Bachelor of Music

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The Bachelor of Music is an intensive curriculum for students wishing to study music for specific professional purposes or for students seeking professional levels of attainment in music. Bachelor of Music emphases within the program provide specialized study in piano, vocal, and instrumental performance; composition; jazz; history and literature; and music education (credential preparation). These specializations prepare students for graduate study or for various professional opportunities. In addition to possessing musical ability and motivation, every candidate for the professional degree program must demonstrate, in an audition before a faculty panel, a significant technical and artistic level of accomplishment in at least one area of performance before being admitted to this major. Candidates for the Bachelor of Music major may apply either before or after enrolling at San Francisco State University.

A maximum of 73 units in music may be counted toward this degree.

Students in a performance emphasis may receive up to eight semesters of individual lessons with the distinguished artist faculty in the School of Music, many of whom are members of the San Francisco Symphony, Opera, and Ballet Orchestras, and maintain active professional careers. The degree program culminates in a formal senior recital.

Students in the composition emphasis have early and continued opportunities through private lessons, Composers' Workshop, and other specialized classes to study with nationally recognized faculty composers and to have their works publicly performed. Students are expected to qualify for this emphasis at the end of the second year of study at San Francisco State University.

Students in the history/literature emphasis complete core courses in music history as well as courses in such topics as keyboard literature, jazz, ethnic music, and the works of individual composers. The culminating project for the history/literature emphasis, a senior thesis of an analytical or historical nature, gives each student an opportunity to work closely with a member of the music history faculty in developing research and analytical skills.

The Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in music education prepares students to teach in the elementary and secondary schools. Completion of this curriculum satisfies the pre-professional academic requirements for the Single Subject Teaching Credential in Music, leaving only the professional education sequence to be completed in the College of Education.

Bachelor of Music students must complete 27 units of core courses which includes concert attendance and one of the following emphases: Piano, Instrumental, or Vocal Performance; Composition; Jazz; History and Literature; or Music Education. Students who select the Music Education Emphasis must complete one of the three options listed under Music Education.

  • Students must enroll in MUS 150 (0 units) each semester in residence up to and including eight semesters.
  • A grade of C or better is required for all music courses in the Bachelor of Music major.

Bachelor of Music — 72 - 73 units

Core Courses (30 units)

MUS 150Concert Music (each semester in residence up to and including 8 semesters)0
MUS 221Fundamentals of Ear Training and Musicianship I2
MUS 222Fundamentals of Ear Training and Musicianship II2
MUS 223Fundamentals of Ear Training and Musicianship III2
MUS 231Contrapuntal Analysis and Synthesis3
MUS 232Diatonic Analysis and Synthesis3
MUS 233Chromatic Analysis and Synthesis3
MUS 42020th Century Techniques3
MUS 542GWEthnomusicology - GWAR3
MUS 550Music from the Middle Ages to 17503
MUS 551Classic and Romantic Music3
MUS 55220th Century Music3

In addition to the core requirements, all candidates must pass the Junior Qualifying Examination in one instrument or voice.

Area of Emphasis (41 - 43 units)

In order to fulfill the requirements of the major in the Bachelor of Music, students must complete an additional 42-43 units of course work upon advisement. With a faculty advisor, students select an area of emphasis based on interests and areas in which to build expertise. Several areas of emphasis from which students may choose are listed below.

Piano Performance Emphasis (41 units)

MUS 382Keyboard Harmony1
MUS 303Keyboard Major (1 unit course taken eight times)8
MUS 360Major Repertoire (1 unit course taken eight times)8
Ensemble Series: Two semesters of enrollment in a large, conducted ensemble is required. A minimum of 2 units large classical ensemble (Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Opera Workshop, Chorus).4
Orchestra
Wind Ensemble
Chamber Singers
Women's Chorus
University Chorus
MUS 378Chamber Music (1 unit course taken two times)2
MUS 383Piano Accompaniment1
MUS 384Piano Ensemble1
MUS 391Piano Sightreading1
MUS 392Piano Performance Practicum (1 unit course taken five times)5
MUS 405Tonal Counterpoint3
MUS 510Keyboard Literature3
MUS 614Piano Pedagogy2
MUS 640Ensemble Conducting2
Senior Recital is required

Vocal Performance Emphasis (42 units)

