Dec 04, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Fine Arts - Music Concentration

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Students majoring in Fine Arts may select music as an area of concentration. An audition before a faculty member is required of all Fine Arts Majors wishing to concentrate in music. A theory placement examination is required of all incoming students. This evaluation is to determine the level at which a student must begin in the theory sequence.

Expected Student Learning Outcomes and Competencies

  1. To interpret musical scores of various musical styles and genres using basic music vocabulary, including the elements of music (pitch, rhythm, intensity and timbre),
  2. To interpret and create and perform music through proper vocal and instrumental techniques (including breathing, intonation, phrasing, and stage deportment),
  3. To present musical performance practices of various historical periods and ethnic traditions.
  4. To illustrate musicianship through ear-training, sight singing, repertoire study and keyboard proficiency.
  5. To discuss intelligently various types of music and composers from the western musical arts tradition and from other global cultures.

Students must complete the equivalent of 6 semesters of large ensemble (i.e. Choir, Concert, Marching, or Jazz bands) and applied music (Instrumental, Piano, and/or Vocal participation.) Students are required to participate in an ensemble each semester they are enrolled at BSU. (Note: Only 8 credits may be applied to the concentration.) Students in Vocal Concentration are required to take MUSC 301 and 304 (Diction and Vocal Literature). Four credits of music electives may be used for this purpose.

Audition Requirements Vocal

One Italian Art Song and one song from the following categories: German Lied, French Chanson, English or American Art Song, African-American Spiritual, as well as sight-reading.


Major and minor scales and arpeggios, sight-reading, three contrasting pieces from different periods (i.e. Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary).


Wind instrumentalist (i.e. trumpet, clarinet, etc.), guitarist, pianist, bassist, and percussionist should prepare published solo literature that best exhibits technique and musicianship. Instrumentalist will be asked to play major, minor and a chromatic scale. In addition, the percussionist will be asked to execute the 26 Essential Rudiments as required by the National Association of Rudimental Drummers.

Percussionist must perform on three of the following instruments: Snare Drum, Melodic Percussion (Marimba, Xylophone, etc.), Timpani, and/or Trap Set.

Rhythm section instrumentalist (Keyboard, Bass, Trap drums, etc.) must display competence in playing “time” as well as demonstrate solo ability in any three of the following styles of music: Swing, Latin, Jazz Waltz, or Contemporary (Funk, Gospel, Rock, Fusion, etc.).

All instrumentalists will be required to demonstrate sight- reading skills.


A student must demonstrate standard proficiencies in piano and musicianship. Each student must pass periodic performance evaluations. Specific requirements include:

  1. Basic scale in 2-3 octaves (studied during that semester)
  2. Basic chord progressions
  3. 2 prepared pieces
  4. Traditional arrangements of the Star Spangled Banner, America, and Lift Every Voice and Sing


All recital repertoire must be selected, by the Instructor, from music studied during applied lessons at Bowie State University.

Each student will be required to perform a, 45 to 60 minute, recital at the end of their senior year as a final requirement for graduation. The following prerequisites must be satisfied or accomplished prior to the presentation of a senior recital:

  1. Recommendation by the student’s advisor.
  2. A grade of “B” or better in all performance-related courses.
  3. Students must register for seminar each semester they are enrolled in the DFPA Music Concentration and perform in at least one student seminar per semester prior to junior recital.
  4. Satisfactory rating in all performance evaluations.
  5. Students preparing for the Senior Recital will be expected to perform excerpts of the program before a committee of music faculty members at least 30 (thirty) days prior to the scheduled recital date.
  6. All repertoire must be pre-selected by the applied music instructor and memorized.

Senior Recitals

(Must be performed as a partial fulfillment of requirements for graduation from Bowie State University)


  1. All Students of the Music Program, in their final senior semester, are expected to register and apply for senior recital.  Registration should be for MUSA 411 or MUSA 412 Senior Recital. This zero-credit course is required as a partial fulfillment of the baccalaureate degree. 
  2. The application is obtained from the prospective Applied Voice/Instrumental Instructor and should include a prospective date [ to be performed no later than the final day of scheduled university final exams] and listing of selections that are being prepared as dictated by the applied instructor. 
  3. The Senior Recital is a graded examination, to be held during the final semester of the student’s tenure at Bowie State University (BSU). It will be held in the Recital Hall of the Fine and Performing Arts Building, no later than the last day of the university’s scheduled final exams period. The Senior Recital must be successfully passed as partial fulfillment of the baccalaureate degree. 
  4. Please be reminded that this is a performance that is focused on a traditional and formal presentation as established by universities and schools of music globally. 
  5. All program materials must be approved by Applied Instructor and follow those guidelines practiced of presenting an evening of song that is categorized as outlined in the requirements listed and not be any thematic ideas or concepts.  


Voice Recitals Requirements 

Voice Recitals are to be sung in Italian, German, French and English, taken from vocal literature studied in the Applied Voice, Vocal Diction, and Literature I and II classes taken at BSU.  

