This page outlines requirements for the degree in Contemporary Music (BA, Contemporary Music). Students can also study this subject as a minor or as part of a self-designed major (BA or BS, Liberal Arts). Students majoring in The Arts who are interested in studying contemporary music should choose the Arts in Context concentration (BA, The Arts). For example, a student can focus on music criticism by taking courses in Contemporary Music and Writing or Journalism; other majors, such as Psychology, Culture and Media, or Anthropology, can also provide wider contexts for music studies. Arts in Context students should follow the Music minor requirements below or an alternative plan of study approved by the Music director.
The curriculum of Eugene Lang College's Contemporary Music program provides undergraduate students with a range of intellectual perspectives and practical skills that enable them to address the new and evolving challenges of careers in music today. Approaches from musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory serve as a foundation for this program, but interdisciplinary approaches are equally important as students learn to apply their knowledge and skills within and across artistic disciplines (such as theater and dance) and other liberal arts disciplines (such as history, literature, and philosophy). Hands-on practice and the creative process are also emphasized, so that students learn to engage with musical thinking as well as music making in inventive ways.
The curriculum of the Contemporary Music concentration is structured around three focus areas:
Most courses in the Contemporary Music curriculum are suitable for students at all levels of musical training and experience; many courses do not require the ability to read music notation. Prerequisite courses (Fundamentals of Western Music and Global Perspectives on Music) are noted in individual course descriptions.
Lang students can also enroll in other music courses, performance ensembles, and private lessons through Mannes School of Music, the School of Jazz, and Parsons School of Design. For students interested in study abroad, Lang occasionally offers a summer course, Music in Berlin, in collaboration with the FUBIS program at the Free University in Berlin.
Students must receive grades of C or better in all courses taken to fulfill major requirements. The major in Contemporary Music requires completion of 13 courses, distributed as follows:
Total credits: 42-52
Only specific courses satisfy the major requirements, including electives. Courses should be chosen carefully, in consultation with the chair of the program. Students should track
their progress using the program requirement worksheet for the year in
which they declared their major in Contemporary Music:
Students who declared earlier than 2011 should see their academic advisor for requirements.
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Admission ContactOffice of AdmissionEugene Lang College of Liberal Arts
79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212.229.5150 or 800.292.3040
Prospective students with questions about the Contemporary Music major:
Music Program Director
Stefania de Kenessey
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