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Curriculum: String Undergraduates

Life isn’t an audition.

Any music school can make you a better player. Our interconnected courses are built to transform you intellectually, artistically, professionally, and individually. You’ll understand the roots of your music, freeing you to take it somewhere new. You’ll see how your training broadens your options, rather than narrowing them. You'll find your voice. And you'll enter the world with the same confidence you bring to the stage.

Required Courses

Curriculum: Bachelor of Music in Orchestral Instruments (Strings)
Credit total: 127-135

Rec. Course #/Title Cr.
Private Instruction
1st/2nd/3rd/4th yr. PVL 100 Major Instruction 32
Musicianship and Music Theory
1st yr. MMT 102/112 Musicianship 4
1st yr. MMT 103/113 Musicianship 4
2nd yr. MMT 104/114 Musicianship 4
2nd yr. MMT 105/115 Musicianship 4
3rd yr. MMT 106 Musicianship 2
3rd yr. MMT 107 Musicianship 2
Keyboard Skills
1st yr. PRF 150/151 Keyboard Skills 2
Humanities and Sciences
1st yr. HMS 110/111 Approaches to College Writing 6
2nd yr. HMS 202/203 Intro to Western Civilization 8
3rd yr. HMS 302-399 (Literature) 3
4th yr. HMS 402-479 (Hist/Phil) 3
  HMS 210-599 12
Music History and Literature
2nd yr. MHL 202/203 4
3rd yr. MHL 204 2
3rd yr. MHL 400-599 or MMT 252 or 253 3
4th yr. Other MHL/MMT Courses (except MHL 202-399 and MMT 100-115) 3
Applied Practical Training
4th yr. APP 404 Practical Aspects of a Career in Music 2
4th yr. APP 272 String Pedagogy. String majors only. Students who have participated in two semesters of Conservatory in the Schools will be exempt from the String Pedagogy requirement. 2
Ensembles
1st/2nd/3rd/4th yr. ENS 200 Conservatory Orchestra 16
1st/2nd/3rd/4th yr. ENS 302 Brass Choir (brass majors only) 8
3rd/4th yr. ENS 200-599 (except brass majors) 4
4th yr. ENS 300 Chorus or ENS 301 Chamber Choir 2
Electives (5 credits total)
Courses numbered HMS 202-590, MMT 202-799, and courses in the APP, ENS, IND, MHL series that aren’t used to fulfill core curriculum or major field requirements may be used to fulfill the requirements for the elective credits listed for individual majors.
Juries and Recitals
1st yr. JRFR Freshman Jury  
2nd yr. JRSO Sophomore Jury  
3rd yr. JRJU Junior Jury  
4th yr. JRSN Senior Jury  
4th yr. RCTSN Senior Recital  

Historical Performance Emphasis in Baroque Cello (Undergraduate) (total credits: 11-13)

  • ENS 210 Conservatory Baroque Ensemble (2 semesters, 4 credits)
  • ENS 212 Continuo Playing (1 semester, 2 credits). Not required if students can demonstrate prior experience.
  • MHL 400 Introduction to Performance Practice (1 semester, 3 credits)
  • PRF 334 Baroque Cello (2 semesters, 4 credits)
  • Jury requirements as determined by Historical Performance faculty

These credits also count towards the Bachelor of Music degree.

Repertoire Requirements for String Majors

General Jury Requirements

Students are encouraged by their teachers to prepare a complete required program. What and how much will be performed at the jury will be at the discretion of the teacher. Every category of the required program, however, should be represented, time permitting. The length of the jury performance will be either 20 or 30 minutes, as determined by the teacher.

Technical Juries for Undergraduates

The string department will hold technical juries for freshman and sophomores. These juries will include major and minor scales (adding arpeggios for sophomores) chosen at random, and two études of your choice that demonstrate left hand and bow technique. Please consult with your major teacher for details.

Violin

During a four-year course of study, a student will be required to learn the following:

  • A minimum of four standard concerti, such as Barber, Bartók, Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Bruch, Dvořák, Glazunov, Lalo, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Paganini, Prokofiev, Saint-Saëns, Sibelius, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Vieuxtemps, or Wieniawski. During the four years, no composer shall be represented by more than one concerto.

  • Two of the six partitas or sonatas for solo violin by Bach.
  • Four classical, romantic, or contemporary sonatas for violin and piano, one to be performed at the end of each school year.
  • Four short virtuoso pieces—or works in a similar style—by any of the following composers: Kreisler, Paganini, Saint-Saëns or Wieniawski.
  • Students will be required to perform three works from contrasting periods for their jury examination.
  • Concerti must be memorized. Memory in other categories shall be at the discretion of the professor.
  • Variations in the required repertoire may be made only with the consent of the string department.
  • Violin majors must perform a senior recital to determine fulfillment of performance requirements.

