Residence Requirements

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree and the Certificate of Fine Arts programs in The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts require a minimum of 8.0 semesters of enrollment.

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts programs require a minimum of 4.0 semesters of enrollment.

BFA and MFA degree and Certificate programs require at least 2.0 semesters of full-time residence at CalArts. For all programs, the final 1.0 semester of course enrollment before graduation must be in residence at CalArts, although this requirement may be satisfied by completing consecutive semesters of part-time enrollment at CalArts that total 1.0 semester of residence and culminate in graduation.

The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) program in The Herb Alpert School of Music requires a minimum of three (3) years of full-time residence.

Also see CalArts’ Institute Degree and Certificate Requirements.

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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Certificate of Fine Arts Programs

BFA Program in Music comprises the following métier components: 1) a Shared Curriculum that is required for all students, and 2) a Specialization Curriculum that is required for students in their particular specialization. In addition, a Music Theory Minor and certain optional Concentrations in Composition are also available for those who wish to pursue them. A single course can simultaneously fulfill a requirement in each of the Shared Curriculum, a music Specialization, the Music Theory Minor, and an optional concentration in music, but no single course can satisfy more than one requirement within any one of these. ​​In special cases, it may be possible for a student to complete more than one Specialization, in which case completed coursework can simultaneously satisfy requirements in more than one Specialization.

Students must maintain close contact with their faculty mentors, who can guide them in selecting courses that will best serve their individual educational and career objectives and prepare them for their intended Specialization(s). Note that all students are required to develop a cumulative portfolio of work each Spring Semester, which is also reviewed by their mentors and appropriate faculty.

Students must attend and have both mid-residence and graduation reviews officially documented. During these reviews, the student's course history is examined, progress is assessed, problems are discussed and changes to the curriculum are considered. Mentors and deans must officially approve any changes to the student's curriculum requirements.

All BFA degree candidates must complete a minimum of 120 units. In all cases, the units of required métier coursework indicated below represent minimum requirements.

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Learning Goals

By the time they graduate, students will have had opportunity to:

  • develop a forward-looking approach to music-making that embraces openness, experimentation, and critical engagement while recognizing precedent and tradition.
  • explore music from diverse historical, cultural and aesthetic contexts, including radical musical forms and musical traditions from around the world.
  • develop practical musicianship skills, including the ability to identify various melodic, rhythmic and harmonic structures by ear.
  • analyze the materials and structure of representative musical examples, and to apply selected associated techniques to original creative production.
  • acquire skills applicable to and substantial experience with live performance in ensembles.
  • make and document distinctive original music.
  • exploit musical possibilities afforded by current technology.
  • acquire knowledge and skills applicable to sustaining a career in music.

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BFA Placement Examinations

All entering BFA and Certificate of Fine Arts students in Music are required to take CalArts’ Music Theory and Musicianship Skills Placement Exams.

CalArts does not accept transfer credit towards its Music Theory or Musicianship Skills requirements. Each incoming undergraduate student will be placed in required music theory and skills coursework at a level that is based on the results of the placement exams.

If an undergraduate student lacks sufficient background to begin the required Music Theory and Musicianship Skills course sequences, they may first be required to take the additional remedial courses Fundamental Musicianship (MTHY001) and Theory Performance Lab (MTHY002). These courses offer training in skills and musical knowledge considered to be essential preparation for serious undergraduate study in music at CalArts. If required, Fundamental Musicianship must be completed by the end of the first year in residence. Failure to pass Fundamental Musicianship within the first year may result in dismissal from the School of Music.

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BFA Shared Curriculum Requirements

All undergraduate music students must complete the BFA Shared Curriculum requirements. This curriculum is intended to foster the development of skills in the essential areas of music cultures and literature, music theory and practice, performance experiences, making original work, new methods and technologies, professional development, and breadth of experience in the arts. Courses completed to meet Shared Curriculum requirements can also be used to meet Specialization Requirements.

 

Shared Curriculum: Summary Listing of Requirements

 

MUSIC CULTURES & LITERATURE

  • MAIC100 Worlds of Music I: Europe & N. Am. 1900–
  • MAIC101 Worlds of Music II: Africa, Asia, L. Am.

MUSICAL SKILLS & TECHNIQUES

  • MPRF103 Class Piano (or other approved keyboard course)
  • MTHY101 Practical Musicianship A
  • MTHY102 Practical Musicianship B
  • MTHY111 Tonal Theory & Applications A
  • MTHY112 Tonal Theory & Applications B (not required for the Music Technology Specialization)
  • MTHY210 Non-Tonal Theories
  • ONE unit (minimum) of coursework chosen from
    • MTHY104 Global Rhythm & Notation
    • MTHY216 North Indian Music Theory
    • MTHY228 Journey to the Persian Music
    • MTHY226 Ghanaian Rhythm Theory
    • MTHY224 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
    • MTHY425 Tala Systems

PERFORMANCE & PRODUCTION EXPERIENCES

  • ONE course chosen from:
    • MTEC100 Intro to Concert Production (in BFA2)
    • MTEC101 Concert Production I
  • MBLExxx TWO World Music Ensemble electives (see listing below)
  • MBLExxx TWO additional ensemble courses

MAKING ORIGINAL WORK

  • TWO units of coursework chosen from:
    • MLSN001/101 Composition Lessons
    • MCMP110 Introduction to Composition
    • other coursework with MCMP subject prefixes

NEW METHODS & TECHNOLOGIES

  • FOUR units of coursework chosen from
    • ICOM101 Media & Web Development
    • ICOM111 Intro to Sound Production
    • ICOM201 Introduction to Programming I
    • ICOM202 Introduction to Programming II
    • ICOM301 Digital Fabrication
    • MSCM310 Acoustics for Musicians
    • MTEC150 Fundamentals of Computer Music

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • FOUR units of coursework chosen from:
    • AAIC323 Practice & Pedagogy: ArtPilot
    • ICOM101 Media & Web Development
    • MAIC403 Pedagogy I: Teaching Artistry
    • MAIC404 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
    • MINTxxx Internship in Music
    • MPCD350 Career Designs for Musicians
    • MPCD351 Creative Producing for Music
    • MPCD420 Teaching the Voice
    • MPCD460 Creative Entrepreneurship
    • Other professional development coursework as approved
  • MCMP290 Portfolio Review (in Spring semesters, 4 classes)

BREADTH IN THE ARTS

  • Winter Session (FOUR units of coursework completed in January)
  • FOUR units of coursework in Art, Dance, Film/Video, Theater, Creative Writing, or Digital Arts (IDAR) NOT taught by any Music faculty member

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Shared Curriculum: World Music Ensemble Options

The following listing of world music ensemble electives is provided for ease of reference.

  • MBLE104 Tabla Ensemble
  • MBLE109 Advanced World Percussion Ensemble
  • MBLE201 Beginning African Ensemble
  • MBLE202 Advanced African Ensemble
  • MBLE206 Talking Drum Ensemble
  • MBLE210 Beginning Javanese Gamelan
  • MBLE211 Advanced Javanese Gamelan
  • MBLE220 Beginning Balinese Gamelan
  • MBLE221 Advanced Balinese Gamelan
  • MBLE222 Gender Wayang Ensemble
  • MBLE223 Balinese Flute Ensemble
  • MBLE224 Kecak Ensemble
  • MBLE230 North Indian Ensemble
  • MBLE240 Persia Electric Ensemble
  • MBLE235 Japan Ensemble
  • MPRF221 African Song
  • MBLE250 African Dance
  • MBLE252 Balinese Dance
  • MBLE254 Javanese Dance (Women)
  • MBLE256 Javanese Dance (Men)
  • MBLE260 The Baltic Voice
  • MPRF328 Latin Percussion
  • MTHY120 Beginning Svar Graam (Vocal)
  • MTHY121 Beginning Svar Graam (Instrumental)
  • MTHY322 Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
  • MTHY323 Advanced Svar Graam (Instrumental)

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Shared Curriculum: A Typical Course Sequence Semester-by-Semester

There may be some variability as to when Shared Curriculum courses are taken depending on the individual student’s placement, experience and development. However, certain strict deadlines do apply (see Music Theory and Skills Deadlines below).

