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General Education Requirements

One course meets the International component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, MUS 161. One course meets the Domestic component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, MUS 353. Three courses meet the Wellness Requirement, MUS 121, 124 and 229. The Department also offers Earlham Seminars.


Music Majors and Tracks

The Earlham Music Department offers two majors and five tracks:

  • a Music Studies Major for students wishing for foundational training in music (often done in combination with another major), and
  • a Music Major for students expecting to go on to advanced study in the field of music.
  • a Music Education track (3+1 or 4+1 in conjunction with Earlham’s M.A.T. Program, or another master’s program in music education).
  • a Composition track.
  • a Computer Music Composition and Live Interaction track.
  • a Conducting track.
  • an Ethnomusicology track.


Music Studies Major

To earn a major in Music Studies, students must successfully complete 42 hours of course work as follows:

Theory and Musicianship (13 credit hours)

  • MUSL 220 Keyboard Skills (1 credit)
  • MUS 173 Sight Singing (1 credit)
  • MUS 271 Modes, Harmony and Counterpoint (3 credits)
  • MUS 272 Musicianship (2 credits)
  • MUS 371 Score Analysis and Composition (3 credits)
  • MUS 372 Making Music with Computers (3 credits)

Musicology (15 credit hours)

  • MUS 201 Writing About Music: Issues of Representation (3 credits)
  • MUS 460 Ethnomusicology: Methods and Issues (3 credits)
  • Three additional 400-level musicology courses (9 credits)  — each course will be designated as emphasizing one or two of the following:
    • Western classical music (WC)
    • Traditional music that has developed outside the Western tradition (non-Eurogenic music) (NE)
    • Mass-mediated music (MM)
    • At least one course emphasizing each of these three broad repertoires is required of all music majors. In some cases a single course will count for two of these.

Applied (8 credit hours)

  • Eight additional credits of applied music, with a minimum of four being ensemble credits and two being applied lesson credits (up to 1 credit of MUS 481 - Internship may be used as one of the eight applied credits).

Cross-Disciplinary (3 credit hours)

  • One course in Visual Arts or Theatre Arts (3 credit hours)

Capstone Project (3 credit hours)


Music Major

To earn a major in Music, students must successfully complete 50-51 hours of course work as follows. In addition to the requirements of the Music Studies Major, the Music Major will require the following, based on area of concentration


  • Admission to the composition track is by audition. An initial sampling of works will be evaluated and an assessment of compositional ability will be determined by the faculty prior to admission.
  • Six additional credits in applied composition lessons above the two stipulated in the basic track.
  • An additional Western classical music seminar specifically in music after 1900 or an Independent Study survey of some aspect of contemporary composition.
  • A portfolio evaluation of works produced during the student's time at Earlham will be required before graduation.

Computer Music

  • MUS 472 Orchestration and Film Scoring
  • MUS 473 Programming Music for Computers
  • One Computer Science course in programming for three or four credits OR ideally, a Computer Science minor.


  • A combination of Independent Studies and Teaching Assistantships in ensemble direction, designed in consultation with the appropriate ensemble director, for nine credit hours.


  • Two additional courses in musicology for six credit hours. Note: at least two of the five total musicology courses should have a geographical focus.
  • One course in Sociology/Anthropology for three or four credit hours OR ideally, a Sociology/Anthropology minor.

Music Education

  • Independent studies in music teaching methods and conducting for six credit hours.
  • An education course to be determined for three hours

Music Performance

  • Admission to the performance track is by audition in the primary performing medium.
  • An additional six credits of applied lessons, above the two stipulated in the basic track. 
  • One elective for three credit hours in an area of musicology closely related to the student’s performance instrument.
  • Performance evaluations (“juries”) will occur at the end of selected semesters.


Music Minor

To earn a minor in Music, students must successfully complete 21 credit hours as follows:

  • MUS 201 Thinking and Writing About Music (3 credits)
  • MUS 271 Western Music Theory II: Foundations (3 credits)
  • MUS 173 Sight Singing (1 credit)
  • MUSL 220 Piano Keyboard Skills (1 credit)
  • Two more 3-credit classes, one of which must be in musicology
  • Four credits of applied courses, of which at least one credit must be an ensemble.
  • Three additional credits of either applied or classroom courses.

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.