MUSIC (Div. I)

Chair, Professor DAVID S. KECHLEY

Professors: BLOXAM, KECHLEY, D. MOORE, K. C. ROBERTS, SUDERBURG. Associate Professor: E. D. BROWN***. Assistant Professor: SHEPPARD. Part-time Lecturer: JAFFE.


Sequence courses

Music 104 Music Theory and Musicianship I

Music 201, 202 Music Theory and Musicianship II

Music 207, 208, 209 Music in History I, Music in History II, and Music in History III

Music 402T Senior Seminar in Music

Elective courses

An additional year or two semester courses in music, to be selected from the following:

Group A: any Music 106-Music 133 course, including direct supervision by instructor in supplementary readings, assignments, papers, and other projects appropriate for the music major.

Group B: Music 203T, 204T, 212, 301, 325, 326, 427, 428.
Department strongly recommends that students elect at least one course from each group.

It is strongly recommended that prospective majors complete Music 104, 201, 202, and 207 by the end of the sophomore year.

Performance and Concert Requirements

Music majors are encouraged to participate in departmental ensembles throughout their careers at Williams; i.e. for eight semesters. Majors are required to participate in departmental ensembles for at least four semesters. The student must petition to meet this requirement in an alternative way. Music majors are also expected to attend departmentally-sponsored concerts.

Foreign Languages

Music majors are strongly urged to take courses in at least one foreign language while at Williams.

Musicianship Skills

Music majors are strongly urged to maintain, refine and improve their musicianship skills, such as sight-singing, score reading, melodic and harmonic dictation, and keyboard proficiency, throughout their entire Williams career.


Three routes toward Honors and Highest Honors are possible in the Music major:

a. Composition: A Composition thesis must include one major work completed during the senior year, a portfolio of smaller works completed during the junior and senior years, and a 10 to 15 page discussion of the student's work.

b. Performance: A Performance thesis must include an honors recital given during the spring of the senior year and a 15 to 20 page discussion of a selection of the works performed. The student's general performance career will also be considered in determining honors.

c. History, Theory and Analysis, or Ethnomusicology: A written Historical, Theoretical/Analytical, or Ethnomusicological thesis between 65 and 80 pages in length and an oral presentation based on the thesis is required. A written thesis should offer new insights based on original research.

To be admitted to the honors program, a student must have at least a 3.3 GPA in Music courses (this GPA must be maintained in order to receive honors), and have demonstrated ability and experience through coursework and performance in the proposed thesis area. A 1-2 page application to the honors program, written in consultation with a faculty member, must be made to the Chair of Music before or during spring registration in the junior year.

Honors candidates must enroll in MUS 493(F)-W031-494(S) during their senior year. A student who is highly qualified for honors work, but who, for compelling reasons, is unable to pursue a year-long project, may petition the department for permission to pursue a thesis over one semester and the Winter Study term. If granted, the standards for evaluating the thesis in such exceptional cases would be identical to those that apply to year-long honors projects. Final submission of the thesis must be made to the Music Department by April 15 of the senior year. The Department's decision to award honors will be based on the quality of the thesis.


There are three introductory courses in music at Williams College. The student is urged to read the descriptions of Music 101, 102, and 103 and to consult the instructors to determine which course will best assist his or her growth in understanding music.

This course is designed for students with a strong instrumental or vocal background. Although there is no prerequisite, students are expected to be proficient in reading at least one clef.

NOTE: Prerequisites for Music 106 through 133

For each course, varying degrees of musical experience are necessary. Students may consult with the instructor or simply attend the first class meeting. (Successful completion of Music 101 automatically qualifies the student for Music 106 through 133.)

Tutorial in nature, these courses are for work of a creative nature, based upon the talents and backgrounds of the individual student, working under the close guidance of a member of the department to fulfill some project established by the consent of teacher, student, and department. The election is utilized to supplement the department's course offerings, and may include such projects as:

independent lessons in composition;

independent study in the performance of and literature for voice, piano, organ, or an orchestral instrument with participation in periodic Performance Seminar required;

coaching, rehearsal, and performance of instrumental or vocal chamber music;

advanced work in music theory (critical methods and analysis, solfeggio, keyboard harmony, ear-training and dictation, counterpoint and orchestration). Prerequisite, Music 202;

advanced studies in modal counterpoint (composition and analysis of contrapuntal structure from 1150-1600, from Leonin through Lassus). Prerequisite, Music 301;

advanced studies in tonal counterpoint (composition and analysis of contrapuntal structures from 1600-1914, from Monteverdi through Schoenberg). Prerequisite, Music 301;

studies in issue areas such as acoustics and perception, philosophy and aesthetics of music, women and minorities in music, music of non-western cultures, music and technology;

advanced work in music history;

advanced studies in jazz improvisation.

The project may be continued by the election of the next-higher numbered course or another facet of the musical art. The specific name of the project elected is to be specified after the title, "Musical Studies."