The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts Academic Requirements

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

Residence Requirements

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree and the Certificate of Fine Arts programs in The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts require a minimum of 8. 0 semesters of enrollment, while the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts programs require a minimum of 4.0 semesters of enrollment. BFA and MFA degree and Certificate programs require at least 2.0 semesters of full-time residence at CalArts. For all programs, the final 1.0 semester of course enrollment before graduation must be in residence at CalArts, although this requirement may be satisfied by completing consecutive semesters of part-time enrollment at CalArts that total 1.0 semester of residence and culminate in graduation. The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) program in The Herb Alpert School of Music requires a minimum of 3 years of full-time residence. (See also Institute residency policies.)

Entrance Requirements and Prerequisites
Music Theory and Musicianship Skills Placement Exams

All entering BFA, Certificate of Fine Arts, MFA, and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts students (with the exception of DMA students) are required to take the Music Theory and Musicianship Skills Placement Exams. These placement exams may be taken only once.

Undergraduate Students

CalArts does not accept transfer credit towards its Core Music Theory or Musicianship Skills requirements. Based on the results of the placement exams, each undergraduate student will be placed at a corresponding level in the CORE CURRICULUM. If an undergraduate student lacks sufficient background to begin the CORE CURRICULUM sequence, they may be required to take an additional course, Fundamental Musicianship (MTHY001). This course offers training in skills and musical knowledge considered to be essential preparation for serious undergraduate study in music at CalArts. If required, Fundamental Musicianship must be completed by the end of the first year in residence. Failure to pass Fundamental Musicianship within the first year may result in dismissal from the School of Music. 

Graduate Students

Applicants to the MFA program will be required to have attained a BM, BFA, BA or equivalent in a relevant field before admittance, or to have a Bachelor's degree in an alternate subject along with skills and knowledge that are appropriate to enter a Master's degree program in a music-related field.

For MFA and Advanced Certificate students, placement exam results may indicate either that a student's prior training and current skill levels are already appropriate for graduate study or that supplemental courses will be required in addition to the normal graduate curriculum.

As an admission requirement, DMA students must enter their degree program with music theory and musicianship skills assessed by faculty to be appropriate for their intended doctoral-level work and teaching assignments, as demonstrated by portfolio review, interview and teaching demonstration.

Equivalency of Preparation (Graduate Students only)

Entering graduate students are expected to have had prior study that would be appropriate for their declared Specialization at CalArts. By the end of the student's first semester in their program, their undergraduate transcript will be evaluated to ascertain the amount and level of prior study. Students who lack sufficient background as judged by faculty will be required to take additional remedial coursework at CalArts.

Information regarding any additional prerequisites for graduate study in individual programs may be found under the course requirements for each program.

Back to top

General Curriculum Requirements

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Certificate of Fine Arts

See Institute Degree and Certificate Requirements for BFA and Certificate.

Students must satisfactorily complete the program of studies formulated each semester by the mentor and student, which includes requirements specified in the "Specialization Descriptions" section of this Catalog.

Students must attend and have both Mid-Residence and Graduation Reviews officially documented. During these reviews, the student's course history is examined, progress is assessed, problems are discussed and changes to the curriculum are considered. Mentors and deans must officially approve any changes to the student's curriculum requirements.

Back to top

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts

All MFA degree candidates must complete a minimum of 60 units.

Students must satisfactorily complete the program of studies formulated each semester by the mentor and student, which includes requirements specified in the "Specialization Descriptions" section of this Catalog.

Students must attend and have both Mid-Residence and Graduation Reviews officially documented. During these reviews, the student's course history is examined, progress is assessed, problems are discussed and changes to the curriculum are considered. Mentors and deans must officially approve any changes to the student's curriculum requirements.

​​ Back to top

Doctor of Musical Arts

All DMA degree candidates must complete a minimum of 60 units.

Students must satisfactorily complete the program of studies formulated each semester by the student and their Mentor, as well as all requirements specified in the "Doctor of Musical Arts Program Description" section of this catalog. Any changes to the student's curriculum requirements must be officially approved by their Doctoral Examining Committee and the Herb Alpert School of Music's Doctoral Policy Committee. 

Back to top

Center for Integrated Media

See Center for Integrated Media curriculum.

Back to top

Bachelor of Fine Arts and Certificate of Fine Arts General Requirements

When students enter the BFA Program in Music, they are regarded as holistic "Music Artists." As each student gains experience with the spectrum of curriculum offerings available, always in regular consultation with a mentor, they naturally develop particular concentrations of study that best suit their artistic and professional goals.

The BFA Program in Music contains the following métier components: 1) a Core Curriculum required for all students, 2) a variety of Specialization curricula with required courses, 3) prerequisites intended to prepare students for particular Specializations, and 4) BFA 3-4 Music requirements for students who do not proceed with a Specialization curriculum. In addition, a Music Theory Minor and particular Concentrations in Composition are also available for those who wish to pursue them.

When students apply to the BFA Program in Music, they have the option of declaring their intention to concentrate their work in a particular curriculum Specialization, or they may be accepted to enter as Undeclared and allow their Specialization to emerge. Undeclared students may subsequently declare their intention to adopt a Specialization, which must be approved by faculty. However, the declaration to adopt a Specialization curriculum must be made prior to the time of the Mid-Residence Review, which takes place before the third year (BFA-3) of study, normally in the BFA-2-2 semester. To be prepared for this, students must take any necessary prerequisite courses for their Specialization and have a portfolio and performance assessment review approved by faculty. In special cases, it may be possible to declare more than one or a combination of Specializations, and students may also draw coursework from the prerequisites for multiple Specializations. When students complete the requirements of their Specialization(s), appropriate notations are placed on their official transcripts. Students who elect not to declare a Specialization, or who are not approved by faculty to proceed with a Specialization curriculum, will be automatically required to adopt the BFA 3-4 Music curriculum. Upon graduation, those students will receive a BFA in Music without a Specialization curriculum indicated on their transcripts.

Students must maintain close contact with their faculty mentors, who can guide them in selecting courses that will best serve their individual educational and career objectives and prepare them for their intended Specialization(s). Note that all students are required to develop a cumulative portfolio of work each year, which is also reviewed by their mentors and appropriate faculty.

BFA Core Curriculum

All undergraduate music students must take CORE CURRICULUM courses. These courses are intended to foster the development of skills in the essential areas of music cultures and literature, music theory and practice, performance experiences, making original work, new methods and technologies, professional development, and breadth of experience in the arts.

Learning Goals

The undergraduate CORE CURRICULUM cultivates solid understanding and practical facility with respect to basic musical concepts and techniques, preparing students for broad engagement with contemporary musical culture and for advanced work in their areas of individual specialization. The CORE curriculum affords students opportunities to:

  • engage music from diverse historical, cultural and aesthetic contexts,
  • systematically analyze and document in detail the materials and structure of representative musical examples, employing conventional analytical techniques and vocabulary wherever these are useful, and situate such analytical observations within specific historical, cultural and aesthetic contexts,
  • transcribe by ear such basic musical elements as intervals, scales, modal or tonal melodies, tonal chords, tonal harmonic progressions, rhythms, dynamics, and tempi, and comfortably sight read such elements;
  • make original music reflecting their own creative interests, documenting it in an appropriate media,
  • perform within ensemble contexts and gain experience with the particular demands and rewards of performing with other musicians,
  • explore the diverse musical possibilities afforded by evolving technology,
  • develop skills for the professional presentation of their work, and for the planning and pursuit of a career pathway,
  • broaden their perspective and discover collaborative possibilities through the engagement with other artistic métiers.

Back to top

Core Curriculum: Summary Listing of Requirements

The Core Curriculum requirements listed immediately below are required for all undergraduate students. Courses completed to meet Core Curriculum requirements can be used to meet Specialization Requirements if approved by Dean and Mentor in review.

MUSIC CULTURES & LITERATURE

  • MAIC100 Survey of 20th & 21st C. Music
  • MAIC101 World Music Survey

MUSIC THEORY & PRACTICE

  • MPRF103 Class Piano (or other approved keyboard course)
  • MTHY101 Practical Musicianship A
  • MTHY102 Practical Musicianship B
  • MTHY104 Global Rhythm & Notation
  • MTHY111 Tonal Theory & Applications A
  • MTHY112 Tonal Theory & Applications B (not required for the Music Technology Specialization)
  • MTHY210 Non-Tonal Theories

PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCES

  • ONE course chosen from:
    • MTEC100 Intro to Concert Production (in BFA2)
    • MTEC101 Concert Production I
  • MBLExxx TWO World Music Ensemble electives (see listing below)
  • MBLExxx TWO additional ensemble courses

MAKING ORIGINAL WORK

  • TWO courses chosen from
    • MCMP110 Introduction to Composition
    • MCMP309 Words for Music
    • MCMP310 Jazz Composition
    • MCMP314 Jazz Arranging
    • MCMP330-339 Writing for…
    • MCMP342 Composition for Film & Video
    • MCMP465 Composition with Max/MSP
    • MPRF330 TRIG: Electronic Percussion
    • MTEC270 Composing with Technology
    • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis
    • MLSN101 non-required Minor composition lessons

NEW METHODS & TECHNOLOGIES

  • TWO courses chosen from
    • ICOM111 Intro to Sound Production
    • ICOM201 Introduction to Programming I
    • ICOM202 Introduction to Programming II
    • ICOM301 Digital Fabrication
    • IDAR201 Videomaking for Digital Artists
    • MCMP404 Field Recording Workshop
    • MSCM310 Acoustics for Musicians
    • MTEC150 Sound Synthesis
    • MTEC360 Audio Signal Processing
    • MTEC365 Digital Recording Studio

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • MCMP290 Portfolio Review (each Spring Semester, 4 classes)
  • TWO classes chosen from:
    • AAIC323 Practice & Pedagogy: ArtPilot
    • ICOM101 Media & Web Development
    • MAIC403 Pedagogy I: Teaching Artistry
    • MAIC404 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
    • MINTxxx Internship in music
    • MPCD350 Career Designs for Musicians
    • MPCD420 Teaching the Voice
    • Other professional development coursework as approved by mentor

BREADTH IN THE ARTS

  • Wintersession (4 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in in January)
  • TWO elective courses in Art, Dance, Film/Video, Writing or Theater

    Note: MTHY104 (Global Rhythm & Notation) is a prerequisite to MTHY203 (Musicianship Skills: Tonal Forms C).

Back to top

Core Curriculum: Elective Options

The following elective listings are provided for reference.

Vocal Electives

  • MBLE201 Beginning African Ensemble
  • MBLE260 The Balkan Voice
  • MBLE301 Chamber Singers
  • MBLE302 Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
  • MLSN065 Javanese Voice Lesson
  • MPRF221 African Song
  • MTHY130 Bach Chorale Singing
  • MTHY120 Beginning Svar Graam (Vocal) 
  • MTHY322 Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal) 
  • other vocal elective involving pitched singing as approved by mentor

World Music Ensemble Electives

  • MBLE103 Beg. World Percussion Ensemble 
  • MBLE203 Adv. World Percussion Ensemble 
  • MBLE104 Tabla Ensemble
  • MBLE201 Aza Beginning African Ensemble
  • MBLE202 Aza Beginning African Ensemble
  • MBLE205 Azoli Highlife Ensemble
  • MBLE206 Aza Talking Drum Ensemble
  • MBLE210 Beginning Javanese Gamelan
  • MBLE211 Advanced Javanese Gamelan
  • MBLE220 Beginning Balinese Gamelan
  • MBLE221 Advanced Balinese Gamelan
  • MBLE222 Gender Wayang Ensemble
  • MBLE223 Balinese Flute Ensemble
  • MBLE224 Kecak Ensemble
  • MBLE230 North Indian Ensemble
  • MBLE240 Beginning Persian Ensemble
  • MBLE241 Advanced Persian Ensemble
  • MPRF221 African Song
  • MBLE250 African Dance
  • MBLE252 Balinese Dance
  • MBLE254 Javanese Dance (Women)
  • MBLE256 Javanese Dance (Men)
  • MPRF328 Latin Percussion
  • MPRF223 Beginning Shakuhachi Workshop
  • MTHY120 Beginning Svar Graam (Vocal)
  • MTHY121 Beginning Svar Graam (Instrumental)
  • MTHY322 Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
  • MTHY323 Advanced Svar Graam (Instrumental)

Improvisation Electives

  • MBLE450 Sonic Boom Ensemble
  • MBLE460 Golia Large Ensemble
  • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
  • MPRF101 Jazz Improvisation, Group
  • MPRF102 Jazz Improvisation, 1-on-1

Digital Performance Ensembles

  • IIMC350 SoundGameSpace
  • MBLE415 Networked Music Ensemble
  • MCMP415 Choreographers & Composers
  • MTEC418 Data Driven Art & Sound
  • MTEC420 Grids, Beats & Groups
  • MTEC450 Mechatronic Art

Keyboard Skills Alternatives

(may substitute for MLSN003 Class Piano if approved by instructor)

  • MLSN016 Piano: Non–Major Lessons (audition required)
  • MTHY131 Bach Keyboard Pieces
  • MTHY240 Jazz Keyboard Theory

Back to top

Core Curriculum: A Typical Course Sequence Semester-by-Semester

Whichever core courses are required by a student's specialization, there may be some variability as to when they are taken depending on individual placement, experience and development. However, certain strict deadlines do apply (see below).