Viola

During a four-year course of study, a student will be required to perform the following:

  • A minimum of four concerti chosen from the following: Bartók, Berio, Berlioz, Bloch, Feldman, Handel, Handoshkin, Hindemith, Hoffmeister, Mozart, Nixon, Piston, Pleyel, Stamitz, Schnittke, Telemann, Walton, or Vaughan Williams. With the approval of the professor, other concerti may be selected. At least one concerto shall be performed at the end of each school year.
  • At least three of the six cello suites, or the violin sonatas and partitas, or the gamba sonatas of Bach, transcribed, and at least one from the unaccompanied repertoire of Stravinsky, Reger, or Hindemith. One is to be performed at the end of each school year.
  • At least four sonatas from the representative periods, one to be performed at the end of each school year.
  • A fourth category may be included on the recommendation of the professor and may include études; the standard chamber music for viola, such as the duos of Mozart or Beethoven or the trio of Debussy; and the standard orchestral studies, such as Strauss Don Quixote or Don Juan.
  • Concerti must be memorized. Memory in other categories shall be at the discretion of the professor.
  • Variations in the required repertoire may be made only with the consent of the string department.
  • Viola majors must perform a senior recital to determine fulfillment of performance requirements.

Cello

During a four-year course of study, a student will be required to perform the following:

  • A minimum of four standard concerti, such as C.P.E. Bach, Barber, Beethoven Triple Concerto, Bloch Schelomo, Boccherini, Brahms Double Concerto, Dvořák, Elgar, Haydn C and D concerti, Hindemith, Lalo, Milhaud, Prokofiev, Saint-Saëns, Schumann, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, or Walton. One concerto shall be performed at the end of each school year.
  • At least three of the six cello suites or the gamba sonatas by Bach, and at least one from the unaccompanied repertoire of Bloch, Britten, Hindemith, Kodály, or Reger. One is to be performed at the end of each school year.
  • At least four sonatas from the representative periods, one to be performed at the end of each school year.
  • A modern solo work written after 1950. With the advice of the professor, the modern work may be changed to études, virtuoso pieces, the standard chamber music for cello, such as duos of Ravel and Kodály, trios of Schoenberg and Webern, or the standard orchestral studies, such as Strauss Don Quixote.
  • Concerti and Bach Suites must be memorized. Memory in other categories shall be at the discretion of the professor.
  • Variations in the required repertoire may be made only with the consent of the string department.
  • Cello majors must perform a senior recital to determine fulfillment of performance requirements.

Double Bass

On each jury examination, students are required to play one composition from each category unless otherwise noted.

Freshman Jury

  1. Baroque works: sonatas of Bach, Birkenstock, Eccles, Handel, Marcello, Telemann, Vivaldi; Bach solo cello suites (two movements)
  2. Concerti (one movement): Bottesini, Dittersdorf, Dragonetti, Handel, Koussevitzky, Sperger, Vanhall
  3. Pieces: One short work by Bottesini, Dittersdorf, Dragonetti, Koussevitzky, Sperger, Vanhall

Orchestral excerpts from the standard repertoire may be substituted for category 3 at the discretion of the professor.

Sophomore Jury

  1. Baroque or classical work: sonatas or other works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Birkenstock, Couperin, Dittersdorf, Frescobaldi, Handel, Mozart, Sperger, or three movements from the Bach solo cello suites
  2. Concerti (complete)
  3. Pieces: Two short works by composers such as Bottesini, Bruch, Glière, Koussevitzky, Hertl, Montag, Rossini

Orchestral excerpts from the standard repertoire may be substituted for category 3 at the discretion of the professor.

Junior Jury

  1. Concerti or virtuoso-type pieces
  2. Sonatas or multi-movement works from the romantic or contemporary repertoire
  3. Pieces: two short works from any of the representative periods

Orchestral excerpts from the standard repertoire may be substituted for category 3 at the discretion of the professor.

Senior Jury and Senior Recital

  1. Concerti or virtuoso-type pieces
  2. Sonatas or multi-movement works from the romantic or contemporary repertoire, or an entire solo cello suite by Bach
  3. Pieces: three short works from any of the representative periods
  4. A fourth category consisting of chamber music may be included on the recommendation of the professor

For the jury, orchestral excerpts from the standard repertoire may be substituted for category 3 at the discretion of the professor.

Double Bass majors must perform a senior recital to determine fulfillment of performance requirements.

Harp

Freshman Jury
At least one classical, one romantic or impressionistic, and one contemporary work. Works to be prepared during freshman year.

Sophomore Jury
At least one classical, one romantic or impressionistic, one contemporary, and one chamber music work. Evidence of orchestral participation must be shown. The jurors may choose to hear only part of this material.

Junior Jury
At least two each of classical, romantic or impressionistic, and contemporary works, plus one piece of chamber music and one concerto or similar work for harp and large orchestral group or orchestra, such as Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp or Ravel Introduction and Allegro. Evidence of solo performances and orchestral participation must be shown. The jurors may choose to hear only part of this material. The material presented must differ from that performed the previous year.

Harp majors must perform a junior recital to determine fulfillment of performance requirements.

Senior Jury and Senior Recital
Forty-five minutes of solo material and 30–45 minutes of chamber music. Evidence of solo performances and orchestral participation must be shown. The material must differ from that performed in previous years. The jurors may choose to hear only part of the program.

Harp majors must perform a senior recital to determine fulfillment of performance requirements.