Majors in Music

Between five and ten students each year choose to major in music and receive the degree of Bachelor of Science in Music (Course 21M) or the joint major, Bachelor of Science in Humanities and Engineering/Science (Courses 21E and 21S).  Many students complete full (dual) majors in music and another field and receive a degree acknowledging both fields. (As of 2011, the double major replaces the dual degree option).  Students interested in pursuing the music major should contact the Major Advisor as early as possible, but definitely by the fall of their Junior year at MIT.

The undergraduate program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Music comprises a grounding in foundational skills in music history and culture, performance, and music theory, a capstone Advanced Seminar, and a coherent program in a musical specialty. The undergraduate program leading to the degrees of 21E (Humanities and Engineering) or 21S (Humanities and Science) with a focus in music, provides an opportunity to study and combine music with a scientific or engineering field.

The full major requires 120 units (normally 9 classroom subjects x 12 units plus 2 performance subjects x 6 units).  Music majors (single, joint, or double) may also use music as their HASS concentration as well as their HASS-Arts and one HASS-Elective class.  Thus, double major graduates will need to take at least five classes (60 units) beyond the General Institute Requirements for their other Course in order to graduate.  Majoring and minoring in music simultaneously is not allowed.

MIT's registrar maintains the official requirements for Course 21M Degrees , Course 21E Degrees and Course 21S/ Degrees on their website. In the unlikely case of a discrepancy between the requirements listed below and those on the registrar site, the registrar is the authoritative site. What appears below is meant to be a summary and restatement of the "Departmental Program" to help students plan their schedules for graduation.

The majors advisor: Keeril Makan, keeril@mit.edu

REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL MUSIC MAJORS

The following courses are required for all majors
Number Title Units
21M.301 Harmony and Counterpoint I 12
21M.401-499 Performance Ensemble (two semesters) 2 x 6
21M.500 Advanced Seminar (CI-M) 12

 

Students must select one of the following 12 unit classes
Number Title
21M.220 Medieval and Renaissance Music (CI-M)
21M.235 Monteverdi to Mozart: 1600-1800 (CI-M)
21M.260 Stravinsky to the Present (CI-M)

 

Students must select one of the following 12 unit classes
Number Title
21M.291 Music of India
21M.292 Music of Indonesia
21M.293 Music of Africa
21M.294 Popular Musics of the World

Students will take an additional 60 units beyond these requirements, which will be chosen in consultation with the major advisor.

1

 A maximum of 24 restricted elective units may be comprised of introductory subjects (21M.0xx). A maximum of 24 restricted elective units may be comprised of Performance subjects (6 units each), with the exception of 21M.480 which may be repeated without limitation.

2

This chart has been calculated based on an overlap of 36 units (three subjects) between the HASS General Institute Requirement and the departmental requirements. Students who develop a program of study with more overlap will be able to select more unrestricted electives to meet the number of total units beyond the GIRs required for an SB degree.

COHERENT PROGRAMS IN THE JOINT MAJOR

 

The following courses are required for all majors
Number Title Units
21M.301 Harmony and Counterpoint I 12
21M.401-499 Performance Ensemble (two semesters) 2 x 6

 

Students must select one of the following 12 unit classes
Number Title
21M.220 Medieval and Renaissance Music (CI-M)
21M.235 Monteverdi to Mozart: 1600-1800 (CI-M)
21M.260 Stravinsky to the Present (CI-M)

 

Students must select one of the following 12 unit classes
Number Title
21M.291 Music of India
21M.292 Music of Indonesia
21M.293 Music of Africa
21M.294 Popular Musics of the World
 

Students taking the joint major (21E or 21S), distinct from the double major, will take the same classes as 21M majors, with the exception of 21M.500 being required. An additional Communication Internsive class is not required.

Additionally students in the joint program take four subjects beyond any that count towards the GIRs in a coherent program in engineering or science (often a subset of a departmental Major) including a CI-M class.  Ideally, some of the subjects in the science or engineering program as well as the musical specialty should complement the forms of learning in the other adding cohesion to the program.

Joint majors are discouraged in the strongest possible terms from also double majoring and may not in any case count any class towards both the 21S/E course and towards the other course.

For further information, please contact the majors advisor.