First Year

First Semester (BFA1-1)

  • MTHY101 Practical Musicianship A
  • MTHY104 Global Rhythm & Notation (MTHY104 is a prerequisite to MTHY203)
  • MTHY111 Tonal Theory & Applications A
  • MAIC100 Survey of 20th & 21st C. Music
  • MLSN003 Class Piano (or alternative as approved by instructor; see list of alternatives above)

Second Semester (BFA1-2)

  • MTHY102 Practical Musicianship B
  • MTHY112 Tonal Theory & Applications B
  • MAIC101 World Music Survey

Second Year

First Semester (BFA2-1)

  • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C (MTHY104 is a prerequisite to MTHY203)
  • MTHY210 Non-Tonal Theories
  • M… World Music Ensemble elective (see the list of ensemble electives above)

Second Semester (BFA2-2)

  • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
  • MTEC100 (or MTEC101 for Music Tech majors) Intro to Concert Production
  • M… World Music Ensemble elective (see the list of ensemble electives above)

Third Year

first SEMESTER (BFA3-1)

  • M… Ensemble elective
  • course in Making Original Work (see course listing above)
  • course in New Methods & Technologies (see course listing above)
SECOND SEMESTER (BFA3-2)
  • M… Ensemble elective
  • course in Making Original Work (see course listing above)
  • course in New Methods & Technologies (see course listing above)

Fourth Year

FIRST SEMESTER (BFA4-1)

  • course in Professional Development (see course listing above)
  • course outside the School of Music (not taught by music faculty)

SECOND SEMESTER (BFA4-2)

  • course in Professional Development (see course listing above)
  • course outside the School of Music (not taught by music faculty)
All CORE CURRICULUM requirements should have been completed by the end of BFA3.

    Back to top

    Music Theory and Skills Deadlines (DO’s and DON’Ts)

    DO finish core requirements on time

    • MTHY001 (Fundamental Musicianship), if required, must be completed by the end of the 1st year of residence in order to maintain eligibility to continue as a student in The Herb Alpert School of Music.
    • MTHY111 & MTHY112 (Tonal Theory & Applications A & B), MTHY101 & B (Practical Musicianship A & B), and MTHY104 (Global Rhythm & Notation) must all be completed by the end of the 2nd year in residence, if required.
    • MTHY210 (Non-Tonal Theories) and MTHY203 & MTHY204 (Practical Musicianship C & D), if required, must all be completed by the end of the 3rd year in residence.

    DON’T take a vacation from core requirements

    • All undergraduate students must take core theory courses each semester until all required courses in the theory sequence MTHY001, MTHY111, MTHY112, MTHY210 are completed. (See Individual Specialization Descriptions below for requirements by specialization.)
    • All undergraduate students must take tonal musicianship skills courses each semester until all required courses in the Practical Musicianship sequence MTHY001, MTHY101, MTHY102, MTHY203, MTHY204 are completed. (See the descriptions of BFA Music Specializations below for requirements.)
    • All undergraduate students must take MTHY104 (if required) as soon as MTHY001 is satisfied. (See Individual Program Descriptions below for requirements.)

    DO fulfill core Incomplete grades on time

    • In any course that constitutes a prerequisite for another required course in the core Music Theory or Skills curriculum, an Incomplete (I) grade must be made up before the student will be allowed to enroll in the next course in the sequence. Instructors are not obliged to permit enrollment in core theory or skills courses after classes begin, so Incomplete grades should be made up before the date on which the following semester's regular classes commence.

    FAILURE TO FULFILL CORE REQUIREMENTS ACCORDING TO THESE STIPULATIONS MAY RESULT IN ACADEMIC WARNING, INELIGIBILITY TO ADVANCE IN YEAR LEVEL, LOSS OF FINANCIAL AID, AND POSSIBLE DISMISSAL FROM THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC (see Academic Standing Policy).

    Back to top

    BFA 3-4 Music Requirements

    For students who enter a specialization, the following requirements are replaced by those of the specialization. All other undergraduate music students must complete the following course requirements.

    REQUIREMENTS:

    Complete CORE CURRICULUM plus the following courses:

    • MLSN0xx  Lesson (4 classes)
    • MFORxxx Forum courses (2 classes)
    • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
    • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D 

    Any TWO of the following FOUR Core Theory Options:

    • MTHY214 Counterpoint (2 units)
    • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis (2 units)
    • MTHY217 Form (2 units)
    • any 2 units drawn from the following list of jazz courses:
      • MTHY108 Transcription Skills (2 units)
      • MTHY240 Jazz Keyboard Theory (1 unit, may be repeated)
      • MPRF101 Jazz Improvisation, Group (1 unit, may be repeated)
      • MPRF102 Jazz Improvisation, 1-on-1 (1 unit, may be repeated)
    • MTHY310 Acoustics for Musicians
    • ICOM101 Media & Web Development
    • ICOM111 Introduction to Sound Production
    • TWO courses chosen from
      • MAIC403 Pedagogy I: Teaching Artistry
      • MAIC404 Pedagogy II: Best Practices
      • MPCD350 Career Designs for Musicians
    • FOUR courses chosen from:
      • MHST205/206 Western Music History A/B
      • MHST30x Music Cultures
      • MHST312 Ethnology of African Music
      • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
      • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
    • MCMP/MHST/MTEC/MTHY4xx Advanced Composition, History, Music Technology or Theory Electives (4 classes not fulfilling any other music requirement)

    Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Undergraduate Minor in Music Theory

    The Minor in Music Theory affords interested eligible undergraduate students a non-degree credential that supplements their Major. If earned, the Minor is noted on CalArts transcripts. Course credit earned by a student can count simultaneously towards the requirements of the Major and the Minor. Interested students must visit the Music Office in order to formally declare in writing their intent to pursue the Minor. However, they must first have fulfilled all of the following prerequisites either by means of placement examination or by course completion with a grade of P or HP.

    Prerequisites to the Music Theory Minor

    • MTHY112 Tonal Theory & Applications B

    • MTHY210 Non-Tonal Theories

    • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C

    The Minor is awarded to undergraduate students who formally declare their intention to pursue it before graduation and who complete all of the following course requirements.

    Requirements for the Music Theory Minor

    • MTHY214 Counterpoint

    • MTHY240 Jazz Keyboard Theory (2 classes, 2 units in total)

    • MTHY310 Acoustics for Musicians
    • Music Perception Option: ONE class chosen from

      • MTHY309 Psychoacoustics
      • MTHY403 Intonation Workshop I
      • MTHY404 Intonation Workshop II
    • Musical Forms Option: ONE class chosen from

      • MTHY217 Form
      • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis
    • Analytical Survey Option: ONE class chosen from

      • MTHY450 Chamber Thought
      • MTHY451 Orchestral Thought
      • MTHY454 The String Quartet since 1900
      • MTHY455 The Piano since 1900
    • Non-Western Theory Options: TWO classes chosen from
      • MTHY216 North Indian Music Theory
      • MTHY228 Journey to the Persian Music
      • MTHY226 African Music Theory
      • MTHY224 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
      • MTHY425 Tala Systems
    • Mxxxx music theory electives (2 units from the approved list below, not used to meet any of the above requirements)

    Approved Electives for the Music Theory Minor

    The following courses are applicable to the elective requirements of the Minor in Music Theory. Appropriate course substitutions may be made with the approval of dean and mentor.

    • MCMP314 Jazz Arranging
    • MCMP341 Film Music History & Analysis
    • MHST457 Music & Surrealism
    • MCMP416 Concert Theater
    • MTHY468 Late Beethoven
    • MTHY108 Musicianship Skills: Transcription
    • MTHY270 Arranging for Guitar
    • MTHY273 Lute Tablature Transcription
    • MTHY274 Fretboard Theory
    • MTHY275 Figured Bass for Guitar & Lute
    • MTHY276 Analysis of Guitar Repertoire
    • MTHY277 Baroque Accompaniment
    • MTHY217 Form
    • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis
    • MTHY216 Advanced Harmonic Techniques
    • MTHY222 North Indian Theory
    • MTHY228 Journey to the Persian Music
    • MTHY226 African Music Theory
    • MTHY224 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
    • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
    • MTHY450 Chamber Thought
    • MTHY451 Orchestral Thought
    • MTHY452 What Is Experimental Music?
    • MTHY454 The String Quartet since 1900
    • MTHY455 The Piano since 1900
    • MTHY425 Tala Systems
    • MTHY403 Intonation Workshop I
    • MTHY404 Intonation Workshop II
    • MTHY411 Electroacoustic Music Analysis
    • MTHY199 Independent Project in Music Theory & Analysis

    Good standing in the Major specialization is required for continued enrollment in the Music Theory Minor. Students on Academic Warning may be suspended from the Minor in Music Theory. Students may be permanently removed from the Minor after more than one semester on Academic Warning, at the recommendation of their Dean.

    Back to top

    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Certificate of Fine Arts Specialization Requirements

    The following courses are required but do not constitute a student's entire program. Students are encouraged to collaborate with their mentors to create an individualized course of study (combining electives and requirements).

    Courses that are listed as requiring enrollment for more than two semesters are those whose content changes each semester; content is dependent on which students are enrolled, students' artistic and technical progress, and/or cumulative progress.

    I. Composition & Experimental Sound Practices (BFA)

    Learning Goals

    Students graduating from CalArts with a BFA degree in composition will have benefited from a "one size does not fit all" education. Each student will have been allowed to fully explore their musical interests and develop their compositional voice. By the time students graduate, they should:

    • display a strong technical foundation, including having developed facility with notation, instrumentation, orchestration and score production, while understanding the basics of electro-acoustic music; be familiar with topics such as alternative tuning systems, psychoacoustics and pre-compositional strategies;
    • have an individual compositional approach that is apparent and recognizable to those in the field;
    • understand the importance of setting reasonable goals and meeting deadlines;
    • know how to treat performers and other composers with respect, and be able to address performance issues in a professional manner;
    • have experience in collaborating with other musicians whether through improvisation or ensemble playing and also have experience collaborating with artists from other disciplines;
    • have strongly developed communication skills and be able to express their compositional ideas in verbal and written forms, in addition to musical form;
    • be able to develop sophisticated conceptualization plans for their work, including the ability to project the results of compositional decisions into sound;
    • be able to contextualize their work and know about aesthetic perspectives—their own and others'—so that they may adequately describe what they plan to do and what they have done;
    • be able to analyze and evaluate their own work as they compose and thus foresee creative problems before or as they emerge and make decisions based on this;
    • have advanced hearing and listening skills, developed as a practice, in and of itself.

    Composition & Experimental Sound Practices (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MFOR101 Undergraduate Composers' Forum (first Fall semester in residence)
    • MCMP105 Music Notation (1 class, in BFA1)
    • MCMP120 Instrumental Composition I
    • MCMP121 Instrumental Composition II
    • MTHY112 Tonal Theory & Applications B
    • approved portfolio assessment for the specialization

    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION

    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus the following course requirements.
      • MLSN101 Hour Lesson as assigned (each semester)
      • MFOR101 Undergraduate Composers' Forum (in BFA3-1)
      • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
      • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
      • ICOM111 Introduction to Sound Production
      • MTHY310 Acoustics for Musicians
      • Any TWO of the following FOUR Core Theory Options:
        • MTHY217 Form (2 units)
        • MTHY214 Counterpoint (2 units)
        • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis (2 units)
        • any 2 units drawn from the following list of jazz courses:
          • MTHY108 Transcription Skills (2 units)
          • MTHY240 Jazz Keyboard Theory (1 unit, may be repeated)
          • MPRF101 Jazz Improvisation, Group (1 unit, may be repeated)
          • MPRF102 Jazz Improvisation, 1-on-1 (1 unit, may be repeated)
      • ONE class chosen from:
        • MCMP465 Composition with Max/MSP
        • MTEC270 Composing with Technology
        • MTEC360 Audio Signal Processing
      • MCMP/MHST/MTHY4xx Advanced Composition, History or Theory Electives (2 classes not fulfilling any other music requirement)
      • MCMP490 Graduation Portfolio & Website Review
      • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Optional Undergraduate Composition Concentrations

    Interested undergraduate Composition and Performer-Composer students can earn one or more optional Concentrations within their major by completing additional requirements as indicated below. Earned Concentrations will be noted on CalArts transcripts. Course credits earned towards the CORE CURRICULUM or towards the BFA COMPOSITION FOUNDATION can also count towards one or more of these Concentrations, and vice versa. Any student interested in pursuing one or more concentrations must declare this during their Graduation Review.

