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Music Courses

Classes at VWU are small and interactive. Courses within the music program include applied music lessons (that are available to both majors and non-majors), choral and instrumental ensembles (available to both majors and non-majors), as well as courses in musicianship and music literature.

Music Courses

MUS 100 Introduction to Listening (4)
Offers a user-friendly introduction to the music of such great classical composers as Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart while including limited encounters with the musical expressions of popular culture. An ideal survey for non-musicians lacking musical knowledge and performance skills, the course also serves as a helpful introduction to the realm of classical music for those who are contemplating a music major. Films, recordings, lectures, web pages, and live concerts on campus and in the community provide opportunities to develop a deeper understanding and enjoyment of our musical heritage. Offered on demand.

MUS 101 Basic Musicianship (4)
Fundamentals of music, including pitch and rhythmic notation. Students learn to interpret music notation by singing, playing the piano and percussion instruments. Students may not receive credit for MUS 101 if they have already taken MUS 102. Offered most January Terms.

MUS 102 Basic Musicianship with Guitar (4)
No previous musical experience is necessary, but basic fundamentals of music notation (pitch and rhythm) are taught. Students learn to make music from a written score using the guitar. Students must own their own instrument. Students may not receive credit for MUS 102 if they have already taken MUS 101. Offered on demand.

MUS 110 A World of Music (4)
Students listen to music as it exists in the real world, exploring the diversity of the world’s music to acquire a sense of what exists beyond their own experience. Students learn about American folk, religious, jazz, popular, and ethnic music, as well as some world music. The course concludes with a thorough overview of Western classical music. Offered fall of odd-numbered years.

MUS 120 Music and the Brain (4)
Listen to and discuss a variety of music and musical styles and their connection to the brain and our emotions. Investigate how we understand and appreciate the aesthetic values of various genres and periods of music. Develop basic musical skills and music literacy. Offered fall of even-numbered years.

MUS 201 Music & Art Around the World (4)
Explores connections between music and art around the world. Cultural areas and historical periods explored will include West Africa, East Asia, European historical periods, Harlem Renaissance, and contemporary urban artistic expression. Class discussions will focus on how the arts reflect the sociocultural conditions of their time and place. Offered on demand.

MUS 13/313 Music History I (4) W*
A chronological study of music from its origins through the early 18th century. A research project and some analysis are required for MUS 313. Prerequisites: for MUS 213: MUS 110, 201, or consent; for MUS 313: Sophomore status or consent. MUS 110, 201 or consent. Offered fall of even-numbered years. *MUS 213: (A); MUS 313 (A, W).

MUS 214/314 Music History II (4) W*
A continuation of MUS 213/313 from the 18th century to the present. Prerequisite: for MUS 214: MUS 110, 201, 213/313, or consent; for MUS 314: Prerequisite: Sophomore status or consent. Offered spring of odd-numbered years. *MUS 214 (A); MUS 314 (A, W).

MUS 225 Intermediate Musicianship I (4)
A study of music theory, sightsinging, and ear training as part of a program to develop complete musicianship. Music theory is the logical and systematic study of the rationality of music that eventually justifies and broadens natural musical instincts and intuitions. Sightsinging and ear training enhance the musician’s ability to envision the sound of a musical composition from an examination of the printed score. Includes elementary harmony and analysis, modes, triads and inversions, melodic construction, and simple harmonization with primary and secondary triads. Prerequisite: ability to read music notation. Offered each spring.

MUS 226 Intermediate Musicianship II (4)
A study of music theory, sightsinging, and ear training are part of a program to develop complete musicianship. Music theory is the logical and systematic study of the rationality of music that eventually justifies and broadens natural musical instincts and intuitions. Sightsinging and ear training enhance the musician’s ability to envision the sound of a musical composition from an examination of the printed score. Includes elementary harmony and analysis including modes, triads and inversions, melodic construction, and simple harmonization with primary and secondary triads. Prerequisite: ability to read music notation and a grade of C or higher in MUS 225. Offered each fall.

MUS 254 Principles of Music Technology (4)
Introduces the core concepts of music technology and how to use them in creating, recording, and producing music. The course includes a discussion of the principles of sound, MIDI, audio editing/recording software, music notation software, and using music technology in performance. Offered spring of odd-numbered years.

MUS 310 Topics in Sacred Music (4)
An in-depth study of some aspect of sacred music including, but not limited to, hymnology and sacred choral literature, sacred music history, and choral directing, all within the context of a variety of religious traditions. Offered each semester.

MUS 318 Great Works (4) W
A focused musical study of historically significant works curated within a particular topic (topics may include Popular Music, Symphonic Music, or Choral Music). Each class will also connect the music to its place in a larger historical context. This course may be repeated as topics change. Prerequisite: successful completion of ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher. Offered each spring.

MUS 321 Conducting and Vocal Methods I (4)
Teaches basic conducting techniques. Introduces basic principles of healthy vocal production and how to practice and teach those skills. Includes conducting patterns, basic rehearsal technique, and score study. Prerequisite: MUS 226 and APMU 111 or equivalent. Offered each spring.

