Music students in the Composition concentration explore “the language of music” – how melody, harmony and rhythm come together to make a piece of music pleasing to the ear – and compose their own music. Through classes in ear training, students learn to write down chords and melodies they hear and to analyze the structure of musical pieces. Students graduate with a B.A. in Music with a concentration in Composition.
Music Programs at JSC
The B.A. in Music at JSC offers five concentrations in which students can specialize: Composition, Creative Pathways (self-designed program), Instrumental Performance, Sound Engineering and Vocal Performance. Students graduate with a B.A. in Music with a concentration in their area of specialization. All programs are designed for students who already have basic proficiency in an instrument or voice; who are interested in advanced training in areas of technique, music theory, music skills, composition, history and style; and who are seriously interested in pursuing advanced degrees or careers in music and the music industry. All concentrations include a senior project or capstone experience designed to help engage the student in thoughtful decision making regarding post-collegiate activities in music. An audition is required for entry to the major and all majors need to demonstrate fundamental proficiency in music before beginning the music theory core.
Graduating students will have:
- An understanding of the common elements and organizational patterns of music (rhythm, melody, harmony, structure, timbre, texture) and their interaction, and be able to employ this understanding in aural, verbal and visual analyses. As part of this process, students will develop their skills in musical notation and aural dictation.
- An understanding of and the ability to read and realize musical notation at sight in both keyboard and the primary instrument (or a secondary instrument if piano is the primary instrument) with fluency, demonstrating both musicianship and proficiency necessary to the student’s chosen concentration.
- An understanding of and capability with musical forms, compositional processes, aesthetic properties of style, and the ways these shape and are shaped by artistic and cultural forces. Students wil use this knowledge and skill in compositional, performance, analytical, scholarly, and pedagogical applications.
- Basic knowledge of music history, an acquaintance with a wide selection of musical literature through to the present time, and the ability to place music in historical, cultural and stylistic contexts.
- The ability to form and defend value judgments about music, and to communicate musical ideas, concepts, and requirements to professionals and laypersons related to the practice of the major field in both written and oral contexts, utilizing appropriate musical language/terminology.
- Experienced growth in artistry, technical skills and knowledge of repertory (and the ability to perform from a cross-section of that repertory) requisite for artistic self-expression in performing on their primary instrument at a level consistent with the goals and objectives of their chosen concentration in both solo and ensemble contexts through regular solo and ensemble rehearsals and performances of various sizes and nature. Students are expected to combine these attributes with appropriate rehearsal and conducting skills sufficient to work both collaboratively and as a leader on matters of musical interpretation.
Required Core Music Courses (41-42 credits)
Required Concentration Courses (9 credits)
Additional Recommended Courses
- Additional Applied Music Lessons in primary instrument and a second instrument (piano highly recommended).
- Additional Music Ensembles - All music majors are encouraged to register for more than one music ensemble for their primary instrument and/or for secondary and tertiary experiences.
- Students with an interest in jazz-based study are encouraged to take Jazz in American, History of the Blues, Jazz Ensemble, and FYS: Songwriting or FYS: History and Culture of New Orleans.
- It is recommended that all music majors take QE: Conducting I to fulfill the “quantitatively enriched” course requirement for Part II of the Quantitative Reasoning Graduation Standard.
Keyboard Proficiency Exam Requirement
The Keyboard Proficiency Exam is required of all Music, Music Education, and Musical Theater majors. All students must pass the specific requirements of the keyboard proficiency examination for their major. The exam is held during the final weeks of each semester on the same day as end-of-semester juries; students may sign up for the exam two weeks prior to that date and should contact their academic advisor for more information.