    BFA Composition: Optional Concentration in Avant-Garde Rock & Noise

    • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis
    • MPCD350 Career Designs for Musicians
    • MTEC365 Digital Recording Studio
    • 2 classes chosen from
      • MAIC316 Blues before 1960
      • MHST302 Popular Music: A Social & Analytical History
      • MHST405-410 Focus Rock
    • 3 different classes chosen from
      • MBLE450 Sonic Boom Ensemble
      • MCMP308 Arranging for Experimental Pop
      • MCMP325 Experimental Music Workshop I
      • MCMP326 Experimental Music Workshop II
      • MCMP336 Writing for Voice
      • MPRF217 Learning to Scream
      • Critical Studies course in creative poetic writing (mentor approval required)

    BFA Composition: Optional Concentration in Electronic Music

    • 1 class chosen from
      • MTHY411 Electroacoustic Music Analysis
      • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
    • 2 classes chosen from
      • MBLE415 Networked Music Ensemble
      • MCMP465 Composition with Max/MSP
      • MTEC270 Composing with Technology
    • 4 classes chosen from
      • ICOM201 Introduction to Programming I
      • ICOM202 Introduction to Programming II
      • MTEC150 Sound Synthesis
      • MTEC155 Advanced Sound Synthesis
      • MTEC3xx-4xx advanced music technology electives

    BFA Composition: Optional Concentration in Experimental Music

    • MCMP325 Experimental Music Workshop I
    • MCMP326 Experimental Music Workshop II
    • 3 classes chosen from:
      • MBLE415 Networked Music Ensemble
      • MCMP465 Composition with Max/MSP
      • MBLE450 Sonic Boom Ensemble
      • MBLE460 Golia Large Ensemble
      • MBLE310 Improvisation Ensemble
      • MCMP417 Reader's Chorus
      • MCMP418 Media Theory: The Interactee
    • 2 classes chosen from
      • MHST422 Experimental Music Post-Cage
      • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
      • MHST472 John Cage: Music & Thought
      • MAIC402 20th-Century Intersections
      • MAIC412 Critical Reading (may be repeated for credit)
    • MTHY403/ MTHY404 Intonation Workshop I or Intonation Workshop II

    BFA Composition: Optional Concentration in Composition for Film & Video

    • MHST205 Western Music History I
    • MHST206 Western Music History II
    • MPCD350 Career Designs for Musicians
    • MPRF307 The Grammar of Conducting
    • MCMP341 Film Music History & Analysis
    • MCMP342 Composition for Film & Video
    • 1 class chosen from (taking all of these courses is strongly recommended)
      • FPFV435 Sound T.A. Course
      • FPFV481 Sound Editing and Mixing
      • MTEC365 Digital Recording Studio
    • 1 class chosen from
      • MCMP402 Orchestration
      • MTHY451 Orchestral Thought
    • FPFV424 Sound and the Image.

    BFA Composition: Optional Concentration in Instrumental Composition

    • MCMP330-339 Writing for … (2 classes)
    • MPRF307 The Grammar of Conducting
    • MPRF408 Instrumental Conducting
    • MLSN0xx Performance Lessons (2 different orchestral instruments as assigned, 2 courses total)*
    • 1 class chosen from
      • MTHY450 Chamber Thought
      • MTHY454 The String Quartet since 1900
      • MTHY455 The Piano since 1900
    • 1 class chosen from
      • MCMP402 Orchestration
      • MTHY451 Orchestral Thought
    • 2 different classes chosen from
      • MBLE300 The Ensemble
      • MBLE310 Improvisation Ensemble
      • MBLE450 Sonic Boom Ensemble
      • MBLE460 Golia Large Ensemble

    *In specializations or concentrations for which lessons are required, students who do not own an appropriate instrument may need to rent one. Further information is available from the Music Office.

    Back to top

    II. InstrumentalArts (BFA)

    Learning Goals

    The InstrumentalArts Specializations recognize that our students come to us with a wide range of musical backgrounds, experiences, and goals. These specializations ask each student to articulate their goals and intentions to their mentor each semester. Stated goals and intentions are noted and become a part of the student's individualized learning objectives. At the end of each year, student and mentor meet to discuss how the student is moving toward their goals, whether goals have changed, and what might be next. A detailed assessment report, and mentor report, as well as a copy of the student's stated goals become a part of the student's record.

    • Students are on their way to defining their place in the musical spectrum. They are learning about the musical communities they wish to join and are beginning to find their place within them. Ensemble playing, ranging from conducted ensembles and chamber music, to jazz, rock, improvisation, world music and /or interdisciplinary projects lead to a heightened awareness of community and collaborative learning situations.
    • Students are acquiring a foundation of technique, interpretive artistry, improvisation, sight-reading, composition, ensemble playing, stage presence, practice discipline, communication skills, self-motivation, professional deportment and demeanor, and are learning to develop these skills in a comprehensive manner that is appropriate to their unique individual needs and artistic aspirations.
    • Students are developing an awareness of their physical body as they explore optimal ways of holding and playing their instrument. They are developing a keen kinesthetic awareness of their physical relationship to their instrument and how that relationship is reflected in their playing.
    • Students are developing an understanding of performance practices that characterize different musical styles such as the many forms of jazz, popular, and world music, and the historical periods of Western music.
    • Students are exploring a wide range of intonation systems, ranging from exploring septimal commas to the sets of tuning scenarios available in common practice tonal music and in contemporary musical practice.
    • Students are becoming aware of contemporary performance practice, extended techniques and advanced skills on their instrument.
    • Students are becoming fluent with technology: audio and video recording technologies, website development, the most recent communication applications, and how these technologies will support their career development.
    • Students are coming to grasp the relevance to their specific musical style of the Core Curriculum and the even broader artistic, social, and cultural worldview of the Critical Studies curriculum and a better understanding of how these can expand and deepen their artistic possibilities.
    • Students are developing awareness that art is less an end result than a process in which excellence and self-transcendence are pursued constantly.

    The requirements listed in each sub-heading include the following areas of study: Brass, Guitar, Harp, Percussion, Piano/Keyboard, Strings, Winds.

    Back to top

    Brass (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student’s degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes, recommended in BFA1)
    • MPRF132 Brass Workshop (2 classes)
    • MBLE120 Brass Ensemble (2 classes)
    • MHST205 Western Music History I
    • MHST206 Western Music History II
    • MBLExxx Ensemble as assigned from (2 classes)
      • MBLE106 Chamber Music
      • MBLE300 The Ensemble
    • approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization
    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION
    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus the following course requirements.
    • MLSN 111/117-119 Hour Lesson as assigned (each semester)
    • MPRF132 Brass Workshop (each semester)
    • MBLE120 Brass Ensemble (each semester)
    • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
    • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
    • MAIC403 Pedagogy I or MAIC404 Pedagogy II
    • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
    • MFOR102 Forums (2 classes)
    • ONE class chosen from:
      • MAIC240 Jazz History
      • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
      • MHST30x Music Cultures
      • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
    • MBLExxx Ensembles (each semester) chosen from
      • MBLE106 Chamber Music
      • MBLE300 The Ensemble
      • MBLE123 Woodwind Ensemble (for hornists)
    • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF490 Graduation Jury and Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Guitar (BFA Program Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MPRF120 Guitar Workshop (2 classes)
    • MFORxxx Forum, as assigned (2 classes, recommended in BFA1)
    • MBLExxx Ensemble, as guitarist (2 classes)
    • approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization
    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION
    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus the following course requirements.
      • MLSN123/136 Hour Lesson as assigned (each semester)
      • MPRF120 Guitar Workshop (each semester)
      • MBLExxx Ensemble, as guitarist (each semester)
      • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
      • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D  
      • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
      • MAIC403 Pedagogy I or MAIC404 Pedagogy II
      • ONE class chosen from:
        • MHST205 Western Music History I
        • MHST206 Western Music History II
      • ONE class chosen from:
        • MAIC240 Jazz History
        • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
        • MHST30x Music Cultures
        • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
      • THREE classes chosen from:
        • MAIC316 Blues Before 1960
        • MAIC314 The Music of Flamenco
        • MPRF245 Studio Projects for Guitar
        • MTHY270 Arranging for Guitar
        • MTHY273 Lute Tablature Transcription
        • MTHY274 Fretboard Theory
        • MTHY275 Figured Bass for Guitar & Lute
        • MTHY276 Analysis of Guitar Repertoire
    • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF490 Graduation Jury and Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Harp (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MPRF123 Harp Studio Class (2 classes)
    • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes, recommended in BFA1)
    • MHST206 Western Music History II
    • ONE class chosen from:
      • MAIC240 Jazz History
      • MHST205 Western Music History I
      • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
      • MHST30x Music Cultures
      • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
    • MBLExxx Ensembles as assigned from (2 classes)
      • MBLE106 Chamber Music
      • MBLE300 The Ensemble
    • approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization
    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION

    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus the following course requirements.
      • MLSN112 Hour Lesson as assigned (each semester)
      • MPRF123 Harp Studio Class (each semester)
      • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
      • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D 
      • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
      • MAIC403 Pedagogy I or MAIC404 Pedagogy II
      • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes)
      • MBLExxx Ensembles as assigned from (each semester):
        • MBLE106 Chamber Music
        • MBLE300 The Ensemble
      • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
      • MPRF490 Graduation Jury & Recital
      • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Percussion (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MBLE122 Percussion Ensemble (2 classes)
    • MPRF129 Percussion Workshop (2 classes)
    • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes, recommended in BFA 1)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensembles (2 classes)
    • approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization

    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION

    1. Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    2. All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus the following course requirements.
    • MLSN115 Hour Lesson as assigned (each semester)
    • MLSN0xx Percussion Lesson electives (2 classes)
    • MPRF129 Percussion Workshop (each semester)
    • MBLE122 Percussion Ensemble (each semester)
    • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes)
    • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
    • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D 
    • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
    • MAIC403 Pedagogy I or MAIC404 Pedagogy II
    • ONE class chosen from:
      • MHST205 Western Music History I
      • MHST206 Western Music History II
    • ONE class chosen from:
      • MAIC240 Jazz History
      • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
      • MHST30x Music Cultures
      • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
    • MBLE300 The Ensemble (2 classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensembles (2 classes)
    • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF490 Graduation Jury and Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Piano/Keyboard (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MPRF119 Piano Workshop (2 classes)
    • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes, recommended in BFA1)
    • MHST205 Western Music History I
    • MHST206 Western Music History II
    • MBLExxx Ensemble (as pianist) (2 classes)
    • approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization

    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION

    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus the following course requirements.
      • MLSN116/113 Hour Lesson as assigned (each semester)
      • MPRF119 Piano Workshop (each semester)
      • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
      • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
      • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
      • MPCD199 Undergraduate Independent Project: Pedagogy (2 classes)
      • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes)
      • MBLExxx Ensemble (as pianist) (each semester)
      • ONE class chosen from:
        • MAIC240 Jazz History
        • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
        • MHST30x Music Cultures
        • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
      • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
      • MPRF490 Graduation Jury and Recital
      • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)
    Note: The Core Curriculum MLSN003 Class Piano requirement is waived for Piano/Keyboard majors.

