Bachelor of Music
Bachelor of Music (BMus)
The BMus is a four year program with 96 out of 120 credit hours in Music, offering dynamic and intensive training to the prospective professional musician, performer, composer, theorist, musicologist, critic, or school music teacher. Upon successful completion of the second year, students in good standing may continue with studies in the BMus general degree or may apply for one of three concentrations: Composition, Musicology or Performance. Students wishing to pursue one of the three concentrations must apply by March 1 of the second year of study.
Common Curriculum (first and second years)
- MUSC 1000-level Applied Study (MUSC 1101 to MUSC 1121)
- MUSC 1201: Music Theory I
- MUSC 1222: Music Theory II
- MUSC 1270: Aural Skills I
- MUSC 1271: Keyboard Skills I
- MUSC 1352: Music History I
- MUSC 1353: Music History II
- Arts and Social Sciences or Science elective, one full credit (Writing Class elective)
- MUSC 0122: Ensemble I: (normally two ensembles, as approved by the Department and Applied Study instructor)
- MUSC 2000-level Applied Study (MUSC 2101 to MUSC 2121)
- MUSC 2221: Music Theory III
- MUSC 2222: Music Theory IV
- MUSC 2270: Aural Skills II
- MUSC 2271: Keyboard Skills II
- MUSC 2352: Music History III
- MUSC 2353: Music History IV: Focused Study *
- Arts and Social Sciences or Science electives, two half credits
- MUSC 0222: Ensemble II: (normally two ensembles, as approved by
the Department and Applied Study instructor)
* Voice students intending to pursue a Concentration in Performance must take MUSC 2175 (Lyric Diction for Singers) either in the second or third year of study, depending on the cycle of classes. If they take MUSC 2175 in the second year, MUSC 2353 (Music History IV) is deferred to year three or four, not omitted.
* Students intending to pursue a Concentration in Composition may take MUSC 2210 (Introduction to Composition) in the Fall semester of their second year.
Students taking this option will: 1. Defer their Fall half credit Arts and Social Sciences or Sciences elective to the Winter term of the same year; 2. Not take MUSC 2353 (Music History IV) in the Winter term of their second year.
Students accepted into Composition will be exempt from 2353. Students who are not accepted into Composition will take MUSC 2353 (Music History IV) in either their third or fourth year.
General Degree (third and fourth years)
This program choice allows for the greatest flexibility within the BMus program offerings. It will prepare students well for advanced degreees in music, including the BEd, as well as for a wide range of careers in music.
Students in good standing (minimum overall average GPA of 2.7 [B-] in 1000 and 2000-level MUSC classes) may proceed to a BMus general degree program in their third year. This program choice allows for the greatest flexibility within the BMus program offerings. It will prepare students well for advanced degrees in Music including the Bachelor of Education, as well as for a wide range of careers in music.
Students considering a classroom music career should ascertain entrance requirements for the Elementary and Secondary Specialist BEd degree programs at their chosen institution.
Students must submit a proposal for their intended graduation project (4599.03) by March 1 of the third year of study, according to Department guidelines. Students must achieve a minimum grade of 2.7 (B-) in this credit.
Concentration in Composition
Pursuing a career in composition today is both demanding and highly stimulating. Dalhousie University's undergraduate programme in Composition prepares students to the challenges of such a career by providing them with a rigorous and balanced training. This includes traditional crafts, such as counterpoint and orchestration, as well as an exposure to new approaches in musical composition, including the use of aleatoric procedures, recent developments in music notation, music technology, etc.
Like all Bachelor of Music programmes at Dalhousie, specific classes in Composition are taken during the third and fourth years of the degree. In order to enter this Area of Concentration, students must first audition for the BMus program and follow the first two years of the common curriculum. During their second year, students prepare a portfolio of original compositions which they submit at the end of the year to be considered for entry to Composition. This rigorous programme culminates with a final Composition Recital, featuring the student's music performed by Dalhousie students. This concert is always a highlight of the department's season.
After completion of a BMus in Composition, students may choose to pursue graduate studies in the same field or to work as freelance composers.