First Year

First Semester (BFA1-1)
  • MTHY101 Practical Musicianship A
  • MTHY111 Tonal Theory & Applications A
  • MAIC100 Worlds of Music I: Europe & N. Am. 1900–
  • MPRF103 Class Piano
Second Semester (BFA1-2)
  • MTHY102 Practical Musicianship B
  • MTHY112 Tonal Theory & Applications B
  • MAIC101 Worlds of Music II: Africa, Asia, L. Am.

Second Year

First Semester (BFA2-1)
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MTHY210 Non-Tonal Theories
  • M… World Music Ensemble elective (see the list of ensemble electives above)
Second Semester (BFA2-2)
  • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D (if required)
  • MTHYxxx World Music Theory course
  • MTEC100 (or MTEC101 for Music Tech majors) Intro to Concert Production
  • M… World Music Ensemble elective (see the list of ensemble electives above)

Third Year

First Semester (BFA3-1)
  • course in Making Original Work (see course listing above)
  • course in New Methods & Technologies (see course listing above)
  • course in Art, Dance, Film/Video, Theater, Creative Writing, or Digital Arts (IDAR) NOT taught by any Music faculty member
  • MBLExxx Ensemble elective
Second Semester (BFA3-2)
  • course in Professional Development (see course listing above)
  • course in New Methods & Technologies (see course listing above)
  • course in Art, Dance, Film/Video, Theater, Creative Writing, or Digital Arts (IDAR) NOT taught by any Music faculty member
  • MBLExxx Ensemble elective

Fourth Year

First Semester (BFA4-1)
  • course in Professional Development (see course listing above)
  • course in an artistic métier outside the School of Music (not taught by music faculty)
Second Semester (BFA4-2)
  • course in an artistic métier outside the School of Music (not taught by music faculty)

 

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Music Theory and Skills Deadlines (DOs and DON’Ts)

DO finish Music Theory and Skills requirements on time

  • MTHY001 (Fundamental Musicianship), if required, must be completed by the end of the first year of residence in order to maintain eligibility to continue as a student in The Herb Alpert School of Music.
  • MTHY111 & MTHY112 (Tonal Theory & Applications A & B), and MTHY101 & MTHY102 (Practical Musicianship A & B) must all be completed by the end of the second year in residence, if required.
  • MTHY210 (Non-Tonal Theories) and MTHY203 & MTHY204 (Practical Musicianship C & D), if required, must all be completed by the end of the third year in residence.

DON’T take a vacation from Music Theory and Skills requirements

  • All undergraduate students must take and pass Shared Curriculum theory courses each semester until all required courses in the music theory sequence MTHY001, MTHY111, MTHY112, MTHY210 are completed. (See Individual Specialization Descriptions below for requirements by specialization.)
  • All undergraduate students must take and pass tonal musicianship skills courses each semester until all required courses in the Practical Musicianship sequence MTHY001, MTHY101, MTHY102, MTHY203, MTHY204 are completed. (See the descriptions of BFA Music Specializations below for requirements.)

DO fulfill Music Theory and Skills Incomplete grades on time

  • In any course that constitutes a prerequisite for another required course in the Music Theory or Skills curriculum, an Incomplete (I) grade must be made up before the student will be allowed to enroll in the next course in the sequence. Instructors are not obliged to permit enrollment in music theory or skills courses after classes begin, so Incomplete grades should be made up before the date on which the following semester's regular classes commence.

FAILURE TO FULFILL MUSIC THEORY AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS ACCORDING TO THESE STIPULATIONS MAY RESULT IN ACADEMIC WARNING, INELIGIBILITY TO ADVANCE IN YEAR LEVEL, LOSS OF FINANCIAL AID, AND POSSIBLE DISMISSAL FROM THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC (see CalArts’ Metier Standing Policy).

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Undergraduate Minor in Music Theory

The Minor in Music Theory affords eligible undergraduate students a non-degree credential that supplements their Major. If earned, the Minor is noted on CalArts transcripts. Course credit earned by a student can count simultaneously towards the requirements of a student’s specialization and this Minor. Interested students must visit the Music Office in order to formally declare in writing their intent to pursue the Minor. However, they must first have fulfilled all of the following prerequisites either by means of placement examination or by course completion with a grade of P or HP.

Prerequisites to the Music Theory Minor

  • MTHY112 Tonal Theory & Applications B
  • MTHY210 Non-Tonal Theories
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C

The Minor is awarded to undergraduate students who formally declare their intention to pursue it before graduation and who complete all of the following course requirements.

Requirements for the Music Theory Minor

  • MTHY214 Counterpoint
  • MTHY240 Jazz Keyboard Theory (2 classes, 2 units in total)
  • MSCM310 Acoustics for Musicians
  • Music Perception Option: ONE class chosen from
    • MSCM309 Psychoacoustics
    • MTHY306 The Experimenting Ear
    • MTHY403 Intonation Workshop I
    • MTHY404 Intonation Workshop II
  • Musical Forms Option: ONE class chosen from
    • MTHY217 Form and Analysis
    • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis
  • Analytical Survey Option: ONE class chosen from
    • MTHY450 Chamber Thought
    • MTHY451 Orchestral Thought
    • MTHY454 The String Quartet since 1900
    • MTHY455 The Piano since 1900
  • World Theory Options: TWO classes chosen from
    • MTHY216 North Indian Music Theory
    • MTHY228 Journey to the Persian Music
    • MTHY226 Ghanaian Rhythm Theory
    • MTHY224 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
    • MTHY425 Tala Systems
  • MTHYxxx music theory electives (2 units of additional coursework with subject code MTHY)

Good standing in the Major specialization is required for continued enrollment in the Music Theory Minor. Students on Academic Warning may be suspended from the Minor in Music Theory. Students may be permanently removed from the Minor after more than one semester on Academic Warning, at the recommendation of their Dean.

 

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Bachelor of Fine Arts and Certificate of Fine Arts Specialization Requirements

The following courses are required, but students are encouraged to collaborate with their mentors to create an individualized course of study (combining electives and requirements).

Courses that are listed as requiring enrollment for more than two semesters are those whose content changes each semester and depends in part on the level of preparation of the enrolled students.

I. Composition & Experimental Sound Practices (BFA)

  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN101 Hour Lesson as assigned (8 classes)
  • MFOR101 Undergraduate Composers' Forum (first two Fall semesters in residence)
  • MCMP105 Music Notation (in first Spring semester in residence)
  • MCMP120 Instrumental Composition I
  • MCMP121 Instrumental Composition II
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
  • ICOM111 Introduction to Sound Production
  • MSCM310 Acoustics for Musicians
  • FOUR units of coursework chosen from the following Theory Options:
    • MTHY217 Form (2 units)
    • MTHY214 Counterpoint (3 units)
    • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis (2 units)
    • MTHY108 Transcription Skills (2 units)
    • MTHY240 Jazz Keyboard Theory (1 unit, may be repeated)
    • MTHY306 The Experimenting Ear
    • MPRF101 Jazz Improvisation, Group (1 unit may be repeated)
    • MPRF102 Jazz Improvisation, 1-on-1 (1 unit, may be repeated)
  • One class chosen from
    • MCMP308 The Art of the Mix
    • MCMP369 Production as Composition
    • MCMP465 Composition with Max/MSP
    • MTEC270 History of Electronic Dance Music
    • MTEC365 Digital Recording Studio
    • MTEC367 Project Recording
  • FOUR units of coursework in MCMP/MHST/MTHY4xx Advanced Composition, History or Theory Electives
  • MCMP490 Graduation Portfolio and Website Review
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)
Optional Undergraduate Composition Concentrations

Interested undergraduate Composition and Performer-Composer students can earn one or more optional Concentrations within their major by completing additional requirements as indicated below. Earned Concentrations will be noted on CalArts transcripts. Course credits earned towards the Shared Curriculum or towards the BFA composition foundation can also count towards one or more of these Concentrations, and vice versa. Any student interested in pursuing one or more concentrations must declare this during their Graduation Review.