    Back to top

    Strings (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MPRF119 String Workshop (2 classes)
    • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes, recommended in BFA1)
    • MHST205 Western Music History I
    • MHST206 Western Music History II
    • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (4 classes):
      • MBLE106 Chamber Music
      • MBLE107 Baroque Chamber Music & Arias
      • MBLE300 The Ensemble
    • Approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization
    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION
    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus the following course requirements.
      • MLSN106/109/120/121 Hour Lesson as assigned (each semester)
      • MPRF128 String Workshop (each semester)
      • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
      • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D 
      • MAIC403 Pedagogy I or MAIC404 Pedagogy II
      • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
      • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes)
      • ONE class chosen from:
        • MAIC240 Jazz History
        • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
        • MHST30x Music Cultures
        • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
      • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (each semester):
        • MBLE106 Chamber Music
        • MBLE107 Baroque Chamber Music & Arias
        • MBLE300 The Ensemble
      • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
      • MPRF490 Graduation Jury & Recital
      • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Winds (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MPRF122/124/130/131 Studio Class appropriate to major (2 classes)
    • MPRF133 Woodwind Workshop (2 classes)
    • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes, recommended in BFA1)
    • MHST205 Western Music History I
    • MHST206 Western Music History II
    • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (4 classes):
      • MBLE106 Chamber Music
      • MBLE107 Baroque Chamber Music & Arias
      • MBLE300 The Ensemble
    • approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization
    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION
    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus the following course requirements.
      • MLSN104/105/107/110/114 Hour Lesson as assigned (each semester)
      • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
      • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D 
      • MTHY315 Meaningful Interpretation
      • MAIC403 Pedagogy I or MAIC404 Pedagogy II
      • MFORxxx Forums (2 classes)
      • MPRF122/124/130/131 Studio Class appropriate to major (each semester)
      • MPRF133 Woodwind Workshop (each semester)
      • ONE class chosen from:
        • MAIC240 Jazz History
        • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
        • MHST30x Music Cultures
        • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
      • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned from (each semester)
        • MBLE106 Chamber Music
        • MBLE107 Baroque Chamber Music & Arias
        • MBLE300 The Ensemble
      • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Recital
      • MPRF490 Graduation Jury and Recital
      • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    III. Jazz (BFA)

    Learning Goals

    By the time of graduation, students in the Jazz specialization will have acquired high-level experience and skill. They will have had opportunities to:

    • have highly developed improvisation, orchestration and arranging, and composition skills, facilitating spontaneous communication and interaction and developing an individual voice as a composer through frequent writing for ensemble performance and recording; graduates will be able to apply principles of form and composition in real time, using existing compositions or open structures and will be able to utilize instruments and voices in any size ensemble to maximize their musical and emotional effect;
    • exhibit a consistent, relaxed mental focus under a variety of conditions, and will show efficient and productive time management in practice and rehearsal situations; they will also display creative group decision making in rehearsals;
    • exhibit instrumental technique that allows physical facility without tension and that is sufficient to express one's creative ideas; they also will be able to establish a beautiful, expressive sound, including control of dynamics and intonation;
    • have a feeling for time that includes a strong, steady sense of pulse, while moving beyond into projecting rhythmic energy and intensity with fluid articulation and phrasing;
    • understand melodic and harmonic development and form, including what makes a good melody and the ability to tell a melodic story through repetition and variation; they also will know the relationship among chords and progressions in a variety of styles and musical contexts and will also clearly understand musical organization and structure;
    • have sophisticated ear training skills, including the ability to hear and identify melodic, rhythmic and harmonic ideas with sufficient clarity and speed for success as an improviser and composer;
    • have historical knowledge of musical developments that led to creative breakthroughs for composers and improvisers in the past, and also will have exposure to other rich musical traditions from around the world, thus expanding the creative possibilities for finding a unique voice;
    • have the keyboard skills necessary to voice lead through chord progressions at the piano in steady time in order to facilitate harmonic understanding, improvisation and composition;
    • have strong sight-reading skills allowing the reading of both notation and chord symbols in a variety of styles and musical contexts and also facilitating the ability to learn unfamiliar jazz standards quickly;
    • have a unique and creative approach to the playing of standard jazz repertoire;
    • have performing skills in a variety of situations, including concert presentations and recording studio experience; graduates will have performed in a variety of venues and be able to establish rapport with audiences in any musical style or direction; graduates also will be comfortable in a studio environment and will know how to document their creative and musical work;
    • demonstrate a high level of professionalism, establishing a reputation as a reliable, dependable colleague

    Jazz (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MFOR107 Jazz Forum
    • MTHY108 Transcription Skills 
    • MPRF101/102 Undergraduate Jazz Improvisation
    • MBLE201 Beginning African Ensemble
    • MBLE117 Jazz Student Ensemble
    • approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization
    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION
    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus the following course requirements.
      • MLSN 131-139 Hour Lesson as assigned (each semester)
      • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
      • Any ONE of the following Theory Options: 
        • MTHY214 Counterpoint
        • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis
        • MTHY217 Form
      • MPRF203 Harmonic Improvisation
      • ONE class chosen from
        • MCMP310 Jazz Composition
        • MCMP314 Jazz Arranging
      • MAIC240 Jazz History
      • MHST350 Stylists & Innovators 1961–Now
      • MHST30x Music Cultures (1 class)
      • MFOR107 Jazz Forum (2 classes)
      • MTHY240 Jazz Keyboard Theory
      • MBLE117 Jazz Student Ensemble (each semester)
      • MBLE118 Jazz Faculty Ensemble (each semester)
      • MPRF490 Graduation Recital
      • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    IV. MAP/ExPop (BFA)

    Learning Goals

    By graduation, students should display a wide range of musical and intellectual skills and intense originality, along with the ability to apply these in a wide variety of professional situations. Specifically, they should be able to:

    • be conversant in differing styles and genres of music and to synthesize these into a music that is unique to each student;
    • articulate, in verbal and written forms, the place of their own work within various historical, genre and artistic contexts;
    • work competently in a variety of professional situations, including performance, managerial, technical and composition fields;
    • present a range of musical skills from across the music disciplines, including performing on more than one instrument/voice;

    MAP/ExPop (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MFOR104 ExPop Forum (2 classes)
    • MBLE328 Collaborative Music Ensemble
    • Singing Elective
    • ICOM111 Intro to Sound Production
    • MTEC270 Composing with Technology
    • ONE course chosen from
      • MAIC240 Jazz History
      • MAIC316 Blues before 1960
      • MHST30x Music Cultures
    • approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization
    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION
    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus the following course requirements.
      • MLSN0xx Lesson as assigned (each semester)
      • MFORxxx Forums (4 classes)
      • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
      • Singing Elective
      • ONE course chosen from
        • MTHY108 Transcription Skills
        • MTHY214 Counterpoint
        • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis
        • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
      • ONE course chosen from
        • MCMP309 Writing Words for Music
        • CCST470 Hip Hop Lab
        • CS course in poetry or creative writing
      • MBLE328 Collaborative Music Ensemble (2 classes)
      • TWO ensemble courses chosen from (2 classes)
        • MCMP325 Experimental Music Workshop I
        • MCMP326 Experimental Music Workshop II
        • MBLE310 Improvisation Ensemble
        • MBLE460 Golia Large Ensemble
        • MBLE450 Sonic Boom
        • MPRF498 Hip Hop Lab Practicum 
        • MTEC420 Grids, Beats & Groups
        • MTEC441 Composition for Robots
      • ONE course chosen from
        • MCMP308 Arranging for Experimental Pop
        • MCMP314 Jazz Arranging
        • MCMP33x Writing for…
        • MCMP402 Orchestration
        • MTHY450 Chamber Thought
        • MTHY451 Orchestral Thought
      • TWO courses chosen from
        • MAIC240 Jazz History
        • MAIC316 Blues before 1960
        • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
        • MHST205 Western Music Survey I
        • MHST206 Western Music Survey II
        • MHST405–09 Focus Rock
        • MHST30x Music Cultures
        • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
      • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    V. Music Technology: Interaction, Intelligence & Design (BFA)

    Learning Goals

    The Music Technology specialization aims to build strong musical skills while promoting the mastery of a variety of music-related technologies in the context of pursuing creative work. Specifically, Music Technology students will have opportunities to:

  • become trained artists able to work in any orchestral, ensemble or global music production, including knowing how to produce a concert, manage a stage, understand a sound board and run stage monitor and main audience sound;
  • attain strong music theory, ear training and rhythmic training, with a focus on 21st century technology;
  • learn how to run a music studio for recording production, with full knowledge of microphone techniques, software editors, audio effects, mixing and mastering;
  • acquire strong contextualization abilities for the history of electro-acoustic music;
  • learn how algorithms for traditional synthesis and audio affect production;
  • become proficient software engineers, with the ability to code for websites and utilize advanced object-oriented languages for artistic expression;
  • understand basic digital signal processing and its relationship to audio, including time and frequency domains and how these can be manipulated for artistic purposes; also be able to use basic electronics and know how to design human computer interfaces for artistic practices;
  • develop project implementation and production capabilities, including planning, execution, time management and documentation skills.
  • Music Technology (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MTEC101 Concert Production I
    • ICOM111 Intro to Sound Production
    • MTEC150 Sound Synthesis
    • MFOR106 Creative Technology Forum (2 classes)
    • ICOM201 Introduction to Programming I
    • ICOM202 Introduction to Programming II
    • MTEC270 Composing with Technology
    • approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization
    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION
    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM (except MTHY-112 Tonal Theory & Applications B), plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus
    • the following course requirements.

    AUDIO PRODUCTION

    TWO courses chosen from

    1. MTEC102 Concert Production II
    2. MTEC308 Advanced Production Techniques
    3. MCMP404 Field Recording Workshop
    4. MTEC365 Digital Recording Studio

    CREATIVE COMPUTING AND PROGRAMMING
    TWO courses chosen from

    1. MTEC415 Visual Programming 
    2. MTEC418 Data Driven Art and Sound
    3. MTEC407 Mobile Music Computing
    4. MTEC421 C++ for Electronic Music I
    5. MTEC340 Programming for the Raspberry Pi

    DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING

    TWO courses chosen from

    1. MTEC155 Advanced Sound Synthesis
    2. MTEC360 Audio Signal Processing
    3. MTEC498 Algorithmic Sound
    4. MTEC480 MIR and Machine Learning for Art

    ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

    TWO courses chosen from

    1. MTEC330 Interface Design I
    2. MTEC331 Interface Design II
    3. MTEC450 Mechatronic Art and Music

    DIGITAL CREATIVE PRACTICE / COMPOSITION / INSTALLATION

    TWO courses chosen from

    • MTEC419 Immersive Experience Design
    • MTEC3xx/4xx Upper-Division Music Technology electives
    BREADTH IN MUSIC TECHNOLOGY
    • MFOR106 Creative Technology Forum (each semester)
    • MTEC490 Music Technology BFA Project (2 classes)
    • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    VI. Performer-Composer (BFA)

    Learning Goals

    Students entering this specialization will have determined that the development of their original work demands the thoroughgoing integration of performance and composition practices. By the time they graduate, they should:

    • have developed a distinctive body of original work that thoroughly integrates performance mastery with original compositional models;
    • have achieved high-level technical skills on their primary performance vehicle (i.e. instrument, voice, electronic media or other medium), as well as display a strong technical foundation in composition, including the ability to produce professional-quality scores;
    • be able to perform a significant body of their own original work as well as have skills suitable to perform examples of extant literature for their performance vehicle;
    • have developed systematic, individualized performance practices needed for the realization of their own original work, including knowledge of extended techniques, and also developed high-level comprehension and skills in a range of styles and methods for systematic improvisation;
    • be skilled in organizing collaborative performing groups suited to realizing their original directions in creative music making, and also have collaborated with artists from other disciplines;
    • have strong knowledge and skills in music technologies appropriate for their creative directions;
    • be able to analyze and evaluate their own work effectively and make informed judgments guiding its further development;
    • have strong communication skills with which to express their ideas to others and also be able to contextualize their work in light of current directions, historical antecedents and a wide range of aesthetic perspectives;
    • have advanced hearing and listening skills and the ability to hear beyond the obvious into remote regions of aural possibility;
    • have studied and considered strategic plans and enterprise initiatives that may assist them in developing career pathways that support their individual directions in creative music making.

    Performer-Composer (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MFOR305 Performer-Composer Forum
    • MCMP105 Music Notation (in first Spring semester in residence)
    • MCMP120 Instrumental Composition I
    • MCMP121 Instrumental Composition II
    • MTHY112 Tonal Theory & Applications B
    • approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization 
    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION
    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus
    • the following course requirements.
      • MLSN1xx Hour Lesson as assigned (each semester)
      • MFOR305 Performer-Composer Forum
      • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
      • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
      • Any TWO of the following FOUR Core Theory Options:
        • MTHY217 Form (2 units)
        • MTHY214 Counterpoint (2 units)
        • MTHY215 Song Writing & Analysis (2 units)
        • any 2 units drawn from the following list of jazz courses:
          • MTHY108 Transcription Skills (2 units)
          • MTHY240 Jazz Keyboard Theory (1 unit, may be repeated)
          • MPRF101 Jazz Improvisation, Group (1 unit, may be repeated)
          • MPRF102 Jazz Improvisation, 1-on-1 (1 unit, may be repeated)
      • ICOM111 Introduction to Sound Production
      • MTHY310 Acoustics for Musicians
      • ONE class chosen from
        • MCMP314 Jazz Arranging
        • MCMP316 Arranging for Experimental Pop
        • MCMP402 Orchestration
        • MTHY451 Orchestral Thought
      • ONE class chosen from
        • MCMP465 Composition with Max/MSP
        • MTEC270 Composing with Technology
        • MTEC360 Audio Signal Processing
      • ONE class chosen from:
        • MBLE310 Improvisation Ensemble
        • MBLE415 Networked Music Ensemble
        • MBLE450 Sonic Boom Ensemble
        • MBLE460 Golia Large Ensemble
        • MCMP325 Experimental Music Workshop I
      • MBLExxx / MPRFxxx Workshops, Ensembles or Performance studies appropriate to performance emphasis (2 classes)
      • MCMP/MHST/MTHY300-480 Advanced Composition, History or Theory Electives (2 classes not fulfilling any other music requirement)
      • MCMP490 Graduation Portfolio & Website Review (portfolio must include substantial original work)
      • MPRF490 Graduation Jury and Recital
      • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    VII. VoiceArts (BFA)

    Learning Goals

    By graduation, students should be able to demonstrate skills, technique, creativity and contextualization abilities that allow them to create and express their art through and with the voice. Specifically, each student should demonstrate:

    • a distinctive, expressive, open-minded and creative artistic persona that is skilled in making and performing art through the mechanism of the vocal instrument;
    • vocal technique that is healthy and controlled, and able to handle the physical and musical demands required by the student's primary direction; a voice produced with energetic freedom and adaptable to diverse musical and artistic situations;
    • an exploratory mindset that is able to determine what skills, tools and knowledge are required to produce the work in which they are interested, as well as the discipline necessary to acquire these abilities;
    • musicality that arises from attention to detail, and intent informed by a growing understanding of history, theory, style and performance practice, as well as their intersections; the ability to communicate (verbally and in written form) the practical applications of this knowledge;
    • a well-developed ear for vocal sounds and a thorough knowledge of phonetics and how certain sounds are formed physically and acoustically; utility with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), its sounds and symbols, and the ability to apply this tool to render accurate pronunciations of any language or non-language sound while singing; an understanding of grammar, syntax and semantics; an ability to use relevant sources to produce word-for-word translations of song texts;
    • physical performance skills appropriate for particular musical styles and genres, including confident movement and body language, facial expression, and fully inhabited character (if appropriate);
    • an understanding of and dedication to professional etiquette, including preparedness and punctuality, and the commitment to attaining ever higher standards of excellence;
    • an ability to develop self-promotion strategies in an entrepreneurial manner, including creating necessary materials and artistic identity (including résumés, CVs, biographical materials, website and social media presence, promotional recordings, etc.);
    • an increasing ability to teach him/herself, through attention to sound, observation and physical sensation; a commitment to life-long learning and self-growth.

