Music

RWU’s unique and intimate Music program layers the exploration of world cultures on top of a solid foundation in theory, history and composition. All Music students take private lessons, perform with an ensemble and specialize in either technology or culture. With opportunities to take additional coursework in professional fields like business, communication or computer science, you’ll be prepared for a wide range of music careers.

The Music major at Roger Williams University offers a solid foundation in music theory and the principle musical styles in western culture, as well as an introduction to the music of various world cultures. Students study the elements of music and explore their application in various compositional formats. They have the opportunity to study the evolution of popular music as well as the classical forms that have characterized and helped define western culture. A unique aspect of RWU’s Music major that reflects the mission of the University is the exploration of world cultures through music. These courses will focus not only on the music of various world cultures, but also on the ways in which music is a reflection of these cultures.

The Music Major offers two tracks for students to choose from. The “Music & Culture” track highlights performance and world culture through music, and the “Music & Technology” track explores 21st century developments in music, as influenced by new electronic and computer technologies.

Performing Ensembles
While enrolled at RWU, Music majors will study voice or instrument in private lessons and perform with one of the department’s ensembles. Both the Instrumental Ensemble and the Chorus are conducted by members of the Music faculty. The RWU Chorus performs a varied repertoire of classical choral works along with musical theater and popular styles. Both ensembles perform at the end of each semester in the RWU Performing Arts Center.

Preparing for a Career
Students in the Music major are encouraged to take advantage of other unique opportunities offered at Roger Williams University, with its strong professional schools that complement the liberal arts curriculum. By adding a minor in Business, Communication or Computer Science, students can prepare themselves for many new opportunities in the field of music beyond the traditional spheres of performance and composition.

The Music Major

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The Music Major at Roger Williams University offers a solid foundation in music theory, the principle musical styles in western culture, and provides an introduction to the music of various world cultures. This degree program leads to a Bachelor of Arts in Music.
Students study the elements of music and explore their application in various compositional formats. They consider the evolution of popular music styles as well as the classical forms that have characterized and helped define western culture. The Roger Williams University Music Major offers two unique tracks that reflect the mission of the University. The “Music & Culture” track highlights performance and world culture through music, and the “Music & Technology” track explores 21st century developments in music, as influenced by new electronic and computer technologies.
The Music Major and Minor also include an Applied Music component, requiring private instrument, voice, and/or composition lessons, as well as participation in one of Music’s for-credit ensembles. Although there is a lab fee for the private lessons, it is waived for students pursuing a Major or Minor in Music, as long as they remain in good standing. Eligibility for the fee waiver will be determined each semester by the Music faculty, and will depend on the student’s progress, as measured by their end-of-semester lesson juries and their successful and timely completion of required Music courses for the Major or Minor.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Music must satisfy University Core Curriculum requirements and the College speech requirement, COMM 210. Music majors will be required to pass Music 170 Basic Musicianship with a C or better or, upon entrance to the program, demonstrate their knowledge in the basics of music theory through written and oral examination. In addition, all majors must complete the Foundation Requirement (24 credits) and the additional credits in either Track 1: Music and Culture (19 additional credits, 43 total) or Track 2: Music and Technology (20 additional credits, 44 total).

Foundation Requirements (24 credits, required of all majors):

Western Music Tradition (3 credits)

MUSIC211Evolution of Musical Style 

Music Theory (12 credits all required)

(These courses lay the foundation in theory and basic skills for the study of Western Music. Music 170 Basic Musicianship or test-out is required before a student can enroll in Music 270.)
MUSIC270Musical Theory and Composition I 
MUSIC271Aural Skills I (1 credit, co-requisite with MUSIC 270) 
MUSIC370Musical Theory and Composition II 
MUSIC371Aural Skills II (1 credit, co-requisite with MUSIC 370) 
MUSIC470Musical Theory and Composition III 
MUSIC471Aural Skills III (1 credit, co-requisite with MUSIC 470) 

World Culture Through Music Series (6 credits)

Select two (2) of the following courses:

MUSIC310Music in the USA
MUSIC311Music of Latin America and the Caribbean
MUSIC312Music of China & Japan
MUSIC313Music of India & Middle East
MUSIC314Music of Indigenous Peoples

Final Project (3 credits)

The Final Project must be approved by Music faculty. Select one of the following courses:

MUSIC480Thesis, Composition, or Recital 
MUSIC460Internship 

Track #1 – Music and Culture (19 additional credits)

Building on the Foundation courses, the Music and Culture track explores the role of music in the world today through performance and study of music history.

