Alma’s Music Department, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, offers three degree options: Bachelor of Music in Performance, Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Bachelor of Arts with a major in Music.
Bachelor of Arts in Music
Forty credits which must include MUS-111, 111a, 112, 112a, 211, 212, 214, 443, 444, 445, 500, two credits of Ensembles and two credits of Applied Lessons. MUS 500 is a senior project and may take the form of a recital, research paper or other Department-approved project. Requests for MUS-500 projects must be received by the end of the year preceding graduation. Students are strongly advised to continue their study of voice or an instrument through studio lessons and ensembles.
Bachelor of Music in Music Education
Seventy-six credits including MUS-111, 111a, 112, 112a, 116, 211, 212, 214, 215, 237, 337, 344, 431, 443, 444, 445; seven credits of Ensembles, one of which must be MUS-155 or 159; and 14 credits of Applied Lessons on one instrument. Students with a vocal emphasis must complete MUS-132, 138, and one term of an instrumental ensemble or instrumental pedagogy course. Students with an instrumental emphasis must complete MUS-134, 135, 136, 137 and either MUS-138 or one term of a vocal ensemble. All candidates must complete MUS 116 (piano proficiency) by the end of the fall term of the junior year.
Education courses required: EDC-130/103, 230/203, 240, 303, 311, 312, 346, 370, 373, 430, and 490/491. These courses are necessary towards completing a secondary education major.
Bachelor of Music in Performance
Eighty-eight credits including MUS-111, 111a, 112, 112a, 116, 211, 212, 214, 215, 237, 443, 444, 445, 500; eight credits of Ensembles, one of which must be MUS 155 or 159; 28 credits of Applied Lessons on one instrument or voice and 9 credits of elective coursework subject to Department approval. All students must also complete one pedagogy course (from MUS-131 through 138 courses) in the area of their major instrument. MUS 500 must be a recital.
Twenty-four credits including MUS-111, 111a, 112, 112a, and 120; two credits from MUS-140, 211, 214, 215, 237, 443, 444 or 445; and six credits of applied lessons on one instrument or voice.
Applies to: MUS-191/*391, 192/*392, 193/*393, 194/*394, 195/*395, 196/*396, 197/*397, and 198/*398. (Offered every term)
Private lesson offerings are open to both majors and non-majors who complete an audition and receive permission to register.
The 300-level (391-398) represents upper level performance skill and experience and requires Departmental approval. Candidates for the Bachelor of Music in Performance are advised to enroll at the 300-level by the second semester of the first year. Only 300-level students may elect four hours of credit. The Department will consider all candidates for the Bachelor of Music in Performance for 300-level suitability at the end of the first term of study.
There is a private lesson instruction fee of $165 per term for all levels (191-198, 391-398).
Applies to: MUS 150-159 and 351. Ensembles are open to all students who audition and receive permission from the instructor prior to registration. No more than eight credits of participation in all ensembles combined may be applied toward degree requirements. All ensembles are offered every year.
Four credits from MUS, with the exception of practicum or independent study courses, count towards the Distributive Requirements in the Humanities.
- MUS101.Fundamentals of Music2Music fundamentals including notation of pitch, clefs, and staff; chromatic alteration and enharmonic equivalents; accidentals; identification and notation of rhythm, meter, tempo, dynamics, and articulation; and concepts of scales and key signatures. Credits do not count toward any music degree.
- MUS106.Piano for the Non-Major I2Introductory piano course for non-majors and students without prior piano instruction. Basics of music notation and vocabulary of music, scales, technique, repertoire and performance skills including simple pieces in various keys.
- MUS107.Piano for the Non-Major II2MUS-106 or AuditionSecond semester introductory piano for non-majors. Continuation of study involving more advanced technique, expanded repertoire, and basic improvisational skills.
- MUS111.Musicianship I4Study of the structure and use of intervals and chords in a basic harmonic vocabulary including diatonic triads and their inversions in major and minor keys, functional tonal principles, harmonic cadences, embellishing tones, principles of harmonization, part-writing chords, melodic relationships and periodicity, and dominant seventh chords. (Offered every year)
- MUS111A.Aural Skills I2Develops aural skills through a range of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic exercises. Introduces solfege syllables. Should be taken concurrently with MUS-111. (Offered every year)
- MUS112.Musicianship II4MUS-111Continuation of MUS 111. Study of non-dominant seventh chords, secondary functions, modulation, form and dramatic shapes including binary, rounded binary, ternary, fugue, and variation. (Offered every year)
- MUS112A.Aural Skills II2MUS-111AContinuation of Aural Skills I. Should be taken concurrently with MUS 112. (Offered every year)
- MUS114.Piano Proficiency I2Required of all music majors (Performance and Music Education). Fundamental skills, technique and repertoire development. Scales, simple accompaniment patterns, harmonization and improvisation. Music majors only.
- MUS115.Piano Proficiency II2MUS-114 or Audition; Music MajorLevel II piano proficiency, continuations of scale and arpeggio technique, chord progressions, solo and ensemble repertoire.
