Courses & Curriculum
Canisius College offers a major and a minor in music. Music courses introduce students to the literature and performance of music, as well as its theory and technology. Music appreciation courses cover a wide range of musical styles within a cultural and historical context. Through lectures, videos, listening to music examples in class and attendance at concerts, majors, minors and non-majors are provided with the basic musical vocabulary and listening skills needed to analyze and intellectually critique music and to develop a clear understanding and appreciation of the music of different cultures and periods.
Music theory courses stress creative and analytical skills, and music technology courses take an in-depth look at current digital music technologies used by musicians and sound designers. In keeping with the most recent technology in music, current software programs are used in theory classes and music technology courses, which are taught in a state-of-the-art MIDI lab equipped with Macintosh computers and Roland keyboards.
For students interested in the performance of music, the department offers music ensembles for academic credit. Private instruction can also be taken for credit in voice, piano, guitar, strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion.
Courses are designed for students of all levels, including majors, minors and non-majors. Classes give students opportunities to think clearly, speak articulately and perform confidently. By careful choice of electives, the major can be integrated with other areas of study, with the option of taking a second major or a minor in another department.
For majors, courses provide them with the skills necessary to pursue music related careers and/or graduate studies in professions including music history, music theory and composition, music performance, musical theater, arts management, music merchandizing, music production, church music and many other fields.
For education majors, a music concentration is offered through the School of Education and Human Services in the following teacher certification programs: Early Childhood; Childhood; Dual Early Childhood / Childhood; Dual Students with Disabilities / Early Childhood; Dual Students with Disabilities / Childhood.
To accommodate individual goals and career objectives, students must choose electives carefully in consultation with the Music Program Director.
Qualifications for the major
A vocal or instrumental performance audition should be completed during the freshman year to be a music major. Music majors must have a cumulative G.P.A of at least 2.0 and a grade of C- or better in all major courses.
Special Note on Free Elective Credit for Non Majors
A non-major has the option of taking performance courses as free electives. A student may take a maximum of 8 credits of lessons and/or ensembles with no more than 6 of these credits in lessons.
1. Core Curriculum Requirements:
View the Core Curriculum requirements. All students complete these requirements as part of their overall Canisius education.
|2. Major course requirements: (10 courses)|
|Music Theory I + Lab
Music Theory II + Lab
Music Theory III + Lab
Music Theory IV + Lab
Masterpieces of Music
Music Performance (4 semesters x 2 credits)
|Choose one of the following: FAM 216, FAM 217,
FAM 218, FAM 219, FAM 220
|B. Music Electives (3 courses)
Choose from one of the following sequences:
|• History and Literature Sequence (3 music literature electives)
• Performance Sequence (4 additional semesters FAM 225 taken in the junior and senior years, plus 1 music elective)
• Music Technology Sequence (DMA 309, DMA 310, plus 1 music elective)
• Music Education Sequence (FAM 250, FAM 350, plus 1 music elective)
Music majors may take DMA 309, DMA 310, HON 323 or HON 324 as FAM (Music) electives.
|C. Music Ensembles 8 semesters
Choose from FAM 171, 172, 174, 175, 181, 182, 184, 185.
Majors must take the same ensemble for all 8 semesters. A student can opt to take music ensemble for zero (0) or one (1) credit. If total credit hours for a semester exceed 18 credits, overload tuition will apply.
3. Free electives:
Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach a minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours. Note on free electives: With the permission of the chair, music majors may take an additional 8 credits of lessons and/or ensembles for free elective credit.
- Students following the History and Literature, Music Technology or Music Education sequences may continue to take FAM 125 or FAM 225 in addition to the required four semesters of FAM 225. These additional credits are applied as free electives in the music major.
- Students following the History and Literature sequence are strongly urged to take at least two semesters of French, German or Italian.
In selecting courses for the major, students should consult carefully with their advisors each semester about the best selection of courses for the coming semesters. In addition, students will want to consult the on-line advisement guide, which is published each semester and contains valuable information about course offerings for the coming semester.
Common dual majors involving Music are Digital Media Arts, English, History, Psychology and Education.
Music Concentration in the School of Education
Students can take music as a concentration in the School of Education early childhood, childhood or students with disabilities programs. (See School of Education requirements.) A music concentration enhances the skills of a classroom teacher but does not count as formal certification in music.
