B.S. Degree in Commercial Music {17-18}

B.S. Degree in Commercial Music

A degree designed to prepare individuals for careers in the commercial/jazz/popular music industries as performers and composers/arrangers while also developing skills in the areas of live/recorded sound and music business/law.

Admission Requirements

Students majoring in Commercial Music must have as their major instrument one of the following; piano, guitar, bass, drum set/percussion, trumpet, trombone, or woodwinds with the primary woodwind instrument being the saxophone.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will have the ability to apply concepts of 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th chords and chord/scale relationships to their instruments.
  • Students will be able to improvise at a beginning level to common basic forms in a commercial/jazz context.
  • Students will have the ability to correctly score a lead sheet out for two instruments and a rhythm section.
  • Students will learn transcription skills by transcribing a solo from an important jazz recording.
  • Students will have the ability to write in 4 parts for instruments or voices in a commercial/jazz context.
  • Students will be able to create interesting 5 part arrangements based on the 4 part examples.
  • Students will develop basic concepts of writing for the big band.
  • Students will discover how to integrate strings and voices in commercial/jazz styles.
  • Students will learn melodic (rather than chord/scale) approaches to improvisation.
  • Students will develop the ability to create meaningful melodic lines by utilizing guide-tone techniques.
  • Students will work with increasingly chromatic (altered) chord structures.
  • Students will learn the “language” of Bebop.
  • Students will develop skills is the areas of both live and studio sound reinforcement and recording.
  • Students will learn business aspects of the music industry and entertainment law.
  • Students will complete prior to graduation a Capstone project showing all of these skills. This project will, in the majority of cases, involve the production of a studio recording of their work as performers/arrangers that they will also produce.

Program Delivery Mode
Land plus: face-to-face where some online courses may be available or required

Core Requirements ( 27 credits )

Must earn a grade of C- or higher in all core coursework.

MUS 107A Music Theory I (3)
MUS 107B Aural Skills I (1)
MUS 108A Music Theory II (3)
MUS 108B Aural Skills II (1)
MUS 207A Music Theory III (3)
MUS 207B Aural Skills III (1)
MUS 208 Theory & Ear Training IV (2)
MUS 300 Basic Conducting (2)
MUS 303 History of Western Music to 1750 (3)
MUS 304 History of Western Music since 1750 (3)
MUS 316 World Music Survey (3)
MUS 374 Instrumental/Choral Arranging (2)

Designated Writing Intensive Course for Major
MUS 304 - History of Western Music Since 1750

Program Requirements

MUS 150C Class Piano III (1)
MUS 151 Commercial Keyboard (1)
MUS 287 Commercial/Jazz Theory (3)
MUS 387 Commercial/Jazz Improvisation (3)
MUS 372 Commercial/Jazz Arranging (3)
MUS 492 Capstone Project (1)

8 credits of Applied Lessons on the Primary Instrument, chosen from the instruments below (8)
(Jazz Piano, Trumpet, Trombone, Saxophone, Bass, Guitar or Percussion)
8 credits of Ensembles: (8)
MUS 328 Ensemble

Related Requirements ( 8 credits )

EIT 182 Intro to Audio Recording (2)
EIT 161 Intro to Copyright and Trademark Law (3)
EIT 461 Entertainment Entrepreneurship (3)

Restricted Electives ( 20 credits )

Choose one of the following courses:                                                     
MUS 215 History of Jazz (3)
MUS 217 Pop/Rock Music for Non-Majors (3)
MUS 240 American Music (3)

Electives will be chosen in close consultation with the advisor and are to be classes outside of the music department. Up to four (4) credits of music (MUS rubric) coursework may be allowed as elective credit. Additional ensemble credit cannot be counted toward those four credits, only additional classes and lessons. 17 total elective credits.