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Fine Arts (FA) – Music

Location: 371 Accolade East, Tel.: 416-736-5186
Chair: L. Wrazen
Professors: D. Mott, C. Petrowska-Quilico, J. Rahn, T. Sankaran
Professors Emeriti: A. Clarkson, J. Tenney
Associate Professors: R. Bowman, K. Burke, L. Canton, M. Chambers, M. Coghlan, D. de Val, B. Elmes, A. Henderson, S. Johnson, A. Levine, M. Marcuzzi, S. Martin, R. Simms, C. Sokol, S. Viswawathan, P. Wait, L. Wrazen
Associate Professors Emeriti: R.S. Beckwith, J. Gittens, D. Lidov, P. Werren, W. Westcott, R. Witmer
Assistant Professors: J. Isrealievitch, C. Robbin, W. Thomas
Contractually Limited Appointments: M. Murley, M. VanderWoude
Graduate Program Director: M. Coghlan

The mandate of our students and faculty is to make and share music and to acquire, develop and disseminate musical knowledge. We understand musical study as interacting with nearly all studies pursued in the University -- those of the humanities and the other fine arts, the social and natural sciences and the professions. From its inception, the Music Department has emphasized the study and performance of contemporary music in all its diversity, while bringing to bear a wide range of historical and social perspectives on the music of other times and places.

Students who major in music may pursue the BA, the Honours BA or Honours BFA degree. These degree options address both academic and practical concerns, combining the knowledge and skills needed for professional work in music with experience that will stimulate lifelong musical and personal growth. Undergraduate studies include courses in performance, composition, music history and ethnology, theory and pedagogy, with the emphasis largely depending on the student's own interests and abilities. Many of these courses are open to non-majors, with opportunities for participation in various performances and musical events on and off campus organized by members of the department.

Both the Honours BA and Honours BFA degree programs comprise a total of 120 credits and may be completed in four years of full-time study or over a longer period of part-time study. The major program in Music may be combined with a second major in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, or with a minor in the Faculties of Environmental Studies, Fine Arts, Liberal Arts and Professional Studies or Science and Engineering. A five-year program leading to two degrees (the Honours BA or Honours BFA in music and the bachelor of education degree) is also available. All students begin their studies in the Honours program (120 credits), but may elect at the end of their first year of study to go into the BA program (90 credits). Completion of these degrees form a strong basis for further studies in fields such as music therapy, arts administration and management, music journalism, music marketing, cultural tourism, community arts and cultural management. For students interested in teaching at the primary, junior and intermediate levels, a BA and a BEd can be completed in four years, rather than five, as currently with the Honours BA or BFA.

Admission to the department is by audition. Further information on audition evaluations, admissions, degree requirements and Faculty of Fine Arts regulations may be found in the Faculty of Fine Arts section.

In the area of performance, a qualified student may select one or more courses including chamber ensembles in Western art music (piano, percussion, brass, winds, strings, voice, guitar), jazz, world music ensembles and contemporary music. Each course entails ensemble workshops, study of the history and literature of the instruments, and attention to individual problems of performance. Performance experience in large ensembles is provided by the choir, jazz orchestra, jazz choir, wind symphony and world music chorus.

In the area of composition, instruction is given in the skills of writing scores, arranging and orchestration. In addition, fully equipped digital and MIDI studios provide facilities for learning all phases of the composition and production of music.

In the area of musical research (music history, area studies and ethnomusicology), the aim is to integrate musicianship with the history, theory and anthropology of music. Intensive study may be pursued in the musics of Asia, Africa and the Americas as well as of Europe, past and present.

All music majors complete a sequence of foundational courses which equips them with essential concepts and practical skills in ear-training, sight-singing, rhythm, theory and awareness of the social, cultural and historical contexts of music. These requirements include FA/MUSI 1000 6.00, FA/MUSI 1200 9.00, FA/MUSI 2200 6.00, FA/MUSI 2201 3.00 and FA/MUSI 2202 3.00. A student may be exempted from one or more of these courses by passing proficiency exams. Students who do not maintain enrolment in the foundation courses scheduled for their first and second years may not be enrolled in performance and/or composition courses. These foundation courses are prerequisites for all the department’s upper-level offerings for majors, and both full and part-time students must complete them within their first 60 credits. All Honours music majors must complete 30 upper-level music credits (at or above the 3000 level), including at least 18 credits in studies courses for the Honours BA degree, and at least 12 credits in studies courses and at least 12 credits in studio courses for the Honours BFA degree. (See the lists of courses below.)

In addition to courses in music, the bachelor’s, Honours BA and Honours BFA degrees require 18 general education credits, and 12 credits from other departments in fine arts.

Note: some courses involve additional ancillary fees. Please consult the department’s handbook on the Faculty of Fine Arts website at for details.