BFA Composition: Optional Concentration in Avant-Garde Rock & Noise

 

  • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MTEC212 Recording the Voice
    • MCMP308 The Art of the Mix
    • MTEC365 Digital Recording Studio
    • MCMP369 Production as Composition
    • MTEC367 Project Recording
  • THREE units of coursework chosen from:
    • MAIC316 Blues before 1960
    • MAIC370 DIY
    • MHST330 Studies in Experimental Pop I
    • MHST331 Studies in Experimental Pop II
    • MHST405–410 Focus Rock
    • other courses in pop musicology
  • FIVE units of coursework chosen from:
    • MBLE310 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE325 Creative Electronic Ensemble
    • MBLE450 Sonic Boom Ensemble
    • MCMP325 Experimental Music Workshop I
    • MCMP326 Experimental Music Workshop II
    • MCMP336 Writing for Voice
    • MPRF217 Learning to Scream
    • MTEC420 Grids, Beats & Groups
    • Critical Studies course in creative poetic writing (mentor approval required)

BFA Composition: Optional Concentration in Electronic Music

 

  • TWO units of coursework chosen from:
    • MTHY306 The Experimenting Ear
    • MTHY411 Electroacoustic Music Analysis
    • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
  • FOUR units of coursework chosen from:
    • MBLE415 Networked Music Ensemble
    • MCMP369 Production as Composition
    • MCMP465 Composition with Max/MSP
    • MTEC270 History of Electronic Dance Music
  • EIGHT units of additional coursework with ICOM or MTEC subject codes

BFA Composition: Optional Concentration in Experimental Music

 

  • MCMP325 Experimental Music Workshop I
  • MCMP326 Experimental Music Workshop II
  • ONE class chosen from
    • MSCM309 Psychoacoustics
    • MTHY403 Intonation Workshop I
    • MTHY404 Intonation Workshop II
  • THREE classes chosen from:
    • MBLE310 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE325 Creative Electronic Ensemble
    • MBLE415 Networked Music Ensemble
    • MBLE450 Sonic Boom Ensemble
    • MBLE460 Golia Large Ensemble
    • MCMP465 Composition with Max/MSP
  • TWO classes chosen from:
    • MCMP343 Experiments in Film Sound
    • MHST350 Stylists and Innovators 1961–Now
    • MHST422 Experimental Music Post-Cage
    • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
    • MHST472 John Cage: Music & Thought
    • MHST473 John Cage, Sun Ra, Musique Concrète and the Noise Uprising
    • MAIC412 Critical Reading (may be repeated for credit)

BFA Composition: Optional Concentration in Composition for Film & Video

 

  • MHST205 Western Music History I
  • MHST206 Western Music History II
  • MPCD350 Career Designs for Musicians
  • MPRF307 Conducting I
  • FPFV424 Aesthetics of Sound and Image
  • TWO classes chosen from:
    • MCMP341 Film Music History & Analysis
    • MCMP342 Composition for Film & Video
    • MCMP343 Experiments in Film Sound
  • One class chosen from (taking all of these courses is strongly recommended):
    • FSFV435 Sound Student Technician Course
    • FPFV481 Sound Mixing and Editing
    • MTEC365 Digital Recording Studio
  • One class chosen from:
    • MCMP402 Orchestration
    • MTHY451 Orchestral Thought

BFA Composition: Optional Concentration in Instrumental Composition

 

  • MCMP330–339 Writing for … (2 classes)
  • MPRF307 Conducting I
  • MPRF408 Conducting II
  • MLSN001 Performance Lessons (2 different orchestral instruments as assigned, 2 courses total)*
  • One class chosen from:
    • MTHY450 Chamber Thought
    • MTHY454 The String Quartet since 1900
    • MTHY455 The Piano since 1900
  • One class chosen from:
    • MCMP402 Orchestration
    • MTHY451 Orchestral Thought
  • Two different classes chosen from:
    • MBLE106 Chamber Music
    • MBLE300 The Ensemble
    • MBLE310 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE450 Sonic Boom Ensemble
    • MBLE460 Golia Large Ensemble

*In specializations or concentrations for which lessons are required, students who do not own an appropriate instrument may need to rent one. Further information is available from the Music Office.

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II. Experimental Pop (BFA)

  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN101 Hour Lesson as assigned (8 classes)
  • MFOR104 ExPop Forum (3 classes)
  • MFOR10x Other Forum (1 class)
  • MCMP112 Composing Experimental Pop
  • MHST330 Studies in Experimental Pop I
  • ICOM111 Intro to Sound Production
  • MTHY203 Musicianship Skills C
  • MBLE328 Collaborative Music Ensemble (3 classes)
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MCMP308 The Art of the Mix
    • MCMP369 Production as Composition
    • MCMP404 Field Recording Workshop
    • MTEC270 History of Electronic Dance Music
    • MTEC365 Digital Recording Studio
    • MTEC367 Project Recording
  • ONE vocal elective from:
    • MBLE201 Beginning African Ensemble
    • MBLE260 The Baltic Voice
    • MBLE301 Chamber Singers
    • MBLE302 Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
    • MPRF126 Experimental Voice
    • MPRF216 Singing the Standards
    • MPRF217 Learning to Scream
    • MPRF221 African Song
    • MTHY120 Beginning Svar Graam (Vocal)
    • MTHY322 Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
    • other vocal elective as approved by mentor
  • ONE course chosen from
    • MTHY108 Transcription Skills
    • MTHY214 Counterpoint
    • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis
    • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
  • ONE course chosen from:
    • MCMP309 Writing Words for Music
    • CCRW211 Hip Hop Poetics Workshop
    • CCRW212 Introduction to Creative Writing
    • CCRW214 Adventures in Form and Chaos
    • CCRW311 Poetry Workshop
    • CCRW362 Work the Document
    • CCST470 Hip Hop Lab
    • other CS course in poetry or creative writing
  • TWO ensemble courses chosen from (2 classes):
    • MBLE310 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE325 Creative Electronic Ensemble
    • MBLE450 Sonic Boom
    • MBLE460 Golia Large Ensemble
    • MBLE498D Creative Repertory Ensemble
    • MCMP325 Experimental Music Workshop I
    • MCMP326 Experimental Music Workshop II
    • MPRF471 Hip Hop Lab Practicum
    • MTEC420 Grids, Beats & Groups
  • ONE course chosen from:
    • MCMP308 The Art of the Mix
    • MCMP314 Jazz Arranging
    • MCMP33x Writing for …
    • MCMP402 Orchestration
    • MCMP498A Arranging for Experimental Pop
    • MTHY450 Chamber Thought
    • MTHY451 Orchestral Thought
  • FOUR units of coursework chosen from:
    • MAIC240 Jazz History
    • MAIC316 Blues before 1960
    • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
    • MHST205 Western Music Survey I
    • MHST206 Western Music Survey II
    • MHST30x Music Cultures
    • MHST300G Black Music Studies
    • MHST312 Ethnology of African Music
    • MHST331 Studies in Experimental Pop II
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MHST371 Jazz and Urban Experimentalism
    • MHST405–409 Focus Rock
    • MHST410 The Elastic Voice
    • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art

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III. Instrumental Arts (BFA)

Brass (BFA)
  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN101 Hour Lesson as assigned (8 classes)
  • MPRF132 Brass Workshop (8 classes)
  • MBLE120 Brass Ensemble (8 classes)
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
  • MAIC403 Pedagogy I or MAIC404 Pedagogy II
  • MHST205 Western Music History I
  • MHST206 Western Music History II
  • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
  • MFOR102 Performance Forum (2 classes)
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MAIC240 Jazz History
    • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
    • MHST30x Music Cultures
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
  • EIGHT classes of MBLExxx Ensembles as assigned:
    • MBLE106 Chamber Music
    • MBLE300 The Ensemble
    • MBLE123 Woodwind Ensemble (for hornists)
  • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF490 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement

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Guitar (BFA )
  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN101 Hour Lesson as assigned (8 classes)
  • MFORxxx Guitar Forum (4 classes)
  • MFORxxx additional Forums (2 classes)
  • MBLExxx Ensemble, as guitarist (8 classes)
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D 
  • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
  • MAIC403 Pedagogy I or MAIC404 Pedagogy II
  • TEN units of coursework chosen from:
    • MAIC240 Jazz History
    • MAIC314 The Music of Flamenco
    • MAIC316 Blues Before 1960
    • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
    • MHST205 Western Music History I
    • MHST206 Western Music History II
    • MHST30x Music Cultures
    • MHST330 Studies in Experimental Pop I
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MHST405–409 Focus Rock
    • MHST459 Contemplative Practice & Music
    • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
    • MSCM310 Acoustics
    • MTHY215 Songwriting
    • MTHY306 The Experimenting Ear
    • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
    • MTHY425 Tala Systems
  • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF490 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