- MUS116.Piano Proficiency III2MUS-115 or Audition; Music MajorLevel III piano proficiency. Technique includes both black and white major and minor scales, arpeggios, chromatic scales, seventh chords, accompany a piece from the major instrument or voice; intermediate repertoire levels. (Offered every year)
- MUS119.Class Guitar2Fundamentals for the beginning guitar player.
- MUS120.Survey of Music Literature4Introductory survey of major musical works representative of the styles and genres of the important periods of musical development. Extensive listening. (Offered Winter, Even numbered years)
- MUS131.Piano Pedagogy18 credits from MUS-196 or MUS-396Principles of musicianship on the piano. Designed for B.M. students. Emphasis on pedagogical methods and materials used in teaching piano to beginning and intermediate students. (Offered/Considered upon request).
- MUS132.Vocal Pedagogy2Introduction to the physiology of the vocal mechanism. Development of fundamental techniques used in private voice instruction, including vocal exercises used to establish and promote vocal health, literature for young singers, and the teaching of voice lessons. (Offered Fall, Odd numbered years)
- MUS134.Woodwind Pedagogy1Principles of tone production, fingering and embouchure for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon (or saxophone). Specialization on the instrument of the student’s choice. (Offered Fall, Odd numbered years)
- MUS135.Brass Pedagogy1Principles of tone production, fingering and embouchure for trumpet, French horn, trombone and tuba. Specialization on the instrument of the student’s choice. (Offered Fall, Even numbered years)
- MUS136.String Pedagogy1Principles of musicianship on the violin, viola, cello and double bass. Designed for music education students. Emphasis on elementary string teaching methods and large group ensemble techniques necessary for school orchestral directing. (Offered Winter, Even numbered years)
- MUS137.Percussion Pedagogy1Principles of playing percussion instruments with emphasis on snare drum, mallet keyboard instruments and timpani. (Offered Winter, Odd numbered years)
- MUS138.Choral Pedagogy22 terms of MUS-151 and/or 157 and/or 158Principles of voice production, sight reading and singing. Emphasis on the selection of choral literature particularly with regard to developing voice. (Offered Winter, Even numbered years)
- MUS140.Non-Western Music4An introductory survey of the traditional music of non-Western countries. Examines the role of music as ritual, aesthetic experience, and mode of communication in diverse cultures. No music background necessary.
- MUS151.College Chorale1
- MUS152.Alma Symphony Orchestra1
- MUS153.Kiltie Band1
- MUS153G.Winter Guard Ensemble1PermissionWinter Guard Ensemble will provide students with experience or interest in the color guard arts a learning and performance oriented course during the winter term. Students will develop requisite and advanced skills using flags, rifles, sabres and body movement. The ensemble will perform for select athletic events and at select winter guard competitions.
- MUS154.Scottish Arts1
- MUS155.Percussion Ensemble1
- MUS156.Jazz Ensemble1
- MUS157.Women’s Glee Club1
- MUS158.Handbell Choir1
- MUS159.Chamber Music1
- MUS159A.Chamber Music Strings1
- MUS159E.Chamber Music Flute1
- MUS159G.Chamber Music Clarinet1
- MUS159I.Chamber Music Saxophone1
- MUS159J.Chamber Music High Brass1
- MUS159K.Chamber Music Horn1
- MUS159L.Chamber Music Trombone1
- MUS159N.Chamber Music Low Brass1
- MUS180.Topics in Music1-4Selected topics in music. May be taken more than once if topics differ. Only two registrations count toward Music Major.
- MUS191A.Violin2MUS-191A previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS191B.Viola2MUS-191B previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS191C.Violoncello2MUS-191C previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS191D.Double Bass2MUS-191D previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS191E.Jazz Guitar2MUS-191E previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS191K.Bass Guitar2MUS-191K previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS191Y.Classical Guitar2MUS-191Y previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS192E.Flute2MUS-192E previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS192F.Oboe2MUS-192F previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS192G.Clarinet2MUS-192G previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS192H.Bassoon2MUS-192H previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS192I.Saxophone2MUS-192I previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS192P.Bagpipes2MUS-192P previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS193J.Trumpet2MUS-193J previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS193K.Horn2MUS-193K previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS193L.Trombone2MUS-193L previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS193M.Euphonium2MUS-193M previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS193N.Tuba2MUS-193N previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS194.Percussion2MUS-194 previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS195.Voice2MUS-195 previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS196.Piano2MUS-196 previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS197A.Organ2MUS-197A previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS197B.Harpsichord2MUS-197B previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Course fee.
- MUS198.Composition2MUS-111 and PermissionApplied composition provides individual lessons in both the craft and creative process of composing for acoustic instruments. Completed projects that develop original musical ideas for various instrumental and vocal ensembles will be required. Course fee.
