Jun 25, 2024  
Course Catalog 2020-2021 
Course Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Musical Studies Major

The major consists of a minimum of 11 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.

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The Musical Studies major is designed for Arts and Sciences students with serious preparation for and interest in the study of music within a liberal arts context. The major emphasizes critical thinking, writing, and communications skills grounded in practical musical experience. Students in the major build musical foundations in applied study, musicianship skills, and music history, and continue more advanced work in the major with a selection of courses chosen to contextualize their consideration of music. Students interested in pursuing graduate work in music are advised to take additional courses beyond the minimum major requirements and to pursue the honors program.

Note: Students interested in intensive pre-professional training are advised to apply for the Bachelor of Music program in the Conservatory.


Students may apply for the honors program in the second semester of the junior year. Entry to the honors program is contingent on approval of the honors proposal by both the student’s advisor and the Musical Studies Committee. Detailed application information is available from the Chairs of the Musical Studies Committee.

Students admitted to the honors program must enroll in CMUS 400  / CMUS 401   (Senior Honors). This does not waive the requirement for a 400-level proseminar or any other requirements of the major.

Musical Studies Course Lists


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Qualified students in the College of Arts and Sciences may be accepted for membership in Arts & Sciences Orchestra, Musical Union, Oberlin College Choir, Oberlin College Women’s Chorale, Oberlin Orchestra, Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, Oberlin Sinfonietta, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Collegium Musicum, Javanese Gamelan, Performance & Improvisation Ensembles, Oberlin Jazz Ensemble, Opera Theater, and various other ensembles under the direction of members of the Conservatory faculty. Ensembles are offered for two credits/Half Academic Course per semester and may be repeated for credit. For further details consult the Conservatory of Music section of this catalog.

Musical Studies Electives

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Students can take elective courses in Ethnomusicology and Music History, as well as the areas listed below.