school-of-music

The School of Music views its goals and objectives as complementary to those of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, which include "to provide an environment in which faculty and students can discover, examine critically, preserve and transmit the knowledge, wisdom and values that will help ensure the survival of the present and future generations with improvement in the quality of life." The goals of an education in music are:

  • competency in communication;
  • competency in using the modes of thought characteristic in the art of music;
  • awareness and perception of the musical art and its discipline;
  • a knowledge of our basic cultural heritage;
  • a thorough understanding of at least one area—creative, recreative, analytic, historical, or pedagogical.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and has been an institutional member of NASM since 1966.

Undergraduate Degree Programs

The School of Music offers four principal degree options for the music major. All require a performance audition for admission.

Bachelor of Music: Performance, with concentration in Brass, Composition, Guitar, Harp, Jazz Studies, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Strings, Voice, or Woodwinds.

Bachelor of Music: Music Education, with certification in General and Instrumental Music (Early Childhood through Adolescence), or General and Vocal Music (Early Childhood through Adolescence).

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, with a music major: options in performance, history, theory, or an individualized music curriculum.  The individualized music curriculum can be designed with an emphasis in composition or jazz studies.  The history and theory options are under review and may be changed.  During this time, the School of Music is not admitting new students to these options.

Grades and Advising

The School of Music is a department of the UW–Madison College of Letters & Science. Information on the grading system and academic procedures is available in the College of Letters & Science section of this catalog and in the opening section of this catalog.

The undergraduate advisor of the School of Music serves as the advisor for every music major. The advisor maintains records and will assist students in determining an appropriate course schedule each semester. More information about advising at UW–Madison appears in the opening section of this catalog.

First-Year Core Curriculum

Preliminary music students admitted to the School of Music without any previous transferable college coursework in music enroll for a core curriculum of music courses their first year that lays a basic foundation for later, more specialized study. Near the end of the first year, each student applies for a specific degree emphasis. During the first year, the student has opportunities to consider the program best suited to individual interests and needs. All preliminary School of Music students are assigned a classification of PRM.

Recommended First-Semester Curriculum (TOTAL CREDITS = 14–16)

Music Courses
Performance study2
Music Theory4
Organizations (Band, Orchestra, or Choir; piano majors will enroll for Keyboard Skills class)1-2
Secondary piano (non-piano majors)2
Chamber Ensemble (for majors in brass, guitar, or percussion)1-2
Liberal Studies (College of Letters & Science)
Communication0-3
Quantitative Reasoning0-4
Breadth0-8

Music Courses for Nonmusic Majors

A variety of courses in music theory, music history and literature, as well as orchestra, chorus, band, and some ensembles, are open to students from other departments, schools, and colleges. Students should review the specific regulations of their degree program to determine whether music courses can fulfill breadth requirements. The Course Guide indicates music courses that are open to nonmusic majors.

Music Performance courses are generally filled by music majors. Fundamentals courses (007–036) are for instrumental music education majors only. Class Piano (101–104) is for music majors only. Basic courses require the ability to read music and to pass a prepared audition; in addition, Basic Guitar requires previous experience with classical guitar. Students outside the School of Music may audition to be on a waiting list for group or individual voice study with a teaching assistant (MUS PERF 143 Introduction to Performance: Voice or MUS PERF 144 Vocal Instruction for Non-Voice Majors). Contact the course instructor for more information about course requirements and admission criteria. The School of Music offers private music lessons (not for university credit and with separate costs) for nonmusic majors through the Community Music Lessons program.

Regulation of music courses available for degree credit varies among the divisions of the university. Students should consult their major department for specific advice.

Courses open to nonmusic majors that satisfy the university's humanities breadth requirements:

