The Music Major 2012-13
The UC Santa Cruz music curriculum is distinctive in developing musicians who integrate scholarship with performance. Although this rigorous program primarily addresses Western music, it also incorporates the study of world music cultures in both their art and vernacular traditions. Two undergraduate majors are offered: the bachelor of music, which especially develops the student’s attainment in performance, and the bachelor of arts, which cultivates greater breadth in the student’s academic achievement.
Study and Research Opportunities
- B.A.; B.M.; M.A. with emphases in composition, ethnomusicology, or performance practice; D.M.A. in music composition; Ph.D. in music with an emphasis in cross-cultural studies; and undergraduate minors in electronic music and jazz
- 19 student performance groups
High School Preparation
In addition to completing the requirements for UC admission, high school students who plan to major in music are advised to concentrate on developing a high level of skill on their principal instrument. Private music instruction during high school is highly recommended. In addition, prospective students whose primary instrument is not the piano should work to achieve basic proficiency on the keyboard.
The Music Department encourages transfer students to take the core curriculum placement examination (see General Examinations section) and seek academic counseling before transfer (a sample of the exam can be viewed at music.ucsc.edu). Transfer students with some background in music theory normally test into course 15, Beginning Theory and Musicianship, or into course 30A, Theory, Literature, and Musicianship I with Laboratory, which is only offered fall quarter. Students who test into course 15, Beginning Theory and Musicianship, take this course in their first year in order to prepare to enroll in course 30A the following fall. Transfer students who have completed all of their general education requirements and who test into course 30A upon transfer may be able to complete the music major in two years.
B.A. transfer students should note that upon completion of course 130, Theory, Literature, and Musicianship II, they need to perform on a musical instrument or voice at an upper-intermediate level. Prospective students wishing to have their performance skill level assessed by faculty in preparation for entry to the program may send a tape for faculty review.
B.M. transfer students should prepare to audition in the fall quarter after enrollment. In certain cases, some or all of the applied music requirement may be waived based on prior course work.
While it is not a condition of admission, students from California community colleges may complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz.
Transfer course agreements and articulation between the University of California and California community colleges can be accessed on the ASSIST.ORG web site.
Professor of music and director of UC Santa Cruz Ensembles Nicole Paiement is also Artistic Director of the New Music Ensemble of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the BluePrint Festival, and the professional new music group Ensemble Parallèle. Professor Emeritus of music David Cope is a composer and author whose book Experiments in Musical Intelligence has received worldwide acclaim. In 2007, the UCSC Opera Program was awarded first prize in the National Opera Association’s opera production competition for its production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Our resident string quartet was awarded a full scholarship in the summer of 2007 to participate in the Bravard Summer Program.
- Arts administration
- Film music
- Music arrangement
These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.
Sylvain Carton (M.A., music composition, ’07) is a jazz musician and co-leader of the Mitch Marcus Quintet. An eclectic world music composer, he composes for the Japonize Elephants, Amaldecor, and Mega-Mouse.
Kent Nagano (B.A., sociology/music, ’74) is an internationally renowned conductor, currently serving as music director of the Bavarian State Opera. He has won two recent Grammy Awards for Best Opera Recording and for Best Spoken Word Album for Children.
All students majoring in the B.A. program are required to take the following examinations, which are discussed in greater detail in the music student handbook available on the Music web site at music.ucsc.edu.
Core Curriculum Placement Examination. (A sample of the exam can be viewed at music.ucsc.edu). Students are tested in the areas of theory, music literature, and ear training. Success on this exam is a prerequisite to course 30A. The exam is given during fall quarter on the same day as the music orientation meeting. Transfer students who demonstrate acceptable competency on the placement examination may be recommended for advanced placement based on a further examination (including testing in keyboard and sight-singing skills).
Advisory audition. Students are required to take an advisory audition on their major instrument or in voice at the conclusion of course 30A, Theory, Literature, and Musicianship I with Laboratory.
Proficiency audition. Students are required to demonstrate at least an “upper-intermediate” level of proficiency on their major instrument or in voice at the conclusion of Music 130, Theory, Literature, and Musicianship II.
Senior exit seminar. Students in the B.A. program are required to enroll in a capstone course consisting of either Music 120 (composition) or any additional Music 105 course by permission of instructor
Honors in the major are conferred by vote of the music faculty. B.A. or B.M. students can be awarded honors for excellent work in individual areas, including course work, senior project (thesis or recital), or Senior Capstone course. Excellent work in any two of these areas normally results in honors in the major.
To be considered for highest honors in the major, B.A. students must complete a (non-required) senior project and B.M. students must complete the (non-required) Senior Exit Seminar. Honors in all three areas — course work, senior project, and Senior Exit Seminar — normally results in highest honors in the major.
Electronic Music--The electronic music minor focuses on the study of creating music with the tools of modern technology. It is designed to complement the music major or programs in other media by providing instruction in advanced skills of audio production, sound synthesis, and computer-assisted composition.
Jazz--The jazz minor focuses on the study of the history, theory, and performance of jazz. In addition, students may be introduced to musical styles that have had profound influences on this uniquely American art form: folk and popular musics of Africa, Europe, and the United States and Western classical music. The jazz minor is limited to students with sufficient ability on their instruments to pass auditions for entry into the jazz ensembles.
The participants in some groups are selected by auditions open to the entire university community. Students may receive 2 course credits for each quarter of enrollment in any of the ensembles.
- University Orchestra
- University Concert Choir
- Women’s Chorale
- Chamber Singers
- University Opera Theater
- Opera Workshop
- Early Music Consort
- Chamber Music
- Large Jazz Ensemble
- Small Jazz Ensembles
- Latin American Ensembles
- West Javanese Gamelan
- Balinese Gamelan
- Wind Ensemble
- Contemporary Music Ensemble
- North Indian Music Workshop
- Percussion Ensemble
- Classical Guitar Ensemble
- Eurasian Ensemble
244 Music Center
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064