Voice Recitals are to include music from the Italian, German, French and English/American Standard Song Literature Repertoire. Each section should be inclusive of 3 to 4 songs in each. 

Music of the Theatre, Pop, Jazz and Contemporary Music may be considered with approval of Applied Voice Instructor. 

Transfer Students with a repertoire, from a previous institution of higher learning, will be assessed and evaluated by the applied voice Instructor for approval or disapproval for inclusion on the BSU Senior Recital. 

The student is responsible for securing the services of an accompanist. (The Applied Instructor can provide an approved listing of accompanists.) 

Students are to perform all pieces from memory. 


Instrumental Recital Requirements 

Instrumental Recitals should be prepared with literature taken from the different periods of music history (Baroque, Renaissance, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary and Modern.) 

The instrumentalist should prepare: 1) a major sonata or concerto with all movements and piano accompaniment; 2) an unaccompanied study or etude which demonstrates mastery of technique and expressiveness; and 3) two short pieces that represent a different contrast of the major and unaccompanied pieces.  

Transfer Students should have a repertoire, from a previous institution of higher learning, and will be assessed and evaluated by the applied voice Instructor for approval or disapproval for inclusion on the BSU Senior Recital. 

The student is responsible for securing the services of an accompanist. (The Applied Instructor can provide an approved listing of accompanists.) 


Piano Recital Requirements 

1. Piano Recitals are to be prepared with piano literature from different periods of music such as Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary and Modern. 

2. The pianist should prepare three contrasting pieces as assigned by their instructor from the: 

• Baroque Period (Bach, Kuhlau, Handel, Hayden),

• Classical Period (Mozart, Beethoven),  

• Romantic Period (Chopin, Schumann, Schubert),  

• Contemporary Period (Debussy, Scriabin) and  

• Modern Period (Wallen, Crumb, Long) 

3. Pieces are to demonstrate mastery of technique, contrast in dynamics and musical expression.

4. Transfer Students’ repertoire, from a previous institution of higher learning, will be assessed and evaluated by the applied voice Instructor for approval or disapproval for inclusion on the BSU Senior Recital. 

5. All music must be performed from memory. 


Performance Guidelines  

Senior Recitals are to be at least 45-55 minutes in duration. This includes a 10-minute intermission. 

Recital Music is to be studied and performed with proper technical and historically correct performance practices. To deviate from these practices - during the public performance - will result in a failing grade for the recital and the student will need to return to perform the recital, in its entirety in a closed faculty jury. 

  • Prior to the public performance of the Senior Recital, the student is required to perform the recital with the hired accompanist scheduled to perform on the recital.  
  • This is done thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled performance before a faculty jury for approval. 
  • If there is a consent of disapproval from the faculty, recommendations will be provided for a second hearing of the students’ materials. 
  • Upon passing the faculty jury, applied lessons must continue until the date of the recital. Voice and Instrumental students are required to have the accompanist present at two rehearsals with the applied teacher, one during the lesson time and the final in the Recital Hall on stage. 
  • There should be no decorations in the recital hall for the senior recital. No water in pitchers or water bottles are to be onstage or placed on the piano. Water may be consumed backstage in between the sections of the recital. 
  •  Please be reminded that this is a formal and graded performance. Proper concert etiquette from all family and guest is expected throughout the performance. There should be no hollering, shouting, or calling out. 
  • The performance will start promptly. Late guests will be seated at the end of a performance piece. There should be no late entry during the performance. This can be very distracting to the concentration of the perfomer.
  • Any verbal or written acknowledgements, presentations (except for a bouquet of flowers given at the end of the program), are permitted. Verbal acknowledgement accepted will be that of the performer providing translation or historical information about a selection. 
  • Taking of pictures should not be with any type of flash or noise.  


Printed Program 

Once the recital program has been approved by the Applied Instructor and the Music Faculty Committee, at the time of your pre-recital jury, this information should be emailed to the designated faculty member who is thusly responsible for having the program printed onto the appropriate departmental and university formats. 

There are no other informal programs permitted to be distributed for the senior recital. 

Students can generate and distribute a flyer or other announcement to aid with audience development and awareness of their upcoming performance.  

This information should be received two weeks prior to scheduled recital and include all language translations of the German, Italian and French songs, and any historical program notes. 


Pre-Recital and Recital Attire 

A professional attitude in dress will provide a most fitting impression to the faculty and your mindset about this capstone event in your life.  

Casual, semi-formal attire is a better look than jeans, sneakers, and other trinkets for the pre-jury. - “Dress for Success” 

For the Senior Recital, appropriate concert attire is required only. 

A formal evening gown (tea-length or floor length) or formal evening pant suit is suggested for females. 

Males should wear a black tuxedo or black suit with necktie or bow tie. 

Appropriate dress shoes, stockings, socks, and jewelry should be worn. 


