Department Chair: Professor Paul Murphy
Professors: Conner, Ovens
Assistant Professor: Hartford
The mission of the Music Department is to prepare students for lives as musicians, critical and creative thinkers, and responsible members of society. Knowledge, skills, and values are developed and fostered through the study of music within a liberal arts context. Students develop technical skills, problem-solving ability, judgment, and courage to analyze, perform, and compose music with an informed knowledge of theory, history, and the social context of artistic practice. More broadly, we teach students to develop self-discipline, analyze evidence, integrate knowledge from diverse fields, communicate effectively, reflect thoughtfully on their own work, and show respect for others as an integral part of the music program. We believe these abilities empower our students to develop into skilled musicians who are prepared for productive and successful lives.
Our curriculum emphasizes the inter-connectedness of music theory, composition, music history, and performance. We train thinking musicians who understand the musical-theoretical, compositional, and performance practices of different historical periods, cultures, genres, and performative lens. This training produces thinking musicians who are prepared to develop their own voices as performers, composers, and scholars.
We encourage all Muhlenberg students to take music courses that interest them, many of which are open to students without prerequisite. All Muhlenberg students are eligible to participate in ensembles and/or take lessons in the department. Applied lessons may be completed at any level from beginning to advanced. Students with a serious interest in musical theatre may study voice in the Music Department and supplement this study with courses offered in the Theatre and Dance Department.
The Music Department sponsors over seventy concerts each year, including ensemble performances, student recitals, senior recitals, and guest artists. Our concerts are presented in the Dorothy and Dexter Baker Center for the Arts, designed by Philip Johnson, and the Egner Memorial Chapel.
There are currently a limited number of music majors who are also participating in the teacher certification program at Moravian College. The requirements for teacher certification are available upon request from the Department of Music. Students intending to enter the music education certification program in collaboration with Moravian College must register for MUS 111 - Music Theory I during their first semester. It is extremely unlikely any student will be able to complete their studies in four years if they do not follow this advice.
Study in voice, piano, organ, and the various string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. Departmental permission is required for enrollment. Depending on the instructor, students take either thirteen 45-minute lessons or ten 60-minute lessons per semester. A minimum of five hours individual practice time per week is expected from each student. Attendance at recitals, concerts, and/or studio classes may be required. An additional fee is charged for this instruction which is not refundable after the drop deadline. Applied Music may not be taken on a pass/fail basis and may only be taken as an audit when it constitutes an overload and when it does not constitute the initial semester of a student’s applied music study; permission from both the instructor and department chair is required in this exceptional case. Two semesters of Applied Music may be used to complete the general academic requirement in the Arts (AR).
Ensembles are offered only as zero course unit experiences graded on a satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) basis.