Music Curriculum

Requirements for an AOC in Music include basic musicianship as well as developing informed approaches to music and sound.



Area of Concentration Requirements

An Area of Concentration in Music normally includes the following requirements:

  • Music Theory I & II. These two courses provide students a foundation in diatonic (Music Theory I) and chromatic (Music Theory II) harmony (Two Units).
  • Writing and Information Literacy: An introductory-level and intermediate-level writing-enhanced course (WEC) in music (Two Units).
  • Theory/History/Ethnomusicology/Composition music electives (including tutorials): Six to eight activities chosen in consultation with the advisor reflecting the student’s learning goals, including electronic music and production.
  • Keyboard Skills–ability to improvise harmony and sight read at a basic level. These skills can be acquired through enrollment in Keyboard Skills. Substitution of guitar or other harmony-based instrument possible with the approval of the faculty in music (one half unit to four units).

Highly Recommended courses and activities:
Secondary discipline: At least two courses or tutorials from a perspective outside of music that have implications for the study of music. These two courses could focus on anthropology (e. g. Anthropology of Performance, Ethnography), sociology (e.g. Sociology of the Arts), history, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, political science, English,gender studies, environmental studies, biology, or any other discipline or area in which music as a subject may be considered. For advice in regard to your interests consult a faculty member in music.

Performance activities: while participation in music activities is not required, it is recommended for all the ways it might inspire new paths in experiencing sound and performance.

Private lessons: Private lessons are not required but support a student’s growth in musicianship.

Joint Disciplinary AOC Requirements

Students at New College may combine their study of music with another discipline in what is often referred to as a combined area of concentration, or a “slash” AOC. A combined area of concentration including Music (a “slash” in Music), minimally requires the following coursework, as well as music as a component of the senior thesis and a faculty member in music serving on the baccalaureate committee:

  1. Music Theory I
  2. An introductory-level and intermediate-level writing-enhanced course (WEC).
  3. At least three additional music courses (Theory/History/Ethno/Composition) of the student’s choice

Performance activities are highly recommended.

SAMPLE PATHWAYS to complete AOC Requirements

New College students must satisfy both the requirements of the Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC), New College’s general education program, and the specific requirements for the Area of Concentration (AOC). With so many opportunities each term, the pathway below is provided as an example of how a student could complete the requirements for graduation. We’ve put some checkpoints in place so that you make the most of your time at New College. Each term you’ll meet with a faculty advisor to discuss courses, tutorials, internships, or other academic experiences. Schedule a meeting with your faculty advisor to discuss which courses satisfy the LAC and which satisfy the AOC. Each student completes a Provisional AOC Plan in the fifth contract to select an AOC, and each student submits a Thesis Prospectus/AOC Form in the sixth contract.

A Sample Four-Year Pathway for Music

YearFall Term January / ISPSpring Term
Year 1Music Theory I (LAC no. 1)ISP 1Music Theory II
Music and the Environment (LAC Course no. 2, First-Year Writing Seminar, Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 1)Opera, Ballet, and the Supernatural (LAC Course no. 4; Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 2)
Elementary Language IElementary Language II
Performance (New College Chorus, Chamber Music, etc. Full term for mod credit)Electronic Music I (LAC Course no. 5; Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 3)
Optional: Nat Sci or Social Sci LAC (no. 3)Performance (no credit or full term for mod credit)
Year 2Electronic Music II (Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 4)ISP 2Romantic Music (Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 6)
Nat Sci or Social Sci LAC (no. 6)Music and Modernism (Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 7)
Intermediate Language I (LAC no. 7)LAC no. 8
Popular Musics of the Caribbean (LAC no. 8, Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 5)Elective
Performance (no credit or full term for mod credit)
Year 3Tutorial: Counterpoint (Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 8)ISP 3Tutorial: Film Music (Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 10)
Consonance and Dissonance (Intermediate Writing Course in Music, Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 9Novella (Spanish Lit)
Keyboard Skills (full term for mod credit)Performance
Keyboard Skills (full term for mod credit)
Year 4Tutorial: Thesis

A Sample Two-Year Pathway for Music

YearFall Term January / ISPSpring Term
Year 3Music Theory IISP 2Music Theory II
Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 1Theory/History/Ethno/Comp no. 2
First-year writing in Music seminar (e.g. Music and the Environment)Elementary Language II
Elementary Language ITheory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 3 (e.g. Electronic Music I)
New College Chorus or Chamber Music (full term for mod credit)New College Chorus or Chamber Music (full term for mod credit)
Keyboard Skills (full term for mod credit)
Year 4Tutorial: ThesisISP 3Tutorial: Music Composition
Music History/Theory/Ethno Elective no. 4 (e. g. Electronic Music II, Romantic Music, Popular Music of the Caribbean)Tutorial: Thesis
Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 5 (e. g. Electronic Music II, Romantic Music, Popular Music of the Caribbean)Theory/History/Ethno/Comp Elective no. 6 (e.g. Opera, Ballet, and the Supernatural or Sound Design for Theater)
Intermediate Language I
Keyboard Skills (full term for mod credit)