Courses of Study 2014-2015 
    Jun 02, 2023  
Courses of Study 2014-2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


In the College of Arts and Sciences .

Course Offerings 


S. Pond, chair; C. Kim, director of undergraduate studies (332 Lincoln Hall, 607-255–8614); D. Yearsley, director of graduate studies (341 Lincoln Hall, 607-255-9024); C. Appert, X. Bjerken, B. Boettcher, M. Compitello, K. Ernste, A. Groos, J. Haines-Eitzen, R. Harris-Warrick, A. Hicks, R. Isaacs, J. Kellock, C. Kim, A. Madrid, P. Merrill, C. Miller, R. Moseley, J. Pepinsky, J. Peraino, B. Piekut, A. Richards, J. Rowehl, R. Sierra, J. Webster, M. Yampolsky, D. Yearsley. Emeritus: M. Bilson, M. Hatch, J. Hsu, K. Husa, S. Monosoff, R. Palmer, D. Rosen, T. Sokol, M. Stith


Musical Performance and Concerts:

Musical performance is an integral part of Cornell’s cultural life and an essential part of its undergraduate academic programs in music. The department encourages music-making through its offerings in individual instruction and through musical organizations and ensembles that are directed and trained by members of the faculty. Students from all colleges and departments of the university join with music majors in all of these ensembles:

Vocal ensembles
  Chamber Singers
  Glee Club
Instrumental ensembles
  Chamber Music Ensembles
  Chamber Orchestra
  Symphony Orchestra
  Jazz Band
  Jazz Combos
  Chamber Winds
  Wind Symphony
  Gamelan Ensemble
  Steel Band
  Percussion Group
  Music Improvisation Ensemble
  Brazilian Ensemble Dexia Sambar

Information about requirements, rehearsal hours, and conditions for academic credit can be found in the following listings for the Department of Music. Announcements of auditions are posted during registration each fall semester and, where appropriate, each spring semester as well.

The university is also home to many student-run musical organizations not affiliated with the Department of Music, including the Big Red Marching Band and Big Red Pep Band, and several a cappella groups. Information is available directly from each group.

The Department of Music and the Faculty Committee on Music sponsor more than 100 formal and informal concerts each year by Cornell’s ensembles, faculty, and students and by distinguished visiting artists. The great majority of these concerts are free and open to the public. Lectures and concerts are listed at Additional information is available through the events office (607-255-4760).


In addition to its performing, instructional, and concert activities, the department offers numerous courses for nonmajors, many of which carry no prerequisites and presuppose no previous formal training in music. Consult the following course listings, and for further information consult Professor C. Kim, director of undergraduate studies (607-255-8614), or the department office, 101 Lincoln Hall (607-255-4097).

The Minor:

For those non-majors across the university whose involvement with the music department forms an essential aspect of their undergraduate study, the undergraduate minor in Music gives both formal recognition and structural coherence to their musical studies. The Music minor is designed to provide for breadth by requiring involvement in each of the three principal subdisciplines (music theory, music history, and musical performance), while at the same time permitting enough flexibility that each student can emphasize the area or areas that interest him or her most.

The following courses are required to fulfill the undergraduate minor in Music:

2. One course in music history and culture:

One course in music history and culture drawn from courses listed in Courses of Study as Music in History and Culture (3 credits) and those listed as Music History Courses for Majors and Qualified Non-Majors (3–4 credits).

3. Four credits in performance:

Four credits in performance drawn from those courses listed as Musical Instruction (i.e., private lessons in voice or another instrument), or Musical Organizations and Ensembles, or both. Since these are 1- and 2-credit courses, students may achieve their total of 4 credits in various ways: two semesters of 2-credit lessons, four semesters of 1-credit ensembles, or a combination of the two.

4. In addition:

In addition to these 10–13 credits an additional 8 credits of elective courses from any Music subdiscipline, including Electroacoustic Music, of which at least 3 credits must be in a classroom (not performance) course.

The Major:

The major carries the study of music to an advanced level through the integration of performance, music theory, and music history. It is designed to accommodate both students who are oriented toward eventual graduate or professional work in music and those who wish to take a more general approach, often in conjunction with a major in another department.

Students contemplating a major in music should arrange for placement examinations and advising in the department as early as possible, preferably during the freshman orientation period. Information is available from the director of undergraduate studies. Prerequisites for admission to the major are completion of MUSIC 2102  and MUSIC 2104 , preferably by the end of the freshman year, with an overall grade of B– or better in each course. In consultation with the director of undergraduate studies, students are expected to have chosen an advisor from among the department faculty before acceptance into the major; admission to the major is decided by the faculty as a whole. Students majoring in music then design their course of study with their advisor.

