The major in music requires study of both the historical and the theoretical dimensions of music along with performance study and experience. A total of 10 courses are required including 4 theory courses taken in sequence (Music 103, 104, 201, 202), 3 history courses taken in any order (Music 231, 232, 233, formerly 207, 208 and 209), senior seminar (Music 402), and a minimum of two elective courses. Although students do not declare a major until the second semester of sophomore year, planning ahead is essential.
The electives are chosen in consultation with the department from all the other course offerings. Majors typically concentrate in a specific musical discipline, such as composition, performance, or music history, doing so by taking more than the minimum two electives. Majors are strongly urged to take courses in at least one foreign language while at Williams.
Music majors are required to participate in departmental performance groups for at least four semesters. Majors are also expected to attend departmental concerts. At the end of the senior year senior majors are asked to report on their participation in the Music Department. The "Major Requirements/Expectations" form is a helpful tool in recording basic information in preparation for the senior majors' participation report. To access the form listing courses taken prior to 12-13 click here, for courses taken 12-13 or after click here.
Three routes provide the opportunity for honors or highest honors consideration in the Music major:
In order for a thesis proposal to be approved a student must have at least a 3.3 GPA in Music courses (this GPA must be maintained in order to receive honors), and must have demonstrated outstanding ability and experience through coursework and performance in the proposed thesis area. Students are encouraged to seek the advice of their potential thesis advisor early in the junior year and no later than the first month of the second semester. A 1 to 2 page proposal written in consultation with the faculty advisor must be received by the Music chair by the end of spring break.
Honors candidates must enroll in Music 493(F)–W31–494(S) during their senior year. A student who is highly qualified for honors work, but is unable to pursue a year–long project for compelling reasons, may petition the department for permission to pursue a WS/one–semester thesis. The standards for evaluating such a thesis remain the same. Completed thesis is due by April 15