Music and Culture Requirements

Western Music Tradition (3 credits)

MUSIC212Great Personalities in Music 

World Culture Through Music Series (3 credits)

One (1) course from the WCTM series (Music 310-314), taken in addition to the two required for the Music Foundation.

Music Elective (3 credits)

One additional 3-credit music course, 200-level or above. May not be fulfilled by Applied Music or Ensemble credits.

Applied Music Requirement

Note: Applied Music courses are each one credit and may be repeated for required totals.

Ensemble requirement (take 4 credits from the following)

MUSIC141Chorus 
MUSIC151Instrumental Ensemble 

Music Lesson requirement: (take 6 credits)

Students must take at least one (1) semester of piano lessons and at least four (4) semesters in their primary instrument, or voice or composition; the final one (1) credit may be in any area.
MUSIC231Piano 
MUSIC232Guitar 
MUSIC233Voice 
MUSIC234Composition 

Track #2 – Music and Technology (20 additional credits)

Music and Technology Requirements

Western Music Tradition (3 credits)

MUSIC213Music of the 20th Century and Beyond 

Music Technology (9 credits)

MUSIC220Intro to Music and Computers 
MUSIC320Electronic & Computer Music I 
MUSIC420Electronic & Computer Music II 

Music Elective (3 credits)

One additional 3-credit music course at the 200-level or above; may not be fulfilled by one-credit Applied Music or Ensemble courses.

Applied Music Requirement

Note: Applied Music courses are each one credit and may be repeated for required totals.

Ensemble requirement (2 credits)

MUSIC152Digital Music Ensemble 

Music Lesson requirement: (3 credits)

Students must take at least one (1) semester of piano lessons and at least 2 semesters in their primary instrument, or voice or composition.
MUSIC231Piano Lessons 
MUSIC232Guitar Lessons 
MUSIC233Voice Lessons 
MUSIC234Music Composition Lessons 
MUSIC239Other Instrument Lessons 

The Music Minor

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MUSIC161The Art of Rock and Roll 
MUSIC170Basic Musicianship 
MUSIC211Evolution of Musical Style 
MUSIC212Great Personalities in Music 

And one of the following:

MUSIC261Jazz Styles and History 
MUSIC270*Musical Theory and Composition I 
MUSIC271*Aural Skills I 
MUSIC299Special Topics in Music 
MUSIC310Music in the USA
MUSIC311Music of Latin America & the Caribbean
MUSIC312Music of China & Japan
MUSIC313Music of India & Middle East
MUSIC314Music of Indigenous Peoples

* Note MUSIC 270 and MUSIC 271 must be taken together.

And 3 credits from the following:

MUSIC141Chorus 
MUSIC151Instrumental Ensemble 
MUSIC231Piano Lessons 
MUSIC232Guitar Lessons 
MUSIC233Voice Lessons 

Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to demonstrating the University-wide core values and achieving the University-wide learning outcomes, students in the music program at Roger Williams University will be able to:

  • employ well-developed critical and analytical listening skills.
  • define the fundamental elements of music.
  • utilize fundamental knowledge of music theory and notation to compose original music.
  • read rhythmic notation accurately and display well-developed aural skills.
  • demonstrate basic keyboard skills.
  • function effectively in an ensemble context and contribute constructively to group performances.
  • describe how the elements of music define musical styles, both orally and in writing.
  • describe the stylistic changes in Western music that have occurred over the past seven centuries, both orally and in writing.
  • identify social and cultural forces that have affected the creation and role of music in American and other cultures.
  • describe the place of music in American life and in the lives of people from cultures around the world.
  • understand and appreciate the diversity of musical styles from cultures around the world in acknowledgement of the ongoing globalization of the arts.
  • recognize how music from various cultures both utilizes common elements and displays unique stylistic characteristics.
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