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Harp (BFA)
  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN101 Hour Lesson as assigned (8 classes)
  • MPRF123 Harp Studio Class (8 classes)
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
  • MHST206 Western Music History II
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MAIC240 Jazz History
    • MHST205 Western Music History I
    • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MHST30x Music Cultures
    • MHST330 Studies in Experimental Pop I
    • MHST331 Studies in Experimental Pop II
    • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
  • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
  • MAIC403 Pedagogy I or MAIC404 Pedagogy II
  • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes)
  • MBLExxx Ensembles as assigned from (8 classes):
    • MBLE106 Chamber Music
    • MBLE300 The Ensemble
  • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF490 Graduation Jury & Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

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Percussion (BFA)
  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN101 Hour Lesson as assigned (8 classes)
  • MLSN001 Percussion Lesson electives (two classes) from:
    • Latin Percussion
    • Jazz Drums
    • African Drums
    • Persian Music
    • Balinese/Javanese Percussion
    • Tabla
    • World Percussion
  • MPRF129 Percussion Workshop (8 classes)
  • MBLE122 Percussion Ensemble (8 classes)
  • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes)
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
  • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
  • MAIC403 Pedagogy I or MAIC404 Pedagogy II
  • TWO classes chosen from:
    • MAIC240 Jazz History
    • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
    • MHST205 Western Music History I
    • MHST206 Western Music History II
    • MHST30x Music Cultures
    • MHST330 Studies in Experimental Pop I
    • MHST331 Studies in Experimental Pop II
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
  • MBLE300 The Ensemble (TWO classes)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensembles (TWO units of coursework in addition to those in the Shared Curriculum for FOUR units in total)
  • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF490 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

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Piano/Keyboard (BFA)
  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN101 Hour Lesson as assigned (8 classes)
  • MPRF119 Piano Workshop (8 classes)
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
  • MHST205 Western Music History I
  • MHST206 Western Music History II
  • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
  • MPCD199 Undergraduate Independent Project: Pedagogy (2 classes)
  • MFORxxx Forums (4 classes)
  • MBLExxx Ensemble (as pianist) (8 classes)
  • One class chosen from:
    • MAIC240 Jazz History
    • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
    • MHST30x Music Cultures
    • MHST330 Studies in Experimental Pop I
    • MHST331 Studies in Experimental Pop II
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
  • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF490 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

Note: The Shared Curriculum MPRF103 Class Piano requirement is waived for Piano/Keyboard majors.

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Strings (BFA)
  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN101 Hour Lesson as assigned (8 classes)
  • MPRF128 String Workshop (8 classes)
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
  • MHST205 Western Music History I
  • MHST206 Western Music History II
  • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
  • MAIC403 Pedagogy I or MAIC404 Pedagogy II
  • MFORxxx Forums (4 classes)
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MAIC240 Jazz History
    • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
    • MHST30x Music Cultures
    • MHST330 Studies in Experimental Pop I
    • MHST331 Studies in Experimental Pop II
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
  • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (8 classes):
    • MBLE106 Chamber Music
    • MBLE300 The Ensemble
    • MBLE309 Period Instrument Ensemble
  • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF490 Graduation Jury & Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

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Winds (BFA)
 
  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN101 Hour Lesson as assigned (8 classes)
  • MPRF122/124/130/131 Studio Class appropriate to major (8 classes)
  • MPRF133 Woodwind Workshop (8 classes)
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
  • MHST205 Western Music History I
  • MHST206 Western Music History II
  • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
  • MAIC403 Pedagogy I or MAIC404 Pedagogy II
  • MFORxxx Forums (four classes)
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MAIC240 Jazz History
    • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
    • MHST30x Music Cultures
    • MHST330 Studies in Experimental Pop I
    • MHST331 Studies in Experimental Pop II
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
  • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (8 classes) from
    • MBLE106 Chamber Music
    • MBLE300 The Ensemble
  • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF490 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

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IV. Jazz (BFA)

  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN101 Hour Lesson as assigned (each semester)
  • MFOR107 Jazz Forum (3 classes)
  • MTHY240 Jazz Keyboard Theory
  • MTHY108 Transcription Skills
  • MBLE201 Beginning African Ensemble
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MPRF101 or MPRF102 Undergraduate Jazz Improvisation (1 course)
  • MPRF203 Harmonic Improvisation
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MCMP310 Jazz Composition
    • MCMP314 Jazz Arranging
  • MAIC240 Jazz History
  • FOUR units of coursework chosen from:
    • MAIC314 The Music of Flamenco
    • MAIC316 Blues before 1960
    • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
    • MHST30x Music Cultures
    • MHST312 Ethnology of African Music
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MHST371 Jazz and Urban Experimentalism
  • MBLE117 Jazz Student Ensemble (8 classes)
  • MBLE118 Jazz Faculty Ensemble (8 classes)
  • MPRF490 Graduation Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

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V. Music Technology: Interaction, Intelligence & Design (BFA)

 
  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM except for MTHY112 Tonal Theory & Applications B (see Shared Curriculum Summary above)

AUDIO PRODUCTION

  • MTEC101 Concert Production I
  • ICOM111 Intro to Sound Production
  • TWO courses chosen from:
    • MCMP308 The Art of the Mix
    • MCMP369 Production as Composition
    • MCMP404 Field Recording Workshop
    • MTEC102 Concert Production II
    • MTEC308 Advanced Production Techniques
    • MTEC365 Digital Recording Studio
    • MTEC367 Project Recording

CREATIVE COMPUTING AND PROGRAMMING

  • ICOM201 Introduction to Programming I
  • ICOM202 Introduction to Programming II
  • THREE courses chosen from:
    • IDAR419 Immersive Experience Design
    • MTEC415 Visual Programming
    • MTEC418 Generative Art
    • MTEC421 Advanced Creative Coding
    • MTEC498B Ideation and Prototyping
    • MTEC498H AI Sonic Explorations
    • MTEC498J Audio Programming with C++
    • Other Elective Computer Programming Courses

DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING

  • MTEC150 Fundamentals of Computer Music
  • ONE course chosen from:
    • MTEC155 Physical Modeling Synthesis
    • MTEC418 Generative Art
    • MTEC498A Algorithmic Sound
    • MTEC498E AI. Culture. Creativity

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

  • TWO courses chosen from:
    • MTEC330 Interface Design I
    • MTEC331 Interface Design II
    • MTEC450 Mechatronic Art and Music

BREADTH IN MUSIC TECHNOLOGY

  • MFOR106 Creative Technology Forum (8 classes)
  • MTEC490 Music Technology BFA Project (2 classes)
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

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VI. Performer-Composer (BFA)

  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN001 Half-Hour Lesson in Composition & ESP (4 classes, each semester in BFA1&2)
  • MLSN001 Half-Hour Lesson in Performance (4 classes, each semester in BFA1&2)
  • MLSN101 Hour Lesson(s) in Composition or Performance (4 classes in BFA3&4)
  • MFOR305 Performer-Composer Forum (2 classes, offered in Spring semesters)
  • MCMP105 Music Notation (in first Spring semester in residence)
  • ICOM111 Introduction to Sound Production
  • MCMP120 Instrumental Composition I
  • MCMP121 Instrumental Composition II
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
  • FOUR units of coursework chosen from the following Theory Options:
    • MTHY214 Counterpoint (2 units)
    • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis (2 units)
    • MTHY217 Form (2 units)
    • MTHY108 Transcription Skills (2 units)
    • MTHY240 Jazz Keyboard Theory (1 unit, may be repeated)
    • MTHY306 The Experimenting Ear
    • MPRF101 Jazz Improvisation, Group (1 unit, may be repeated)
    • MPRF102 Jazz Improvisation, 1-on-1 (1 unit, may be repeated)
  • MSCM310 Acoustics for Musicians
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MCMP314 Jazz Arranging
    • MCMP316 Arranging for Experimental Pop
    • MCMP402 Orchestration
    • MTHY451 Orchestral Thought
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MCMP465 Composition with Max/MSP
    • MCMP369 Production as Composition
    • MTEC270 History of Electronic Dance Music
      MTEC360 Audio Signal Processing
    • MTEC365 Digital Recording Studio
    • MTEC367 Project Recording
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MBLE310 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE415 Networked Music Ensemble
    • MBLE450 Sonic Boom Ensemble
    • MBLE460 Golia Large Ensemble
    • MCMP325 Experimental Music Workshop I
    • MCMP326 Experimental Music Workshop II
  • MBLExxx / MPRFxxx Workshops, Ensembles or Performance studies appropriate to performance emphasis (THREE units)
  • MCMP/MHST/MTHY300–480 Advanced Composition, History or Theory Electives (FOUR units)
  • MCMP490 Graduation Portfolio & Website Review (portfolio must include substantial original work)
  • MPRF490 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

