This is an archive of the 2023-2024 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2023-2024 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2023-2024 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: B.M., Music

Strings Option

Program Description

The Bachelor of Music option in Strings is divided into two concentrations: Orchestral Strings and Classical Guitar (both require an entrance audition). Capstone experience: one-hour recital.

Orchestral Strings

The Orchestral Strings emphasis is intended for students planning careers as performers, university teachers or private studio teachers. It is also designed to prepare students to pursue advanced study in a graduate degree program. There are many performance opportunities in solo recitals, large and small ensembles, studio classes and master classes. Students also receive an extensive background in literature, pedagogy and performance practice through courses offered. Students graduating with this degree will have developed an understanding of the repertory in their major performance area and the ability to perform from a cross-section of that repertory, culminating in their capstone experience—a senior recital.

Once admitted to the major by audition, ensemble participation (by separate audition) includes the Symphonic Orchestra and the Goldberg and Sons Honors String Quartet. Enrollment in Chamber Music Techniques does not require an audition. Students also have the opportunity to perform regularly in pit orchestras for operas and musicals and to tour with the orchestra.

The CSUN Music department owns a collection of fine string instruments and bows that are available to students for use upon recommendation from their CSUN applied lesson teacher.

Classical Guitar

In addition to the coursework below, strong emphasis is placed on regular performance for students studying classical guitar. This is achieved through weekly studio classes and chamber coachings. Guitarists also regularly have the opportunity to perform for the student body in Noon Recitals, New Music Concerts and other students’ recitals. Additionally, the CSUN music department holds a yearly concerto competition.

The library at CSUN holds the International Guitar Research Archive (IGRA), one of the largest collections of guitar music and research materials in the world. This collection, which is the result of the dedication to guitar by Professor Emeritus Ron Purcell, is available as a valuable tool to the serious student of the instrument.

Program Requirements

A. Admission to the Major

Admission to the major in Music for all undergraduate degrees is determined by audition. Those auditioning for the Performance options must exhibit a high-performance competence in the audition. Audition procedures and standards are listed on the Department of Music—Audition and Placement website.

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.

B. Lesson and Ensemble Requirements

To qualify for individual lessons in any semester, undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units, including lesson units and the correct number of ensemble units required by their option.

Enrollment in the designated ensemble(s) for the student’s instrument is a corequisite of enrollment in private lessons each semester of enrollment. Students who do not meet this requirement by the third week of the semester will not be eligible for lessons that semester. 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 throughout the year.

All students enrolled in individual lessons must demonstrate their progress in the major before a faculty jury at the end of each semester of study. Students receiving lower than a grade of “C-” in that 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.

C. Course Requirements

1. Lower Division Required Courses (37 units)

MUS 110A Keyboard Musicianship I (1)
MUS 110B Keyboard Musicianship II (1)
MUS 112/L Musicianship II and Lab (1/1)
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 210A Keyboard Musicianship III (1)
MUS 210B Keyboard Musicianship IV (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)
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. Strings Option Requirements (33 units)

a. Orchestral Strings Concentration

MUS 464 String Pedagogy (2)
MUS 487 Chamber Music Techniques (1,1,1)
Individual Lessons (12)
Ensembles (12)

Select two of the following three courses:

MUS 404 Symphonic Literature (2)
MUS 409 Chamber Music Literature (2)
MUS 411 History of Performance Practices (2)

b. Classical Guitar Concentration

MUS 130 Guitar Sight-Reading (1)
MUS 406A Fretboard Literature (2)
MUS 406B Fretboard Literature (2)
MUS 433/L Master Class: Guitar and Lab (1/1)
MUS 462/L Guitar Pedagogy and Lab (1/1)
Individual Lessons (12)
Ensembles (4 units met by MUS 287/MUS 487) (12)

4. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog, including 3 units of coursework meeting the Ethnic Studies (ES) graduation requirement.

9 units are satisfied by the following courses in the major: MUS 202 satisfies C1 Arts; MUS 191/L satisfies E Lifelong Learning; and MUS 307 satisfies 3 units of upper division F Comparative Cultural Studies.

If taken, MUS 397R/L satisfies B5 Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning.

Total Units in the Major/Option: 79

General Education Units: 39

Additional Units: 2

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

More information

For more information about this program, please contact


Department of Music
Chair: John Roscigno
Cypress Hall (CY) 116
(818) 677-3181

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Bachelor of Music in Music will be able to:

  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.
  7. Create derivative or original music in both extemporaneous and written form.