    VoiceArts (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MFOR103 Voice Forum
    • MPRF115 & MPRF116 VoiceArts Foundation I & II (2 classes)
    • MPRF110 Vocal Coaching
    • MBLExxx Vocal Ensembles and/or Vocal Projects (2 classes)
    • approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization
    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION
    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus the following course requirements.
      • MLSN122 Voice Lessons, as assigned (each semester)
      • MPRF310 Advanced Vocal Coaching 
      • MFOR103 Voice Forum (1 classes)
      • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
      • MTHY204 Practical Musicianship D
      • ONE class chosen from:
        • MHST205 Western Music History I
        • MHST206 Western Music History II
      • ONE class chosen from:
        • MAIC240 Jazz History
        • MAIC401 Improvisation: Uses & Lineage
        • MHST30x Music Cultures
        • MHST425 Survey of Sound Art
      • MAIC410 Physiology of the Voice or MPCD420 Teaching the Voice
      • MPRF454 Sounding the Voice  
      • MBLExxx Vocal Ensembles and/or Vocal Projects (2 classes)
      • Keyboard Requirement (in addition to core) as approved by mentor, chosen from
        • MLSN016 Piano: Non–Hour Lessons (audition required)
        • MTHY131 Bach Keyboard Pieces
        • MTHY240 Jazz Keyboard Theory       
      • Techniques (1 class)
        • MCMP110 Introduction to Composition
        • MCMP336 Writing for Voice
        • MLSN565/665 Javanese Voice
        • MLSN573/673 North Indian Voice
        • MPCD420 Teaching the Voice
        • MPRF101 Jazz Improvisation
        • MPRF102 Jazz Improvisation
        • MPRF126 Experimental Voice Workshop
        • MPRF221 Aza African Song
        • MPRF452 Contemporary Vocal Techniques
        • MSCM410 Physiology of the Voice
        • MTHY120 Beginning Svar Graam (vocal)
        • MTHY130 Bach Chorale Singing
        • MTHY305 Advanced Sight-Singing
        • MTHY322 Advanced Svar Graam (vocal)
        • other techniques course as approved by mentor
      • Language and Text (2 classes)
        • CCRW212 Intro to Creative Writing
        • CCRW214 Adventures in Form and Chaos (poetry writing)
        • CCRW336 Eco Writing
        • CCRW222 Creative Writing Workshop
        • CCRW211 Hip Hop Poetics Workshop
        • CCRW350 Sent Us of the Air: Poetry Writing class
        • CCRW345 Fabulous Writing
        • CMWP444 Hybrid Writing
        • CHMN131 Wet Black Ink
        • CHCM135 Contemporary Literature
        • CHMN335 Queer Books
        • CHMN336 Pornography and Sex Writing
        • MCSE101 Italian
        • MCSE102 French
        • MCSE103 German
        • MPRF212 English Diction and Repertoire
        • MPRF213 Italian and Spanish Diction
        • MPRF214 French Diction
        • MPRF215 German Diction
        • MPRF453 What Kind of Text is That?
        • TAIC300 Survey of World Theater—Text
        • other language and text course as approved by mentor
      • Contextualization (1 class)
        • MHSTxxx any MHST (music history) course
        • MPRF451 Singing the Books
        • MPRF455 Dada Divas
        • MPRF456 Readings in VoiceArts
        • TAIC305 Survey of World Theater—Performance Tactics
        • TAIC310 Survey of World Theater—Arts Activism
        • other contextualization course as approved by mentor
      • Performance and Interpretation (1 class)
        • MBLExxx any MBLE (music ensemble) course
        • MCMP325 Experimental Music Workshop I
        • MCMP326 Experimental Music Workshop II
        • MCMP450 HyperOpera
        • MCMP416 Concert Theater
        • MPRF126 Experimental Voice Workshop
        • MPRF211 Bodies and Voice
        • MPRF221 Aza African Song
        • MPRF310 Advanced Vocal Coaching (beyond that which is required)
        • MPFR402 Opera Theater
        • MPRF451 Singing the Books
        • MPRF452 Contemporary Vocal Techniques
        • MPRF453 What Kind of Text is That?
        • MPRF455 Dada Divas
        • other performance or interpretation course as approved by mentor
      • MPRF290 Mid-Residence Performance Project/Recital
      • MCMP490 Graduation Portfolio/Website Review
      • MPRF490 Graduation Performance Project/Recital
      • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    VIII. World Music Performance (BFA)

    Learning Goals

    This degree specialization focuses on developing a strong sense and understanding of the different areas of world music offered at CalArts, in particular African, North Indian, and Indonesian music and dance. Students should form a strong foundation or base of knowledge in each of these areas. This foundation should not only prepare students for real-world experiences but also can be used as a stepping stone to the more MFA specializations in world music at CalArts. By the time students graduate, they should:

    • be able to play various instrumental, vocal and percussion instruments in African, North Indian and Balinese and Javanese music on at least a fundamental skill level;
    • be technically skilled in one or more instruments and an accomplished performer on this/these instrument(s);
    • be able to perform (playing and dancing) a wide range of repertoire;
    • have strongly developed rhythmic and melodic skills, with the ability to both lead and follow;
    • understand the theoretical, historical and cultural aspects of these musics;
    • have a forward-looking nature, respectful of tradition and also able to face the challenges and opportunities that await in the rapidly developing global music climate.

    World Music (BFA Requirements)

    Undergraduate students may be accepted to CalArts with a specialization, or with approval from faculty they may subsequently declare a specialization at any time before their Mid-Residence Review in BFA3-2. Upon approved declaration, the combined prerequisites and requirements listed below together become the student's degree requirements in Music.

    PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (to be completed by the end of BFA2-2)

    Students who have either declared this specialization or who may wish to declare this specialization must complete the following requirements by the end of BFA2-2.

    • MLSNxxx Lessons (each semester)
    • MTHY108 Transcription Skills (or other transcription class as approved by mentor)
    • MTHYxxx/MPRFxxx ONE theory or performance studies course in world music
    • MHST30x Music Cultures
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensembles (4 classes)
    • approved portfolio & performance assessment for the specialization
    REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SPECIALIZATION
    • Complete CORE CURRICULUM, plus
    • All PREREQUISITES TO THE SPECIALIZATION (completed by the end of BFA2-2), plus the following course requirements.
      • MLSN140-178 Hour Lesson as assigned (each semester)
      • MTHY203 Practical Musicianship C
      • MHST30x Music Cultures (2 classes)
      • MTHYxxx World Music Theory Electives chosen from (4 classes):
        • MTHY222 North Indian Theory
        • MTHY228 Journey to the Persian Music
        • MTHY226 African Music Theory
        • MTHY224 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
        • MTHY120 Beginning Svar Graam (Vocal)
        • MTHY322 Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
        • MTHY425 Tala Systems
      • ONE African Music Ensemble chosen from
        • MBLE201 Beginning African Ensemble
        • MBLE205 Azoli Highlife Ensemble
        • MBLE206 Aza Talking Drum Ensemble
        • MBLE211 Advanced African Ensemble
        • MPRF221 African Song
        • MBLE250 Beginning African Dance
        • MBLE251 Advanced African Dance
      • ONE Balinese/Javanese Ensemble chosen from
        • MBLE210 Beginning Javanese Gamelan
        • MBLE211 Advanced Javanese Gamelan
        • MBLE220 Beginning Balinese Gamelan
        • MBLE221 Advanced Balinese Gamelan
        • MBLE222 Gender Wayang Ensemble
        • MBLE223 Balinese Flute Ensemble
        • MBLE224 Kecak Ensemble
        • MBLE252 Balinese Dance
        • MBLE254 Javanese Dance (Women)
        • MBLE256 Javanese Dance (Men)
      • ONE North Indian Ensemble chosen from
        • MBLE230 Beginning North Indian Ensemble
        • MBLE430 Advanced North Indian Ensemble
        • MBLE104 Tabla Ensemble
      • ONE other World Music Ensemble chosen from
        • MBLE103 Beg. World Percussion Ensemble
        • MBLE203 Adv. World Percussion Ensemble
        • MPRF223 Beginning Shakuhachi Workshop
        • MPRF328 Latin Percussion
        • MBLE240 Persian Ensemble
        • other world music ensemble as approved
      • MBLE xxx additional World Music Ensembles (4 classes)
      • MBLExxx Ensemble electives outside of World Music Specialization (4 classes) chosen from
        • MBLE117 Jazz Student Ensemble
        • MBLE118 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
        • MBLE302 Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
        • MBLE310 Improvisation Ensemble
        • MBLE327 Multi-Focus Ensemble
        • MBLE450 Sonic Boom Ensemble
        • MBLE460 Golia Large Ensemble
        • other ensemble outside of world music
      • MPRF490 Graduation Recital
      • Electives (to fulfill 120-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Master of Fine Arts and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts Program Requirements

    Two years of intensive study are required for the Master of Fine Arts and Advanced Certificate of Fine Arts. Some individualized specializations may require 3 years.

    I. Composition & Experimental Sound Practices (MFA)

    Learning Goals

    Starting with a foundation of skills and creativity fostered by an undergraduate degree in composition, MFA students will continue to explore and develop their own artistic voice. By the time MFA students graduate, they will have had opportunities to

    • further developed their compositional voice and extended their knowledge of compositional craft to include graphic notation, indeterminacy, extended instrumental techniques, graphic notation, and elements of critical theory;
    • become familiar with current notation software, sequencing software, and real-time synthesis applications; additionally, those who specialize in electronic music should be proficient in all of the above, plus have a working knowledge of a general-purpose programming language such as C/C++, Java, Ruby, etc., and some understanding of the basics of analog and digital hardware;
    • become proficient in making scores with a professional appearance and to understand the importance of setting reasonable goals and meeting deadlines and will know how to treat performers and other composers with respect;
    • have experience in collaborating with other musicians through improvisation, ensemble playing or conducting; additionally, they also should have experience working with artists from other disciplines;
    • improve their ability to communicate their compositional ideas in verbal and written form, as well as musical form, and to be able to clarify performance instructions to performers, and address performance issues in a professional manner;
    • strongly develop conceptualization plans for their work, including the ability to project the results of compositional decisions into sound;
    • contextualize their work and know about aesthetic perspectives—their own and others'—so that they may adequately describe what they plan to do and what they have done;
    • become skilled in analyzing as they compose, utilizing different types of analyses, based on the type of work they are creating, and thus be able to analyze and evaluate their work while in process, being able to foresee creative problems before or as they emerge, and make decisions based on this;
    • develop listening skills as their highest skill, having approached listening as their practice; to learn the benefits of challenging their listening and hearing abilities in as many contexts as possible and in many challenging circumstances; such practice can allow the composer to refer to the deeper recesses of perception and challenge themselves, the listener and the performer to hear beyond the obvious, into the remote regions of aural possibility.

    Composition & Experimental Sound Practices (MFA Requirements)

    • MLSN601 Composition Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MFOR501/508 Graduate Composers' or ESP Forum (4 classes in total)
    • Composition courses with the prefix MCMP totaling at least 6 units
    • Courses in music technology, theory, history, pedagogy, performance or world music (non-MCMP music courses, at least 10 units)
    • Courses outside the School of Music (2 classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MCMP690 Graduation Portfolio Review
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    II. InstrumentalArts (MFA)

    Learning Goals 

    The InstrumentalArts Specialization recognizes that our students come to us with a wide range of musical backgrounds, experiences, and goals. The specialization asks each student to articulate their goals and intentions to their mentor each semester. Stated goals and intentions are noted and become a part of the student's individualized learning objectives. At the end of each year, student and mentor meet to discuss how the student is moving toward their goals, whether goals have changed, and what might be next. A detailed assessment report, and mentor report, as well as a copy of the student's stated goals become a part of the student's record.