With its strong commitment to the presentation of new music and its vibrant musical life, the Department of Music offers many opportunities for students to pursue this aspect of their creativity and to have their music performed on a regular basis during their degree. Notably, this occurs within our New Music Initiatives (NMI) concerts and also our Actually presentation of electroacoustic works. Additionally, several professional concert series and organizations such as St Cecilia, the Scotia Festival of Music, Upstream Music Association, and suddenlyLISTEN, to name only a few, help make metropolitan Halifax a centre for new music activity in the Maritimes.
Students in good standing (minimum overall average GPA of 2.7 [B-] in 1000 and 2000-level MUSC classes), along with a minimum overall average GPA of 3.3 (B+) in their Music Theory and Composition classes (MUSC 1201, 1202, 2201
and 2210) may submit a portfolio of original music (normally prepared in the MUSC 2210 Introduction to Composition) by March 1 of the second year to apply for admission to this concentration.
Students selected for this concentration will demonstrate outstanding abilities and potential as composers.
Students who are accepted in this concentration must achieve a minimum grade of 3.3 (B+) in Composition I (MUSC 3210.03) in order to remain in the concentration. Students must achieve a minimum grade of 2.7 (B-) in both MUSC 4210.03 and in MUSC 4299.03.
Concentration in Musicology
The connection of historical and theoretical studies and performance is especially important at Dalhousie. Faculty members in the Musicology field are active researchers, writers and lecturers. History classes in the first two years of the program cover Western music from the Middle Ages to the present, with ample opportunity to delve into the intricacies of individual works, examine the cultural contexts in which these works emerge, and consider analytical approaches appropriate to specific genres or periods.
Students selected for this concentration will demonstrate outstanding abilities and potential as musicologists. At the third and fourth-year levels, students can choose from a number of elective seminars which focus on such areas as opera, chamber music, piano or vocal literature, music and gender, popular music analysis, narrative strategies in music, early music analysis, chromaticism in music, or the works of individual composers. Students who concentrate in musicology work under the supervision of a faculty member in their fourth year and produce an undergraduate thesis.
Students in good standing (minimum overall average GPA of 2.7 [B-] in 1000 and 2000-level MUSC classes) must submit two writing samples by March 1 of the second year to apply for admission to this concentration.
Students selected for this concentration will demonstrate outstanding abilities and potential as musicologists.
Students who are accepted in this concentration must achieve a minimum grade of 2.7 (B-) in the graduation requirement MUSC 4399.03.
Concentration in Performance
Performance is an important and vibrant component of all Dalhousie Music programs. Our outstanding applied faculty members bring the experience of their active performing careers to their studio teaching, ensemble direction and idiom-specific courses.
During the first two common years, in addition to core courses, all BMus students will have private lessons and performance classes weekly, and will participate in noon-hour recitals and ensembles specific to their idiom. Students can audition for other performance opportunities such as Opera Workshop and Concerto Night.
The Concentration in Performance is designed for the student who demonstrates the potential for a career as a professional singer or instrumenttalist. During the third and fourth years of study, students accepted for this concentration will take academic courses specific to their idiom, such as vocal or piano literature, pedagogy, or chamber music, and will present a junior and senior recital.
Students in good standing (minimum overall average GPA of 2.7 [B-] in 1000 and 2000 level MUSC classes), along with a minimum grade of 3.3 (B+) in their 1000 and 2000 level Applied Study may audition at the end of second year to apply for admission to this concentration.
Students selected for this concentration will demonstrate outstanding abilities and potential as performers. Students will pursue a focus in: Voice, Piano, Strings, Guitar, Saxophone, or Wind and Brass Instruments, Percussion.
Students who are accepted in this concentration must achieve a minimum grade of 3.3 (B+) in third year Performance Concentration Applied Study (MUSC 3701.06 to 3721.06) and in the Third Year performance recital (MUSC 3199.03) in order to remain in the concentration. Students must achieve a minimum grade of 2.7 [B-] in their fourth year Performance Concentration Applied Study (MUSC 4701.06 to 4721.06) and in their Fourth Year performance recital (4199.03).