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VII. VoiceArts (BFA)

  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN101 Voice Lessons, as assigned (8 classes)
  • MPRF115 VoiceArts Foundation
  • MPRF310 Advanced Vocal Coaching
  • MFOR103 Voice Forum (2 classes)
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MHST205 Western Music History I
    • MHST206 Western Music History II
  • TWO units of coursework chosen from:
    • MAIC240 Jazz History
    • MAIC314 The Music of Flamenco
    • MAIC316 Blues before 1960
    • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
    • MHST30x Music Cultures
    • MHST312 Ethnology of African Music
    • MHST330 Topics in Experimental Pop I
    • MHST331 Topics in Experimental Pop II
    • MHST345 Topics in Vocal Literature
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MHST371 Jazz and Urban Experimentalism
    • MHST410 The Elastic voice
    • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
    • other music history/cultures class as approved by mentor
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MPCD420 Teaching the Voice
    • MSCM410 Physiology of the Voice
  • MPRF454 Sounding the Voice 
  • FOUR Vocal Ensembles and/or Vocal Projects chosen from:
    • MBLE106 Chamber Music
    • MBLE201 Beginning African Ensemble
    • MBLE260 The Baltic Voice
    • MBLE301 Chamber Singers
    • MBLE302 Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
    • MBLE309 Period Instrument Ensemble
    • MBLE325 Creative Electronic Ensemble
    • MBLE328 Collaborative Music Ensemble
    • MPRF221 African Song
    • other vocal ensemble or project as approved by mentor
  • Keyboard Requirement (in addition to Shared Curriculum) as approved by mentor, chosen from:
    • MLSN001 Non–Major Lesson in Piano (audition required)
    • MTHY240 Jazz Keyboard Theory      
  • Techniques (1 class)
    • MCMP110 Introduction to Composition
    • MCMP336 Writing for Voice
    • MPCD420 Teaching the Voice
    • MPRF101 Jazz Improvisation
    • MPRF102 Jazz Improvisation
    • MPRF126 Experimental Voice
    • MPRF221 African Song
    • MPRF452 Contemporary Vocal Techniques
    • MPRF498B Mic Use for Vocalists
    • MTEC212 Recording the Voice
    • MTHY120 Beginning Svar Graam (vocal)
    • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis
    • MTHY305 Advanced Sight-Singing
    • MTHY322 Advanced Svar Graam (vocal)
    • other techniques course as approved by mentor
  • Language and Text (2 classes)
    • CCRW211 Hip Hop Poetics Workshop
    • CCRW212 Intro to Creative Writing
    • CCRW214 Adventures in Form and Chaos (poetry writing)
    • CCRW222 Creative Writing Workshop
    • CCRW310 Impossible Stage Directions
    • CCRW311 Poetry Workshop
    • CCRW336 Eco Writing
    • CCRW362 Work the Document
    • CCRW448 Source and Archive
    • CCRW457 Feminist Poetics
    • CCRW458 Advanced Experimental Writing
    • CCRW464 Writing and Performing the Self
    • MAIC470 Hip Hop Lab
    • MCMP309 Words for Music
    • MPRF453 What Kind of Text is That?
    • TAIC300 Survey of World Theater—Text
    • Other language and text course as approved by mentor
  • Contextualization (1 class)
    • MHST200+ any MHST (music history) course, 200-level or higher
    • MPRF451 Singing the Books
    • MPRF455 Dada Divas
    • MPRF456 Readings in VoiceArts
    • MPRF457 Land, Ritual, Performance
    • TAIC305 Survey of World Theater—Performance Tactics
    • TAIC310 Survey of World Theater—Arts Activism
    • other contextualization course as approved by mentor
  • Performance and Interpretation (1 class)
    • MAIC455A Dada Divas
    • MBLExxx any music ensemble course as vocalist
    • MBLE325 Creative Electronic Ensemble
    • MCMP325 Experimental Music Workshop I
    • MCMP326 Experimental Music Workshop II
    • MPRF126 Experimental Voice
    • MPRF211 Bodies and Voice
    • MPRF216 Singing the Standards
    • MPRF221 African Song
    • MPFR402 Opera Theater
    • MPRF451 Singing the Books
    • MPRF452 Contemporary Vocal Techniques
    • MPRF453 What Kind of Text is That?
    • MPRF498A Jazz Improv for the Vocalist
    • Other performance or interpretation course as approved by mentor
  • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Performance Project/Recital
  • MCMP490 Graduation Portfolio/Website Review
  • MPRF490 Graduation Performance Project/Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

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VIII. World Music Performance (BFA)

  • Complete SHARED CURRICULUM (see above)
  • MLSN101 Hour Lesson as assigned (8 classes)
  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
  • MTHY108 Transcription Skills (or other transcription class as approved by mentor)
  • MHST30x Music Cultures (2 classes)
  • MTHYxxx World Music Theory Electives chosen from (4 classes):
    • MTHY120 Beginning Svar Graam (Vocal)
    • MTHY222 North Indian Theory
    • MTHY224 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
    • MTHY226 Ghanaian Rhythm Theory
    • MTHY228 Journey to the Persian Music
    • MTHY322 Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
    • MTHY425 Tala Systems
  • ONE African Music Ensemble chosen from:
    • MBLE201 Beginning African Ensemble
    • MBLE206 Talking Drum Ensemble
    • MBLE211 Advanced African Ensemble
    • MPRF221 African Song
    • MBLE250 African Dance
  • ONE Balinese/Javanese Ensemble chosen from:
    • MBLE210 Beginning Javanese Gamelan
    • MBLE211 Advanced Javanese Gamelan
    • MBLE220 Beginning Balinese Gamelan
    • MBLE221 Advanced Balinese Gamelan
    • MBLE222 Gender Wayang Ensemble
    • MBLE223 Balinese Flute Ensemble
    • MBLE224 Kecak Ensemble
    • MBLE252 Balinese Dance
    • MBLE254 Javanese Dance (Women)
    • MBLE256 Javanese Dance (Men)
  • ONE North Indian Ensemble chosen from:
    • MBLE230 Beginning North Indian Ensemble
    • MBLE430 Advanced North Indian Ensemble
    • MBLE104 Tabla Ensemble
  • ONE other World Music Ensemble chosen from:
    • MBLE109 Advanced World Percussion Ensemble
    • MPRF223 Beginning Shakuhachi Workshop
    • MPRF328 Latin Percussion
    • MBLE235 Japan Ensemble
    • MBLE240 Persia Electric Ensemble
    • Other world music ensemble as approved by mentor
  • MBLE xxx additional World Music Ensembles (8 classes)
  • MBLExxx Ensemble electives outside of World Music Specialization (4 classes) chosen from:
    • MBLE117 Jazz Student Ensemble
    • MBLE118 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
    • MBLE302 Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
    • MBLE310 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE327 Multi-Focus Ensemble
    • MBLE328 Collaborative Music Ensemble
    • MBLE450 Sonic Boom Ensemble
    • MBLE460 Golia Large Ensemble
    • Other ensemble outside of world music
  • MPRF490 Graduation Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

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Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts

Applicants to the Music MFA program will be required to have attained a BM, BFA, BA or equivalent in music before admittance, or to have a Bachelor's degree in an alternate subject along with skills and knowledge that are appropriate to enter a Master's degree program in a music-related field.

A minimum of 4.0 semesters of enrollment are required for the Master of Fine Arts and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts. Some individualized specializations may require additional semesters of enrollment.

All MFA degree candidates must complete a minimum of 60 units.

Students must attend and have both mid-residence and graduation reviews officially documented. During these reviews, the student's course history is examined, progress is assessed, problems are discussed and changes to the curriculum are considered. Mentors and deans must officially approve any changes to the student's curriculum requirements.

 

Learning Goals

By the time they graduate, students will have had opportunity to:

  • develop a forward-looking approach to music-making that embraces openness, experimentation, and critical engagement while recognizing precedent and tradition.
  • realize and document distinctive musical projects reflecting their own artistic interests.
  • offer and receive constructive critique regarding their musical work and thinking from both senior practitioners and peers.
  • perform within ensemble contexts and gain experience with the particular demands and rewards of performing with other musicians.
  • discover collaborative possibilities through engagement with other artistic métiers.
  • produce and present professional-quality documentation of their artistic work in appropriate media.

