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Self-Designed Concentration Requirements

The self-designed music major allows you to choose the courses you take beyond the shared 42-unit core. You will develop a focus area in consultation with your Program Advisor. You’ll be allocating 16 units toward courses in this focus area; the remaining 4 units are reserved for your capstone project (see below).

If necessary for your focus area, 3 of the 16 units may be taken outside the Music Department, with the permission of your advisor.

Focus areas may center on courses in established areas of the department for which there’s no existing subplan (e.g., jazz, musical theatre), or they may delineate a path that moves across different programs within the department. Focal areas may have a creative or critical emphasis, or take a blended approach. The 16 units in your focus area will provide a spur and grounding for the 4-unit capstone project.

Core Requirements (42 Units)

Lower-Division Music Theory: 12 units

Develop aural skills

  • Music 24A24B24C: Ear Training I, II, III (1-2 units each)
  • Ear training exit exam
  • Piano proficiency exam

Analytical approaches: from the common-practice era to today

  • Music 212223: Elements of Music I, II, III (3 units each)
Lower-division Music History: 12 units

Develop proficiency with the history of Western art music

  • Music 40: Music History to 1600 (4 units)
  • Music 41: Music History from 1600 to 1830 (4 units)
  • Music 42: Music History since 1830 (4 units)
Upper-division Music Theory and History: 12 units

Complete three upper division courses:

1. Choose one course among these three:

  • Develop compositional and analytical skills focus on tonal and post-tonal contrapuntal practices
  • Learn analytical methods
    • Music 122B: Analysis of Tonal Music (4 units)
    • Music 122C: Introduction to 20th- Century Composition (4 units)

2. Choose one course among these eight that satisfy the Writing In the Major (WIM) requirement:

  • Acquire the capacity to write about music
    • Music 140: Studies in Music of the Middle Ages (4 units)
    • Music 141: Studies in Music of the Renaissance (4 units)
    • Music 142: Studies in Music of the Baroque (4 units)
    • Music 143: Studies in Music of the Classical Period (4 units)
    • Music 144: Studies in Music of the Romantic Period (4 units)
    • Music 145: Studies in Western Art Music Since 1900 (4 units)
    • Music 146: Studies in Ethnomusicology (4 units)
    • Music 147: Studies in Music, Media, and Popular Culture (4 units)

3. Choose one more course among the remaining nine listed in 1 and 2.

Note: A course cannot be used to satisfy more than one major requirement.

Performance: 3 units

Choose a course or some courses among the following, for a minimum of 3 units

1. Develop proficiency with at least one instrument or voice

2. Ensemble

3. Acquire conducting skills

  • Music 130B: Elementary Instrumental Conducting (2 units)
  • Music 130C:  Elementary Choral Conducting (2 units)

4. Play/Perform electronic music

  • Music 128: Stanford Laptop Orchestra: Composition, Coding, and Performance (3-4 units)

5. Play/Perform improvised music

  • Music 126A: Introduction to Thoroughbass, historically informed stylistic improvisation  (1-3 units)
  • Music 156: [sic] Improvisation Collective (1 unit)

6. Play/perform contemporary music, and collaborate with performers in having your music performed

Note: A course cannot be used to satisfy more than one major requirement.

MST/Composition/Orchestration: 3 units

Choose a course or some courses among the following, for a minimum of 3 units

MST (Music, Science, and Technology)

  • Music 101: Introduction to Creating Electronic Sounds (3-4 units)
  • Music 155: Intermedia Workshop (3-4 units)
  • Music 192A, B, C: Sound Recording (192A & B: 3 units each, 192C: 1-2 units)
  • Music 220A, B, C: Computer Generated Sounds (2-4 units each)
  • Music 223: Composition for Electronic Musicians (3-4 units)
  • Music 223B: Sonic Experiments in Composition (1-3 units)
  • Music 223C: Tradition, Experimentation, and Technology in String Quartet Composition and Performance (1-3 units)
  • Music 223D: Sound Practice: Embodiment and the Social (2-3 units)
  • Music 250A, C: Design of Digital Sounds for Interactive Performance (3-4 units each)
  • Music 256A, B: Music Computing, Design (3-4 units each)

2. Composition

  • Music 20C: Jazz Arranging and Composition (3 units)
  • Music 112: Film Scoring (3 units)
  • Music 113: Introduction to Instrumental Composition (2-3 units)
  • Music 123A: Composition seminar: Rhythmic design (1-2 units)
  • Music 123B: Composition seminar: Pitch design (1-2 units)
  • Music 123C: Composition Seminar: World Music (1-2 units)
  • Music 123i: Undergraduate Seminar in Composition (2-3 units)
  • Music 124A: Songwriters Workshop (1-2 units)
  • Music 131A: Musical Indeterminacy & Advanced Notation (2-3 units)

3. Orchestration

  • Music 127A: Instrumentation and Orchestration (3 units)
  • Music 127B: Advanced Orchestration (3 units)

Note: A course cannot be used to satisfy more than one requirement.

Self-Designed Requirements

Courses and Capstone Project: 20 units

Courses taken to fulfill Core Breadth requirements may not be double-counted towards the fulfillment of concentration requirements.         

  • Take 16 units in a focal area in consultation with the Program Advisor (16 units)
  • Take 4 units of Music 199: Independent Study for the Capstone Project (4 units)

Total Units (20)

Capstone project guidelines:

  • Beginning ideally in the junior year, you should choose one or two Capstone Advisors, and plan regular meetings to develop a capstone project. (If you have two Capstone Advisors, one may be a faculty-member outside the Music Department.) The capstone can be understood as a culmination of the 16 units of coursework in your focus area.
  • Where possible you should, beginning in Spring of the junior year, allocate one or two units per quarter to independent studies, for a total of four units by graduation. Otherwise the units can spread over as few as two quarters. Advising meetings should take place at least twice per quarter, and at least three times per quarter during the two quarters leading up to graduation.
  • Capstone projects may take a variety of forms. In consultation with your Capstone Advisor(s), you’ll determine whether your project will culminate in creative work, an academic paper or other research output, a recital or lecture-recital, or a mix.


Beyond the Major

You’re encouraged to work with your Program Advisor to achieve breadth as well as depth in your 20 units beyond the shared core: consider whether you’re experiencing multiple sides of the Music Department (CCRMA, Composition, Conducting, History and Ethnography, Jazz, Improvisation, and Popular Music, Music Theory, and Performance), both critical and creative approaches, musics from different time-periods, and musics from beyond the West.