MUSIC 101 The Musical Experience3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  103 Introduction to Music Cultures of the World2
MUSIC 104 Study Abroad: Elementary Music Appreciation/Theory/History1-3
MUSIC 105 Opera3
MUSIC 106 The Symphony3
MUSIC 111 Elements of Music3
MUSIC 113 Music in Performance1
MUSIC 151 Basic Concepts of Music Theory3
MUSIC 204 Study Abroad: Intermediate Music Theory or History1-3
MUSIC 205 The Big Bands2
MUSIC 206 The Legendary Performers2
MUSIC 305 Popular Music in the USA: 1920-19502
MUSIC/​AFROAMER  308 Black Music (1920-Present): Rhythm Section and Combos2
MUSIC/​AFROAMER  309 Black Music (1920-Present): Vocalist/Trombone/Misc Instrumental2
MUSIC/​AFROAMER  310 Black Music (1920-Present): The Trumpet2
MUSIC/​AFROAMER  311 Black Music (1920-Present): The Saxophone2
MUSIC 319 Topics in Music and Ethnicity in the United States3
MUSIC 361 Non-Western Music Performance-Study Groups1
MUSIC 461 Collegium Musicum1
MUSIC/​AFROAMER  400 Music Cultures of the World: Africa, Europe, the Americas3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  401 Musical Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  402 Musical Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  404 Music of S.E. Asia: Tradition, Innovation, Politics, and Religion3
MUSIC/​AFROAMER  509 Seminar in Afro-American Music History and Criticism3

Admissions Procedures

To become a candidate for a School of Music degree a student must be accepted by the UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment and by the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Office, 3561H Mosse Humanities. These are the specific steps for applying to the UW–Madison School of Music:

  • Review the information available on the School of Music website.  Any questions may be directed to the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Office.
  • Request an audition date by submitting a completed School of Music application.
  • Students who expect to need financial assistance should consult the Office of Student Financial Aid.
  • Prepare the appropriate repertoire and materials for the audition.
  • Request that official transcripts be sent to the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Office from all high schools and colleges attended. Request written recommendations from two people who can attest to the applicant's musical background and ability.
  • Come to the campus for an audition, which includes a ten- to twenty-minute performance audition, music theory and piano placement examinations, and an introduction to School of Music faculty, students, and facilities.

Transfer Students

Students who have earned more than 24 course credits at another college or university follow the same application and audition procedures described above. Upon acceptance by UW–Madison and the School of Music, credits for music courses taken at another institution are interpreted by the UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment simply as elective music credits. These course credits, as they appear on the transcript(s), will be reviewed during a conference with the advisor upon enrolling at UW–Madison. Transfer credit for music courses will be reviewed only after all placement and proficiency examinations in theory and piano have been taken at UW–Madison and syllabi for academic music courses have been submitted.

Reentering the School of Music

Students who were previously enrolled in the School of Music and UW–Madison who desire to reenter to seek an undergraduate degree should apply for reentry to both the UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment and the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Office. An audition will be required in most cases.

International Students

Students from foreign countries who seek admission to the university and the School of Music should contact International Student Services in addition to the UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment and the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Special Students

Persons who are interested in courses offered by the School of Music but who are not working toward a UW–Madison degree should contact the Division of Continuing Studies, 21 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53715; 608-263-6960. Enrollment is limited in music courses, and priority is given to UW–Madison undergraduate degree candidates.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

College of Letters & Science Breadth and Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Students pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The College of Letters & Science allows this major to be paired with either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science curriculum. View a comparison of the degree requirements here.

Bachelor of Arts degree requirements

Mathematics Fulfilled with completion of University General Education requirements Quantitative Reasoning a (QR A) and Quantitative Reasoning b (QR B) coursework. Please note that some majors may require students to complete additional math coursework beyond the B.A. mathematics requirement.
Foreign Language
  • Complete the fourth unit of a foreign language; OR
  • Complete the third unit of a foreign language and the second unit of an additional foreign language

Note: A unit is one year of high school work or one semester/term of college work.
L&S Breadth
  • Humanities, 12 credits: 6 of the 12 credits must be in literature
  • Social Sciences, 12 credits
  • Natural Sciences, 12 credits: must include one 3+ credit course in the biological sciences; must include one 3+ credit course in the physical sciences
Liberal Arts and Science Coursework 108 credits
Depth of Intermediate/Advanced work 60 intermediate or advanced credits
Major Declare and complete at least one (1) major
Total Credits 120 credits
UW-Madison Experience 30 credits in residence, overall
30 credits in residence after the 90th credit
Minimum GPAs 2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison
2.000 in intermediate/advanced coursework at UW–Madison

Non–L&S students pursuing an L&S major

Non–L&S students who have permission from their school/college to pursue an additional major within L&S only need to fulfill the major requirements and do not need to complete the L&S breadth and degree requirements above.

