Music Major and Minors

View the 2019-20 Student Handbook for American Musical Culture Majors and Music Minors.

Requirements for the A.B. in American Musical Culture (AMMC)

Description of the Degree

A major in American Musical Culture consists of eleven music courses and a senior capstone project. Designed for students interested in American Studies, arts management, cultural criticism, composition, entertainment law, media studies, music business, music journalism or musicology/ethnomusicology, the program offers a range of classes in music history, theory, composition, recording arts and performance. There are two tracks to the major:

  • Musicology/Ethnomusicology (designed to prepare students for graduate school)
  • Music & Media Studies (designed to prepare students for a career in the music industry)

Students are expected to choose a track when declaring the major. Potential majors are advised during their first two years to take Writing About Music (MUSC-161); at least one of the four core courses in music history and culture (MUSC-114, 115, 116 and 117); and Elements of Music: Theory I (MUSC-041) and Advanced Harmony: Theory II (MUSC-141), as these are prerequisites for many upper-level courses. Students with previous training in music theory may receive a waiver for the MUSC 041 requirement by receiving a 5 on the AP Exam in Music Theory.

The integrated writing requirement for the degree in American Musical Culture is fulfilled by MUSC 161 Writing about Music as well as through final writing projects (research papers, music compositions/arrangements, radio/film scripts and/or music journalism essays) in various upper-level courses.

Requirements for the degree track in Musicology/Ethnomusicology include: Writing About Music (MUSC 161); three music theory courses (MUSC 041, MUSC 141, and an upper-level music theory or composition seminar [MUSC 240-244, 329, 340-344]); at least three of the four core courses in music (MUSC 114, 115, 116, 117), which cover the department’s general areas of music history distribution (Western European Tradition, Multicultural Traditions, Jazz, and Popular Music); three upper-level courses in music history and culture, music theory, and/or music journalism (MUSC 220-249, 260-270, 328-334, 351, 361, 410, 460); and one course credit based on four semesters in MUSC 100 Music Performance (students are limited to a total of 4 performance credit hours [MUSC 100], which are bundled to form a single 3-credit course. After this requirement is completed, they can continue to participate in a performance ensemble by signing up for the zero-credit option [MUSC 101]). To complete the Senior Capstone Project, students following the Musicology/Ethnomusicology track may choose between a senior research project (thesis or documentary), a composition project, or a lecture recital. Students must submit a proposal for the Senior Capstone Project to their music advisor and the Director of the Music Program before beginning the project (no later than October 1) of their senior year.

Requirements for the degree track in Music & Media Studies include: Writing About Music (MUSC 161); two music theory courses (MUSC 041 and MUSC 141); Recording Arts I (MUSC 250); one additional course in Recording Arts (MUSC 350 or MUSC 361) or one course credit based on four semesters in MUSC 100 Music Performance (students are limited to a total of 4 performance credit hours [MUSC 100], which are bundled to form a single 3-credit course. After this requirement is completed, they can continue to participate in a performance ensemble by signing up for the zero-credit option [MUSC 101]); at least two of the four core courses in music (MUSC 114, 115, 116, 117), which cover the department’s general areas of music history distribution (Western European Tradition, Multicultural Traditions, Jazz, and Popular Music); three upper-level courses, numbered 200 or higher, in musicology/ethnomusicology, music theory/composition, or media studies; and the Music Industry Seminar (MUSC 461). To complete the Senior Capstone Project, students following the Music and Media Studies track may choose between a Recording Arts Project, Documentary, or an intensive semester/summer internship related to their academic interests (e.g., NPR, The Kennedy Center, Rolling Stone Magazine, Sirius/XM Radio, Voice of America, Library of Congress, The Smithsonian, The Washington Post, NBC, William Morris Entertainment, Sony Music). Students must submit a proposal for the Senior Capstone Project to the Director of the Music Program before beginning the project and no later than October 1 of their senior year. To declare the major, please download and complete the appropriate form.