Music Concentration in the School of Education
Course Requirements: (10 courses with associated labs)
|FAM 230 Music Theory I + lab||4 credits|
|FAM 240 Music Theory II + lab||4 credits|
|FAM 330 Music Theory III + lab||4 credits|
|FAM 340 Music Theory IV + lab||4 credits|
|FAM 210 Keyboard Musicianship||3 credits|
|FAM 119 Masterpieces of Music||3 credits|
|Choose two of the following:
FAM 216, FAM 217, FAM 218, FAM 219, FAM 220
|Choose one of the following:
FAM 123, FAM 124, FAM 224
|Music Electives (1 course) FAM 250 recommended||3 credits|
The Music minor enables students majoring in other academic departments to complement their studies with the study of music. The six-course sequence includes courses in theory, literature and the option of performance.
|FAM 115 Fundamentals of Music
If the student has sufficient theory background (as demonstrated by a placement test),
a music elective may be substituted for FAM 115.
|FAM 119 Masterpieces of Music||3 credits|
|Music Literature Courses: Choose two of the following FAM
courses; 123, 124, 212, 213, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 224
|Music electives: Total of six credits of FAM courses, ensemble
and/or lessons. Music minors may take DMA 309, DMA 310,
HON 323 or HON 324 as FAM (Music) electives
FAM 112 The World of Opera 3 credits
This introductory course covers the many aspects, characteristics and forms of expression found in this dramatic art form. Classes include scene selections through lectures, CDs and DVDs. (Field 3)
FAM 115 Fundamentals of Music 3 credits
Basic elements of music as perceived and notated, and the styles and forms of music derived from them. Practical theory applications include ear training, keyboard playing and composition. (Field 3) Fall and Spring
FAM 119 Masterpieces of Music 3 credits
A survey of Western art music from medieval Gregorian chant to the present, including the study of musical elements, historical background, musical style and masterworks of various periods. (Field 3) Fall, Spring, Summer
FAM 123 World Musics 3 credits
Survey course, including folk, traditional and art musics of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, North and South America. Classes include listening and videos, with the study of instruments, dances, songs and rhythms of these cultures. (Field 3) Spring
FAM 124 America’s Music 3 credits
Music made or continuously used by Americans from beginnings to present. Sacred congregational music, vernacular music, African-American music and cultivated traditions. Historical and sociological development of folk, jazz and popular music as uniquely American. (Field 3) Fall and Spring
FAM 125 Music Performance 1 credit
Half-hour private lessons, designed for all levels of experience, are offered in piano, voice, classical guitar, woodwinds, brass, strings and percussion.
FAM 171 Chorale 0 credits
A mixed-voice singing group that performs repertoire in both the classical and popular styles. (Same as FAM 181 except for "0" credit.)
FAM 172 Jazz Ensemble 0 credits
Jazz ensemble that plays a wide range of music from Count Basie to Maynard Ferguson and everything in between. (Same as FAM 182 except for “0” credit)
FAM 174 Chamber Orchestra 0 credits
String orchestra that performs a wide range of orchestral literature from the Baroque period through the 20th century. Concert programs provide students with wide experiences in the orchestral arts. (Same as FAM 184 except for “0” credit)
FAM 175 Concert Band 0 credits
Campus-wide instrumental ensemble performing a wide variety of standard concert band literature. Performances include a formal concert each semester. (Same as FAM 185 except for “0” credit.)
FAM 181 Chorale 1 credit
A mixed-voice singing group that performs repertoire in both the classical and popular styles. (Same as FAM 171 except for “1” credit)
FAM 182 Jazz Ensemble 1 credit
Jazz ensemble that plays a wide range of music from Count Basie to Maynard Ferguson and everything in between. (Same as FAM 172 except for “1” credit)
FAM 184 Chamber Orchestra 1 credit
String orchestra that performs a wide range of orchestral literature from the Baroque period through the 20th century. Concert programs provide students with wide experiences in the orchestral arts. (Same as FAM 174 except for “1” credit)
FAM 185 Concert Band 1 credit
Campus-wide instrumental ensemble performing a wide variety of standard concert band literature. Performances include a formal concert each semester. (Same as FAM 175 except for “1” credit.)
