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Music (B.A.)

Website: School of Contemporary Arts

Concentrations: Music Education, Music Industry,
Music Performance, Music Production, Music Studies



About the Major

The Music Program at Ramapo College, with its distinctly contemporary orientation, emphasizes creativity and experiential learning in a liberal arts framework. The program focuses on many forms of contemporary music and digital-music technologies, while cultivating an appreciation for Western art music, popular music, American music, and musical traditions from around the world.  The major begins with foundational studies in musicianship and music history.  Students select one or two of five concentrations – Music Education, Music Industry, Music Performance, Music Production, and/or Music Studies – all of which offer opportunities for internships and independent projects. These flexible and interconnected concentrations allow students to develop their interests, talents, and skills in individual ways.

Music Education prepares students for careers teaching music. The progressive curriculum balances traditional and contemporary music studies with a global perspective, diverse hands-on experiences, and individualized instruction. With this forward leaning and flexible foundation, students are prepared for success in today’s diverse music classrooms. Students may complete Teacher Certification through the Education program in coordination with the Music Education concentration.

Music Industry focuses on the rapidly changing dynamics of the music business and the relationship of music, business, and technology in the digital media landscape.

Music Performance provides students with wide-ranging opportunities to develop strong technique, build performing skills, and find their unique sound and style.  Solo and group performing experiences span from international touring choral groups, concert band, and jazz ensemble to musical theater, digital performance and student-led rock bands. Students interested in teaching may combine the Performance and Music Education concentrations.

Music Production emphasizes a creative approach to recording, electronic music, and original composition including training in major music software programs such as Pro Tools, Logic, and Abelton Live in our state-of-the-art Les Paul Recording Studio and Electronic Music Lab.

Music Studies focuses on the analytical and interpretive disciplines of music, honing skills to research and write about music in historical, cultural, and international contexts. The concentration includes music performance and interdisciplinary studies. Music Studies prepares students for graduate studies in musicology/ethnomusicology and careers in music journalism/criticism.

Students completing this program will receive a B.A. degree. A minor in Music is available.

Outcomes for the Major

1.   The Music Program will foster creativity, preparing students for careers in the fields of creating, performing, and producing music and interdisciplinary works (Learning Outcomes 4, 6, 7).

2.   The Music Program will foster analytical and interpretative skills, preparing students for careers in diverse paths in the music industry of today (Learning Outcomes 1,2, 3).

3.   The Music Program will foster professional communication skills (Learning Outcome 5).


Students completing the Music Program will meet established expectations in the following areas:

1.  Technological Literacy in Music

Explore and explain how technology has influenced the field of music.

2.  Music and Culture/Identity

Examine and interpret ways that music expresses culture and identity in diverse settings.

3.  Music in Historical/Global Perspectives

Understand and describe the development of Western art music and a selection of popular genres, African American music, and non-Western musical traditions.

4.  Musicianship

Develop and apply competence in music notation, aural skills, and technical analysis.

5.  Communication/Critical Thinking

Demonstrate abilities to research, synthesize, and articulate music-related topics in written and verbal communication.

6.  Performance/Creative

Produce creative work or a performance that demonstrates skills relevant to the student’s concentration.

7.  Technological Competency in Music

Employ current technologies relevant to the student’s concentration.

Requirements of the Major and Concentrations
  1. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers do not apply to Major Requirements.
  2. Double counting between General Education, School Core, Major, and Concentrations may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  3. Writing Intensive Requirement (five):  two writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: Critical Reading and Writing and Studies in the Arts and Humanities the other three courses are taken in the major and school core.
  4. All music majors and minors must take the online Musicianship Placement Test upon entering the program and no later than one week after the beginning of their first term.
  5. Students should begin the Musicianship course sequence in their first semester as music students.  Based on the results of the Music Placement Test, the sequence will either begin with Musicianship I or require the preceding course, Music Fundamentals.  Exceptional test scores may provide the option to enroll in Musicianship II, subject to evaluation by musicianship faculty.
  6. Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.
  7. All new students in the Performance concentration are required to take an Entrance Performance Evaluation, after which they can declare their concentration with the convener.
  8. Students in the Education, Performance, Production, and Studies concentrations are required to participate in a group performance course or ensemble with wide-ranging options available.  See below for details.
Requirements of the Minor
  1. At least 1/2 of the courses fulfilling a minor must be distinct from the student’s major. That is, three of the five courses required for a minor cannot be used towards fulfillment of major requirements. A School Core does not need to be completed for a minor. Minors are open to students regardless of school affiliation.
  2. All music minors must take the online Musicianship Placement Test upon entering the program and no later than one week after the beginning of their first term in the minor.
  • Subject & Course # – Title & Course Description
  • Required Courses:
  • MUSIC ELECTIVE LOWER LEVEL:  Select two at the 100/200 level (8 credits)
  • MUSIC ELECTIVE UPPER LEVEL:  Select two at the 300/400 level (8 credits)