There is no changing of concert attire at intermission. 

 The guidelines of the document are applicable to Music Minors who wish to present a final Recital Program. 



Juries are required of all music students, at the end of every semester, prior to Final Exams

See Jury Form* (coordinator/advisor can provide)

Juries will measure progress in applied lessons. Preparation for juries should include the following:

1. Two prepared pieces of contrasting styles (i.e. Etudes, Hanon Studies, Scales, Arpeggios)

2. Literature as designated by Applied 

     Instrumental or Vocal Instructor the following objectives are:

1. To offer students with a variety of practical experiences in performing groups and other environments,

2. To provide multi-cultural experiences that will facilitate effective interaction in diverse environments, and

3. To provide experiences in the latest technology in Music.

Piano Requirements: Three contrasting pieces, five scales, Sight-reading, and Arpeggios, as well as demonstrated knowledge of history and literature of the compositions

Vocal Requirements: Four pieces in contrasting styles and two different languages, as well as know the keys and poetic content of each song

Instrumental Requirements: As designated by applied teacher in keeping with the

requirements of Department of F&PA/Music Concentration 


General Education and Institutional Requirements

English Composition (6 semester hours)

Art and Humanities (6 semester hours)

  • Arts and Humanities Elective (ART 101) 3 Credits
  • Arts and Humanities Elective (non-art humanities course) 3 Credits

Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 semester hours)

Science (7-8 semester hours; at least one of which shall be a laboratory course)

  • Science Elective 3 Credits
  • Science Elective w/laboratory course 4 Credits

Mathematics (3 semester hours)

Health and Wellness (3 semester hours)

Freshman Seminar (3 semester hours)

Free General Education Electives (9 semester Hours)

Selected courses chosen from any category within the General Education Course List (100-200 level). See advisor and refer to catalog for approved courses.


Total General Education Requirements:  46-48 semester hours

Fine Arts, BA: Foreign Language Requirement (4 courses, 12 credit hours)
SPAN or FREN 101,102,201,202 Usually Spanish or French, can include Sign Language and other languages when offered.

All Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and VCDMA majors in the DFPA must pass all major courses (ART, ENGL, VCDM, THEA, COMM, MGMT, MKTG, MUSC & THEA as applicable) w/grade of “C” or better; maintain a 2.0 GPA in major.

*Transfer students bringing in 12 credits or more can substitute the Freshman Seminar requirement with another (3) credit course not being used.

Music Required Courses (28 semester hours)

Required Music Seminars for all Music Students

Senior Project Guidelines

There are two types of Senior Projects:

Recital Project: 30-40 minutes of live (real time) performance, containing original music or arranged selections prepared with sequenc- ing and notation techniques. Program will be advertised and appropriately done as guided by the standards and procedures which govern MUSA 410. It is suggested that the student employs his/her applied instrument as part of this program. Works prepared should be of con- trasting nature, (jazz, popular, blues, classical, and urban contemporary).

Collaborative Project: 30-40 minutes of live or real time performance incorporating dance, theater, film, and video or computer animation produced in conjunction with a second artist or artists. Works prepared should be of contrasting nature (jazz, popular, blues, classical, urban contemporary).

All performance materials should be constructed with the consideration of the performance arena used to assure a good balance of sound, and maximum audience enjoyment. Appropriate credit should be given to all participants for their contributions and each should adhere to the rules that establish good concert ethics throughout the presentation.

Permission for taping, use of materials, images and videotaping should be discussed with the coordinator to assure that all legal and copy- right responsibilities are met.


Fine Arts Music Concentration

Fine Arts Music Concentration Majors are expected to participate in at least seven seminars and receive a satisfactory grade. Others are selected to participate by recommendation of their applied instructor. All music students are required to attend each scheduled seminar (two per semester).

Sample Program/4-year plan and Advisement Checklist

This profile provides comprehensive courses and preparedness for the music concentration student. It provides the required minimum of 120 credits with the additional recommended credit hours in applied lessons and/or music ensemble enrollment. This profile should be approved each semester with assigned advisor for accuracy and is contingent with student success with passing courses of enrollment.

Freshman Year

First Semester

Total: 17

Second Semester

Total: 17

Sophomore Year

First Semester

Total: 16

Second Semester

Total: 16

Junior Year

First Semester

  • Foreign Language 3 Credits
  • Natural Science 3/4 Credits
  • 3 Credits
  • 3 Credits
  • MUSC 309 Introduction to Electronic Music 3 Credits 
  • MUSA *** Band/Choir Ensembles 1 Credit 
  • MUSA 109 Seminar 0 Credits 
  • MUSA *** Applied Voice/Piano/Instrument 1 Credit 
Total: 17

Second Semester

Total: 16

Senior Year

First Semester

Total: 17

Second Semester

Total: 16


The 4-year plan may exceed the required and minimum of 120 credits with the recommendation of applied lessons or ensemble enrollment each semester.

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