MFA Placement Examinations

All entering MFA and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts students in Music are required to take CalArts’ Music Theory and Musicianship Skills Placement Exams.

For MFA and Advanced Certificate students, placement exam results may indicate either that a student's prior training and current skill levels are already appropriate for graduate study or that supplemental courses will be required in addition to the normal graduate curriculum.

 

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts Specialization Requirements

I. Composition & Experimental Sound Practices (MFA)

  • MLSN601 Composition Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MFOR501/508 Graduate Composers' or ESP Forum (4 classes in total)
  • Composition courses with the prefix MCMP totaling at least 6 units
  • Courses in music technology, theory, history, pedagogy, performance or world music (non-MCMP music courses, at least 10 units)
  • Courses outside the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MCMP690 Graduation Portfolio Review
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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II. Instrumental Arts (MFA)

Brass (MFA)
  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MPRF532 Brass Workshop (2 classes)
  • MBLE620 Brass Ensemble (4 classes)
  • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
  • MTHY/MCMP600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis or Composition (2 classes)
  • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (4 classes):
    • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MBLE606 Chamber Music Ensemble
    • MBLE609 Period Instrument Ensemble
  • Studies in Extended Techniques, Improvisation, and/or Interpretation: TWO classes chosen from:
    • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
    • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
    • MBLE627 Multi-Focus Ensemble
    • MBLE650 Sonic Boom Ensemble
    • MBLE660 Golia Large Ensemble
    • MHST601 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MPRF512 Jazz Improvisation (1-on-1)
    • MTHY577 Baroque Accompaniment
    • MTHY600+
  • MFOR502 Performance Forum (in Spring Semesters, 2 classes)
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MPCD603 Pedagogy I: Teaching Artistry
    • MPCD604 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • MPCD651 Creative Producing for Music
    • MPCD660 Creative Entrepreneurship
  • MPCD599 Independent Pedagogy Project
  • Courses in an artistic métier outside of the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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Guitar (MFA)
  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MPRF520 Guitar Workshop (4 classes)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
  • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
  • MTHY/MCMP600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis or Composition (2 classes)
  • MBLExxx Coached Small Ensemble (4 classes) chosen from:
    • MBLE606 Chamber Music
    • MBLE609 Period Instrument Ensemble
    • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
    • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
    • MBLE627 Multi-Focus Ensemble
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MPCD603 Pedagogy I: Teaching Artistry
    • MPCD604 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • MPCD651 Creative Producing for Music
    • MPCD660 Creative Entrepreneurship
  • Courses in an artistic métier outside of the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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Harp (MFA)
  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MPRF523 Harp Studio Class (4 classes)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
  • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
  • MTHY600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis (2 classes)
  • Studies in Extended Techniques, Improvisation, and/or Interpretation. Two classes chosen from:
    • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
    • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
    • MBLE627 Multi-Focus Ensemble
    • MBLE650 Sonic Boom Ensemble
    • MBLE660 Golia Large Ensemble
    • MHST601 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MPRF512 Jazz Improvisation (1-on-1)
    • MTHY577 Baroque Accompaniment
  • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (4 classes):
    • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MBLE606 Chamber Music Ensemble
    • MBLE609 Period Instrument Ensemble
  • MFOR502 Performance Forum (2 classes) (offered in Spring semesters)
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MPCD603 Pedagogy I: Teaching Artistry
    • MPCD604 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • MPCD651 Creative Producing for Music
    • MPCD660 Creative Entrepreneurship
  • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy
  • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 Classes)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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Percussion (MFA)
  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MPRF529 Percussion Workshop (4 classes)
  • MBLE622 Percussion Ensemble (4 classes)
  • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
  • MTHY600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis (2 classes)
  • MBLE Ensembles as assigned (4 classes)
  • MFOR502/503/505/507 Forums (2 classes)
  • ONE class chosen from
    • MPCD603 Pedagogy I: Teaching Artistry
    • MPCD604 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • MPCD651 Creative Producing for Music
    • MPCD660 Creative Entrepreneurship
  • Studies in Extended Techniques, Improvisation and/or Interpretation: two classes chosen from
    • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
    • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
    • MBLE627 Multi-Focus Ensemble
    • MBLE650 Sonic Boom Ensemble
    • MBLE660 Golia Large Ensemble
    • MHST601 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MPRF512 Jazz Improvisation (1-on-1)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble elective (4 classes, see listing under BFA Shared Curriculum above)
  • Courses in an artistic metier outside of the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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Piano/Keyboard (MFA)
  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MPRF519 Piano Workshop (4 classes)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
  • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
  • MTHY600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis (2 classes)
  • MFOR502 Performance Forum (2 classes) (offered in Spring semesters)
  • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles or Accompanying Project (4 classes) from
    • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MBLE606 Chamber Music Ensemble
    • MBLE609 Period Instrument Ensemble
  • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MPCD603 Pedagogy I: Teaching Artistry
    • MPCD604 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • MPCD651 Creative Producing for Music
    • MPCD660 Creative Entrepreneurship
  • Movement Class. TWO classes chosen from:
    • DTCH501/503 Institute Dance
    • MBLE550 African Dance
    • MBLE552 Balinese Dance
    • MBLE554/556 Javanese Dance
    • MPRF605 Yoga for Musicians
    • TACT514 Movement – Yoga
    • TGEN570/571 Intro to Tai Chi
  • Keyboard Studies Electives. TWO classes chosen from:
    • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
    • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
    • MLSN501/601 Harpsichord Lesson
    • MSLN533/633 Jazz Piano Lesson
    • MTHY540 Jazz Keyboard Theory
    • MTHY577 Baroque Accompaniment
    • Other keyboard studies elective as approved by mentor
  • Courses in an artistic métier outside of the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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Collaborative Keyboard (MFA)
  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MPRF604 Special Studies in Collaborative Performance
  • MPRF510 Graduate Vocal Repertoire Coaching (minimum 2 classes)
  • MHST545 Topics in Vocal Literature
  • MHST/MTHY 600+ Advanced Music History/Literature or Theory (3 classes)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
  • Ensembles as assigned (each semester, 4 classes):
    • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MBLE606 Chamber Music Ensemble
    • MBLE609 Period Instrument Ensemble
    • MPRF502 Opera Theater
  • MFOR502 or MFOR503 Performance Forum or Voice Forum (2 classes minimum)
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MPCD603 Pedagogy I: Teaching Artistry
    • MPCD604 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • MPCD651 Creative Producing for Music
    • MPCD660 Creative Entrepreneurship
  • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy
  • Movement class: TWO classes chosen from:
    • DTCH501/503 Institute Dance
    • MBLE550 African Dance
    • MBLE552 Balinese Dance
    • MBLE554/556 Javanese Dance
    • MPRF605 Yoga for Musicians
    • TACT514 Movement – Yoga
    • TGEN570/571 Intro to Tai Chi
  • Courses in an artistic métier outside of the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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Strings (MFA)
  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MPRF528 String Workshop (4 classes)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
  • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
  • MTHY600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis (2 classes)
  • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (4 classes) from
    • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MBLE606 Chamber Music Ensemble
    • MBLE609 Period Instrument Ensemble
  • Studies in Extended Techniques, Improvisation and/or Interpretation. TWO classes chosen from:
    • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
    • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
    • MBLE627 Multi-Focus Ensemble
    • MBLE650 Sonic Boom Ensemble
    • MBLE660 Golia Large Ensemble
    • MHST601 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MPRF512 Jazz Improvisation (1-on-1)
    • MTHY577 Baroque Accompaniment
  • MFOR502 Performance Forum (2 classes) (offered in Spring semesters)
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MPCD603 Pedagogy I: Teaching Artistry
    • MPCD604 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • MPCD651 Creative Producing for Music
    • MPCD660 Creative Entrepreneurship
  • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy
  • Courses in an artistic métier outside of the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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Winds (MFA)
  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MBLE623 Woodwind Workshop (2 classes)
  • MPRF522/524/530/531 Studio Class as appropriate to major (4 classes)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
  • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
  • MTHY600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis (2 classes)
  • Studies in Extended Techniques, Improvisation, and/or Interpretation. TWO classes chosen from:
    • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
    • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
    • MBLE627 Multi-Focus Ensemble
    • MBLE650 Sonic Boom Ensemble
    • MBLE660 Golia Large Ensemble
    • MHST601 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
    • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MPRF512 Jazz Improvisation (1-on-1)
  • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy
  • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (4 classes):
    • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MBLE606 Graduate Chamber Music Ensemble
    • MBLE609 Period Instrument Ensemble
  • MFOR502 Performance Forum (in Spring Semesters, 2 classes)
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MPCD603 Pedagogy I: Teaching Artistry
    • MPCD604 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians (1 class)
    • MPCD651 Creative Producing for Music
    • MPCD660 Creative Entrepreneurship
  • Courses in an artistic métier outside of the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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III. Jazz (MFA)

These requirements are applicable to the following areas of study: Jazz Bass, Jazz Guitar, Jazz Keyboard, Jazz Drums, Jazz Trumpet, Jazz Trombone, Jazz Reeds, and Jazz Performance.

