Both of the URI Music department's two undergraduate degree programs prepare students to enter music and arts professions or to move into graduate studies. The BACHELOR OF ARTS in Music combines a program of performance, history and theory with more in-depth study in the liberal arts, while the BACHELOR OF MUSIC provides more intensive training in music.
Bachelor of Arts In Music (B.A.)
Available with three options (areas of concentration) listed below. Within the guidelines of the Department of Music and the College of Arts and Sciences, and with help from each student's advisor, study is divided approximately into one-third music courses (applied lessons on instrument or voice, ensemble participation, theory, literature and history, etc.); one-third basic liberal arts study, and one-third electives including music and other subjects.
- Music, offering a focus on music performance, history, and theory, with courses in the liberal arts: fine arts and literature, letters (history, philosophy and religion, speech), social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, English communication (writing and general communication), and foreign language and culture.
- Music History and Literature, offering a focus on musicology -- the history of music and the musical literature of all historical periods. Requires additional music history courses, foreign language study and includes theory, analysis and counterpoint. Emphasis is on the traditions of Western art music, but includes world music, American popular styles, and the art of listening.
- Jazz Studies, with focus on jazz performance, history, theory, improvisation and cultural aspects. Can be part of a double degree or major program. Also offered as a minor, and as a performance concentration option for the Bachelor of Music degree (see below).
Bachelor of Music (B.M.)
Also available with three options, the Bachelor of Music degree is the first-level professional degree in music. Its focus is on the development of skills and concepts essential to the success of the professional musician. In any number of possible roles and careers, the professional musician must demonstrate not only technical competence, but also wide knowledge of music and music literature, adeptness at integrating musical knowledge and skills, sensitivity to musical styles, and an understanding of the place of music in society. All three options in this degree include basic courses to help develop sound musicianship and provide a good background in liberal arts.
- Performance: offers a focus in either jazz studies or classical performance for those who wish to concentrate on the mastery of an instrument or voice. Performance emphasis can be in guitar, voice, piano, organ, percussion, and string and wind instruments, or jazz instruments (saxophone, trumpet, piano, guitar, string bass, and drum set). Students are expected to perform extensively and are required to give recitals.
- Music Education: for those who plan to teach music in elementary or secondary schools. The program is designed to cover vocal/choral, instrumental, and classroom music education. It offers a broad educational background combined with the development of musical and performance skills. The program includes a teaching internship that leads to state certification.
- Composition: This option is designed for students who wish to concentrate their study on the materials and structure of music, with advanced study in musicianship, aural perception, analysis, and composition. Composition students can specialize in classical and/or studio/jazz styles. The program gives young composers a strong basis in the tradition of Western music while allowing the flexibility to explore other special compositional areas.
Double Majors, Multiple Degrees, Minors
A number of careers require interdisciplinary preparation. Some of these fields include music publishing, merchandising, manufacturing, and distribution; arts management; talent representation; songwriting; music copywriting and licensing; computer software design, and concert promotion. Other careers include work with professional organizations, arts commissions, recording and retail stores, and entertainment law office.
A double major - one major in music and one in another field - is ideal for those students who choose the Bachelor of Arts degree. Within the B.A. degree program, students can combine music with another major in the College of Arts and Sciences such as art, English, a foreign language, journalism, mathematics or sociology. Special double major programs include combining music with communication studies, elementary education, or psychology. The B.A. degree with a double major requires a minimum of 120 credits for graduation.
Students often declare a double major in the Bachelor of Music degree program. A common combination is a B.M. degree with majors in performance and music education. Because of the greater number of music requirements in the B.M. degree program, a double major will often take longer than the usual eight semesters to complete
Multiple degree options are also available (for example, a Bachelor of Arts in music combined with a Bachelor of Science in business administration, or a Bachelor of Music in composition with a Bachelor of Science in computer science). Multiple degree programs involve working with degree requirements and faculties in two departments and/or Colleges within the University. The multiple degree option requires a minimum of 150 credits for graduation.
Many students choose to incorporate one or two minors - music or non-music - into their B.A. degree program. In addition to the Jazz Option of the B.A. program, or the jazz focus in the Performance or Composition options of the B.M. degree program, URI also offers a minor in Jazz Studies (19 credits). Other minors available in the Department of Music include Music (21-22 credits), Music Performance (19-21 credits), and Individual Music study (minimum of 18 credits).