Majors and Minors
Course loads for a music major or minor at Bowdoin are split into three key areas: theory and composition, music in social and historical context, and performance. All majors will complete a senior project.
Music majors at Bowdoin choose one of the following four concentrations.
The general concentration allows a music major to fully engage with multiple aspects of the department. Majors with a general concentration are also required to complete a senior project, which may be performance based, composition based, or critical prose.
Performance students focus their studies on an intensive exploration of the different aspects of music performance. They are required to engage in Bowdoin music ensembles, individual performance studies, as well as theory-based and historical discourse seminars. Majors are also required to complete a performance based senior project.
Theory and Composition
Students are encouraged to study theory and composition through both a western and non-western lens, with coursework offered in areas such as: tonal analysis, non-western harmony, jazz theory, orchestration, audio recording, and improvisation. Majors are also required to complete a senior composition project.
Social and Historical Context
Students interested in musicology or music history will critically engage in global perspectives of historical and contemporary music history through seminars and writing. Students may incorporate studies in other departments into this concentration with department approval. Majors are also required to complete a senior project in the form of critical prose.
A minor in music provides non-majors the opportunity to advance in their musical studies with five credits of musical coursework. Minors may choose a general concentration or performance.
General music minors will study theory and composition, social and historical context, as well as participate in either a department ensemble or individual performance studies.
Performance music minors will study theory and composition, social and historical context, participate in a department ensemble, and take both intermediate and advanced individual performance studies.