  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MCMP610 Jazz Composition
  • MCMP500+ upper-level composition elective
  • MPRF603 Harmonic Improvisation
  • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble (4 classes)
  • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble (4 classes)
  • MFOR507 Jazz Forum (2 classes)
  • ONE class chosen from:
    • MHST550 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
    • MHST571 Jazz and Urban Experimentalism
    • MHST601 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
  • MHST/MTHY500+ upper-level history, theory or analysis elective
  • MBLE501 Beginning African Music Ensemble
  • Courses in an artistic métier outside of the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
  • MPRF690 Graduation Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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IV. Music Technology: Interaction, Intelligence & Design Specialization (MFA)

GENERAL

  • MFOR506 Creative Technology Forum (4 classes)
  • MTEC690 Music Technology MFA Project (variable units; 2 classes)
  • MTEC691 Thesis

CREATIVE COMPUTING AND PROGRAMMING

  • MTEC613 Introduction to Programming I
  • MTEC614 Introduction to Programming II
  • THREE courses chosen from:
    • MTEC616 Visual Programming
    • MTEC618 Generative Art
    • MTEC621 Advanced Creative Coding
    • MTEC698B Ideation and Prototyping
    • MTEC698H AI Sonic Explorations
    • MTEC698J Audio Programming With C++
    • Other Elective Computer Programming Courses

DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING

  • TWO courses chosen from:
    • MTEC618 Generative Art
    • MTEC650 Fundamentals of Computer Music
    • MTEC655 Physical Modeling Synthesis
    • MTEC698A Algorithmic Sound
    • MTEC698C Advanced Electronic Music Production
    • MTEC698E AI. Culture. Creativity

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

  • MTEC630 Interface Design I
  • MTEC631 Interface Design II
  • MTEC550 Mechatronic Art & Music

DIGITAL CREATIVE PRACTICE / COMPOSITION / INSTALLATION

  • TWO courses chosen from:
    • MCMP615 Choreographers & Composers
    • MTEC508 Advanced Production Techniques 
    • MTEC540 Machine Orchestra
    • MTEC618 Generative Art
    • MTEC619 Immersive Experience Design
    • MTEC520 Grids, Beats, and Groups
    • MTEC5xx/6xx Upper-Division Music Technology electives

BREADTH IN MUSIC TECHNOLOGY

  • Courses outside the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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V. Performer-Composer (MFA)

  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson(s) in Performance or Composition as assigned (4 classes)
  • MLSN501 Half-Hour Lesson(s), in Year I, in whichever area (Performance or Composition) the Hour Lesson is not taken (2 classes)
  • MFOR505 Performer-Composer Forum (2 classes)
  • MFOR501/502/503/506/507/508 Other Graduate forums (2 classes)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
  • Composition courses (with the prefix MCMP) totaling at least 4 units
  • Performance courses (with the prefix MBLE or MPRF) totaling at least 4 units
  • Courses in music technology, theory, history, or pedagogy, (with prefix MTEC, MTHY, MHST or MPCD, at least 10 units)
  • Courses outside the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in in January)
  • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital (must include substantial original work)
  • MPRF690 Graduation Jury & Recital (must include substantial original work)
  • MCMP690 Graduation Portfolio Review
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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VI. VoiceArts (MFA)

  • MLSN601 Hour Lessons as assigned (4 classes)
  • MPRF510 Graduate Vocal Coaching
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (recommended in MFA1)
  • TWO classes in advanced History/Literature/Theory/Analysis chosen form
    • MHST500 Music Cultures
    • MHST504 Music of Native N. America
    • MHST525 Survey of Sound Art
    • MHST530 Studies in Experimental Pop I
    • MHST531 Studies in Experimental Pop II
    • MHST545 [r]evolution of Solo Vocal Lit
    • MHST550 Stylists & Innovators:1961-Now
    • MHST571 Jazz & Urban Experimentalism
    • MHST600–698
    • MTHY510 Acoustics for Musicians
    • MTHY600–698
  • FOUR Experimental Voice classes chosen from:
    • MCMP625 & 626 Experimental Music Workshop I & II
    • MPRF526 Experimental Voice
    • MPRF611 Bodies and Voice
    • MPRF651 Singing the Books
    • MPRF652 Contemporary Vocal Techniques
    • MPRF655 Dada's Divas
    • MPRF657 Land, Ritual, Performance
    • Other experimental voice courses as approved by mentor
  • MPRF610 Physiology of the Voice
  • Pedagogy Course, chosen from (1 course):
    • AAIC523 Practice & Pedagogy: ArtPilot
    • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy
    • MPCD603 Pedagogy I: Teaching Artistry
    • MPCD604 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
    • MPCD620 Teaching the Voice
  • MFOR503 Voice Forum (minimum 1 class or as assigned by mentor)
  • Performance project or ensemble electives, chosen in consultation with mentor chosen from (4 classes):
    • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MBLE560 The Baltic Voice
    • MBLE601 Chamber Singers
    • MBLE602 Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
    • MBLE606 Chamber Music
    • MBLE609 Period Instrument Ensemble
    • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
    • MBLE625 Creative Electronic Ensemble
    • MBLE628 Collaborative Music Ensemble
    • MBLE650 Sonic Boom Ensemble
    • MPRF502 Opera Theater
    • MPRF699 Independent Study
    • Other performance project course as approved by mentor
  • Career preparation course chosen from:
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • MPCD651 Creative Producing for Music
    • MPCD660 Creative Entrepreneurship
    • MTEC617 Media and Web Development
    • TGEN750 Entrepreneurship: The Artist as Entrepreneur
    • Other professional development courses as approved by mentor
  • Performance theory or practicum classes outside of Music (2 classes)
    • CCRW548 Source and Archive
    • CCRW557 Feminist Poetics
    • CMWP651 Documentary Strategies
    • CMWP688 Writing and Performing the Self
    • DCHR501 Institute Dance Composition
    • DCHR560 Creation & Critique
    • DPER560 Performance & Identity;
    • FFDP604 Advanced Acting Workshop
    • THST530 Grad Seminar: Adaptation
    • THST535 Grad Seminar: Dramaturgy
    • THST545 Grad Seminar: Theater of Witness
    • TGEN510 Institute Acting Techniques I
    • TGEN515 Institute Acting Techniques II
    • TGEN520 Institute Directing I
    • TGEN525 Institute Directing II
    • TGEN575 Inst Producing: Prac Skills
    • TGEN660 Improvisation
    • TGEN661 Improvisation
    • TIMM571 Performing Object Laboratory
    • THST510 Surv World Theater Arts
    • TWFP680 Special Topics in Writing
    • Other performance theory or practicum class as approved by mentor
  • Courses in movement techniques (2 classes) chosen from:
    • DCHR601 Graduate Advanced Improv
    • DTCH500 Institute Dance Contemporary
    • DTCH603 Institute Dance Ballet
    • DTCH604 Institute Dance Special Topics
    • MBLE550 African Dance
    • MBLE552 Balinese Dance
    • MBLE554/556 Javanese Dance
    • MPRF605 Yoga for Musicians
    • TACT570/571 Intro to Tai Chi
    • TGEN535 Alexander Technique Fundamentals
    • Other movement class as approved by mentor
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Performance Project/Recital
  • MPRF690 Graduation Jury & Performance Project/Recital
  • MCMP690 Graduation Portfolio Review
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

The VoiceArts specialization requires a review of each student's professional portfolio development each semester as a component of the lesson requirement.

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VII. World Music Performance (MFA)

African Music and Dance (MFA)

Two years of intensive study in the field of emphasis are required. A final recital or series of performances is required. Mentors may require a written thesis.