    • Students are on their way to defining their place in the musical spectrum. They are learning about the musical communities they wish to join and are beginning to find their place within them. Ensemble playing, ranging from conducted ensembles and chamber music, to jazz, rock, improvisation, world music and /or interdisciplinary projects lead to a heightened awareness of community and collaborative learning situations.
    • Students are acquiring a foundation of technique, interpretive artistry, improvisation, sight-reading, composition, ensemble playing, stage presence, practice discipline, communication skills, self-motivation, professional deportment and demeanor, and are learning to develop these skills in a comprehensive manner that is appropriate to their unique individual needs and artistic aspirations.
    • Students are developing an awareness of their physical body as they explore optimal ways of holding and playing their instrument. They are developing a keen kinesthetic awareness of their physical relationship to their instrument and how that relationship is reflected in their playing.
    • Students are developing an understanding of performance practices (articulation, sound ideals, rhythmic nuances, and so on) that characterize different styles, ranging from world music offerings, to diverse jazz performance trends, to various popular music styles, to Western music periods.
    • Students are exploring a wide range of intonation systems, ranging from exploring septimal commas to the sets of tuning scenarios available in common practice tonal music and in contemporary musical practice.
    • Students are becoming aware of contemporary performance practice, extended techniques and advanced skills on their instrument.
    • Students are becoming fluent with technology: audio and video recording technologies, website development, the most recent communication applications, and how these technologies will support their career development.
    • Students are developing awareness that art is less an end result than a process in which excellence and self-transcendence are pursued constantly.

    Back to top

    Brass (MFA Requirements)

    SPECIALIZATION REQUIREMENTS
    • MLSN611/617-619 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MPRF532 Brass Workshop (2 classes)
    • MBLE620 Brass Ensemble (4 classes)
    • MHST500+ . . . Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
    • MTHY600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis (2 classes)
    • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (each semester, 4 classes):
      • MBLE606 Chamber Music Ensemble
      • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • Studies in Extended Techniques, Improvisation, and/or Interpretation: two classes chosen from
      • MBLE500 The Ensemble
      • MBLE607 Baroque Chamber Music & Arias
      • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
      • MBLE611 Advanced Improvisation Ensemble
      • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
      • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
      • MBLE625 Creative Electronic Ensemble
      • MBLE627 Multi-Focus Ensemble
      • MBLE650 Sonic Boom Ensemble
      • MBLE660 Golia Large Ensemble
      • MHST670 Frontiers of Instrumentation
      • MHST601 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
      • MPRF512 Jazz Improvisation (1-on-1)
      • MPRF609 Topics in Historically Informed Performance
      • MTHY577 Baroque Accompaniment
    • MFOR502 Performance Forum (in Spring Semesters, 2 classes)
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • MPCD599 Independent Pedagogy Project
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Guitar (MFA Requirements)

    SPECIALIZATION REQUIREMENTS
    • MLSN623/636 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MPRF520 Guitar Workshop (4 classes)
    • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
    • MTHY/MCMP600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis or Composition (2 classes)
    • MBLExxx Coached Small Ensemble (4 classes) chosen from
      • MBLE606 Chamber Music
      • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
      • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
      • MBLE627 Multi-Focus Ensemble
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital

    Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Harp (MFA Requirements)

    SPECIALIZATION REQUIREMENTS

    • MLSN612 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MPRF523 Harp Studio Class (4 classes)
    • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
    • MTHY600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis (2 classes)
    • Studies in Extended Techniques, Improvisation, and/or Interpretation: two classes chosen from
      • MBLE500 The Ensemble
      • MBLE607 Baroque Chamber Music & Arias
      • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble 
      • MBLE611 Advanced Improvisation Ensemble 
      • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble 
      • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble 
      • MBLE625 Creative Electronic Ensemble 
      • MBLE627 Multi-Focus Ensemble 
      • MBLE650 Sonic Boom Ensemble 
      • MBLE660 Golia Large Ensemble 
      • MHST670 Frontiers of Instrumentation 
      • MHST601 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
      • MPRF512 Jazz Improvisation (1-on-1) 
      • MPRF609 Topics in Historically Informed Performance 
      • MTHY577 Baroque Accompaniment
    • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (each semester, 4 classes):
      • MBLE606 Chamber Music Ensemble
      • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MFOR502 Performance Forum (2 classes) (each Spring Semester)
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 Classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Percussion (MFA Requirements)

    SPECIALIZATION Requirements

    • MLSN615 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MPRF529 Percussion Workshop (4 classes)
    • MBLE622 Percussion Ensemble (4 classes)
    • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
    • MTHY600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis (2 classes)
    • MBLE Ensembles as assigned (each semester, 4 classes)
    • MFOR502/503/505/507 Forums (2 classes)
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • Studies in Extended Techniques, Improvisation and/or Interpretation: two classes chosen from
      • MBLE500 The Ensemble
      • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
      • MBLE611 Advanced Improvisation Ensemble
      • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
      • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
      • MBLE625 Creative Electronic Ensemble
      • MBLE627 Multi-Focus Ensemble
      • MBLE650 Sonic Boom Ensemble
      • MBLE660 Golia Large Ensemble
      • MHST670 Frontiers of Instrumentation
      • MHST601 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
      • MPRF512 Jazz Improvisation (1-on-1)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble elective (4 classes, see listing under BFA Core Curriculum above)
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Piano/Keyboard (MFA Requirements)

    SPECIALIZATION REQUIREMENTS
    • MLSN613/616 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MPRF519 Piano Workshop (each semester, 4 classes)
    • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
    • MTHY600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis (2 classes)
    • MFOR502 Performance Forum (2 classes) (each Spring Semester)
    • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles or Accompanying Project (each semester, 4 classes):
      • MBLE606 Chamber Music Ensemble
      • MBLE500 The Ensemble
      • MBLE599 Independent Study
    • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • Movement class: 2 classes chosen from
      • DTCH501/503 Institute Dance
      • MBLE552 Balinese Dance
      • MBLE554/556 Javanese Dance
      • MPRF605 Yoga for Musicians
      • TACT514 Movement – Yoga
      • TGEN570/571 Intro to Tai Chi
    • Keyboard Studies Electives (2 classes)
      • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
      • MBLE611 Advanced Improv Ensemble
      • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
      • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
      • MLSN513/613 Harpsichord Lesson
      • MSLN533/633 Jazz Piano Lesson
      • MTHY540 Jazz Keyboard Theory
      • MTHY577 Baroque Accompaniment
      • other keyboard studies elective as approved by mentor
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Collaborative Keyboard (MFA Requirements)

    SPECIALIZATION REQUIREMENTS
    • MLSN616 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MPRF604 Special Studies in Collaborative Performance
    • MPRF510 Graduate Vocal Repertoire Coaching (minimum 2 classes)
    • MHST545 Topics in Vocal Literature
    • MLNG601-603 Foreign Language Diction for Singers (minimum 2 classes)
    • MPRF599 Independent Study
    • MHST/MTHY 600+ advanced Music History/Literature or Theory (3 classes)
    • Ensembles as assigned (each semester, 4 classes):
      • MBLE606 Chamber Music Ensemble
      • MBLE500 The Ensemble
      • MBLE607 Baroque Chamber Music & Arias
      • MPRF502 Opera Theater
    • MFOR502 or MFOR503 Performance Forum or Voice Forum (2 classes minimum)
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy
    • Movement class: 2 classes chosen from
      • DTCH501/503 Institute Dance
      • MBLE550/551 Aza Beginning/Advanced African Dance
      • MBLE552 Balinese Dance
      • MBLE554/556 Javanese Dance
      • MPRF605 Yoga for Musicians
      • TACT514 Movement – Yoga
      • TGEN570/571 Intro to Tai Chi
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Strings (MFA Requirements)

    SPECIALIZATION REQUIREMENTS

    • MLSN 606 /609/620/621 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MPRF528 String Workshop (4 classes)
    • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
    • MTHY600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis (2 classes)
    • Studies in Extended Techniques, Improvisation and/or Interpretation: two classes chosen from
      • MBLE500 The Ensemble
      • MBLE607 Baroque Chamber Music & Arias
      • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
      • MBLE611 Advanced Improvisation Ensemble
      • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
      • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
      • MBLE625 Creative Electronic Ensemble
      • MBLE627 Multi-Focus Ensemble
      • MBLE650 Sonic Boom Ensemble
      • MBLE660 Golia Large Ensemble
      • MHST670 Frontiers of Instrumentation
      • MHST601 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
      • MPRF512 Jazz Improvisation (1-on-1)
      • MPRF609 Topics in Historically Informed Performance
      • MTHY577 Baroque Accompaniment

    • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (each semester):
      • MBLE606 Chamber Music Ensemble
      • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MFOR502 Performance Forum (2 classes) (each Spring Semester)
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
    • MPCD599 or ICSE650 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy or Arts Pedagogy
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Winds (MFA Requirements)

    SPECIALIZATION Requirements
    • MLSN 604 /605/607/610/614 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MBLE623 Woodwind Workshop (2 classes)
    • MPRF522/524/530/531 Studio Class as appropriate to major (4 classes)
    • MHST500+ Advanced Music History and Literature (2 classes)
    • MTHY600+ Advanced Theory/Analysis (2 classes)
    • Studies in Extended Techniques, Improvisation and/or Interpretation: two classes chosen from
      • MBLE500 The Ensemble
      • MBLE607 Baroque Chamber Music & Arias
      • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
      • MBLE611 Advanced Improvisation Ensemble
      • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble
      • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble
      • MBLE625 Creative Electronic Ensemble
      • MBLE627 Multi-Focus Ensemble
      • MBLE650 Sonic Boom Ensemble
      • MBLE660 Golia Large Ensemble
      • MHST670 Frontiers of Instrumentation
      • MHST601 Improvisation: Uses and Lineage
      • MPRF512 Jazz Improvisation (1-on-1)
      • MPRF609 Topics in Historically Informed Performance
      • MTHY577 Baroque Accompaniment
    • MPCD599 or ICSE650 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy or Arts Pedagogy (1 class)
    • Chamber/Conducted Ensembles as assigned (each semester, 4 classes):
      • MBLE606 Graduate Chamber Music Ensemble
      • MBLE500 The Ensemble
    • MFOR502 Performance Forum (in Spring Semesters, 2 classes)
    • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians (1 class)
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF690 Graduation Jury and Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    III. Jazz (MFA)

    Learning Goals

    By the time of graduation, students in the Jazz Program should have acquired high-level experience and skill in areas common with the BFA program, but with the expectation of a considerably higher level of maturity, depth and originality. By graduation, they should

    • have highly developed improvisation, orchestration and arranging, and composition skills, facilitating spontaneous communication and interaction and developing an individual voice as a composer through frequent writing for ensemble performance and recording; graduates will be able to apply principles of form and composition in real time, using existing compositions or open structures and will be able to utilize instruments and voices in any size ensemble to maximize their musical and emotional effect;
    • exhibit a consistent, relaxed mental focus under a variety of conditions, and will show efficient and productive time management in practice and rehearsal situations; they will also display creative group decision making in rehearsals;
    • exhibit instrumental technique that allows physical facility without tension and that is sufficient to express one’s creative ideas; they also will be able to establish a beautiful, expressive sound, including control of dynamics and intonation;
    • have a feeling for time that includes a strong, steady sense of pulse, while moving beyond into projecting rhythmic energy and intensity with fluid articulation and phrasing;
    • understand melodic and harmonic development and form, including what makes a good melody and the ability to tell a melodic story through repetition and variation; they also will know the relationship among chords and progressions in a variety of styles and musical contexts and will also clearly understand musical organization and structure;
    • have sophisticated ear training skills, including the ability to hear and identify melodic, rhythmic and harmonic ideas with sufficient clarity and speed for success as an improviser and composer;
    • have historical knowledge of musical developments that led to creative breakthroughs for composers and improvisers in the past, and also will have exposure to other rich musical traditions from around the world, thus expanding the creative possibilities for finding a unique voice;
    • have the keyboard skills necessary to voice lead through chord progressions at the piano in steady time in order to facilitate harmonic understanding, improvisation and composition;
    • have strong sight-reading skills allowing the reading of both notation and chord symbols in a variety of styles and musical contexts and also facilitating the ability to learn unfamiliar jazz standards quickly;
    • have a unique and creative approach to the playing of standard jazz repertoire;
    • have performing skills in a variety of situations, including concert presentations and recording studio experience; graduates will have performed in a variety of venues and be able to establish rapport with audiences in any musical style or direction; graduates also will be comfortable in a studio environment and will know how to document their creative and musical work;
    • demonstrate a high level of professionalism, establishing a reputation as a reliable, dependable colleague;
    • have extensive experience as ensemble leaders and well-developed teaching skills

    Jazz (MFA Requirements)

    These requirements are applicable to the following areas of study:
    Jazz Bass, Jazz Guitar, Jazz Keyboard, Jazz Drums, Jazz Trumpet, Jazz Trombone, Jazz Reeds and Jazz Performance.