Music majors must complete the Core Curriculum plus at least two electives. The electives allow students to focus in specific areas, such as composition, performance, jazz studies, vernacular music, Western art music, or Asian music. Students may, however, choose electives that reflect a more broadly based study. Those intending to pursue graduate study or professional work in music are advised to take further courses in addition to the two required electives.

The Core Curriculum consists of courses:

3. In performance:

four semesters of participation in a musical organization or ensemble sponsored by the department of music. (These music courses are numbered 3602 through 3634 and 4601 through 4651.)

Electives: at least 8 credits from the following:

1. In music theory:

courses among the theory listings above MUSIC 3104

Additional Information:

Honors. The honors program in music is intended to provide special distinction for the department’s ablest undergraduate majors. Qualified students are invited to become candidates by the faculty in the second semester of their junior year. As soon as possible thereafter, the student forms a committee of three or more faculty members to guide and evaluate the honors work. In their senior year, candidates enroll in MUSIC 4911 MUSIC 4912  with the chair of the honors committee as instructor. Candidates are encouraged to formulate programs that allow them to demonstrate their musical and scholarly abilities, culminating in an honors thesis, composition, or recital, to be presented not later than April 1 of the senior year. An oral examination on the honors project will be administered by the candidate’s committee not later than April 20. The level of honors conferred is based primarily on the candidate’s performance in the honors program, and secondarily on the candidate’s overall record in departmental courses and activities.

Computing in the Arts Undergraduate Minor:

A minor in Computing in the Arts with an emphasis on music is available both to music majors and to students majoring in other subjects. For more information, please consult, or contact the director, Professor Graeme Bailey.

Distribution Requirement:

College of Arts and Sciences students may apply either one or two music department courses toward the distribution requirement in Literature and the Arts (LA) or Cultural Analysis (CA), as noted. Neither first-year seminars nor advanced placement credit count toward this requirement.

If one music course is counted for distribution, it must carry at least 3 credits, and it may not be in musical performance (MUSIC 3501 , MUSIC 3502 , or MUSIC 4501 ) or in organizations and ensembles (Music courses numbered 3602 through 3634 and 4601 through 4651). Any two of the 2-credit courses MUSIC 3112 , MUSIC 3113 , MUSIC 3115  count as one course for this purpose.

If two music courses are counted for distribution in LA, they must total at least 6 credits, and at least one of the courses must be academic (as described in the preceding paragraph), not performance-oriented. The second “course,” however, may comprise either up to 4 credits earned in performance (MUSIC 3501 , MUSIC 3502 , or MUSIC 4501 ) or up to 4 credits earned in organizations and ensembles (Music courses numbered 3602 through 3634 and 4601 through 4651), but not both.


Music Library. The Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance in Lincoln Hall has an excellent collection containing periodicals, books, scores, parts, sound and video recordings, microforms, rare materials, and electronic resources. Its depth and breadth serve the needs of a wide variety of users on the campus and its listening and video viewing facilities are open to all members of the Cornell community.

Concert Halls. The Department of Music sponsors more than 100 concerts annually. Cornell’s principal concert halls are Bailey Hall Auditorium (about 1,400 seats), Sage Chapel (about 800), and Barnes Hall Auditorium (about 280).

Rehearsal Spaces and Practice Rooms. Departmental ensembles rehearse primarily in Lincoln Hall, Barnes Hall, and Sage Chapel. Twenty-six studios in Lincoln Hall are available for individual practice by pianists, vocalists, and instrumentalists who are members of the Cornell community. Of these, seven have grand pianos, six have upright pianos, and two have percussion instruments.

For information about access to the practice rooms, see or contact the department office.

Instruments. Six concert grand pianos are available for performances in the various concert halls, plus several historical keyboard instruments, including fortepianos, harpsichords, and clavichords. Four distinctive organs are available to qualified individuals for lessons and practice. In addition, the music department owns a limited number of string, wind, and percussion instruments that may be rented by members of the department’s ensembles.

Cornell Electroacoustic Music Center (CEMC). The Cornell Electroacoustic Music Center comprises four project studios, a 14-workstation teaching lab in the Music Library, and a primary multichannel studio. Several live performance and recording rigs are also available, from hand-held to solid state. A combination of commercial and open-source software solutions service an array of student and faculty interests, including sound manipulation and sound spatialization, live performance, multimedia, intelligent music systems (adaptive and algorithmic composition), music notation, sound art and experimentation, and high-resolution recording. The center operates its own web server with space for web hosting, data backup, and remote login. CEMC’s facilities are state-of-the-art and can accommodate almost any creative inclination.