Feb 21, 2024  
College Catalog 2019-2020 
College Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music Undergraduate Studies



Standards of Achievement and Evaluation

All undergraduate students in the Music Division are reviewed by the Scholastic Standing Committee at quarterly intervals throughout the academic year. A high level of accomplishment is expected in the major studies and performance ensembles at all times. Students are encouraged to feel that they are in a professional as well as educational environment and that the goal of their training is their growth as young artists and informed members of our society. Classroom departmental studies, specialized studies, and liberal arts requirements must meet minimum standards. At the close of the second year of training, a student whose overall achievement is judged to be significantly below his or her potential, or that of the class as a whole, may not be invited to continue in the School. Further details regarding satisfactory academic progress, attendance, juries, and examinations may be found in the Standards and Regulations  section.

Note: Supplementary English instruction may be required for undergraduate programs, based on the results of the TOEFL exam.


    Bachelor of Music

    The Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree program is the principal undergraduate program in music, and nearly all of the undergraduate musicians are enrolled in it. It requires students to supplement their music studies with a prescribed number of courses in the Liberal Arts Department.

    The B.M. degree program normally requires four years to complete. The minimum residency is two years for qualified and approved transfer students (three years for Voice majors). All requirements for the degree must be completed within seven years of a student’s original enrollment in the B.M. program.

    Undergraduate Diploma

    The Diploma program is a three-year program of study for the few very gifted undergraduate musicians in keyboard, orchestral instruments, and voice, who for personal or professional reasons must pursue a non-degree course of study concentrating almost exclusively on performance. New students may enter this program only upon recommendation of the dean and the Admissions Committee. Currently enrolled students may transfer into this program only upon approval of the Scholastic Standing Committee.

    NOTE: Important statistics and disclosure information on all non-degree diploma programs are available on the Juilliard Web site.


      Ear Training

      The aim of the ear training program is to equip students with thorough skills in rhythm, pitch, and musical structures in order to promote confident, fast, and accurate learning. Through a guided series of precision exercises, students come to understand their roles as soloists, as collaborators in small or large ensembles, and as creators in transmitting to an audience the emotional content of the music. The fixed-do system — primarily because of its systematic approach to both tonal and atonal music — is employed to develop all pitch-related skills.

      Keyboard Studies

      The Keyboard Studies department aims to raise the level of keyboard facility and musicianship skills for all music students at Juilliard. The department is primarily comprised of two courses of study: Secondary Piano and Keyboard Skills. 

      Secondary Piano is required of all non-keyboard music majors. It is designed to enhance students’ understanding of Music Theory and to develop basic keyboard skills of use in their future careers as performers and teachers. Its two-year curriculum trains students in the rudiments of piano playing, including scales, arpeggios, basic keyboard harmony, and sight-reading, while maintaining the study of repertoire, ranging from pedagogical pieces to Classical-era sonatinas, simple piano accompaniments to vocal and instrumental repertoire, and keyboard reductions of score excerpts.

      Keyboard Skills is required of all keyboard majors. Its two-year curriculum is designed to sharpen specific practical skills that are necessary for all keyboard players. It covers sight-reading, keyboard harmony, transposition, and score-reading. The final semester of the Keyboard Skills sequence offers a variety of advanced electives on a rotating basis, including improvisation. 

      Prior to entering into the Keyboard Skills sequence, students are required to pass a sight-reading proficiency exam. In support of this requirement, a two-semester Keyboard Sight-Reading course taught by graduate teaching fellows is offered in the student’s first year.

      Music Theory and Analysis

      The Music Theory and Analysis department helps students to develop and refine their natural musical instincts. The core curriculum offers a broad introduction to musical syntax, structure, and styles from the Renaissance to the present day. For Theory V, each section has a different repertoire or thematic focus, as reflected in the subtitles.

      Advanced elective courses (offered in a wide variety of subjects, on a rotating basis) allow students to focus in-depth on repertoire tailored to their special interests as well as to pursue sophisticated analysis projects. Vocal Arts majors are required to take only one elective, which must be from the Analytical Writing category. All other majors must take two electives, one from the Analytical Writing category and one from the Genres category.

      The department offers a separate honors track (by advisement) for composers and other advanced students who wish to pursue a more intensive, academically rigorous program of study. Students who have completed the honors track must complete two additional electives, one from each category. In some cases, such students may petition for special permission to substitute a Graduate Studies music theory core seminar.

      The department also offers Music Studies courses for students in the Dance and Drama Divisions, drawing on the School’s rich musical resources.

      Music Theory: ElectivesMusic History

      The music history curriculum is designed to foster the music student’s knowledge of his or her art and its cultural significance overall; it also promotes the development of students’ communication skills, critical thinking, and the application of knowledge to real-world circumstances. Classroom instruction advocates historically informed performance practice, not only for music written before 1800, but for every type of music, including non-Western and popular music.

      Students take MHMUS 111 in the spring semester of their first year, MHMUS 211 and 311 in their sophomore year, and three music history electives during their third and fourth years.

      Music History: ElectivesMusic LiteraturePiano LiteratureMusic Studies