Music Major | Music Minor

Full Time Faculty and Staff: Randy Bauer (Chair), Michael Breidenbach, Victoria Malawey, Mark Mandarano, Michael McGaghie, Mark Mazullo, Sowah Mensah, Laura Nichols, Chuen-Fung Wong


Part Time Faculty: Cléa Galhano, Joan Griffith, Peter Hennig


Studio Faculty: Chris Bates (jazz bass), Ann Benjamin (harp), Michael Breidenbach (Highland piping), Claudia Chen (piano/keyboard skills), Zachary Cohen (bass), Christine Dahl (piano/keyboard skills), Julie Elhard (viola da gamba), Lynn Erickson (trumpet), Cléa Galhano (recorder), James Garlick (violin), Richard Gaynor (trombone/baritone horn), Joan Griffith (electric guitar/electric bass/jazz improvisation/mandolin/bass), Shelley Hanson (clarinet), Rachel Holder (voice), Martha Jamsa (flute), Winston Kaehler (harpsichord/organ), Steve Kimball (percussion), Caroline Lemen (horn), LeAnn Lindgren (saxophone), Mark Mazullo (piano), Carole Mason-Smith (bassoon), Sowah Mensah (African drums/xylophones/flute/voice), Natalia Moiseeva (violin), Dan Newton (accordion), Laura Nichols (voice), Solomon J. Parham (jazz trumpet), Thomas Rosenberg (cello), Lauri Sager-Wright (piano/keyboard skills), David Schmalenberger (percussion), Hyobi Sim (viola), Jeffrey Thygeson (classical guitar), Sean Turner (jazz piano), Chuck Wazanowski (tuba), David Whetstone (sitar).


The music department offers many opportunities for general students and for students interested in music as a major or minor. All performing ensembles and most courses are open to majors and non-majors alike, although some courses carry prerequisites. The music major provides preparation for graduate study in music, and many music-related jobs and professions. The major and minor prepare students for lifelong enjoyment of music through the study of appropriate skills, repertoire, and performance practice.

General Distribution Requirement

All courses in the music department count toward the general distribution requirement in fine arts except, on occasion, courses cross-listed with other departments. Credit accumulated through ensemble performance and studio instruction counts toward the general distribution requirement upon completion of four consecutive semesters. These four consecutive semesters must be taken in a single ensemble or performance medium in order to fulfill the distribution requirement.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and US identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar's web page each semester prior to registration.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements section of this catalog.

Performance Studies

Performing ensembles are open to students by audition without regard for music major or minor status. These groups include the large vocal and instrumental ensembles, chamber music groups in the Western concert tradition, and other ensembles performing a spectrum of musical styles: African Music Ensemble, Mac Jazz (big band jazz), Early Music Ensemble, Highland Pipe Band, and the Mac Jazz and Popular Music Combos. Additional chamber ensembles such as string quartets and flute ensembles are formed in response to student interest. Students are also involved as soloists, conductors, or managers for the ensembles. Special performance projects such as dance concerts requiring live and electronic music, opera, and musical theater are scheduled as opportunities arise.

Studio instruction in voice, piano, harpsichord, organ, guitar, all standard orchestral instruments, jazz improvisation, bagpipe, African drumming, African flute, African voice, viola da gamba, recorder, and sitar, is available to all students in the College. Studio instruction is with studio faculty who are all active professional musicians.

Lesson fees: Please consult the "Studio Instruction/Private Lesson" section of the Music department website.

1) Students can receive credit for successful completion of a sequence of 2 semesters of studio instruction and/or 2 semesters of ensemble participation. All majors and minors enrolled in lessons must complete a 15-minute performance exam at the end of each semester. Credit is given in the following manner:

Credit will be applied after completion of 2 consecutive semesters of the same studio instruction and/or ensemble participation. Consecutive semesters are usually fall-spring, but may be spring-fall.

Credit for a single semester of studio instruction or ensemble participation is not awarded.

Interruption of a sequence due to participation in an approved Study Abroad program is not considered a discontinuity.

2) Performance studies will be graded as follows:

Students with music major/minor concentrations, those receiving fee reductions, and those enrolled in ensemble courses, will receive letter grades.