Potential majors are advised to take Writing about Music (MUSC 161), Theory I (MUSC 041); Advanced Harmony; Theory II (MUSC 141) and at least one of the three core courses during the first two years, since these are prerequisites for most upper-level courses. 

REQUIRED COURSES FOR THE TRACK IN MUSICOLOGY/ETHNOMUSICOLOGY
(11 courses/33 credits, plus the Senior Capstone Project)

  • Writing about Music (MUSC 161)
  • 3 music theory courses: Elements of Music: Theory I (MUSC 041), Advanced Harmony: Theory II (MUSC 141), and a third course numbered 240-244, 329, or 340-344.
  • 3 of the 4 core courses in music history and culture (MUSC 114 Western European Tradition, MUSC 115 Music in a Multicultural World, MUSC 116 Jazz History, MUSC 117 Rock History)
  • 3 upper-level courses, numbered 200 or higher, in music history and culture, music theory/composition, and/or music journalism (MUSC 220-249, 260-270, 328-337, 351, 361, 410, 460)
  • 1 course based on 4 semesters in MUSC 100 Music Performance
  • Senior Capstone Project (e.g. thesis, documentary, composition project, or lecture recital)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE TRACK IN MUSIC & MEDIA STUDIES
(11 courses/33 credits, plus the Senior Capstone Project)

  • Writing about Music (MUSC 161)
  • 2 music theory courses: Elements of Music: Theory I (MUSC 041) and Advanced Harmony: Theory II (MUSC 141)
  • Recording Arts I (MUSC 250)
  • 2 of the 4 core courses in music history and culture (MUSC 114 Western European Tradition, MUSC 115 Music in a Multicultural World, MUSC 116 Jazz History, MUSC 117 Rock History)
  • 1 additional course in Recording Arts/Music Journalism (MUSC 350 or 361) or Performance (1 course based on 4 semesters in MUSC 100 Music Performance)
  • 3 upper-level courses, numbered 200 or higher, in music history and culture, music theory/composition, and/or music journalism (MUSC 220-249, 260-270, 328-337, 351, 361, 410, 460)
  • Music Industry Seminar (MUSC 461)
  • Senior Capstone Project (e.g. recording arts project, documentary or intensive internship)

Note: One course may be fulfilled by cognate courses in other fields or study abroad, if approved by the Director of the Music Program.

Each of DPA’s distinctive interdisciplinary majors—American Musical Culture and Theater & Performance Studies—understands writing as integral to exploration of the relationship between performance, culture and society. 

MUSIC MINOR

The Music Program at Georgetown currently offers a minor, which consists of courses in music history, criticism, theory, composition, audio technology and performance. Students electing this minor are given the opportunity to specialize in a broad array of musical forms associated with American Culture, including: jazz, rock, dance, film, popular music from around the world and music stemming from the Western European Tradition (from the 17th century to the present).

MINOR ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

18 credit hours; 6 music courses

  • 2 music theory courses: Elements of Music: Theory I (MUSC 041) and Advanced Harmony: Theory II (MUSC 141)
  • 1 course in music history and culture numbered 110 or higher (MUSC 114–117, 220–239, 245-249, 260-270, 328, 330-334, 410)
  • 3 additional courses in music, which may include one course credit based on four enrollments in MUSC-100 Music Performance

Note: One course may be fulfilled by cognate courses in other fields or study abroad, if approved by Program Director.

PERFORMING ARTS MINOR

The Department of Performing Arts offers an interdisciplinary minor with a concentration in any of its constituent arts. This may be earned by taking three courses in one field (music, theater or dance), and three courses chosen on an elective basis from any of the other areas in the Department of Performing Arts (music, theater, dance and public speaking).

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR

18 credit hours; 6 courses in Performing Arts

  • Three courses in any one of three disciplines (Theater, Music, Dance), which may include one course credit based on 4 terms in MUSC-100 Dance Performance
  • Three courses from any area in the Department other than the above chosen discipline (Music, Theater, Dance, Public Speaking).