231, 232, 241, 242, 245, 246, 253, 254, 261, 262
  • two credits of applied music at the 300 or 400-level on the primary instrument
  • two credits of 473, 474, 475, or 476
  • A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required in Music 227.

Senior Assessment

The senior assessment for music majors consists of a thesis, project, and/or recital and an interrogative oral examination based on the thesis, project, and/or recital.

Honors

Students must apply for honors candidacy by the October deadline specified by the Registrar. Honors candidates in music must pass all components of the senior assessment with distinction.

The Music Minor

  • A minimum of 18 credits to include Music 126, 127; one course to be selected from 150, 297, 298, 299
  • one course to be selected from 115, 207, 218, 220, 260, 308, 342, 354, 360, 368, 426
  • four credits of ensembles chosen from 211, 212, 231, 232, 241, 242, 245, 246, 253, 254, 261, 262
  • two credits of applied music at the 200 or 300- level
  • and two credits of elective(s).

Recitals

Any student desiring to perform a recital must present a pre-recital jury to the music faculty at least three weeks prior to the scheduled recital date.

Advisory Information

Potential Music Majors

It is strongly recommended that potential music majors enroll in Music 126, 127, and applied music in their first year.

Applied Lessons

Instruction is offered in piano, voice, organ, harpsichord, strings, woodwinds, and brass at all levels; and guitar and percussion at the introductory and intermediate levels. All college students enrolled in applied music for credit must take a jury examination at the conclusion of each semester. Applied lessons may not be taken P-D-F.

Scholarships for Applied Lessons

A limited number of scholarships are available to offset the fee for lessons. Students receiving scholarships are required to participate in the appropriate major ensemble (Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra, or Chorale) or Collaborative Piano 253, 254.

Nonmajors

The following courses are recommended as an introduction to music for liberal arts students (some courses require auditions and/or consent of instructor).

  • Music 101 Fundamentals of Music
  • Music 115 Introduction to World Music
  • Music 126 Music Theory I
  • Music 129 Deconstructing Popular Music
  • Music 150 Music in Society
  • Music 160 Study of Jazz
  • Ensembles - Music 211, 212, 231, 232, 241, 242, 245, 246, 251, 252, 253, 254, 261, 262
  • Applied Lessons - Music 163, 164, 263, 264

Grading and credit limitations

All ensembles (211, 212, 231, 232, 241, 242, 251, 252, 253, 254, 261, 262) are graded on a regular basis; a maximum of 12 credits may be applied toward degree requirements. Applied music lessons are graded on a regular basis and may not be taken P-D-F. A maximum of 16 credits in applied music will be allowed toward the minimum of 124 credits required for graduation.

This page updated September 1, 2016