MUS 201Class Piano I1
MUS 202Class Piano II1
MUS 203Class Piano III1
MUS 224Ear Training and Musicianship IV1
MUS 301Class Piano IV1
MUS 302Class Piano V1
MUS 313Voice Major (1 unit course taken eight times)8
MUS 360Major Repertoire (1 unit course taken six times)6
MUS 371-MUS 3908
Major Instruction must have concurrent enrollment in a large classical ensemble (Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Chorus),
MUS 560Lyric Diction I2
MUS 561Lyric Diction II2
MUS 565Vocal Literature3
MUS 612The Voice3
MUS 640Ensemble Conducting2
Music electives on advisement2
Senior Recital is required

Instrumental Performance Emphasis (42 units)

MUS 201Class Piano I1
MUS 202Class Piano II1
MUS 203Class Piano III1
MUS 353Instrumental Major (1 unit course taken eight times)8
MUS 360Major Repertoire (1 unit course taken eight times)8
MUS 371-MUS 39012
Major Instruction must have concurrent enrollment in a large classical ensemble (Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Chorus)
MUS 405Tonal Counterpoint3
MUS 415Orchestration3
MUS 640Ensemble Conducting2
Music electives on advisement3
Senior Recital is required

Composition Emphasis (45 units)

Students wishing to qualify for the composition emphasis file an "Intent to Apply" form at the completion of MUS 232, and make their actual application to the program at the completion of MUS 425 (normally at the end of the sophomore year). The application consists of an application form, a transcript, and a portfolio of compositions. A portfolio of scores and recordings of works written for a variety of ensembles must also be submitted and approved before graduation from the program.

MUS 201Class Piano I1
MUS 202Class Piano II1
MUS 203Class Piano III1
MUS 301Class Piano IV1
MUS 302Class Piano V1
MUS 224Ear Training and Musicianship IV1
Units on advisement from MUS 303 - MUS 313 - MUS 353 Piano, Voice, or Instrumental Major4
Major Instruction must have concurrent enrollment in a large classical ensemble (Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Chorus),
MUS 371-MUS 390 Ensemble Series (1 each)5
MUS 405Tonal Counterpoint3
MUS 415Orchestration3
MUS 416Theory Seminar3
MUS 425Composition Workshop1
MUS 436Introduction to the Electronic Music Studio2
MUS 450Projects in Theory and Composition (1 unit course taken four times)4
MUS 460Repertoire for Composers (1 unit course taken four times)4
MUS 504Survey of Electronic Music3
MUS 640Ensemble Conducting2
Select one of the following on advisement:3
Musics of the Middle East and India
Musics of North and Southeast Asia
Music of Latin America
or other advisor approved elective
Music electives on advisement2
In addition, candidates must pass the junior qualifying examination in one instrument or voice.

Jazz Emphasis (44 - 48 units)

Select two of the following:2
Class Piano I
Class Piano II
Class Piano III
MUS 206Beginning Jazz/Pop Piano1
Upon advisement, for MUS 201-MUS 203 and MUS 206, jazz piano majors may substitute from the following three courses:
Keyboard Harmony
Piano Accompaniment
Piano Sightreading
Piano, Voice, or Instrumental Major:8
2 semesters of applied classical lessons are required before admission to the major
Keyboard Major
Voice Major
Instrumental Major
MUS 360Major Repertoire6-8
MUS 371 - MUS 390 (2 units must be in large classical ensembles)8-10
Major Instruction must have concurrent enrollment in MUS 371 - MUS 390 Ensemble Series
Major instruction in one instrument or voice: minimum 2 units large classical ensemble (Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Chorus) for students studying orchestral instruments or voice: minimum 2 units in Jazz and/or Creative Music performance classes for those students studying Jazz and Creative 2 units required (1 unit per semester). 2 units maximum (1 unit per semester)2
MUS 430Improvisation1
MUS 431Jazz Improvisation I2
MUS 432Jazz Improvisation II2
MUS 440Jazz Harmony3
MUS 441Jazz Composition and Arranging3
MUS 558Music of John Coltrane3
Music elective on advisement3
Required performance and passing of a Senior Recital

History and Literature Emphasis (44 units)