- MUS*211.Comprehensive Musicianship III4MUS-112Continuation of MUS 112. Study of advanced harmonic techniques including chromatically altered chords, mode mixture and chromatic relationships, and remote modulations. Advanced study of form including sonata, rondo, and related types. Enharmonic use of chords, expanded tonicization and harmonic sequence, and linear harmonies. (Offered every year)
- MUS*212.Comprehensive Musicianship IV4MUS-211Continuation of Music 211. Study of new musical resources and techniques in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: new pitch bases, harmonic structures and methods, approaches to rhythm and meter, atonality, serial procedures, indeterminacy, sounds and textures (both acoustic and electronic),and jazz and related techniques and idioms. (Offered every year)
- MUS*214.MIDI Composition & Arranging2Music Major or PermissionDesigned primarily for the music major, the course examines MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) techniques and applications for recording, scoring and musical production. Covers MIDI configurations, sequencing, multi-track recording, mixing and composing/arranging techniques. Students will also be trained in use of Finale, an industry standard application for music notation. (Offered every year)
- MUS*215.Audio Recording Workshop2Students complete studio, field and stage recording projects. Topics and applications include digital audio recording systems and formats, sampling, critical listening, understanding acoustics, microphone techniques, EQ, compression as well as editing, final mixing and mastering. (Offered every year)
- MUS225.Orchestration & Arranging2MUS-112Provides a practical, in-depth examination of acoustic instruments, and explores methods of scoring, transcribing and arranging for a variety of instrumental ensembles. Includes a final orchestration project created using Finale or Sibelius software that will be played by the Alma College band or orchestra.
- MUS*237.Conducting & Score Reading2MUS-112Art of conducting, rehearsal techniques and procedures, score reading, problems of interpretation, organization and activities of choral and instrumental groups. (Offered Fall, Even numbered years)
- MUS*250.Musical Theatre Techniques4The staging of and participation in the performance of a work for the musical theatre - including acting, singing and movement - which is presented at the end of the term. Course may be repeated once for credit.
- MUS*284.Music in Film4ENG-101This course examines the wide range of musical styles and aesthetic approaches used in narrative film. By analyzing examples from silent movies, Hollywood classics, foreign films, and recent releases, the class explores the functional and dramatic roles of music. No formal music theory experience is required.
- MUS*337.Advanced Conducting2Continuation of MUS 237. Emphasis on advanced analytical, interpretive, and technical conducting skills, as well as practical aspects of successfully leading instrumental and choral ensembles. (Offered every other year. Offered Winter 2017.)
- MUS*340M.Gilmore Festival4Students attend the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. A survey of keyboard and chamber music literature ranging from the classical to jazz repertoire. Analysis and study of works appropriate to class participants as well as critical listening, and theoretical-historical study. Spring Term only.
- MUS*344.Elementary School Music4Music Education Major; PermissionMUS 344 Elementary School Music Examination of methods and materials in music. Required of Music Majors who wish to be certified to teach music at elementary and secondary levels. Open also to Education students with music background. (Offered Fall, Odd numbered years)
- MUS*350.Opera Workshop1-4Basic techniques of operatic performance: role preparation, body movement related to music, acting, and techniques. May be repeated for up to a total of 4 credits.
- MUS*351.Alma College Choir1Final registration subject to audition
- MUS*380.Topics in Music2-4Selected topics in music. May be taken more than once if topics differ. Only two registrations count toward a Music Major.
- MUS*391A.Violin2-4MUS-391A previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Intended for upper-level performance skill. Final registration subject to departmental approval. Course fee.
- MUS*391B.Viola2-4MUS-391B previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Intended for upper-level performance skill. Final registration subject to departmental approval. Course fee.
- MUS*391C.Violoncello2-4MUS-391C previously or PermissionPrivate lessons. Intended for upper-level performance skill. Final registration subject to departmental approval. Course fee.
- MUS*391D.Double Bass2-4MUS-391D previously or Permission
- MUS*391E.Jazz Guitar2-4MUS-391E previously or Permission
- MUS*391K.Electric Bass Guitar2-4MUS-391K previously or Permission
- MUS*391Y.Classical Guitar2-4MUS-391Y previously or Permission
- MUS*392E.Flute2-4MUS-392E previously or Permission
- MUS*392F.Oboe2-4MUS-392F previously or Permission
- MUS*392G.Clarinet2-4MUS-392G previously or Permission
- MUS*392H.Bassoon2-4MUS-392H previously or Permission
- MUS*392I.Saxophone2-4MUS-192I previously or Permission
- MUS*392P.Bagpipes2-4MUS-392P previously or Permission
- MUS*393J.Trumpet2-4MUS-393J previously or Permission
- MUS*393K.Horn2-4MUS-393K previously or Permission
- MUS*393L.Trombone2-4MUS-393L previously or Permission
- MUS*393M.Euphonium2-4MUS-393M previously or Permission.
- MUS*393N.Tuba2-4MUS-393N previously or Permission
- MUS*394.Percussion2-4MUS-394 previously or Permission
- MUS*395.Voice2-4MUS-395 previously or Permission
- MUS*396.Piano2-4MUS-396 previously or Permission
- MUS*397A.Organ2-4MUS-397A previously or Permission