Requirements for the Major

Four options are available under this program:

  • Major in Music Performance
  • Major in Music History
  • Major in Music Theory
  • Individualized Music Major

These music curricula are designed for students whose career goals require more flexibility in course selection than that afforded by the bachelor of music degree. This degree also makes it possible to combine a major in music with majors in other fields. All prospective B.A./B.S. music students must audition on an instrument or voice and be accepted into the School of Music at the music major level of performance study following normal admission procedures.

To be eligible to declare the major, students must maintain a minimum 2.000 GPA in the core academic music courses (theory and history) specified for their major option. Admission to and retention in the music history or music theory major option may require a higher GPA; see specific requirements for these programs. Enrollment in courses is limited; therefore, core academic music courses may be repeated only with permission of the area. Only one approved repeat per area will be calculated into the GPA for purposes of determining eligibility to declare a major in music.

Satisfactory academic progress in the degree is measured by the regulations of the College of Letters & Science. The music advisor maintains current records and advises the student on music course selection each semester. The music advisor can provide information on all degree requirements. However, the L&S academic deans are the final authority responsible for interpretation of L&S policy regarding B.A./B.S. degree requirements outside the major department. The music course requirements listed are subject to change.

Bachelor of Arts–Music Performance

Music Courses in Performance Study
Select major instrument or voice (200 level or above, with three semesters at the 400 level)14
Music Courses in Music Theory
MUSIC 121
MUSIC 171
Musica Practica 1
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 1
4
MUSIC 122
MUSIC 172
Musica Practica 2
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 2
4
MUSIC 221
MUSIC 271
Musica Practica 3
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 3
4
Music Courses in Music History
MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music3
Select one of the following:3
Survey of Music in the Middle Ages
Survey of Music in the Renaissance
Survey of Music in the Baroque Era
Survey of Music in the Classic Era
Survey of Music in the Romantic Era
Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century
Music in the United States
Historical Performance Practices
Survey of Opera
Music Courses in Organizations or Accompanying
Select as appropriate to the major performance area from the following (must enroll concurrently with each semester of private performance study): 7-9
Wind Ensemble
Concert Band
Concert Choir
Women's Chorus
Choral Union
Masters' Singers
Chorale
Madrigal Singers
University Chorus
Chamber Orchestra
University Symphony Orchestra
Ensemble-Guitar
Keyboard Skills
Accompanying
Piano Accompanying Lab
Music Course in Piano
MUS PERF 102 Beginning Class Piano (or pass proficiency exam)2
Total Credits44-46

All students must fulfill the L&S requirement of at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major completed in residence. Courses that count toward this requirement are:

Music (660) Courses
MUSIC 40 Wind Ensemble1
MUSIC 41 Concert Band1
MUSIC 50 Concert Choir1
MUSIC 52 Women's Chorus1
MUSIC 53 Choral Union1
MUSIC 55 Masters' Singers1
MUSIC 56 Chorale1
MUSIC 58 Madrigal Singers1
MUSIC 61 Chamber Orchestra1
MUSIC 62 University Symphony Orchestra1
MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 221 Musica Practica 33
MUSIC 222 Musica Practica 43
MUSIC 256 University Opera1-2
MUSIC 262 Jazz Ensemble1
MUSIC 265 Ensemble-Woodwind1
MUSIC 266 Black Music Ensemble1
MUSIC 267 Ensemble-Brass1
MUSIC 268 Ensemble-Percussion1
MUSIC 269 Ensemble-String1
MUSIC 270 Ensemble-Guitar1
MUSIC 271 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 31
MUSIC 272 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 41
MUSIC 273 Contemporary Chamber Ensemble1
MUSIC 319 Topics in Music and Ethnicity in the United States3
MUSIC 331 Jazz Improvisation3
MUSIC 332 Jazz Improvisation3
MUSIC 340 Pedagogy1-2
MUSIC 345 Practicum in String Pedagogy2
MUSIC 361 Non-Western Music Performance-Study Groups1
MUSIC/​AFROAMER  400 Music Cultures of the World: Africa, Europe, the Americas3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  401 Musical Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  402 Musical Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  404 Music of S.E. Asia: Tradition, Innovation, Politics, and Religion3
MUSIC 411 Survey of Music in the Middle Ages3
MUSIC 412 Survey of Music in the Renaissance3
MUSIC 413 Survey of Music in the Baroque Era3
MUSIC 414 Survey of Music in the Classic Era3
MUSIC 415 Survey of Music in the Romantic Era3
MUSIC 416 Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century3
MUSIC 419 Music in the United States3
MUSIC 461 Collegium Musicum1
MUSIC 467 Language Diction for Singing I2
MUSIC 468 Language Diction for Singing II2
MUSIC 497 Special Topics in Music1-3
MUSIC 499 Directed Study1-3
500 level and above
Music Performance (664)
MUS PERF 342 Piano Accompanying Lab1
MUS PERF 347 Third Year Composition3
MUS PERF 348 Third Year Composition3
400 level and above