General students without fee waivers have the option of letter grade or S/NC in studio instruction. Letter grades will be assigned unless the student designates in writing to the department coordinator a request for pass/fail option by the all-college deadline.

A student must earn a passing grade for each term to receive credit for the course. All majors and minors enrolled in studio instruction must receive a grade of C or higher and complete an end-of-semester performance review, or the reduced fee will be reversed and the student will be required to pay the entire fee for the instruction.

3) A student may count no more than 8 credits for performance studies toward graduation, but no limit is placed on continued participation. Continued participation will appear on a student's transcript, but will not fulfill Macalester graduation requirements.

4) Credit for performance studies satisfies the general distribution requirement if four consecutive semesters of a single ensemble or performance medium are completed. The grade a student receives for credit-bearing performance studies is computed in the student's cumulative GPA when the block of 2 consecutive semesters is completed.

Music Ensembles

Ensembles are open to all Macalester students. Selection of members is usually made on the basis of auditions in the fall. Students joining an ensemble are expected to remain active in it throughout both fall and spring terms. However, it is possible to audition to join an ensemble in the second term. Students with a declared major in music are encouraged to participate in ensembles for their entire residence as a major, with two semesters required in one of the following: Orchestra, Mac Jazz Band, Concert Choir, Macalester Chorale, or African Music Ensemble. Students with a declared minor in music are required to participate in ensembles for at least two semesters.  Specific information about ensemble participation and required length may be found in the major/minor section, see below.

Keyboard Skills Requirement

All music majors and minors will take Keyboard Skills for one or two semesters depending on placement.  Instruction takes the form of a weekly private piano lesson.  Towards this end, each music major and minor is offered a fee reduction to complete these lessons.  Students will normally complete their first semester concurrently with MUSI 113; students with advanced standing will be placed appropriately. Required skills include sight reading and the ability to play major and minor scales (hands together), triads in inversions (broken and solid), simple chord progressions, and short pieces in contrasting styles.

Honors Program

The music department participates in the honors program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the department are available from either the department office or the Academic Programs and Advising Office.

Topics Courses

MUSI 194, MUSI 294, MUSI 394, MUSI 494

Examination of special topics of interest to faculty and students. Recent topics have included: Beethoven, Cover Songs, Passion Music, The Art and Practice of Improvisation, and Music and the Meaning of Life. To be announced at registration. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, and preceptorships. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum section of the catalog.

Music Major

Major Requirements

A major in music will consist of a mix of courses, ensemble participation, studio lessons, keyboard skills instruction, and the completion of a senior capstone. Music majors whose primary advisor is not a music faculty member should establish a second advisor in music; the complexity of major requirements necessitates regular review of one's progress toward the major.

A MAJOR IN MUSIC MUST INCLUDE:

8 courses, 2 performance units of ensemble with one of the units in a Group A ensemble, 2 performance units of lesson, Keyboard Skills up to 1 performance unit according to placement, Flex A or Flex B, and the senior capstone. Details for each of these requirements follow below.

A performance unit is defined as two contiguous semesters of participation in the same ensemble or in lessons on the same instrument (usually fall-spring, but spring-fall is possible).

Courses

8 courses are required, including MUSI 113 , 2 courses from each of three categories (see below), and 1 elective. Two of these courses must be at the 300 level or higher. MUSI 113 is the gateway course to the major, and should be taken as early as possible. (Students who place out of MUSI 113 may take MUSI 214 instead; placements are determined by the department.)


The three course categories, with their associated courses, are:
Group 1 - Theory/Composition (MUSI 153, MUSI 154, MUSI 211, MUSI 214, MUSI 233, MUSI 361 + approved topics)
Group 2 - History/Literature (MUSI 131, MUSI 155, MUSI 205 , MUSI 254, MUSI 264, MUSI 342, MUSI 343, MUSI 344 + approved topics)
Group 3 - Critical/Interdisciplinary (MUSI 180, MUSI 220, MUSI 225, MUSI 354, MUSI 370, MUSI 405, MUSI 425 + approved topics)


All music courses count towards the music major with the following exceptions:

1. MUSI 110 (Introduction to Western Classical Music) DOES NOT count towards the music major or minor

2. MUSI 111 (World Music), while not considered the most appropriate course for music majors/minors, may count towards the major/minor with approval of the Department Chair.

