Jul 14, 2024  
2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Music - Concentration in Composition, B.A.

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The Music program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). In accordance with the mission of Elizabeth City State University, the music program strives to create an aesthetic and practical environment that is conducive to learning, and is committed to the delivery of a quality education to its diverse student body.

Mission Statement

The Music program provides students with opportunities that lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, placing music within a liberal arts context, or with optional concentrations in: Music Education Licensure, Composition, Performance, or Music Production. The Music program works to equip each student with the essential tools to become proficient in their area of concentration and to participate in a number of activities for cultural enrichment within Northeastern North Carolina.


The goals of the program support the mission and goals of the institution:

  1. To prepare students for professional careers in music and for graduate study.
  2. To support the University’s community outreach initiatives by providing performance opportunities and other enriched musical experiences, on-and-off campus.
  3. To support the University’s Liberal Arts curriculum by offering music courses to enhance musicianship.
  4. To increase each student’s comprehensive knowledge and abilities by building a stronger foundation in music theory, aural skills, music history, applied and ensemble skills, music technology and awareness of diverse cultures.


Students will be able to:

  • Perform proficiently on a selected instrument of study and perform with an ensemble group(s).
  • Obtain and apply comprehensive knowledge of music theory and essential aural skills in completing various classroom assignments.
  • Obtain and apply comprehensive knowledge of music history representing various eras and styles in completing various classroom assignments.
  • Complete a capstone project implementing a synthesis of music knowledge combined with critical thinking and creative skills.
  • Utilize music technology to enhance learning.


B.A. in Music with a concentration in Composition or Performance:
This program provides students with experiences that are essential for graduate study and/or professional careers in the arts as performers, private instructors, and/or other arts-related vocations.

B.A. in Music (Music Education Licensure):
The program offers licensure preparation in music for grades K-12. It provides a foundation for students who seek to become teachers or pursue graduate study.

B.A. in Music with a concentration in Music Production:
The program provides a broad liberal arts education for students interested in producing multi-track recordings, operating small venue sound systems, and performing both classical and popular music.


All students seeking to major or minor in music must first gain admission to ECSU by applying through the Office of Admissions. Following admission to the University, prospective music majors must complete and pass an audition on the primary instrument and take the Music Theory Placement Exam (MTPE). The audition is used as a diagnostic tool by the Music Department faculty to determine the skill level of prospective students. Students who are not at the collegiate performance level may be accepted provisionally. then given two semesters to successfully complete an audition at the college level to be admitted into the program. Music students must earn a 2.0 G.P.A in music classes by the end of the sophomore year to stay in the music program. Music students admitted into the Teacher Education Program must maintain the required G.P.A. designated by this program.


All prospective students must audition before being accepted into a program of study. Auditions occur before a panel of faculty. Each student must perform works from the standard repertoire for their voice/instrument and demonstrate a level of proficiency in music reading. Students who successfully pass their auditions are enrolled in applied lessons. Audition procedures are the same for those students who wish to minor in music.


Non-music majors are permitted to register for applied lessons or group piano classes by permission, if the applied instructor has availability. Priority for enrollment is given to Music majors. Students are required to purchase music and other accessories as needed for their instruction.

All students regardless of degree program may take classes authorized by the program.


Ensembles contribute to the education of students, cultivate an overall understanding of music, and promote teamwork among students. They provide an understanding of environmental and cultural diversity through performances as they strengthen our community.

Students majoring in music, regardless of concentration, are required to participate in a large ensemble. Ensemble directors will address sight-reading and good performance practices. All ensemble classes are available to non-music majors; however, students must audition for acceptance into an ensemble. One semester of Marching Band satisfies one credit of the General Education Physical Activity requirement.

• Performing on their main instrument of study, wind instrumentalists and percussionists may choose between Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Collegians Jazz Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra.
• Voice students must participate in one of the program’s large choral groups. Voice students may participate in a small ensemble in which they gain experience with various singing styles and techniques.
• Piano students must enroll in an ensemble in which they perform mostly on the piano. Ensembles may include Choir, Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, etc. Piano majors may also enroll in Piano Accompanying to satisfy this requirement.
• String students must enroll in the symphony orchestra. For an elective or small ensemble, string majors can enroll in Jazz Ensemble, etc.
• Guitar majors may enroll in the Collegians Jazz Ensemble to complete the large ensemble requirement. In addition to large ensemble requirements, music majors in the licensure program must also register for a small ensemble course.