Bachelor of Arts–Music History

All prospective undergraduate music majors must audition on an instrument or voice and be accepted into the School of Music at the music major level (200 level) of performance study according to the School of Music's standard admission procedures. For students desiring to major in music history, subsequent private lessons are not required and may only be available as space permits in individual studios.

Students should talk with the MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music or MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music professor (whichever course they are enrolled in at the time) and/or the chair of the musicology area. In addition, they must notify the School of Music advisor of their plans.

Students must prepare the petition for admission during the semester in which they are taking the second music history survey course. They must also be completing or have already completed MUSIC 221 Musica Practica 3/MUSIC 271 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 3 and MUSIC 222 Musica Practica 4/MUSIC 272 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 4. The petition must consist of:

  1. a written request to the chair of the musicology area outlining the reasons they wish to declare a major in music history and
  2. a selection of papers and other written assignments completed for MUSIC 211, MUSIC 212, and other academic music courses.

All application materials must be submitted to the chair no later than the end of the semester they are completing the MUSIC 211MUSIC 212 sequence. Applicants must also submit a campus copy of their transcript once final grades have posted.

Musicology faculty will consider the application at the next Area meeting. Applications submitted in May at the completion of MUSIC 212 will be reviewed in September. The Area will decide whether to admit students to the major on the basis of grades in MUSIC 211 and MUSIC 212, cumulative grade point average (GPA), samples of written prose, and letters of application. The admission decision is based on multiple factors, and there is no minimum GPA that will guarantee admission to the music history major. However, the Area does expect that a serious applicant would have attained minimum GPAs of 3.250 in the following areas:

  1. MUSIC 211 and MUSIC 212;
  2. other academic music courses;
  3. the UW–Madison cumulative GPA.

As with admission to all majors within the School of Music, the Area has the final authority to accept or deny a petition for admission.

The Area will assign each admitted student a musicology faculty advisor for planning advanced work in the major and supervising the senior capstone paper.

Students may not take more than one advanced music history course following completion of MUSIC 211MUSIC 212 pending acceptance to the major.

Students wishing to apply to the major after completion of MUSIC 211MUSIC 212 and/or after completion of more than one advanced musicology course must submit an additional petition explaining why they are applying late. If a late applicant is admitted, the Area may choose to accept all, part, or none of the advanced-level work completed prior to acceptance to the major.

Students must earn a grade of C or better in each music course taken after formal admission to and declaration of the major.

Music Courses in Music Theory
MUSIC 121
MUSIC 171
Musica Practica 1
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 1 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
MUSIC 122
MUSIC 172
Musica Practica 2
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 2 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
MUSIC 221
MUSIC 271
Musica Practica 3
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 3 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
MUSIC 222
MUSIC 272
Musica Practica 4
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 4
4
Music Courses in Music History
MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music3
Music Courses in Advanced-level Music History
Select four of the following:12
Music Cultures of the World: Africa, Europe, the Americas
Musical Cultures of the World
Musical Cultures of the World
Music of S.E. Asia: Tradition, Innovation, Politics, and Religion
Survey of Music in the Middle Ages
Survey of Music in the Renaissance
Survey of Music in the Baroque Era
Survey of Music in the Classic Era
Survey of Music in the Romantic Era
Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century
Music in the United States
Historical Performance Practices
Survey of Opera
Music Course for Senior Capstone Paper
MUSIC 499 Directed Study3
Music Elective Courses
Select 3 credits of music electives3
Music Course in Piano
MUS PERF 102 Beginning Class Piano (or pass proficiency exam)2

All students must fulfill the L&S requirement of at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major completed in residence. Courses that count toward this requirement are:

Music (660) Courses
MUSIC 40 Wind Ensemble1
MUSIC 41 Concert Band1
MUSIC 50 Concert Choir1
MUSIC 52 Women's Chorus1
MUSIC 53 Choral Union1
MUSIC 55 Masters' Singers1
MUSIC 56 Chorale1
MUSIC 58 Madrigal Singers1
MUSIC 61 Chamber Orchestra1
MUSIC 62 University Symphony Orchestra1
MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 221 Musica Practica 33
MUSIC 222 Musica Practica 43
MUSIC 256 University Opera1-2
MUSIC 262 Jazz Ensemble1
MUSIC 265 Ensemble-Woodwind1
MUSIC 266 Black Music Ensemble1
MUSIC 267 Ensemble-Brass1
MUSIC 268 Ensemble-Percussion1
MUSIC 269 Ensemble-String1
MUSIC 270 Ensemble-Guitar1
MUSIC 271 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 31
MUSIC 272 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 41
MUSIC 273 Contemporary Chamber Ensemble1
MUSIC 319 Topics in Music and Ethnicity in the United States3
MUSIC 331 Jazz Improvisation3
MUSIC 332 Jazz Improvisation3
MUSIC 340 Pedagogy1-2
MUSIC 345 Practicum in String Pedagogy2
MUSIC 361 Non-Western Music Performance-Study Groups1
MUSIC/​AFROAMER  400 Music Cultures of the World: Africa, Europe, the Americas3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  401 Musical Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  402 Musical Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  404 Music of S.E. Asia: Tradition, Innovation, Politics, and Religion3
MUSIC 411 Survey of Music in the Middle Ages3
MUSIC 412 Survey of Music in the Renaissance3
MUSIC 413 Survey of Music in the Baroque Era3
MUSIC 414 Survey of Music in the Classic Era3
MUSIC 415 Survey of Music in the Romantic Era3
MUSIC 416 Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century3
MUSIC 419 Music in the United States3
MUSIC 461 Collegium Musicum1
MUSIC 467 Language Diction for Singing I2
MUSIC 468 Language Diction for Singing II2
MUSIC 497 Special Topics in Music1-3
MUSIC 499 Directed Study1-3
500 level and above
Music Performance (664)
MUS PERF 342 Piano Accompanying Lab1
MUS PERF 347 Third Year Composition3
MUS PERF 348 Third Year Composition3
400 level and above

Bachelor of Arts–Music Theory Option

All prospective undergraduate music majors must audition on an instrument or voice and be accepted into the School of Music at the music major level (200 level) of performance study according to the School of Music's standard admission procedures. For students desiring to major in music theory, subsequent private lessons are not required and may only be available as space permits in individual studios. All prospective majors in the School of Music must pass a placement examination before enrolling in MUSIC 121 Musica Practica 1/MUSIC 171 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 1. Contact the Undergraduate Music Office (5561 Mosse Humanities; 608-263-5986) for more information.

Students must complete MUSIC 121/MUSIC 171 and MUSIC 122 Musica Practica 2/MUSIC 172 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 2 before their petition to major in music theory can be considered but should apply no later than the semester after completing MUSIC 122/MUSIC 172. The petition must consist of:

  1. a written request to the chair of the Music Theory Area outlining reasons for wanting to declare a major in music theory;
  2. a selection of papers and other written assignments completed for MUSIC 121 and MUSIC 122.

The Area will decide whether to admit students to the major on the basis of grades in MUSIC 121/MUSIC 171 and MUSIC 122/MUSIC 172, cumulative grade point average (GPA), samples of written prose, and letters of application. The admission decision is based on multiple factors; no minimum GPA will guarantee admission to the music theory major. However, the Area does expect that a serious applicant would have attained a minimum GPA of 3.250 in the following areas:

  1. MUSIC 121/MUSIC 171 and MUSIC 122/MUSIC 172;
  2. other music courses;
  3. UW–Madison cumulative GPA.

As with admission to all majors within the School of Music, the Area has the final authority to accept or deny a petition for admission. All majors will be assigned a faculty advisor within the Area. Students accepted to the music theory major will be eligible to formally declare the major after they have completed the second year of the core music curriculum with a high quality of work as described above. After formal declaration of the major, students must maintain a grade of C or better in each subsequent music course taken.

Transfer students with sophomore standing or above who would like to petition for admission to the music theory major should submit:

  1. a written request to the Area chair outlining reasons for wanting to declare a major in music theory;
  2. a detailed description of previous coursework in music theory, including a dossier of course syllabi, assignments, examinations, etc.;
  3. an unofficial transcript or other verification of course grades; and
  4. samples of written prose, preferably from music courses.