Ensemble

Majors must complete 2 performance units (4 semesters) of ensemble participation. These units represent two years' participation, and should not overlap. Majors are encouraged to participate in ensembles for their entire time in the department. Majors must be in a Group A ensemble for at least one performance unit. Group A or B may be pursued for additional units. Group A includes Concert Choir, Chorale, Orchestra, African Music Ensemble, MacJazz. Group B includes Asian Music, Wind Symphony, Pipe Band, Early Music, Combos, Chamber Music. Credits will be awarded at the completion of each performance unit (every two semesters). Ensemble and lesson units may be taken simultaneously.

Lesson

Majors must complete 2 performance units (4 semesters) of studio lesson instruction. These units represent two years' participation, and should not overlap. Majors are encouraged to participate in lessons for their entire time in the department. A Performance Review (juried final exam) shall take place each semester that lessons are taken. Participation on one Thursday Noon shared recital per semester is required for each semester that lessons are taken. Credits will be awarded at the completion of each performance unit (every two semesters). Lesson and ensemble units may be taken simultaneously.

Keyboard Skills

All majors are required to take one or two semesters of MUSI 98 (Keyboard Skills) depending on placement. If both semesters are taken contiguously, then it counts as one performance unit. The first semester normally will be taken concurrently with MUSI 113 ; students with advanced standing may start at another approved time.

Flex

Majors will choose one of two Flex options. Flex A requires one additional course (for a total of 9), and one additional performance unit (ensemble, lesson, or Keyboard Skills may be applied). Flex B requires three additional performance units (ensemble, lesson, or Keyboard Skills may be applied). The Flex performance units may overlap; for example, multiple ensembles may be taken simultaneously.

Capstone

Majors have a choice of recital, thesis, recording or composition project for the senior capstone. Majors will register for MUSI 488 (Senior Project) during their final semester. This will earn 2 credits and a letter grade. Details follow below.

Music Department Senior Capstone

The Capstone

The capstone for majors in music will consist of a choice of one of the following: (1) a recital, (2) a written thesis in theory or musicology, (3) a recording project such as an album, or (4) a composition project or portfolio. Details of these choices follow below. All capstones culminate in public presentation appropriate to their nature and scope. All majors will register in MUSI 488 (Senior Project), in their final semester. This is a 2-credit course that will count towards the total credit load; please plan accordingly.

Capstone Timeline

During the junior year, students will identify the type of capstone they intend to pursue, and a faculty "capstone advisor" will be assigned. This is not necessarily the student's principal academic advisor. Once a preliminary planning meeting has taken place with the capstone advisor, the student will submit a formal, written proposal to the Chair. All proposals will be reviewed by the department. Revisions may be requested. Approvals will be made, normally within two weeks. A working timeline should be developed in consultation with the capstone advisor, and submitted by the end of junior spring. Students are encouraged to begin capstone work before the beginning of senior year. The student will meet periodically with the capstone advisor to ensure satisfactory progress according to their timeline. The completed capstones will be due in the final semester of residence, normally a few weeks before the end of classes. All relevant dates will be determined and announced by the department annually. For students planning a fall graduation, dates will be set accordingly.

Capstone Specifics

Recital

A recital program of 50-70 minutes will be developed in conjunction with the studio instructor and capstone advisor. Intermissions are not typical, but situation- and instrument-specific needs arise and may be granted by the studio instructor/department faculty. Recitals must be thoughtfully put together and cohesive, and students are expected to treat the recital as a formal event and present it with an attitude of professionalism. Recitals should showcase the student as the central performer, although many recitals are collaborations between the student and an accompanist or small ensemble, depending on the style of music the student performs.

Students must complete a recital hearing between one month and two weeks prior to the scheduled recital. Specific dates will be determined annually. All participating musicians must be present, the typed program must be available, and the student must be prepared to present any portion of the recital selected by an assembled jury, to consist of the capstone advisor and at least one other faculty member. If the program and level of preparation are approved, the recital will go on as scheduled. If deficiencies are noted, the student will need to address them, or reschedule the recital, even if that means the following semester.