    • MLSN629-639 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MCMP610 Jazz Composition
    • MCMP500+ upper-level composition elective
    • MPRF603 Harmonic Improvisation
    • MBLE618 Jazz Faculty Ensemble (4 classes)
    • MBLE617 Jazz Student Ensemble (4 classes)
    • MFOR507 Jazz Forum (2 classes)
    • MHST550 Stylists & Innovators 1961-Now
    • MHST/MTHY500+ upper-level history, theory or analysis elective
    • MBLE501 Beginning African Music Ensemble
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF690 Graduation Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    IV. Music Technology: Interaction, Intelligence & Design Specialization (MFA)

    Learning Goals

    The Music Technology specialization aims to build strong musical skills while promoting the mastery of a variety of music-related technologies in the context of pursuing creative work. Specifically, Music Technology students will have opportunities to:

    • become trained musicians able to work in a variety of musical ensembles and global music productions, with appropriate competencies in music theory and musicianship skills, while emphasizing the specialties of 21st Century music technology;
    • develop professional-level skills allowing them to produce concerts, stage-manage, understand sound mixing and diffusion, and run stage monitoring and main audience sound;
    • become skilled in and know how to run music studios at a high level for album and media production, including microphone techniques, software editors, audio effects, mixing, mastering, and the use of the Internet for audio production;
    • develop thorough historical knowledge of electro-acoustic music as well as knowledge of the theory and operation of algorithms for traditional synthesis and audio effects production;
    • become software engineers able to write computer code for websites for the Internet and understand advanced object-oriented computer languages for artistic expression;
    • learn to design and build basic electronic circuits and make human-computer interface designs for artistic practices;
    • acquire knowledge of basic digital signal processing and how it relates to audio, including time and frequency domain processing and how these may be manipulated for artistic practices;
    • develop high-level practical and professional skills, including the ability to synthesize diverse studies, project planning, execution, time management, and documentation of both technical and musical work at a level suitable for publication in a professional journal.

    Music Technology (MFA Requirements)

    • MTEC600 Topics in Music Technology (2 classes)
    • MFOR506 Creative Technology Forum (4 classes)
    • MTEC613 & MTEC614 Introduction to Programming I & II (2 classes)
    • MTEC621 C++ for Electronic Music I
    • MTEC630 & MTEC631 Interface Design I & II (2 classes)
    • MTEC660 Audio Signal Processing
    • MTEC685 Teaching in Technology (2 classes)
    • MHST525 Survey of Sound Art
    • MTEC690 Music Technology MFA Project (variable units; must enroll each semester in residence)
    • 2 Music Technology electives, chosen from (2 classes):
      • MTEC580 Advanced Web Application Development
      • MTEC680 Music Information Retrieval & Machine Learning for Art
      • MTEC616 Visual Programming
      • MTEC550 Robotic Design for Music
      • MTEC612 Mobile Music Computing
      • MTEC622 C++ for Electronic Music II
      • MTEC635 Advanced Circuit Design
      • MTEC640 Programming for Raspberry Pi
      • MTEC650 Sound Synthesis
      • MTEC655 Advanced Synthesis
    • 2 Digital Performance Ensemble electives, chosen from (2 classes):
      • IIMC550 SoundGameSpace
      • MBLE625 Creative Electronic Ensemble
      • MCMP615 Choreographers & Composers
      • MTEC540 Machine Orchestra
      • MTEC618 Data Driven Art & Visuals
      • MTEC619 Experience Design & Technology
      • MTEC520 Grids, Beats, and Groups
      • MTEC530 21st-Century Raga & Tala
      • MTEC541 Composition for Robots
    • Courses outside the School of Music (2 classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MTEC691 Thesis
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    V. Performer-Composer (MFA)

    Learning Goals

    Students will enter this program having already developed high-level skills in performance and/or composition in an undergraduate program and having identified a direction in creative music making that demands thoroughgoing integration of performing and composing practices in the further evolution of their creative work. By the time they graduate, they should:

    • have developed a distinctive, creative musical voice recognizable to others and supported by a body of professional-level, original work that thoroughly integrates performance virtuosity with innovative compositional models;
    • display professional-level technical skills in both composition and their primary performance vehicle (i.e. instrument, voice, electronic media or other medium), as well as have developed systematic, individualized performance practices, including appropriate extended techniques, needed for the realization of their own original work;
    • have significant experience in organizing and directing collaborative performing groups to realize original, innovative directions in creative music making, including those involving artists from other disciplines;
    • have mastered a range of styles and methods for systematic improvisation, demonstrated the ability to bring the full complement of their composing and performing skills to each moment of spontaneous music making and shown cognitive acumen in conceiving, hearing and adapting to both large- and small-scale musical forms as they may emerge through interactive musical processes;
    • have mastered music technologies that may be needed to support their creative directions, including the ability to produce professional quality recordings of their work;
    • have strong communication skills with which to express their ideas to others in spoken, written and musical forms and be able to produce potentially publishable musical documents and journal-style articles about their work;
    • be skilled at analyzing and contextualizing their own work and that of others in the light of current directions, historical antecedents and a wide range of aesthetic perspectives;
    • have developed hearing and listening skills on the highest levels and fully integrated them with performance and composition practices, including listening analytically, creatively, and hearing beyond the obvious into remote regions of aural possibility;
    • have developed strategic plans and enterprise initiatives with which to develop career pathways to support their individual directions in creative music making.

    Performer-Composer (MFA Requirements)

    Two years of intensive study, full-time coursework and creative projects are required. Some individualized specializations may require three years.

    • MLSN604-678 Hour Lesson(s) in Performance or Composition as assigned (4 classes)
    • MLSN504-578 Lesson(s), in Year I, in whichever area (Performance or Composition) the Hour Lesson is not taken (2 classes)
    • MFOR505 Performer-Composer Forum (2 classes)
    • MFOR501/502/503/506/507/508 Other Graduate forums (2 classes)
    • Composition courses (with the prefix MCMP) totaling at least 4 units
    • Performance courses (with the prefix MBLE or MPRF) totaling at least 4 units
    • Courses in music technology, theory, history, or pedagogy, (with prefix MTEC, MTHY, MHST or MPCD, at least 10 units)
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in in January)
    • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital (must include substantial original work)
    • MPRF690 Graduation Jury & Recital (must include substantial original work)
    • MCMP690 Graduation Portfolio Review
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    VI. VoiceArts (MFA)

    Learning Goals

    Upon graduation, students should demonstrate:

    • a distinctive, expressive, open-minded and creative artistic persona that is skilled in performing and making art through the mechanism of the vocal instrument and actively seeks new contexts and arenas;
    • vocal technique that is healthy, consistent and controlled, produced with energetic freedom and adaptable to diverse musical and artistic situations; an even and resonant timbre evident throughout the entire instrument; a voice able to handle the physical and musical demands of the primary artistic direction;
    • a comprehensive knowledge of historical, theoretical and stylistic contexts; the ability to perform convincingly and to communicate (verbally and in written form) about the place of their work within such contexts;
    • an analytical and observant mindset that is able to determine what skills, tools and knowledge are required to produce the work in which they are interested, as well as the discipline necessary to acquire these abilities;
    • a highly developed ear for vocally produced language sounds and a thoroughgoing knowledge of phonetics and how distinct sounds are formed physically and acoustically; utility with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), its sounds and symbols, and the ability to apply this tool to render accurate pronunciations of any language or non-language sound while singing; an understanding of grammar, semantics and syntax; an ability to use relevant sources to produce word-for-word translations of song texts;
    • physical performance skills appropriate for particular musical styles and genres, including confident movement and body language, facial expression, and fully inhabited character (if appropriate);
    • an understanding of and dedication to professional etiquette, including preparedness and punctuality, and the commitment to attaining ever higher standards of excellence;
    • significant experience in designing and executing innovative programming or projects that include interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, or other inventive aspects;
    • the ability to communicate music and performance-related concepts in pedagogical settings, and an increasing ability to teach him/herself and others through attention to sound, observation and physical sensation; a commitment to life-long learning and self-growth;
    • an ability to develop self-promotion strategies in an entrepreneurial manner, including creating a unique artistic identity and necessary publicity materials (including résumés, CVs, biographical materials, website and social media presence, promotional recordings, etc.).

    VoiceArts (MFA Requirements)

    • MLSN 622 Hour Lessons as assigned (4 classes)
    • MPRF510 Graduate Vocal Coaching (as required by mentor)
    • MHST500–510, 600–699 or MTHY510, 600–699 History/Literature/Theory/Analysis (2 classes)
    • FOUR Experimental Voice classes chosen from
      • MCMP625 & 626 Experimental Music Workshop I & II
      • MPRF526 Experimental Voice Workshop
      • MPRF611 Bodies and Voice
      • MPRF651-659 Focused Topics in VoiceArts
      • other experimental voice courses as approved by mentor
    • MPRF610 Physiology of the Voice
    • Pedagogy Course, chosen from (1 course):
      • MPCD620 Teaching the Voice
      • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy
      • ICSE650 Arts Pedagogy
    • MFOR503 Voice Forum (minimum 1 class or as assigned by mentor)
    • Performance project or ensemble electives, chosen in consultation with mentor chosen from (4 classes)
      • MBLE500 The Ensemble
      • MBLE601 Chamber Singers
      • MBLE602 Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
      • MBLE606 Chamber Music
      • MBLE607 Baroque Chamber Music
      • MBLE610 Improvisation Ensemble
      • MBLE611 Advanced Improvisation Ensemble
      • MBLE625 Creative Electronic Ensemble
      • MBLE650 Sonic Boom Ensemble
      • MBLE699 Independent Study Ensemble
      • MCMP616 Concert Theater
      • MCMP650 HyperOpera
      • MPRF502 Opera Theater
      • MPRF699 Independent Study
      • other performance project course as approved by mentor
    • Career preparation course chosen from:
      • MPCD650 Career Design for Musicians
      • MTEC617 Media and Web Development    
      • TGEN750 Entrepreneurship: The Artist as Entrepreneur
      • TGEN755 The Business of Art: Entrepreneurial Training for Artists
      • other professional development courses as approved by mentor
    • Performance theory or practicum classes outside of Music (2 classes)
      • CCST Theater of the Oppressed
      • CCST567 Artists as Participants
      • CCST568 Arts of the Invisible
      • CMWP630 Performance Theory and Practice
      • DCHR501 Institute Dance Composition
      • DCHR501 Institute Dance Composition
      • DTCH500 Institute Dance Technique
      • DTCH503 Institute Dance
      • FFDP604 Advanced Acting Workshop
      • FVEA608 Voice and Text: A Mosaic
      • TACT660 Improvisation
      • TACT661 Improvisation
      • THST530 Grad Seminar: Adaptation
      • THST535 Grad Seminar: Dramaturgy
      • THST540 Grad Seminar: Translation
      • THST545 Grad Seminar: Theater of Witness
      • TGEN510 Institute Acting Techniques I
      • TGEN515 Institute Acting Techniques II
      • TGEN520 Institute Directing I
      • TGEN525 Institute Directing II
      • TGEN660 Improvisation
      • TIMM571 Performing Object Lab
      • other movement class as approved by mentor
    • Courses in movement techniques (2 classes) chosen from
      • DCHR601 Graduate Advanced Improvisation
      • DTCH501/503 Institute Dance 
      • MBLE552 Balinese Dance
      • MBLE554/556 Javanese Dance
      • MPRF605 Yoga for Musicians
      • TACT514 Movement – Yoga
      • TGEN570/571 Intro to Tai Chi
      • other movement class as approved by mentor
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensemble (in MFA1)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF590 Mid-Residence Recital
    • MPRF690 Graduation Jury & Recital
    • MCMP690 Graduation Portfolio Review
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    The VoiceArts specialization requires a review of each student's professional portfolio development each semester as a component of the lesson requirement.

    Back to top

    VII. World Music Performance (MFA)

    African Music and Dance (MFA)

    Learning Goals

    The African Music and Dance specialization seek to develop students' drumming, singing and dancing abilities in traditional music and dance from Ghana while learning and synthesizing the diverse skills and abilities required of a western classical musician. By the time students graduate, they should:

    • display a solid foundation of technical skills on various percussion instruments from Ghana (lead and support parts), in singing and leading songs, and in traditional dances from Ghana;
    • have the ability to listen attentively to the contents of music and to hear the entire piece, showing a highly developed awareness of relationships among instruments and parts in relation to the whole;
    • be able to perform a varied repertoire of traditional music and dance from Ghana;
    • display a strong sense of timing and rhythm and an understanding of how polyrhythm functions in traditional Ghanaian music, along with a sophisticated grasp of Ghanaian music theory through syllables and in a socio-cultural context;
    • display strong rhythmic and ensemble responsibility and highly developed observation and imitation skills, including the ability to learn new calls and to respond accurately to changes that the lead drummer may initiate;
    • be able to discuss the role of music in Ghanaian society, drawing from a knowledge of history, culture and style;
    • demonstrate high professional standards and the ability to form and rehearse an ensemble;
    • display versatility, flexibility, artistry, synthesis, spirit and a broad-minded artistic approach to performing traditional Ghanaian music and also new, evolving syntheses with western classical music and other world musics.
    AFRICAN MUSIC AND DANCE (MFA Requirements)

    Two years of intensive study in the field of emphasis are required. A final recital or series of performances is required. Mentors may require a written thesis.