MUS 325 Advanced Musicianship I (4)
A continuation of MUS 225 and 226. Focuses on a wide range of musical styles from the Renaissance to the present. More complex chords and larger forms such as the fugue, rondo, theme and variations, and sonata are studied. Various strategies for analyzing musical compositions are investigated. Post-impressionist and serial composition techniques are included. Theoretical analysis and study are accompanied by parallel exercises in sightsinging and ear training. Prerequisite: MUS 226 with C or higher. Offered each spring.

MUS 326 Advanced Musicianship II (4)
A continuation of MUS 225 and 226. Focuses on a wide range of musical styles from the Renaissance to the present. More complex chords and larger forms such as the fugue, rondo, theme and variations, and sonata are studied. Various strategies to analyze musical compositions are investigated. Post-impressionist and serial composition techniques are included. Theoretical analysis and study are accompanied by parallel exercises in sightsinging and ear training. Prerequisite: MUS 325 with C or higher. Offered each spring.

MUS 336 Arts Management (4)
Essentials of arts management including organizational and audience development, fundraising, program planning, and public relations. Designed primarily for students in the performing and visual arts, this class will complement their training as artists, teachers, and practitioners, and lay the foundation for participation in arts organizations as leaders, participants or supporters. Offered each year.

MUS 350 Music from the Baroque Era (1600-1750) (4)
A listening course exploring music from the Baroque. Students listen to works from this period in their entirety and discover how this music reflects the cultural history of the era. Works by Vivaldi, Couperin, Scarlatti, Handel, Bach, and others are included. Students have the opportunity to attend selected live performances as part of their course work. Offered on demand.

MUS 351 Music in the Classic Era (1750 to 1825) (4)
A listening course exploring music from the Classic era. Students listen to works from this period in their entirety and discover how this music reflects the cultural history of the era. Works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and others are included. Students have the opportunity to attend selected live performances as part of their coursework. Offered on demand.

MUS 352 19th-Century Music (4)
A listening course exploring music from the 19th century. Students listen to works from this period in their entirety and discover how this music reflects the cultural history of the era. Works by Beethoven, Schubert, the Schumanns (both Clara and Robert), Chopin, Liszt, Verdi, Berlioz, Brahms, and others are included. Students have the opportunity to attend selected live performances as part of their coursework. Offered on demand.

MUS 353 20th-Century Music (4)
A listening course exploring music from the 20th century. Students listen to works from this period in their entirety and discover how this music reflects the cultural history of the era. Works by Debussy, Ravel, Puccini, Bartok, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Ives, Copland, Varèèse, Barber, Glass, Gorecki, Pärt, Zwilich, and others are included. Students have the opportunity to attend selected live performances as part of their coursework. Offered on demand.

MUS 355 Digital Music Workshop (4)
Develop an understanding of the strategies needed to create digital music in a variety of styles using computer software and MIDI sequencing. Prerequisite: MUS 254. Offered intermittently.

MUS 356 Sound Recording Workshop (4)
This course builds on skills developed in MUS 254 and gives students more advanced skills in recording, editing, mixing, and mastering music. As part of a final project students will able to produce 20-30 minutes of recorded music using a variety of styles and techniques. Prerequisite MUS 254. Offered fall of odd-numbered years.

MUS 401 Integrative Music Research (4) I
Integrate multiple academic Frames of Reference into a research and analysis based on music project. Students will spend the semester reviewing and responding to selected readings designed to review the methods that characterize four of the seven academic Frames of Reference integral to a complete education at Virginia Wesleyan University. Students will present a short oral presentation on each of four academic frames and will write a large research and analysis paper for the final. All Music majors are strongly encouraged to take this course the semester before they present their Senior Recital/Project. Offered intermittently.

MUS 456 Music Composition Capstone (2)
Students will design a plan for an independent project that integrates music composition and music technology. The project will be at least 50 minutes in length. For this project, students will create original music and demonstrate the skills they acquired through the music major composition track or Music Technology Certificate. Prerequisite: By consent only. Offered as needed.

MUS 480 Senior Project (2)
The culminating experience in the music major. Students present a formal recital or write an historical or critical thesis. Using music selected from each major historical period, they demonstrate their ability to apply knowledge gleaned from the study of music history and music theory to their interpretations or investigations of the chosen repertoire. Students electing to perform a recital take MUS 480 concurrently with the final semester of applied music study and receive 2 semester hours. Students writing a thesis receive 4 semester hours. Prerequisite: grades of C or higher in MUS 313 and 325. Prerequisites/Corequisite: MUS 314 and 326.

MUS 499 Music Internship (4)
This course is designed to give you the opportunity to complete an internship in an arts based or arts management field. In order to take this course, the student will need to have already been offered an internship and have it approved by the student’s advisor. Offered as needed.


