2018-2019 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 22, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music History and Cultures, BA

Romita Ray, Chair
308 Bowne Hall

Sydney Hutchinson, Director of Undergraduate Studies
308 Bowne Hall


Carol Babiracki, Theo Cateforis, Rodney Foster, Sydney Hutchinson, Bette Kahler, Sarah Fuchs Sampson, Amanda Eubanks Winkler

The major in Music History and Cultures is designed for students who wish to study music in its historical, social and cultural contexts and in relation to other arts. Although majors are encouraged to develop performance skills, the focus of the degree is on the study of musical cultures and styles in a liberal arts environment.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the diverse functions and cultural meanings that music has had in both Western and non-Western societies

2. Distinguish among stylistic differences in music of different eras and from different cultures

3. Explain historical changes in music of different eras and from different cultures

4. Apply central issues and methods of scholarship in our fields

5. Express ideas clearly through writing

6. Demonstrate proficiency in musical skills

7. Demonstrate proficiency in musical performance

Lower Division Requirements (14 credits)

1) Musical skills (8 credits)

Students are required to demonstrate competency in basic musical skills by successfully completing the first-year music theory sequence (MTC 145  and MTC 146 ), and the corresponding first-year ear training sequence (MTC 147  and MTC 148 ).

2) Introduction to music history and culture (6 credits)

Students are required to complete two courses from the following list. One of these two courses must be from the European music history sequence (HOM 167 , HOM 267 , HOM 268  

Upper Division Requirements (18 credits)

1) Breadth requirement (9 credits)

Students must complete at least one upper-division course in European Music (HOM 360s, 460s, 560s) and two courses from among the following areas: Music and Technology (HOM 310s, 410s, 510s), Latin American Music (HOM 320s, 420s, 520s), Music and Dance (HOM 350s, 450s, 550s), American Music (HOM 370s, 470s, 570s), and Ethnomusicology/World Music (HOM 380s, 480s, 580s). Students cannot take both non-European music courses in the same area.

2) Major electives (6 credits)

Students must take at least 6 additional upper-division credits. 3 of these credits may be earned in non-music HOA courses (i.e. art history or history of architecture). Candidates for departmental honors (see below) may use HOM 496  (3 credits) to count toward the fulfillment of this requirement.

3) 500-level course

Students must fulfill at least one of these upper-division requirements with a 500-level course.

4) Junior Seminar: Musicology in Action

This course, required of all Music History and Cultures majors, will normally be offered each spring semester. The specific content of the course will vary from year to year, but its purpose will remain the same: to stimulate critical thought about music and to hone our students’ research and writing skills.

5) Distinction in Music History and Cultures

(3 credits, required only for students earning a degree with distinction). Majors who have earned a cumulative GPA of at least 3.7 will be invited to earn a degree with distinction. In order to earn this honor, students are required to enroll in HOM 496 . These students will work independently, under the supervision of a faculty member, to complete a large-scale project in some aspect of music history or cultures. Students will determine the topic for their Distinction Project in consultation with a thesis advisor, whom they will chose from among the Music History and Cultures faculty (in exceptional cases other faculty may serve in this capacity). The thesis will also be evaluated by a second reader, chosen by the thesis advisor (in consultation with the student) from other faculty in Music History and Cultures or related disciplines. In most cases, the project will take the form of a formal essay approximately 6000 words in length. Alternative types of projects are also possible, provided that they meet with the approval of the Music History and Cultures faculty. Regardless of the topic, the project should constitute original work, serving as a persuasive demonstration of the student’s skills and talents as well as a vivid component of the student’s credentials.

Performance Requirements (8 - 12 credits)

In addition to the course requirements listed above, students in the B. A. in Music History and Cultures program are required to complete at least four semesters of individual studio lessons. Students are also required to participate in a Syracuse University performing ensemble for at least four semesters. These requirements may be fulfilled at any point in the degree program.

Students may petition to have up to 6 credits of appropriate courses in music history taken outside the department (non-HOM courses) count toward the Music History and Cultures major.