Transfer students should contact the Area chair to discuss their own particular situations. Criteria for admission to and retention in the major are the same as outlined in the previous paragraph.

Music Courses in Music Theory
MUSIC 121
MUSIC 171
Musica Practica 1
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 1 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
MUSIC 122
MUSIC 172
Musica Practica 2
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 2 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
MUSIC 221
MUSIC 271
Musica Practica 3
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 3
4
MUSIC 222
MUSIC 272
Musica Practica 4
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 4
4
Music Courses in Advanced-level Music Theory
Select 6 credits at the 400 level or above6
Music Courses in Music History
MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music3
Select two of the following:6
Music Cultures of the World: Africa, Europe, the Americas
Musical Cultures of the World
Musical Cultures of the World
Music of S.E. Asia: Tradition, Innovation, Politics, and Religion
Survey of Music in the Middle Ages
Survey of Music in the Renaissance
Survey of Music in the Baroque Era
Survey of Music in the Classic Era
Survey of Music in the Romantic Era
Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century
Music in the United States
Historical Performance Practices
Survey of Opera
Music Course for Senior Capstone Paper
MUSIC 499 Directed Study3
Music Electives Courses
Select 3 credits in music electives3
Music Course in Piano
MUS PERF 102 Beginning Class Piano (or pass proficiency exam; proficiency through the 104 level recommended)2
Total Credits42

All students must fulfill the L&S requirement of at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major completed in residence. Courses that count toward this requirement are:

Music (660) Courses
MUSIC 40 Wind Ensemble1
MUSIC 41 Concert Band1
MUSIC 50 Concert Choir1
MUSIC 52 Women's Chorus1
MUSIC 53 Choral Union1
MUSIC 55 Masters' Singers1
MUSIC 56 Chorale1
MUSIC 58 Madrigal Singers1
MUSIC 61 Chamber Orchestra1
MUSIC 62 University Symphony Orchestra1
MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 221 Musica Practica 33
MUSIC 222 Musica Practica 43
MUSIC 256 University Opera1-2
MUSIC 262 Jazz Ensemble1
MUSIC 265 Ensemble-Woodwind1
MUSIC 266 Black Music Ensemble1
MUSIC 267 Ensemble-Brass1
MUSIC 268 Ensemble-Percussion1
MUSIC 269 Ensemble-String1
MUSIC 270 Ensemble-Guitar1
MUSIC 271 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 31
MUSIC 272 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 41
MUSIC 273 Contemporary Chamber Ensemble1
MUSIC 319 Topics in Music and Ethnicity in the United States3
MUSIC 331 Jazz Improvisation3
MUSIC 332 Jazz Improvisation3
MUSIC 340 Pedagogy1-2
MUSIC 345 Practicum in String Pedagogy2
MUSIC 361 Non-Western Music Performance-Study Groups1
MUSIC/​AFROAMER  400 Music Cultures of the World: Africa, Europe, the Americas3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  401 Musical Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  402 Musical Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  404 Music of S.E. Asia: Tradition, Innovation, Politics, and Religion3
MUSIC 411 Survey of Music in the Middle Ages3
MUSIC 412 Survey of Music in the Renaissance3
MUSIC 413 Survey of Music in the Baroque Era3
MUSIC 414 Survey of Music in the Classic Era3
MUSIC 415 Survey of Music in the Romantic Era3
MUSIC 416 Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century3
MUSIC 419 Music in the United States3
MUSIC 461 Collegium Musicum1
MUSIC 467 Language Diction for Singing I2
MUSIC 468 Language Diction for Singing II2
MUSIC 497 Special Topics in Music1-3
MUSIC 499 Directed Study1-3
500 level and above
Music Performance (664)
MUS PERF 342 Piano Accompanying Lab1
MUS PERF 347 Third Year Composition3
MUS PERF 348 Third Year Composition3
400 level and above