Piano, Voice, or Instrumental Major:4
Keyboard Major (on advisement)
Voice Major (on advisement)
Instrumental Major (on advisement)
MUS 201Class Piano I1
MUS 202Class Piano II1
MUS 203Class Piano III1
MUS 301Class Piano IV1
MUS 302Class Piano V1
MUS 371 - MUS 390 Ensemble Series (1 each)5
Major Instruction must have concurrent enrollment in MUS 371 - MUS 390 Ensemble Series
Major instruction in one instrument or voice: minimum 2 units large classical ensemble (Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Chorus) for students studying orchestral instruments or voice: minimum 2 units in Jazz and/or Creative Music performance classes for those students studying Jazz and Creative 2 units required (1 unit per semester). 2 units maximum (1 unit per semester)2
MUS 405Tonal Counterpoint3
MUS 415Orchestration3
MUS 598Senior Thesis3
MUS 640Ensemble Conducting2
Select 12 units from the following:12
Seminar in Music Literature
Musics of the Middle East and India
Musics of North and Southeast Asia
Music of Latin America
or other advisor approved elective
Select 5 units of electives on advisement5

In addition, candidates must pass the junior qualifying examination in one instrument or voice and demonstrate basic reading knowledge of French, German, or other appropriate language.

Music Education Emphasis (43 units)

All Music Education Emphasis students complete the Music Education emphasis core courses and choose one option from Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, or the Diversified Program as shown below. Students must also present a recital.

Music Education Emphasis Core Courses (16 units)
MUS 351Class Orchestral and Band Instruments I1
MUS 433Introduction to Music Technology2
MUS 608Early Field Experience in Music Education2
MUS 610General Music3
MUS 616Woodwinds2
MUS 618Strings2
MUS 620Brass Instruments2
MUS 640Ensemble Conducting2
Instrumental Music Option (26 units)
Select two of the following on advisement:2
Class Piano III
Class Piano IV
Class Piano V
MUS 270Improvisation1
MUS 211Class Voice I1
MUS 353Instrumental Major (MUS 371-MUS 390 1 each, 7 units total)7
MUS 371 - MUS 390 17
Major Instruction must have concurrent enrollment in MUS 371 - MUS 390 Ensemble Series
Major instruction in one instrument or voice: minimum 2 units large classical ensemble (Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Chorus) for students studying orchestral instruments or voice: minimum 2 units in Jazz and/or Creative Music performance classes for those students studying Jazz and Creative 2 units required (1 unit per semester). 2 units maximum (1 unit per semester)1
MUS 415Orchestration3
MUS 644Advanced Instrumental Conducting and Literature3
Music elective on advisement1
Vocal/Choral Music Option (28 units)
MUS 301Class Piano IV (on advisement)1
or MUS 302 Class Piano V
MUS 313Voice Major6
MUS 360Major Repertoire2
Major Instruction must have concurrent enrollment in MUS 371 - MUS 390 Ensemble Series
Major instruction in one instrument or voice: minimum 2 units large classical ensemble (Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Chorus) for students studying orchestral instruments or voice: minimum 2 units in Jazz and/or Creative Music performance classes for those students studying Jazz and Creative 2 units required (1 unit per semester). 2 units maximum (1 unit per semester)2
MUS 560Lyric Diction I2
MUS 561Lyric Diction II2
MUS 612The Voice3
MUS 645Advanced Choral Conducting and Literature3
Select six units of the following: 1,2,36
Improvisation
Vocal Performance Practicum
Music elective on advisement1
Diversified Program (Keyboard/Choral) Option (25 units)
MUS 303Keyboard Major8
Major Instruction must have concurrent enrollment in MUS 371 - MUS 390 Ensemble Series
Major instruction in one instrument or voice: minimum 2 units large classical ensemble (Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Chorus) for students studying orchestral instruments or voice: minimum 2 units in Jazz and/or Creative Music performance classes for those students studying Jazz and Creative 2 units required (1 unit per semester). 2 units maximum (1 unit per semester)2
MUS 382Keyboard Harmony1
MUS 612The Voice3
MUS 645Advanced Choral Conducting and Literature3
MUS 313Voice Major (by audition)1
or MUS 211 Class Voice I
Select six units from the following: 1,2,3,46
Improvisation
Vocal Performance Practicum
Music elective on advisement1
1

MUS 371, MUS 372, MUS 373, and MUS 379 fulfill General Education requirements; therefore, an additional 3 units may be taken for GE and are not counted in the emphasis total.

2

At least 1 unit must include MUS 270.

3

At least 2 units must include MUS 388 or MUS 390.

4

For the Diversified Concentration a minimum of 6 units must be in choral ensembles.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or may be an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = lower division; UD = upper division.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), go to http://assist.org Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. As described above, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3 and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. Review more information about the A3 requirement here.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlines below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.