About the Music Department
Conscious of Boston College's mission, the Music Department rises to the challenge of educating the whole person. Our programs, both curricular and extra-curricular, are carefully designed to engage the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual faculties of our students, the College family, and the wider community.
The Music Department serves five interrelated functions:
We organize academic courses for the Core and towards both a major and a minor in music.
We offer unique performance opportunities (orchestra, the chamber music, etc.) supported by an array of individual lessons in voice or on instruments.
We organize and facilitate a broad variety of concert performances for the campus community and the wider public.
We support a center for excellence in music research with a particular emphasis on Sacred Music. Our research and creativity is regularly showcased in conferences, academic publications, concert platforms and in digital media.
We serve as advocates, both on and off campus, for the value of music within an educated, civil society through our high profile in research, performance, pedagogy and service.
Through a variety of dynamic approaches to the musical arts, we foster creativity in both the classroom and on campus. While our students receive a rigorous and systematic undergraduate education that emphasizes the whole musician, they are encouraged to connect their newly-acquired knowledge and skills to other aspects of their studies and, indeed, their lives. We aim to provide a comprehensive education that integrates the disciplines of scholarship, composition, and performance, while connecting them to the larger world of learning in the humanities, the sciences, and the professions. Our commitment to the Ignatian ideal of cura personalis informs every aspect of our interactions with our students, our colleagues, and our disciplines.
You are always welcome to contact us; a warm welcome awaits you.
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.