Bachelor of Arts–Individualized Music Curriculum

All prospective music students must audition on an instrument or voice and be accepted into the School of Music at the music major level (200 level) of performance study according to the School of Music's standard admission procedures. Students are not admitted directly into the Individualized Music Curriculum but must complete at least three semesters of the core curriculum as a preliminary music student (PRM program) before applying for this option. The option is approved only rarely and is intended for those students whose desired area of emphasis in music does not fit into the framework of the performance, history, or theory options. However, the area of emphasis must be one that will utilize music courses currently offered; all courses used for the major must be School of Music courses. The Individualized Music Curriculum is planned and designed by the student in conjunction with a School of Music faculty member willing to act as the curricular advisor; the music advisor reviews the proposed curriculum for compliance with all School of Music and L&S requirements. The curriculum then must be approved by the appropriate Faculty Area Committee(s) and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. The Individualized Music Curriculum can be designed with an emphasis in composition.  The core requirements are:

Music Courses in Performance Study
Major Instrument or Voice (3 semesters at the 200 level or above)6
Music Courses in Music Theory
MUSIC 121
MUSIC 171
Musica Practica 1
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 1 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
MUSIC 122
MUSIC 172
Musica Practica 2
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 2 (prerequisite course requirements)
4
Music Courses in Music History
MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music3
Select two from the following three categories:6
Theory:
Musica Practica 3
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 3
Musica Practica 4
and Musica Practica: Aural Skills 4
History:
Survey of Music in the Middle Ages
Survey of Music in the Renaissance
Survey of Music in the Baroque Era
Survey of Music in the Classic Era
Survey of Music in the Romantic Era
Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century
Music in the United States
Historical Performance Practices
Survey of Opera
Performance Study:
200 level or above
Music Courses Music Emphasis
As approved by faculty committees16
Music Course in Piano
MUS PERF 102 Beginning Class Piano (or pass proficiency exam)2
Total Credits44

All students must fulfill the L&S requirement of at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major completed in residence. Courses that count toward this requirement are:

Music (660) Courses
MUSIC 40 Wind Ensemble1
MUSIC 41 Concert Band1
MUSIC 50 Concert Choir1
MUSIC 52 Women's Chorus1
MUSIC 53 Choral Union1
MUSIC 55 Masters' Singers1
MUSIC 56 Chorale1
MUSIC 58 Madrigal Singers1
MUSIC 61 Chamber Orchestra1
MUSIC 62 University Symphony Orchestra1
MUSIC 211 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 212 Survey of the History of Western Music3
MUSIC 221 Musica Practica 33
MUSIC 222 Musica Practica 43
MUSIC 256 University Opera1-2
MUSIC 262 Jazz Ensemble1
MUSIC 265 Ensemble-Woodwind1
MUSIC 266 Black Music Ensemble1
MUSIC 267 Ensemble-Brass1
MUSIC 268 Ensemble-Percussion1
MUSIC 269 Ensemble-String1
MUSIC 270 Ensemble-Guitar1
MUSIC 271 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 31
MUSIC 272 Musica Practica: Aural Skills 41
MUSIC 273 Contemporary Chamber Ensemble1
MUSIC 319 Topics in Music and Ethnicity in the United States3
MUSIC 331 Jazz Improvisation3
MUSIC 332 Jazz Improvisation3
MUSIC 340 Pedagogy1-2
MUSIC 345 Practicum in String Pedagogy2
MUSIC 361 Non-Western Music Performance-Study Groups1
MUSIC/​AFROAMER  400 Music Cultures of the World: Africa, Europe, the Americas3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  401 Musical Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  402 Musical Cultures of the World3
MUSIC/​FOLKLORE  404 Music of S.E. Asia: Tradition, Innovation, Politics, and Religion3
MUSIC 411 Survey of Music in the Middle Ages3
MUSIC 412 Survey of Music in the Renaissance3
MUSIC 413 Survey of Music in the Baroque Era3
MUSIC 414 Survey of Music in the Classic Era3
MUSIC 415 Survey of Music in the Romantic Era3
MUSIC 416 Survey of Music in the Twentieth Century3
MUSIC 419 Music in the United States3
MUSIC 461 Collegium Musicum1
MUSIC 467 Language Diction for Singing I2
MUSIC 468 Language Diction for Singing II2
MUSIC 497 Special Topics in Music1-3
MUSIC 499 Directed Study1-3
500 level and above
Music Performance (664)
MUS PERF 342 Piano Accompanying Lab1
MUS PERF 347 Third Year Composition3
MUS PERF 348 Third Year Composition3
400 level and above

Additional Requirements

All music major programs in the B.S. degree require a minimum piano proficiency at the level of MUS PERF 102 Beginning Class Piano.

