Jul 25, 2024  
2013-14 Undergraduate Catalog 
2013-14 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Arts and Sciences

View Programs and Courses 

View Music Flowsheet 


Associate Professor Mary-Jo Grenfell, Chairperson

Professors: Dirk M. Hillyer, Gary Wood

Associate Professors: Mark L. Aldrich, Peter Kvetko, Philip Swanson

Faculty Emeriti

Professors: Antone J. Aquino, Nancy Bodenstein

Associate Professors: John A. Finnegan, Vincent N. Giannini, Margo Simon

Assistant Professor: Elizabeth A. Gillette

Programs Offered

Bachelor of Arts in Music 

Music Minor 

Music Technology Minor 

Department Mission

The Music Department provides an innovative curriculum serving the University’s liberal arts emphasis. With the student as our focus, the Department provides a solid musical foundation and creates an educational environment that fosters critical thinking, scholarship, and artistic creativity.

The Bachelor of Arts in Music

The Bachelor of Arts in Music Degree provides students with a solid musical foundation in the areas of music theory, music history, music technology, and solo and ensemble performance studies. This major offers a well-balanced, multi-faceted, and highly integrated degree program, which fulfills the true spirit and mission of the liberal arts.
First-semester and final-year Seminars in Music provide “bookend” support, creating a first-year experience that lays out the foundations of music study for the ensuing four years and a capstone course that synthesizes and integrates that four-year learning.

Studies in music theory and music history provide an understanding of Western European art music with regard to musical styles and compositional genres. Students will also explore music from around the world, developing an appreciation for the complexity, richness and diversity of individuals and groups.

Music performance is emphasized, as nearly one-fourth of the Music Major curriculum is comprised of requirements in ensemble participation and applied music study.

Technology courses in music will foster an understanding of how technology serves the field of music as a whole.

The study of music will help students develop the ability to hear, identify, and work conceptually with the elements of music. The music curriculum is designed to foster an understanding of compositional processes, an aesthetic sense, and the ways these shape and are shaped by artistic and cultural forces. Students in the program will develop the ability to make and defend musical judgments.

Students will acquire the tools necessary to work with a varied repertory, including music from various cultures of the world and music of their own time. Students will also understand basic interrelationships and interdependencies among the various professions and activities that constitute the music industry.

A successful audition is required for acceptance into the music major degree program.

The Music Major Curriculum

The Bachelor of Arts in Music requires a minimum of 120 semester credit hours. These credits include the Music Major curriculum, courses in the core curriculum, a minor consisting of 15-18 credit hours in a distinct subject, and foreign language study. Specific distribution choices are mandated in the core curriculum. Piano Proficiency must also be demonstrated before receiving the degree.                        

Music Major Core:

MUS 111N - Seminar I for Music Majors , 2 cr.
MUS 132N - Music Theory I , 3 cr.
MUS 232N - Music Theory II , 3 cr.
MUS 233 - Ear Training I , 1 cr.
MUS 270N - Music Literature to 1780 , 3 cr.
MUS 271 - Music Literature 1780 to 1914 ,  3 cr.
MUS 310P - Computers and Music , 3 cr.
MUS 332 - Music Theory III , 3 cr.
MUS 333 - Ear Training II , 1 cr.
MUS 370 - Music Literature After World War I , 3 cr.
MUS 432 - Music Theory IV , 3 cr.
MUS 470 - Music and Culture , 3 cr.
MUS 511N - Seminar for Music Majors II , 2 cr.
Performance Ensembles, 6 cr.
Applied Music Study, 4 cr.

Required Support Courses as Distribution Elective (Humanities Division I)

PHL 308N - Philosophy of Art , 3 cr.

Required Laboratory Sequence

PHS 101A - Physical Science I ,  4 cr.
PHS 107 - The Physics of Music and Voice , 4 cr.

Performance Ensembles

 , 1 cr.
 , 1 cr.
MUS 150 - Concert Band  (by audition only), 1 cr.
MUS 154 - Foundations Jazz Ensemble , 1 cr.
MUS 156 - Jazz Band , 1 cr.
MUS 160 - University Chorus , 1 cr.
MUS 165 - Chamber Singers  (by audition only), 1 cr.
MUS 170 - Women’s Chorale ,  1 cr.
 , 1 cr.
 , 1 cr.
 , 1 cr.
 , 1 cr.
 , 1 cr.
 , 1 cr. 