Ensemble and applied music courses may be repeated for credit. Large ensembles include the University Choir, Marching Band, Collegians Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra. Small ensembles include the Collegians Jazz Ensemble, Choral Ensemble, University Basketball Band, Brass Ensemble, Woodwind Ensemble, String Chamber Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble. Pianists may choose to register for additional credits (beyond the minimum requirements) in Piano Accompanying.


All music students are required to advance through the established performance levels to show progress on an instrument of study. Students not meeting the required performance level by the end of the sophomore year will not be allowed to continue in the music program. The Music Student Handbook contains the suggested performance repertoire for each instrument and performance level.


Students with a concentration in Performance are required to perform a Junior Recital of 25-30 minutes of music. Students with a concentration in Performing or Music Education are required to perform a Senior Recital of approximately 45-50 minutes of music. Music majors without a concentration (general music) are required to perform either a Senior Recital of approximately 25-30 minutes of music or complete a senior project.
All music majors taking applied lessons must perform a solo work once each semester on a departmental student recital and must also perform at the end of the semester for the jury assessment. The applied teacher will determine if additional performances are required during a given semester.


Students concentrating in Music Production are required to complete a Senior Project. The project is assessed by a committee of faculty members. Students concentrating in Composition are required to complete a capstone project that may entail a Senior Recital approximately one hour in length of original works, or a composition representing significant contribution to a performance of a large or chamber ensemble.


All Music majors must pass six semesters of recital attendance with a grade of “P”. The Department Chair will determine recital attendance credit for transfer students on a case-by-case basis.


This is a diagnostic tool to determine aptitude in performance and sight-reading at the keyboard. Music majors will enroll in two class piano courses: MUS 110-MUS 111 and take the piano proficiency exam at the end of MUS 111. Music students who do not pass piano proficiency must enroll in MUS 112 and MUS 113. Students may retake the test to complete piano proficiency. Applied piano, pending availability, may substitute for class piano.


Students who choose to apply for a music internship must work with their instructor in preparing and finalizing the necessary paperwork. Students seeking to participate in a long distance internship must gain written approval by the instructor and Department Chair.


Music Education licensure students must be formally admitted into the Teacher Education Program, following requirements listed on the Teacher Education website (http://tep.ecsu.edu/) and in the ECSU Catalog. Students will work with the music education instructor/coordinator and with teacher education personnel to ensure eligibility and successful continuance in the program.


Music Education Licensure students must work with the University Music Supervisor and the Teacher Education Program for completion of duties and assignments.


For information regarding scholarships, please contact the Department Chair and the appropriate ensemble director (band, choir, jazz, and orchestra).

All prospective music graduates will be required to take the major field test in music.

All students majoring or minoring in music must earn a grade of “C” or better in all music classes.


General Education - 36 Credits

Major Requirements - 34 Credits

Core Course II

Complete 6 semesters of Recital Attendance. This course can be repeated.

Core Electives - 12 Credits

Applied - 5 Credits

Select five (5) credits from the courses below. MUSA courses below may be repeated.

Large Ensembles - 4 Credits

Select four (4) credits of large ensembles. The courses below may be repeated.

Concentration Requirements - 19 Credits

Concentration Core I - 2 Credits

Concentration Core II - 10 Credits

Directions: Complete ten (10) credits of MUSA 365 . MUSA 365  may be repeated.
9 credits plus 1 Applied Capstone

Concentration Electives I - 3 credits

Select three (3) credits from courses from the courses below.

Concentration Electives II - 1 credit

Select one (1) credit from the courses below.

Concentration Electives III - 3 credits

Select 3 credits from courses that begin with the prefix MUS or MUSA.

Free Electives - 31 Credits

All music students must earn a “C” or better in all music classes.

If students are not enrolled in Marching Band, they must register for one P.E. class to meet the general studies requirement.

*Piano students may enroll in accompanying if offered.

Subtotal: 120

Curriculum Guide: B.A. in Music with Concentration in Composition

Freshman Year

First Semester

Subtotal: 15

Subtotal: 16

Sophomore Year

First Semester

Subtotal: 16

Second Semester

Subtotal: 16

Junior Year

First Semester

Subtotal: 16

Subtotal: 15

Senior Year

First Semester

Subtotal: 12

Second Semester

Subtotal: 14

Subtotal: 120

Note1 : Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in all courses listed under sections B and C, above.

Note 2: Students taking guitar as their primary applied instrument may enroll in MUS 240 - Collegians (Jazz Ensemble)  to complete the large ensemble requirement.

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