Thesis

An original research question will be pursued that builds on existing literature in the field, and culminates in an essay of some 15-30 pages with proper bibliographic citations. The student will give a public presentation of the thesis at an agreed-upon date, before graduation.

Recording Project

This type of project is evaluated on both musical content and technical grounds. As such, it is intended for students with both compositional/songwriting experience and recording/studio/booth experience. The project will consist of an album of material, largely but not exclusively original in nature, performed by the student either solo or in collaboration with other musicians. The student must engineer and master the recording themselves and present a finished product of 30-60 minutes' duration. The project will be shared formally with the wider department community.

Composition Project

The composition project may be either one composition in larger proportions (e.g. a substantial single- or multi-movement work of some 15-20 minutes' duration), or a portfolio of shorter works totaling 15-20 minutes. Specific instrumentation is left to the student in consultation with the advisor. "Large" proportion does not have to refer to large ensemble such as orchestra. The music is not limited by genre or style. The work(s) submitted should be engraved using computer notation software at a high standard of quality. While the composition(s) need not be recorded in a concert or studio situation, a companion recording should be submitted; MIDI playback is acceptable. The project will be shared formally with the wider department community.

Capstone evaluation

Since MUSI 488 is taken for credit, a grade will be assigned by the capstone advisor in consultation with other department faculty. The department as a body discusses the project's relative quality and the consistency of effort, to aid the advisor in evaluation. An oral or written summary of the department's collective appraisal of the student's achievement will be provided to the student prior to graduation.

Music Minor

Minor Requirements

A minor in music will consist of a mix of courses, ensemble participation, studio lessons, and keyboard skills instruction.

A MINOR IN MUSIC MUST INCLUDE:

5 courses, and 4 performance units of ensemble, lesson, and/or keyboard skills. One of these units must be ensemble, and one of these units must be lesson. Details for each of these requirements follow below. A performance unit is defined as two contiguous semesters of participation in the same ensemble or in lessons on the same instrument (usually fall-spring, but spring-fall is possible).

Courses

5 courses are required, including MUSI 113, and 4 courses drawn from at least two out of three categories (see below). MUSI 113 is the gateway course to the minor, and should be taken as early as possible. (Students who place out of MUSI 113 may take MUSI 214 instead; placements are determined by the department.)


The three course categories, with their associated courses, are:
Group 1 - Theory/Composition (MUSI 153, MUSI 154, MUSI 211, MUSI 214, MUSI 233, MUSI 361 + approved topics)
Group 2 - History/Literature (MUSI 131, MUSI 155, MUSI 205, MUSI 254, MUSI 264, MUSI 342, MUSI 343, MUSI 344 + approved topics)
Group 3 - Critical/Interdisciplinary (MUSI 180, MUSI 220, MUSI 225, MUSI 354, MUSI 370, MUSI 405, MUSI 425 + approved topics)


All music courses count towards the music minor with the following exceptions:

1. MUSI 110 (Introduction to Western Classical Music) DOES NOT count towards the music major or minor

2. MUSI 111 (World Music), while not considered the most appropriate course for music majors/minors, may count towards the major/minor with approval of the Department Chair.

Performance

A total of 4 performance units is required. One of these units must be ensemble participation, and one unit must be in lessons. The rest may be ensemble, lesson, or keyboard skills.

Ensemble

Minors must complete 1 performance unit (2 semesters) of ensemble participation. Credits will be awarded at the completion of each performance unit (every two semesters). Minors are encouraged to participate in ensembles for their entire time in the department.

Lesson

Minors must complete 1 performance unit (2 semesters) of studio lesson instruction. A Performance Review (juried final exam) shall take place each semester that lessons are taken. Participation on one Thursday Noon shared recital per year is required when lessons are taken. Credits will be awarded at the completion of each performance unit (every two semesters)

Keyboard Skills

All minors are required to take one or two semesters of MUSI 98 (Keyboard Skills) depending on placement. If both semesters are taken contiguously, then it counts as one performance unit. The first semester normally will be taken concurrently with MUSI 113; students with advanced standing may start at another approved time.