  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MLSN501 Half-Hour Lesson (2 classes, as approved by Mentor)
  • MHST512 Ethnology of African Music
  • MHST500–509 Music Cultures
  • MTHY508 Transcription Skills (or other transcription class as approved by mentor)
  • TWO classes chosen from:
    • MPRF620 Tabla Accompaniment
    • MTHY520/ MTHY522 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
    • MTHY521/ MTHY523 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Instrumental)
    • MTHY622 North Indian Theory
    • MTHY624 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
    • MTHY626 Ghanaian Rhythm Theory
    • MTHY628 Journey to the Persian Music
  • MTHY625 Tala Systems
  • MBLE502 Advanced African Ensemble (4 classes)
  • MBLE World Music Ensembles, outside of African specialization (4 classes) (see list under BFA Shared Curriculum)
  • MBLE550 African Dance (at least 1 class)
  • MPRF621 African Song (at least 1 class)
  • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy (2 classes)
  • Courses in an artistic métier outside of the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF690 Graduation Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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Balinese and Javanese Music and Dance (MFA)

Two years of intensive study in the field of emphasis are required. A final recital or series of performances is required. Mentors may require a written thesis.

  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MLSN501 Half-Hour Lesson (2 classes, as approved by Mentor)
  • MHST500–509 Music Cultures (2 classes)
  • MTHY508 Transcription Skills (or other transcription class as approved by Mentor)
  • TWO classes chosen from:
    • MPRF620 Tabla Accompaniment
    • MTHY520/ MTHY522 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
    • MTHY521/ MTHY523 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Instrumental)
    • MTHY622 North Indian Theory
    • MTHY624 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
    • MTHY625 Tala Systems
    • MTHY626 Ghanaian Rhythm Theory
    • MTHY628 Journey to the Persian Music
  • MBLE511/521 Advanced Javanese/Balinese Gamelan (4 classes)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensembles, outside of Balinese/Javanese music (4 classes)
  • MBLE552/554/556 Balinese and/or Javanese Dance (4 classes)
  • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy (2 classes)
  • Courses in an artistic métier outside of the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF690 Graduation Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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North Indian Music (MFA)

Two years of intensive study in the field of emphasis are required. A final recital or series of performances is required. Mentors may require a written thesis.

  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MLSN501 Half-Hour Lesson (2 classes, as approved by Mentor)
  • MHST500–509 Music Cultures (2 classes)
  • MTHY508 Transcription Skills (or other transcription class as approved by Mentor)
  • Two classes chosen from:
    • MPRF620 Tabla Accompaniment
    • MTHY520/ MTHY522 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
    • MTHY521/ MTHY523 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Instrumental)
    • MTHY622 North Indian Theory
    • MTHY624 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
    • MTHY625 Tala Systems
    • MTHY626 Ghanaian Rhythm Theory
    • MTHY628 Journey to the Persian Music
  • MBLE530/604 North Indian or Tabla Ensemble (4 classes)
  • MBLExxx World Music Ensembles, outside of major focus (4 classes) (see listing under BFA Shared Curriculum)
  • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy (2 classes)
  • Courses in an artistic métier outside of the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF690 Graduation Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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World Percussion (MFA)

Two years of intensive study in the field of emphasis are required. A final recital or series of performances is required. Mentors may require a written thesis.

  • MLSN601 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
  • MLSN501 Half-Hour Lesson (2 classes, as approved by Mentor)
  • MHST500–509 Music Cultures (2 classes)
  • MTHY508 Transcription Skills (or other transcription class as approved by Mentor)
  • FOUR classes chosen from:
    • MPRF620 Tabla Accompaniment
    • MPRF628 Latin Percussion
    • MTHY520/ MTHY522 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
    • MTHY521/ MTHY523 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Instrumental)
    • MTHY622 North Indian Theory
    • MTHY624 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
    • MTHY625 Tala Systems
    • MTHY626 Ghanaian Rhythm Theory
    • MTHY628 Journey to the Persian Music
  • MBLE509/604 Advanced World Percussion Ensemble / Tabla Ensemble (4 classes)
  • MBLExxx Other World Music Ensembles (4 classes) (see listing under BFA Shared Curriculum)
  • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy (2 classes)
  • Courses in an artistic métier outside of the School of Music (2 classes, not taught by music faculty)
  • Winter Session (2 units of coursework taken in January)
  • MPRF690 Graduation Recital
  • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

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Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Learning Goals

Upon attainment of the DMA degree, students should have demonstrated an original and coherent artistic vision that fuses performance and composition in unique and compelling ways, and should manifest excellence as educators and advocates for evolutionary and exploratory art. Specifically, they should demonstrate:

  • A high level of critically aware artistic production demonstrated by a substantial body of mature, well-documented artworks and performances that articulate a unique creative voice;
  • Advanced technical and performance skills facilitating the consummate execution of diverse artistic projects;
  • The scholarly ability to effectively contextualize and conceptualize their work and that of other artists, supported by broad historical and theoretical knowledge relevant to their artistic milieu;
  • Persuasive written and oral communication skills enabling advocacy to diverse audiences of their own artistic ideas and practices, as well as of other exploratory art;
  • Outstanding pedagogical and assessment skills and experience, including the employment of interactive and experiential learning modalities;
  • Strong organizational and collaborative skills that complement entrepreneurial vision and expertise, including the ability to plan, promote and realize public events;
  • A command of both traditional and emerging approaches to the delivery of scholarly and creative work, including professional development methods and strategies (e.g., media distribution formats, website preparation and Internet usage, grant-writing skills, production and management techniques, etc.).

DMA Program Requirements

The DMA program requires a minimum of 60 credit units in total, with a minimum enrollment of 10 units per semester, and a minimum residence of six full-time semesters.

DMA students must satisfactorily complete the program of studies formulated each semester by the student and their Mentor, as well as all requirements specified in the "Doctor of Musical Arts Program Description" section of this catalog. Any changes to the student's curriculum requirements must be officially approved by their Doctoral Examining Committee (DEC) and The Herb Alpert School of Music's Doctoral Policy Committee (DPC).

The course requirements for the DMA program are as follows.

  • MLSN701 Composition and/or Performance Lessons (6 classes)
  • MCMP700 Doctoral Seminar (6 classes)
  • MCMP790 Doctoral Project (2 classes)
  • MCMP791 DMA First-Year Review
  • MCMP792 DMA Qualifying Examination
  • MCMP794 DMA Final Review
  • MHST703 Performer-Composer: History & Aesthetics
  • MPCD604 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
  • MPCD704 Professional Development
  • MPCD740 Teaching Practicum (5 classes)
  • MPRF790 Performance Project (2 classes)
  • MTHY750 Topic-Driven Research and Exploration (6 classes minimum with 3 different instructors)
  • Approved Electives (3 classes, approved by mentor as relevant to the student's research direction)
  • Free Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

DMA students must pass a First Year Review (MCMP790). This review is conducted by the student's Doctoral Examining Committee (DEC). This Committee comprises a total of 3–4 faculty members and must include the student's Mentor and MTHY750 (Topic-Driven Research) instructors. During this review, the student's artistic, intellectual, academic, professional and pedagogical development is examined, progress is assessed, problems are discussed, and changes to the curriculum are considered.

DMA students must pass  Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations (MCMP792) before advancing to degree candidacy. The Qualifying Examinations are administered by the student's Doctoral Examining Committee. In preparation for the Qualifying Examinations, the student must enroll in MTHY750 (Topic-Driven Research) at least 6 times with a minimum of 3 different DEC members addressing 3 respective topic areas. This typically takes place over the course of the student's second year in the DMA program. The MTHY750 topic areas are agreed upon by the student and the MTHY750 instructors in light of the student's professional and artistic goals and are subject to approval by the Doctoral Policy Committee. The DMA Qualifying Examinations can be repeated at most once. Any second trial must occur within four months of the first trial. Unsatisfactory performance at the second trial is grounds for dismissal from the Herb Alpert School of Music.

Before the awarding of the degree each DMA student must pass a Final Review (MCMP794), conducted by their Doctoral Examining Committee. This review assesses the student's artistic, intellectual, academic, professional, and pedagogical standing in relation to the Learning Goals and Rubrics for the DMA program, and includes detailed evaluation of all components of the student's Doctoral Project (MCMP790), and particularly of the student's Professional Portfolio.

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