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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Learning Outcomes

music department

Learning Outcomes and Assessment for the Arts Core/Music

The Music Department has formulated and adopted the following standards in learning and assessment for the Arts Core in Music.

Students taking courses in music for the Arts Core will acquire knowledge and skills to develop analytical and critical thinking and creative problem solving as applied within a choice of courses in the following musical disciplines: theory/composition (MUSA1100 Fundamentals of Music Theory), musicology (MUSA1200 Introduction to Music and MUSA1300 History of Popular Music), and ethnomusicology (MUSA1326 Introduction to Music of the World).  In whichever course, students will gain the ability to analyze musical texts through the mastery of technical terminology and concepts, and will understand music within historical, social, and cultural contexts. 

  • Students in MUSA1100 gain skills in understanding and manipulating the elements of musical composition while touching on a broader understanding of how these elements are expressed in different historical and cultural contexts.
  • Students in MUSA1200 and MUSA1300 gain a broad understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of works of music in the formation of Western culture (MUSA1200) or American culture (MUSA1300), the changing concepts of beauty and music as an expression of cultural identity, while applying correct technical terminology in their discussion of music.
  • Students in MUSA1326 gain an understanding of the social and cultural contexts of works from a representative, varied range of cultures, addressing issues of how music shapes and expresses a society while acquiring the appropriate language to discuss such cultures and music.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment of the Music Major

The Music Department has formulated and adopted the following standards in learning and assessment for the music major.

Music majors will acquire knowledge and skills to develop analytical and critical thinking and creative problem solving as applied within a combination of the following core musical disciplines: theory/composition, musicology, ethnomusicology and performance. All graduates, through these core disciplines, will gain the ability to analyze musical texts through the mastery of technical terminology and concepts and to understand music within historical, social, and cultural contexts.

To assess the major and the outcome of these stated outcomes, the Department will:

  • Review Senior Seminar papers to examine students' ability to think critically, to consult sources, and to express clearly their analysis and understanding of complex musical phenomena;
  • Review senior projects in composition examining students' ability to control and shape musical
    materials in a variety of media;
  • Review senior recitals evaluating students' ability to perform clearly, to master a range of techniques
    and to interpret expressively and with understanding in a variety of styles.

The assessments of Senior Seminar papers and senior projects in composition and performance will be made by members of the full-time faculty with recommendations made to the chair.