Applied Music Study

The Department of Music offers private instruction to all students. Areas of study include voice, piano, woodwind, brass, strings, guitar, percussion instruments, including certain world music instruments, and composition. Music majors are required to earn a minimum of four credits in applied music and at least four credits must be taken in the same applied area. Music majors are encouraged to earn up to eight credits in one applied area.

Music majors begin their studies in Applied Music I. The levels of study represent progress expected through continued work in Applied Music. Most students will study for at least two semesters at each level. Permission to proceed to the next level will be granted at jury evaluations and upon recommendation of the applied instructor once each year. Applied music juries are conducted each semester and all music majors who are studying applied music within that semester are required to perform for juries. Individual applied music instructors may require recitals. 500 level applied lessons are reserved for those students who are approved to perform a full recital.


Other non-music majors wishing to take applied lessons may do so through the Division of Continuing Education. There are no jury or recital requirements for applied music through the Division of Continuing Education.

Piano Proficiency

The Music Department asserts that Piano Proficiency is important to the overall musical competency of music majors and therefore requires that all music majors, regardless of their area of interest, successfully pass the Piano Proficiency Examination before receiving their diploma. Students may prepare for this exam in one of two ways: 1) on their own if they wish; 2) by taking the Piano Proficiency class offered each semester. Successful completion of this course does not waive the required Piano Proficiency Exam.

Music Minor

A music minor is available to all non-music majors who are interested in pursuing the study of music beyond high school. Music minor students will have a chance to broaden their musical understanding and performance abilities in both the Western European Classical tradition and World Music. Music Minors take courses in music theory, history, and literature, develop musical skills in voice, piano, guitar, or other instruments, and perform as part of a departmental ensemble. Entrance to the minor does not require an audition. Applied lessons for music minors are available through the Music Department for a fee.

Music Technology Minor

The Music Department offers a Music Technology Minor that is designed to develop audio engineering, synthesis and programming skills. A variety of courses have been designed to help students understand the modern studio environment as well as standard recording techniques and the fundamentals of audio engineering. Students will utilize the latest in digital audio, synthesis, and programming software in the Music Department recording studio and electronic music.

Transfer Credit Evaluations

Students who transfer to Salem State University may transfer credits toward the Music major or Music minor. The Music Department Chairperson will determine the extent of eligible transfer credits in conjunction with the Registrar’s Office.

Admission Policy/Procedures for Music Majors

All prospective music majors must audition to be considered for entrance into the B.A. music degree program. An in-person audition is strongly recommended, and will be recorded by the Music Department. Any alternative audition arrangement will be the exception, and must first be approved by the Music Department Chairperson. The alternative audition will require a DVD of solo music performance and an application letter that details the applicant’s music background and experience: this will be followed up by a telephone interview with a Music Department faculty member.

The requirements of the audition are as follows:

  1. The applicant will perform two musical selections of contrasting style that display technical proficiency and musicality.
  2. The applicant will be asked to perform scales and sight-read.
  3. The applicant will be required to complete a music theory placement exam.
  4. A brief personal interview will be conducted.

All applicants will receive written notification of their rating. A successful audition will demonstrate the applicant’s capacity for college music study. A successful audition does not guarantee admission to Salem State University: the University’s admission requirements must be satisfied.

Music applicants will be rated as approved, provisional, or not approved. Pending successful admission to the University, approved applicants are eligible to become music majors. Those who are deemed provisional are eligible to become music majors and will be required to complete a successful second audition during the second semester of study. Applicants who are not approved may take applied lessons at their own expense, and may take a second audition in the next semester if they so choose.

Applicants to the program may audition up to two times. Provisional and Not Approved applicants may take a second audition in the next semester. A final decision on acceptance is made at that second audition. This entire audition process will apply to all new students, external transfers, and internal transfers.

At the beginning of each academic year, the Music Department will announce and publicize the schedule of audition dates. There will be a minimum of two audition dates per Fall and Spring semesters. Some circumstances may require external transfer students to make special arrangements for an audition date and time, and this will be scheduled with the Music Department Chairperson on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants will be encouraged to reserve an audition time at least two weeks prior to their desired audition date. Applicants will call the Music Department Office 978.542.6296 to schedule an audition appointment.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Arts and Sciences