Jun 12, 2024  
2024-2025 University Catalog 
2024-2025 University Catalog

Music, Composition Concentration, B.M.

(132 UNITS)

Bachelor of Music

The Bachelor of Music prepares students for careers in music, music education and/or further graduate study. The program focuses on performance (voice or instrumental), composition or pedagogy, while also grounding students thoroughly in musicology and theory. It offers seven concentrations: accompanying, composition, instrumental, jazz-commercial, keyboard, piano pedagogy and voice.

In addition to the requirements for the major described below, students must meet all other university requirements for the Bachelor of Music degree. Please consult the Graduation Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree section in this catalog for complete information. All courses in the major require a “C” (2.0) or better.

Admission Requirements

When students first apply to the music major, they are considered “pre-music” and must audition in two areas:

  • Piano placement: determines the level of class piano a student should take. Students meet the piano requirement by passing MUS 282B  with a “C” (2.0) or better or an equivalent jury exam. Students majoring in piano/keyboard/organ meet the requirement by passing MUS 285  with a “C” (2.0) or better or an equivalent jury exam.
  • Principal performance (instrument or voice): determines if a student can be placed into the appropriate concentration in either the B.A. or B.M. degree programs. Incoming freshmen who do not pass this audition are automatically changed to “undeclared” majors. They may select a different major or audition again for the next semester. Transfer students who do not pass the audition are required to change their majors. They may audition again for the next semester. Students who pass the audition and are accepted into the major may audition later to change to a different degree or concentration.

Degree Requirements

To remain music majors in good standing, students must take a minimum of 6 units of music each semester, including an applied lesson, a major performance ensemble and other coursework. Students should consult their TDAs and advisers each semester.

All music majors are required to accumulate a minimum 60 hours of performance-related activities: 30 hours during each of the first two semesters or 15 hours during each of the first four semesters of matriculation. Activities include attending and crewing concerts and recitals, learning about and participating in house and stage management, publicity, public relations, lighting, audio and video operations, and/or sound set-up, mixing, recording and editing. One method of documenting these hours is enrolling in MUS 278 . Other documentation may also be accepted.

Core Requirements (39 units)

Principal Performance: Applied Instruction (6 units)

B.M. students are eligible for a maximum of 14 units of state-funded individual instruction. Students may not take more than three semesters of applied music at the same performance level.

Capstone (1 unit)

Composition Concentration (31 units)

The Composition concentration trains students who aspire to compose in various styles while developing their own voice. The program focuses on the comprehensive development of strong skills in music theory and musicianship, counterpoint, techniques of contemporary music, and form and analysis. Strong instrumental studios ensure support for a wide range of performance opportunities available to composers in the program, including a Composers Forum concert series, which focuses exclusively on works by student composers. In addition, a wide range of visiting composers and performers help foster a lively and serious discourse, complementing the curricular offerings of the area.

Music Electives

Select in consultation with an adviser. Courses may not satisfy more than one area unless repeatable for credit.


* Recommended for Jazz/Commercial majors.

** Required of all violin majors for a total of 2 units.

Total (132 units)