Aug 26, 2019  
Course Catalog 2008-2009 
Course Catalog 2008-2009 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bachelor of Music: Music Theory

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The Music Theory major is offered only as part of a double major, i.e., together with another major in Performance, Composition, Technology in Music and Related Arts, Music Education, Music History, or Jazz Studies.

Students intending to pursue a Music Theory major must have a GPA of at least 3.5 in Music Theory and Aural Skills courses below the 300 level.

No Music Theory course with a grade lower than B– may be counted toward the requirements for the major.

The student’s work will be reviewed formally near the end of the sophomore year to determine whether or not progress toward the attainment of Junior Major Status warrants continuation in the major.

Major Status

Sophomore Major Status is attained upon completion of:
MUTH 231 (Music Theory III)
MUTH 201 (Aural Skills III)
Declaration of intent to pursue the Music Theory major

Junior Major Status is attained upon completion of:
MUTH 232 (Music Theory IV)
MUTH 202 (Aural Skills IV)
Three credit hours of upper-division Music Theory

Senior Major Status is attained upon completion of nine additional credit hours in upper-division Music Theory courses (a total of twelve).

Expository Writing Proficiency

Students with an SAT verbal score below 580 or an ACT score below 24, or a TOEFL score below 600 must complete one course chosen from RHET 101 or 102.

Music Theory and Aural Skills Requirement

Students are expected to register for Music Theory and Aural Skills courses each semester until they have completed the requirements. Part or all of these requirements may be waived by placement examination when the student enters Oberlin. Please note that Theory majors are required to complete Aural Skills V (MUTH 301) as part of their theory sequence.

Music Theory I-IV and Aural Skills I-IV must be taken concurrently, e.g., a student will register for Music Theory I (MUTH 130 or 131) and Aural Skills I in the same semester. Under certain circumstances, with the permission of the the Music Theory division director, students will be allowed to take Aural Skills IV and Music Theory IV separately. A student’s aural skills requirement must be completed before the senior recital can be scheduled. Double-degree students will resolve any conflicts with these expectations in consultation with their advisors.


A student should select electives based on the following: a minimum of 76 hours of Conservatory coursework is required; a minimum of 24 hours of liberal arts is required.

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