Students who complete Theory MUSIC 122 Musica Practica 2, MUSIC 221 Musica Practica 3, or MUSIC 222 Musica Practica 4 without having taken the earlier courses in the theory sequence, or who achieve advanced placement in theory through department examination, may not be required to complete the prerequisite courses in the theory sequence. However, no retroactive course credit will be granted. All students must complete at least 40 credits in School of Music coursework.

Honors in the Major

The School of Music is reviewing its requirements for Honors in the Major. Current music majors may contact the undergraduate advisor for more information.

To earn Honors in any music major, students must satisfy the requirements below as well as all other requirements for their music degree and major:

  • 6 credits of MUSIC 681 Senior Honors ThesisMUSIC 682 Senior Honors Thesis
  • 12 credits of honors coursework in music: 6 of the 12 credits must be at the 300 level or higher and only 6 credits can be taken in any one of the three music areas of theory, history, and performance.

To participate in the Honors in the Major program, students must:

  • Notify the School of Music undergraduate advisor of their intention to become a candidate for Honors in the Major. This will usually occur in the sophomore year.
  • Present a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 in all courses taken at UW–Madison and maintain this average throughout the degree.
  • Present a minimum 3.5 GPA in all music coursework and maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA in all music honors coursework.
  • Engage a faculty member who will collaborate in planning the 12 credits of honors curriculum coursework; submit this plan to the undergraduate advisor. The course plan may change as students progress through their work.
  • Prior to beginning work on the MUSIC 681MUSIC 682 Senior Honors Thesis sequence, confirm a faculty advisor for this sequence (who may be the same person as for the 12 credits above) and submit a prospectus outlining in detail the planned work including (a) the topic, (b) plans for research, and (c) a clear substantive written component, although it may also include oral and/or performance components. The faculty advisor must sign the prospectus indicating approval.

University Degree Requirements 

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. Develop advanced levels of proficiency in solo, chamber and ensemble performance sufficient to enter music professions or graduate programs.
  2. Understand, apply and synthesize foundational concepts of musical study in theory, history and pedagogy.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to learn independently and to integrate knowledge across domains of research and applied studies.
  4. Communicate verbally, in writing and through public performance, musical ideas and concepts.
  5. Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively and professionally in multiple social and professional settings.

Undergraduate students—current music majors only—should consult the Music advisor Patti Atwood for help enrolling in courses and planning the completion of their degree. Students who are interested in majoring in music should consult Jared Jellison (admissions@music.wisc.edu; 608-263-5986; 5561 Humanities) in the admissions office. If you have questions about a scholarship that you are receiving from the School of Music, please contact Professor Janet Jensen, associate director for the School of Music.

Professors Aley, Bartley, Blasius, Calderon, Chisholm, Cook, Crook, Davis, Dembski, Dill, Di Sanza, Doing, Earp, Fischer, Fulmer, Hyer, Jensen, Johnson, Jutt, Karp, Koza, Leckrone, Perry, Radano, Rowe, Schaffer, Schwendinger, Smith, Stowe, Swack, B. Taylor, C. Taylor, Teeple, Thimmig, Vardi

Associate Professors Dobbs, Hetzler, Vallon

Assistant Professors Grabois, Wallmann

Office of Student Financial Aid

Prospective music students should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid (333 East Campus Mall #9701, Madison, WI 53715-1382; 608-262-3060) to obtain information about grants and loans when returning the application for admission.

School of Music Scholarships

Some funds are available for scholarships awarded by the School of Music to outstanding applicants. It is always advisable to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it to the Office of Student Financial Aid. Application materials will serve as support for music scholarship consideration.

Scholarship applicants must audition in person and must take the Theory Placement Examination on the audition day in order to be considered for an award. After the audition and review of materials, the associate director will notify each applicant about the scholarship decision. Accompanying each award notification will be a Letter of Commitment, to be signed and returned to the School of Music. Criteria used for awarding scholarships are:

  1. Quality of the performance audition
  2. High school and/or college academic record
  3. Letters of recommendation

Most School of Music scholarships are awarded for a four-year period. The music faculty reviews every scholarship award each semester and expects that each student on scholarship will maintain satisfactory progress toward completing the music major and degree requirements, continue to make significant contributions in performing organizations or accompanying, and maintain a minimum 3.00 grade point average. Please see the School of Music website for more information regarding music scholarships.