Applied Music Courses

APMU 101 Band (1)
An exploration of music associated with the concert/athletic bands and preparation for group performances. Ensembles meet for 75 minutes weekly to develop ensemble performance skills. In addition, students are expected to practice their individual parts and participate in active focused listening assignments on a weekly basis. Offered every semester.

APMU 111 Wesleyan Choirs: Bravura (1)
Bravura is an open-enrollment choir that offers freshmen and non-majors a venue to sing quality choral music from a variety of styles and genres while they develop their skills as a singer and as a musician. The choir performs once per semester and engages in service learning opportunities as part of their performances. No audition necessary.

APMU 113 Class Voice (2)
Offered in conjunction with APMU 211, Virginia Wesleyan Chorale. Students study basic vocal techniques to develop the voice for both solo and choral use. Offered on demand.

APMU 121 Open Level Applied Music Lessons: 161 (Instrumental, Voice, Piano/Organ,Guitar, and Composition) (2)
No previous musical background needed. A serious commitment to learning musical literature and technique is required. Students may repeat this level for credit with no Jury required. Students intending to advance to the 200-level must perform a jury and earn a grade of C+ or higher. Applied music fee of $250. Students registered for Private Study Voice will also have a $150 fee for weekly accompanist session. Voice students must participate in Wesleyan Singers, APMU 111.

APMU 201 Jazz Ensemble (1)
An exploration of music associated with the jazz ensemble and preparation for group performances. Ensembles meet for 75 minutes weekly to develop ensemble performance skills. In addition, students are expected to practice their individual parts and participate in active focused listening assignments on a weekly basis. Offered each semester.

APMU 202 Orchestra (1)
An exploration of music associated with classical chamber ensembles and preparation for group performances. Ensemble will meet weekly to develop ensemble performance skills. In addition, students are expected to practice their individual parts and participate in active focused listening assignments on a weekly basis. Offered each semester.

APMU 211 Wesleyan Choirs: Camerata (1)
Camerata is an auditioned ensemble of 30-40 singers (freshmen-seniors) that sing repertoire from the standard choral canon, including major works with orchestral accompaniment. As the flagship ensemble of Virginia Wesleyan, this choir tours regularly. Students must be enrolled in APMU 111 or have already taken it for one year. Consent only.

APMU 212 Wesleyan Choirs: Vox Vera (1)
Vox Verum is the top chamber ensemble in the Virginia Wesleyan Choirs program for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. An auditioned mixed choir of 12-16 singers, the choir sings entirely unaccompanied music from a variety of styles and genres, including a capella, jazz, and contemporary music. This ensemble will participate in regional and national tours along with Camerata. Members of Vox Verum must pass an audition and sing in Camerata. Consent only. Offered each semester.

APMU 221 Lower Division Music Major Applied Lessons: 261 (Instrumental, Voice, Piano/Organ, Guitar, and Composition) (2)
Students who wish to enroll in the 200-level APMU lessons must perform a jury and successfully pass APMU 100 with a grade of C+ or higher. Applied music fee of $250. Students registered for Private Study Voice will also have a $150 fee for weekly accompanist session. Prerequisite: consent.

APMU 230 Virginia Wesleyan Choral Tour (4)
Discover the life changing experience of taking musical learning out of the classroom and into the community. Students meet for a two-week intensive rehearsal prior to leaving for a one-week tour. Co-requisite: enrolled in the Spring session of Wesleyan Singers. Offered each January Term.

APMU 300 Chamber Music (2)
Students explore the body of chamber music written for their instrument and select and prepare a chamber music composition for performance with a professional ensemble. A weekly one-hour coaching session offers rehearsal strategies as well as discussion of musical ideas and interpretations. In addition, students prepare a listening journal that documents their listening experiences and generate an annotated bibliography of chamber music compositions for their instrument. Applied music fee of $250.

APMU 321 Upper Division Music Major Applied Lessons: 361 (Instrumental, Voice, Piano/Organ,Guitar, and Composition) (2)
Students who wish to enroll in the 300-level APMU lessons must successfully pass the Upper Division Barrier Jury. Applied music fee of $250. Students registered for Private Study Voice will also have a $150 fee for weekly accompanist session. Prerequisite: consent.

APMU 371 Applied Lessons: Conducting (2)
Students will develop the skills, knowledge, and gestural vocabulary necessary to lead a musical ensemble in rehearsal and performance. May be repeated up to four times. Prerequisite: MUS 225. Offered on demand.

APMU 372 Applied Lessons: Conducting Lab (1)
Students will apply the skills, knowledge, and gestural vocabulary necessary to lead a musical ensemble in rehearsal and performance. May be repeated up to eight times. Prerequisite: MUS 321. Offered as needed.421Senior Recital Preparation Applied Lessons: 461 (Instrumental, Voice, Piano/Organ, Guitar, and Composition) (2)Students should only enroll in the 400-level APMU lessons if they have successfully completed two semesters of APMU lessons at the 300-level and are planning on performing a senior music recital this semester. Applied music fee of $250. Students registered for Private Study Voice will have a $150 fee for weekly accompanist session. Prerequisite: consent.