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Bachelor of Arts

Briar Cliff takes pride in the important and active role of music in the university’s academic programs and campus life. With an annual schedule of more than 30 performances and an accomplished artist faculty whose collective teaching experience exceeds 100 years, our music department exemplifies the unity of musicianship and educational practice needed for success in the real world.

The music major focuses on voice, piano, and choral conducting. All music majors get to participate in at least one performing ensemble (Cliff SingersChamber Choir, Jazz Ensemble or liturgical ensembles) during each term. The music department facilitates abundant opportunities to develop musicianship through:

  • Performances in recitals and seminars
  • Theoretical analysis
  • Familiarity with musical styles throughout history
  • Listening experiences
  • Studies in keyboard skills, conducting, effective choral rehearsal techniques and information technologies

Core Courses

MUSC 114 - Music Theory I
MUSC 114L - Music Theory Lab I
MUSC 115 - Music Theory II
MUSC 125 - American Popular Music (Online)
MUSC 247 - Music History and Literature I
MUSC 248 - Music History and Literature II
MUSC 314 - Music Theory III
MUSC 314L - Music Theory Lab III
MUSC 315 - Music Theory IV
MUSC 315L - Music Theory Lab IV
MUSC 437 - Conducting I
MUSC 438 - Conducting II

Additional Program Requirements

Music majors are to register for recital attendance each semester of enrollment and are required to attend all music performances given by faculty and students, on and off campus.

Music majors must pass a piano proficiency exam by the end of the second full year of study in order to continue in the program as a music major.  The proficiency exam in piano includes demonstrating the ability to perform vocal exercises, scales, chord progressions, choral score reading, harmonization, transposition, and the performance of vocal accompaniments.

A senior recital or senior project, approved by the music faculty, must also be completed before graduation.

The department of music will accept no grade below a C in any MUSC course. Students are also required to pass WRTG with a C or better and are expected to demonstrate consistent quality in writing in all major courses.

NOTE: MUSC 125 is interchangeable with MUSC 225.