This is an archive of the 2014-2015 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2014-2015 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

Program: B.M., Music

Composition/Commercial and Media Writing


Research increasingly confirms and reveals the power and potential of music in human development. The study of music, requiring a variety of learning modalities, develops essential skills that carry over into the study of other fields. The performance components allow for deep cultivation of its expressive potential. The student also has opportunity to develop maturity and poise in public settings, leading to growth in self-confidence and flexibility. In group music making, the student becomes part of an artistic community, reaping the satisfaction of working with others toward common goals and the sense of accomplishment resulting from fine performance.

Students interested in Composition should contact the Coordinator as early as possible in their Music studies. Students will be accepted into the Commercial and Media Writing Emphasis after completion of MUS 221 with a minimum grade of “B.”

Program Requirements

Admission to the Major

Students wanting to select Music as a major are expected to have had a variety of pre-college cognitive and affective experiences. These could include high school performance, high school theory programs, individual private instruction with music professionals, and music professional and vocational experiences. Admission to the Major in Music for all undergraduate degrees is determined by audition. Students must complete this audition and be accepted to the Department prior to being accepted in the major. Those auditioning for the Bachelor of Music Degree must exhibit a high performance competence in the audition.

Transfer students seeking admission to Performance Options must audition at the appropriate entrance level determined by the number of transferable units accepted by the University. (Example: At the time of the audition, students with more than 60 transferable units must demonstrate musical proficiency at the junior level for admission to a Performance Option.) Exceptions to this policy are rare and are at the discretion of the Music Department.

Students admitted on a probationary basis to the Bachelor of Music Degree Program will receive one semester of B.M. lessons (2 units). If probationary status continues beyond one semester, students will receive B.A. lessons (1 unit).

Special Requirements of the Music Major

  1. Music majors are required to declare, with the approval of the Department, a performance specialization (voice, piano or other principal instrument). They are expected to develop this ability and to appear regularly in performance.
  2. Repertoire standards have been established for each of the Degree Programs. Students in the B.A. Degree Options requiring an audition must enter the program at B.A. Level I and must attain the appropriate level for graduation. Students in B.M. Degree Options in Performance must meet B.M. Level I standards as freshmen and attain B.M. Level VIII for graduation.
  3. As part of the graduation requirement, all Music Majors must fulfill an Ensemble Requirement. This may differ for each B.A. Degree and B.M. Degree Option. The specific requirements for each Option, and the ensembles that may be used to meet these requirements, are published on the Department website.
  4. Students enrolled in music ensembles in the Fall semester normally are expected to re-enroll in the same ensemble for the Spring semester. The nature of these classes makes it essential that consistent personnel be maintained through the year.
  5. A concert attendance requirement is attached to successful completion of each Musicianship level (see Core Courses, B.A. Degree and B.M. Degree above).
  6. A change from a B.M. Degree Option to a B.A. Degree Option, after more than two semesters in the B.M. Program, requires written approval from the Department Chair.
  7. All Music Majors are required to meet with the designated faculty in each Option during the last three weeks of each semester for mandatory academic advisement. Students who fail to meet with their advisor will not be allowed to enroll through System Registration, which could result in missing their Priority Registration time.
  8. Students receiving lower than a “C-” in a semester of lessons will need to take additional study at their own expense to achieve their required level of performance before resuming Department-paid lessons.

Course Requirements

1. Lower Division Required Courses (37 Units)

Capstone experience for all Options: one-hour recital (Performance), 45-minute recital (Composition/Commercial and Media Writing)

MUS 112/L Musicianship II and Lab (1/1)
MUS 211/L Musicianship III and Lab (1/1)
MUS 212/L Musicianship IV and Lab (1/1)
MUS 311/L Musicianship V and Lab (1/1)
MUS 312/L Musicianship VI and Lab (1/1)
MUS 110A Keyboard Musicianship I (1)
MUS 110B Keyboard Musicianship II (1)
MUS 210A Keyboard Musicianship III (1)
MUS 210B Keyboard Musicianship IV (1)
MUS 191/L Fundamentals of Music Technology and Lab (2/1)
MUS 201 Style/Literature of Western Music I (3)
MUS 202 Style/Literature of Western Music II (3)
MUS 213 Harmony I (3)
MUS 214 Harmony II (3)
Individual Lessons (2-2)
Ensembles (4)

2. Upper Division Required Courses (9 units)

MUS 307 Music from a Global Perspective (3)
MUS 316 Musical Analysis (3)
MUS 483ME/L Music Entrepreneurship and Lab (1/1)
MUS 495 Recital/Senior Project (1)

3. Composition/Commercial and Media Writing Option Requirements (33/34)

MUS 315 Orchestration I (2)
MUS 321 Beginning Composition (2)
MUS 364/L Instrumental Conducting and Arranging and Lab (2/1)

a. Composition (26 Units)

MUS 314 Tonal Counterpoint (3)
MUS 415 Orchestration II (3)
MUS 416 Advanced Musical Analysis (2)
MUS 418 Electronic and Computer Music Composition (2)
MUS 421 Advanced Composition (2,2,2)
MUS 422A Individual Lessons in Composition (1,1)
Upper Division literature elective (2)
Electives (6)
Recital of Compositions (MUS 495—in Core)

b. Commercial and Media Writing (27 units)
The following four courses are substitutions to the Core Requirements

MUS 210A/J Keyboard Musicianship III and Jazz Lab (1)
MUS 210B/J Keyboard Musicianship IV and Jazz Lab (1)
MUS 311J/L Musicianship V: Jazz and Jazz Lab (1/1)
MUS 312J/L Musicianship VI: Jazz and Jazz Lab (1/1)

Courses required in Commercial and Media Writing Option

MUS 221 Song Writing (2)
MUS 317A Jazz Arranging I (2)
MUS 322 Beginning Media Composition (2)
MUS 391/L Music Technology II (2/1)
MUS 397R/L Recording (2/1)
MUS 419 Music Industry Foundations (3)
MUS 420A Advanced Media Composition (3)
MUS 420B Advanced Media Orchestration (3)
MUS 422A Individual Lessons in Composition (1,1)
MUS 494A Internship—Internal (1)
MUS 494AB Internship—External (3)

General Education

The following 9 units of Music courses count for GE: MUS 191/L, 202, 307

Total Units in the B.M. Program (depending on Option): 79-80

General Education Units: 39 (Does not include MUS 191/L, MUS 202 or MUS 307)

Additional Units (depending on Option): 1-2

Total Units Required for the B.M. Degree: 120


Chair: Ric Alviso
Cypress Hall (CY) 116
(818) 677-3181 

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to hear, identify and work conceptually with the elements of music, through sight-reading, basic keyboard proficiency and musical analysis;
  2. Perform standard repertoire appropriate to their performance area, as individuals, members of ensembles and/or conductors;
  3. Demonstrate a working knowledge of music history within their area of specialization and an acquaintance with the history, cultural background and repertoires beyond that area, including a wide selection of Western and world music literature;
  4. Demonstrate a working knowledge of music technology and its application to their area of specialization;
  5. Develop pedagogical and/or clinical skills fundamental to their area of specialization for application across a variety of music and music-related professions;
  6. Demonstrate professional competence in the execution of business processes and practices commonly employed within their area of specialization; and
  7. Create derivative or original music in both extemporaneous and written form.