    • MLSN640 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MLSN540-578 Lessons (2 classes, as approved by Mentor)
    • MHST512 Ethnology of African Music
    • MHST500-509 Music Cultures
    • MTHY508 Transcription Skills (or other transcription class as approved by mentor)
    • TWO classes chosen from:
      • MPRF620 Tabla Accompaniment
      • MTHY520/ MTHY522 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
      • MTHY521/ MTHY523 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Instrumental)
      • MTHY622 North Indian Theory
      • MTHY628 Journey to the Persian Music
      • MTHY626 African Music Theory
      • MTHY624 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
    • MTHY625 Tala Systems
    • MBLE502 Aza Advanced African Ensemble (4 classes)
    • MBLE World Music Ensembles, outside of African specialization (4 classes) (see list under BFA Core Curriculum)
    • MBLE550 African Dance (at least 1 class)
    • MPRF621 African Song (at least 1 class)
    • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy (2 classes)
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF690 Graduation Recital

    Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)


    Back to top

    Balinese and Javanese Music and Dance (MFA)

    Learning Goals

    Students graduating with an MFA specialization in Balinese and Javanese music and dance should be exceptional performers on various gamelan instruments, should have significant knowledge about the music, culture and history of gamelan music and dance in Bali and Java, and should be prepared to creatively meet challenges in a rapidly developing global music culture. Specifically, they should:

    • present strong technical skill in playing several different categories of gamelan instruments, all of which combine to create multi-layered and elaborate music. This includes instruments that play the melody, regulate time, underline musical structure, elaborate melodies, and vocal components;
    • understand the relationship of the individual instruments to the central melody and the whole, and the role each instrument plays in the layers created;
    • elicit the strong listening, observational and imitation skills necessary to learn such music; to recognize and order the relationship of the parts to the whole and be able to convey such oral teaching traditions and methods to others; be able to utilize cipher notation as necessary;
    • utilize the wide range of sound phenomena prevalent in Balinese and Javanese gamelan music in unique, global integrations and creations, taking gamelan musical elements forward in the 21st century and playing a significant role in aligning tradition with innovation;
    • maintain cultural respect, awareness and understanding, as well as knowledge of the various roles gamelan music plays in Indonesian life, including the long history and development of gamelan music and dance and the theory that underlies this;
    • possess professional qualities enabling performance, intellectual inquiry, respect for tradition and forward-looking creation.
    Program Requirements

    Two years of intensive study in the field of emphasis are required. A final recital or series of performances is required. Mentors may require a written thesis.

    • MLSN650-666 Graduate Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MLSN540-578 Non-Major Lessons (2 classes, as approved by Major)
    • MHST500-509 Music Cultures (2 classes)
    • MTHY508 Transcription Skills (or other transcription class as approved by mentor)
    • TWO classes chosen from:
      • MPRF620 Tabla Accompaniment
      • MTHY520/ MTHY522 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
      • MTHY521/ MTHY523 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Instrumental)
      • MTHY622 North Indian Theory
      • MTHY628 Journey to the Persian Music
      • MTHY626 African Music Theory
      • MTHY624 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
      • MTHY625 Tala Systems
    • MBLE511/521 Advanced Javanese/Balinese Gamelan (4 classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensembles, outside of Balinese/Javanese music (4 classes)
    • MBLE552/554/556 Balinese and/or Javanese Dance (4 classes)
    • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy (2 classes)
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF690 Graduation Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    North Indian Music (MFA)

    Learning Goals

    This degree specialization trains students to become exceptional performers as well as teachers through in-depth hands-on training. While the specialization is heavily steeped in performance practices, the students also will have opportunities to learn the theoretical side of this music, as well as the cultural and historical aspects of North Indian classical music. By graduation, students in the North Indian Music Vocal and Instrumental Specialization should:

    • develop technical skill in playing and/or singing different Raags and Taalas found in North Indian classical music, including an understanding of sruti, microtones, and differences between each Raag and Taal;
    • have a refined sense of pitch, reinforced through significant ear training;
    • have memorized and performed compositions in different Taals and Raags, while at the same time focusing heavily on developing skills as an improviser;
    • have learned skills such as tuning as well as maintenance and repair of instruments.

      Specifically for those pursuing North Indian Tabla studies, students will:
    • develop a strong knowledge of the different talas or rhythmic cycles found in North Indian classical music;
    • have developed the skills, as both a soloist and an accompanist, necessary to be a learned tabla player;
    • have learned a broad range of traditional repertoire, as well as developed skills as an improviser;
    • have a strong understanding of the concepts, devices, and rhythmic patterns found in North Indian classical music;
    • know the vocalization and recitation of syllables (e.g. the language and grammar of tabla);
    • be able to maintain, repair, and tune the instruments.
    NORTH INDIAN MUSIC (MFA Requirements)

    Two years of intensive study in the field of emphasis are required. A final recital or series of performances is required. Mentors may require a written thesis.

    • MLSN670-678 Hour Lesson as assigned (4 classes)
    • MLSN540-578 Lessons (2 classes, as approved by Mentor) 
    • MHST500-509 Music Cultures (2 classes)
    • MTHY508 Transcription Skills (or other transcription class as approved by mentor)
    • Two classes chosen from:
      • MPRF620 Tabla Accompaniment
      • MTHY520/ MTHY522 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
      • MTHY521/ MTHY523 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Instrumental)
      • MTHY622 North Indian Theory
      • MTHY628 Journey to the Persian Music
      • MTHY626 African Music Theory
      • MTHY624 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
      • MTHY625 Tala Systems
    • MBLE530/604 North Indian or Tabla Ensemble (4 classes)
    • MBLExxx World Music Ensembles, outside of major focus (4 classes) (see listing under BFA Core Curriculum)
    • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy (2 classes)
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF690 Graduation Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    World Percussion (MFA)

    Learning Goals

    This degree specialization aims to train students, who already possess a strong foundation as drummers and/or percussionists, to become exceptional cutting-edge performers (as well as teachers) through the development of a broad range of skills drawing from a multitude of areas of world percussion. Through examining and studying both traditional aspects of world music as well as contemporary approaches and applications, this specialization is designed to give the graduating student the skills necessary to lead by example in the emerging and ever-growing field of world percussion and hand drumming. By the time students graduate, they should:

    • have developed skills, ideas, and approaches from a world music perspective;
    • have experience, expertise and phenomenal technical skills garnered from the study of world music percussion offered at CalArts, including the African, Indian, and Indonesian specializations, as well Latin percussion, Brazilian percussion, Persian percussion, Arabic percussion, frame drums and other hand drumming traditions from around the world;
    • have focused on and be committed to contemporary experiments combining performance, composition, and improvisation;
    • have examined how the rhythmic concepts, devices, techniques, musical forms, and overall aesthetics found in different drumming traditions from around the world can be utilized to reinforce, enhance and individualize their playing as a drummer/ percussionist;
    • have been involved in and formed and designed ensembles and collaborative projects throughout all areas of the school of music and the institute at large, leading to experience in organization, planning, design, implementation and production;

    be self-motivated and entrepreneurial, learning to set goals that are reflective of their artistic vision and uniqueness.

    WORLD PERCUSSION (MFA Requirements)

    Two years of intensive study in the field of emphasis are required. A final recital or series of performances is required. Mentors may require a written thesis.

    • MLSN 615/640/650/661/670 Hour Lessons as assigned (4 classes)
    • MLSN 515/540/550/561/570 Lessons (2 classes, as approved by Mentor)
    • MHST500-509 Music Cultures (2 classes)
    • MTHY508 Transcription Skills (or other transcription class as approved by mentor)
    • FOUR classes chosen from:
      • MPRF628 Latin Percussion
      • MBLE540 Persian Ensemble
      • MPRF620 Tabla Accompaniment
      • MTHY520/ MTHY522 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Vocal)
      • MTHY521/ MTHY523 Beginning/Advanced Svar Graam (Instrumental)
      • MTHY622 North Indian Theory
      • MTHY628 Journey to the Persian Music
      • MTHY626 African Music Theory
      • MTHY624 Java/Bali: Music-Dance-Theory
      • MTHY625 Tala Systems
    • MBLE603/604 Adv. World Percussion Ensemble / Tabla Ensemble (4 classes)
    • MBLExxx Other World Music Ensembles (4 classes) (see listing under BFA Core Curriculum)
    • MPCD599 Graduate Independent Project: Pedagogy (2 classes)
    • Courses outside of the School of Music (2 classes)
    • Wintersession (2 units of coursework with subject code MITM, taken in January)
    • MPRF690 Graduation Recital
    • Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)

    Back to top

    Doctor of Musical Arts Program Requirements

    I. Performer-Composer (DMA)

    Learning Goals

    Upon attainment of the DMA degree, students should have demonstrated an original and coherent artistic vision that fuses performance and composition in unique and compelling ways, and should manifest excellence as educators and advocates for evolutionary and exploratory art. Specifically, they should demonstrate:

    • a high level of critically aware artistic production demonstrated by a substantial body of mature, well-documented artworks and performances that articulate a unique creative voice;
    • advanced technical and performance skills facilitating the consummate execution of diverse artistic projects;
    • the scholarly ability to effectively contextualize and conceptualize their work and that of other artists, supported by broad historical and theoretical knowledge relevant to their artistic milieu;
    • persuasive written and oral communication skills enabling advocacy to diverse audiences of their own artistic ideas and practices, as well as of other exploratory art;
    • outstanding pedagogical and assessment skills and experience, including the employment of interactive and experiential learning modalities;
    • strong organizational and collaborative skills that complement entrepreneurial vision and expertise, including the ability to plan, promote and realize public events;
    • a command of both traditional and emerging approaches to the delivery of scholarly and creative work, including professional development methods and strategies (e.g., media distribution formats, website preparation and Internet usage, grant-writing skills, production and management techniques, etc.).

    DMA Program Requirements

    • DMA Students must satisfactorily complete the program of studies formulated each semester by the student and their faculty Mentor, as well as all requirements specified in this section of this Catalog.
    • The DMA program requires a minimum of 60 credit units in total, with a minimum enrollment of 10 units per semester, and a minimum residence of six full-time semesters. The course requirements for the DMA program are as follows.
    • MLSN701/MLSN704-799 Composition and/or Performance Lessons (each semester in residence)
    • MCMP700 Doctoral Seminar (each semester in residence)
    • MHST703 Performer-Composer: History & Aesthetics
    • MPCD701 Teaching the Teacher
    • MPCD704 Professional Development
    • MPCD740 Teaching Practicum (5 classes)
    • MTHY750 Topic-Driven Research and Exploration (6 classes minimum with at least 3 different instructors)
    • MPRF790 Performance Project (2 classes)
    • MCMP790 Doctoral Project (2 classes)
    • Approved Electives (3 classes, approved by mentor as relevant to the student's research direction)
    • Free Electives (to fulfill 60-unit degree requirement)
    • MCMP791 DMA First-Year Review
    • MCMP792 DMA Qualifying Examination
    • MCMP794 DMA Final Review

    DMA students must pass a First Year Review (MCMP790). This review is conducted by the student's Doctoral Examining Committee. This Committee comprises a total of 3-4 faculty members and must include the student's Mentor and MTHY750 (Topic-Driven Research) instructors. During this review, the student's artistic, intellectual, academic, professional and pedagogical development is examined, progress is assessed, problems are discussed, and changes to the curriculum are considered.

    DMA students must pass Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations (MCMP792) before advancing to degree candidacy. The Qualifying Examinations are administered by the student's Doctoral Examining Committee. In preparation for the Qualifying Examinations, the student must enroll in MTHY750 (Topic-Driven Research) at least 6 times with a minimum of 3 different DEC members addressing 3 respective topic areas. This typically takes place over the course of the student's second year in the DMA program. The MTHY750 topic areas are agreed upon by the student and the MTHY750 instructors in light of the student's professional and artistic goals and are subject to approval by the Doctoral Policy Committee. The DMA Qualifying Examinations can be repeated at most once. Any second trial must occur within four months of the first trial. Unsatisfactory performance at the second trial is grounds for dismissal from the Herb Alpert School of Music.


    Before the awarding of the degree each DMA student must pass a Final Review (MCMP794), conducted by their Doctoral Examining Committee. This review assesses the student's artistic, intellectual, academic, professional, and pedagogical standing in relation to the Learning Goals and Rubrics for the DMA program, and includes detailed evaluation of all components of the student's Doctoral Project (MCMP790), and particularly of the student's Professional Portfolio.

    Back to top

    ​​​