University of Pittsburgh

Performance Track

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Music BA Curriculum   42 credits   

Performance Track

Roger Zahab, Advisor – 


This track is intended for students who want to explore and improve their skills as performers in a wide range of genres. It provides a solid background in skills-based musicianship, music theory, history, and the study of other traditions, which are part of the fabric of current music-making in the 21st century. This curriculum also provides a concentration on traditional one on one teaching in the studio, and the gaining of valuable experience in concert settings with master teachers and coaches.


Prerequisite course:  

MUS 0100         Fundamentals of Western Music  (3 cr.)


Required Core Courses for all Music Major tracks - 21 credits

MUS 0411 Theory I (3 cr.)

MUS 0412 & 0416 Musicianship 1&2 (2 cr.)

MUS 0222 Music History I (3 cr.)

MUS 1310 Intro to Global/Popular Music (3 cr.)

MUS 0711 History of Jazz, or (3 cr.)

MUS 1326 African American Music in the US

*MUS 1904 Senior Seminar   (3 cr.)

MUS 1903 Senior Project (1 cr.)

**Ensemble/Private Lessons: 3 semesters (3 cr.) 

(must include at least one world music ensemble)


Performance Track additions = 21 credits

MUS 0415 Theory 2  (3 cr.)

MUS 0417 Theory 3 (advanced tonal harmony)  (3 cr.)

MUS 0419 Theory 4 (20th-21st c. techniques) (3 cr.)

MUS 0224 Music History 2   (3 cr.)

Composition:  (3 cr.)

MUS 1421 Composition 1, MUS 1422 Composition 2, MUS 1431 Instrumentation & Orchestration, MUS 1441 Electronic & Computer Music 1, MUS 1442 Electronic & Computer Music 2

Performance (6 cr.)

Includes private lessons and/or ensemble participation.  Must include at least one

world music ensemble (MUS 0549 Tabla, MUS 0615 Carpathian, MUS 0660

  African Drumming, MUS 0690 Gamelan).


Prerequisite course:  Music 0100 must be passed with at least a “B-” grade before a student is accepted as a Music Major. 


* The Senior Project may consist of a recital, a paper, an oral presentation, or other culminating project suitable to the interests and abilities of the student.  Ambitious Senior Projects could be taken as a “Special Topics-Directed Research” for 1 credit. 


NOTE: Majors may accumulate up to 60 credits in music courses that count towards graduation.  Additional electives may be selected depending on the interests of the student from these: MUS 1222 Medieval & Early Renaissance, MUS 1224, Later Renaissance & Baroque, MUS 1226 Classical & Early Romantic, MUS 1228 Late Romantic & Early 20th Century, MUS 1230 Music since 1945, MUS 1242 Major Composer, MUS 1252 History of Performance Styles, MUS 1332 Music in Latin America, MUS 1340 Music in Africa, MUS 1352 Music in East Asia, MUS 1421 Composition 1, MUS 1422 Composition 2, MUS 1431 Instrumentation & Orchestration, MUS 1441 Electronic & Computer Music 1, MUS 1442 Electronic & Computer Music 2


* Senior Project: Each student plans a Senior Project under the guidance of a faculty member, and signs a written agreement signed by the faculty members and submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Studies that maps out the project from beginning to completion.  The project might grow out of or result from the Senior Seminar.


The Senior Project should showcase the student’s strengths and interests, whether it is:

1) performing a solo recital;

2) performing in a chamber ensemble recital;

3) having an original composition performed;

4) presenting a research paper, in either written or oral form; or

5) other type of project.


The faculty member may be regular full-time faculty, or a part-time instructor of performance or ensembles employed by the University to teach in the Music Department.  The faculty member will guide and monitor the quality of the Senior Project.


The more ambitious student who wishes to prepare and present a solo recital for 1 credit (registered as “Special Topics-Directed Research”) would write a biographical sketch of each composer represented on the recital program, write program notes, find and pay an accompanist, reserve a recital venue, and publicize the event (i.e. do sufficient work to justify the credit).


Departmental Honors: To graduate with "Departmental Honors," a student must earn a minimum 3.25 QPA overall, a minimum 3.50 QPA in the music courses with no grade lower than a B-, take the Department's Honors course (Senior Seminar MUSIC 1904 or other designated course) and complete a Senior Project for at least one credit.

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