FAM 210 Keyboard Musicianship 3 credits
Class instruction in practical keyboard applications including basic keyboard proficiency, harmonization of folk melodies and songs and sight-reading. Fall 2010
FAM 212 Canisius and the BPO Experience 3 credits
Classes meet at both Canisius College and Kleinhans Music Hall as students study music on stage, behind the scenes and in literature with Canisius College faculty, BPO conductors, soloists and managers. (Field 3) Fall and Spring
FAM 213 Women in Music 3 credits
Roles of women composers and performers in “art music” from the time of ancient Greece through the present as they struggle to break the confines of traditional gender roles to gain equal representation and recognition. (Field 3)
FAM 214 Music in Film 3 credits
Functions of music in silent film, animation and the golden age of American cinema as an extension of European musical practices through the rise of the Hollywood studio system. (Field 3)
FAM 216 Medieval and Renaissance Music 3 credits
Traces Western art music from its origins in Gregorian chant through the development and refinement of more complex compositions such as the mass setting and motet. (Field 3)
FAM 217 Music of the Baroque Period 3 credits
A study of Western art music of the Baroque period (1600-1750) beginning with the early operatic works of Monteverdi and concluding with the mature masterpieces of Bach and Handel. Many different instrumental and vocal genres are covered in this course, including concerto, sonata, suite, opera, cantata and oratorio. (Field 3) Spring
FAM 218 Music of the Classical Period 3 credits
A study of European art music c.1750- 1809 and the historical and cultural forces that helped to shape it. Focus on the lives and works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, their contemporaries and immediate predecessors. (Field 3) Fall and Spring
FAM 219 19th Century Music 3 credits
Great composers of the Romantic period, including their life, selected works, musical style and influence. (Field 3) Fall, Spring and Summer
FAM 220 Art Music from 1900 to the Present 3 credits
Impressionism in music which ushers in the twentieth century. European music 1910-1945. American music. New music since 1945. (Field 3) Fall and Spring
FAM 221 Opera Workshop 3 credits
The study and performance of scenes from operatic literature, including stage movement, acting and historical background of operas. Perfect for students who enjoy singing and acting. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. (Field 3) Spring 2011
FAM 222 Opera Workshop II 3 credits
The study and performance of scenes from operatic literature, including stage movement, acting and historical background of operas. Perfect for students who enjoy singing and acting. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. (Field 3)
FAM 224 Afro-Centric Music 3 credits
Music of West Africa and how, due to the African Diaspora, this music has come to influence both “Art” and “Pop” music on a worldwide basis. (Field 3) Fall, Summer
FAM 225 Music Performance 2 credits
Hour-length private lessons, designed for the experienced musician, are offered in piano, voice, classical guitar, woodwinds, brass, strings and percussion.
FAM 230 Theory I 3 credits
A study of diatonic harmonic progressions typical of 18th and 19th century music. The course includes the analysis of melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and formal aspects of music by composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. Prerequisite: FAM 115 or permission of instructor. Theory I Lab required. (Field 3) Fall
FAM 230L Theory I Lab 1 credit
Weekly lab instruction in sight-singing and ear-training. Development of aural skills in melodic, harmonic and rhythmic dictation. Includes computer-assisted instruction. Course to be taken concurrently with FAM 230 Theory I. Fall
FAM 240 Theory II: Fundamentals of Four-Part Writing 3 credits
A study of four-part composing as developed in Europe, particularly tonal music associated with Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, which also forms the basis of modern popular music. Prerequisite: FAM 230 or permission of instructor. Theory II Lab required. (Field 3) Spring
FAM 240L Theory II Lab 1 credit
Weekly lab instruction in sight-singing and ear-training. Development of aural skills in melodic, harmonic and rhythmic dictation. Includes computer-assisted instruction. Course to be taken concurrently with FAM 240 Theory II. Spring
FAM 250 Music for Children 3 credits
Course provides the backgrounds, models and skills necessary to create musical experiences for the elementary-age child.
FAM 330 Theory III 3 credits
19th century styles and analysis of chromatic harmony with the study of works by Beethoven, Schubert, Franck, Wagner and Mahler. Focus on counterpoint skills. Continuation of notation and sequencing software applications. Prerequisite: FAM 240. Theory III Lab required. Fall
FAM 330L Theory III Lab 1 credits
Weekly lab instruction in sight-singing and ear-training. Development of aural skills in melodic, harmonic and rhythmic dictation. Includes computer-assisted instruction. Course to be taken concurrently with FAM 330 Theory III. Fall
FAM 340 Theory IV 3 credits
Musical styles, forms and techniques of the 20th century, including impressionism, atonality, serialism, minimalism and electronic applications. Study of selected works by Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Messiaen, Boulez, Glass and Varese. Prerequisite: FAM 330. Theory IV Lab required. Spring
FAM 340L Theory IV Lab 1 credit
Advanced lab instruction in sight-singing and ear-training. Includes computer-assisted instruction. Course to be taken concurrently with FAM 340 Theory IV.Spring
FAM 350 Basic Conducting 3 credits
Development of students’ basic conducting skills of beat, pattern and gesture, leadership of musical activities and musicianship including applied ear training and score analysis.
FAM 450 Senior Seminar 3 credits
An integration of the diverse areas of music into a coherent whole. Course includes supervised reading and research culminating in a writing and/or performance project. Prerequisite: Music majors or permission of program director. Spring
FAM 498 Internship 3 credits
Students taking music as a major or minor are matched in local professional settings including performing organizations and theaters. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor and permission of the chair.
FAM 499 Independent Study in Music 3 credits
Independent studies allow in-depth study of a specific topic and are most often reserved for seniors who cannot otherwise fulfill a graduation requirement. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor, department chair and associate dean.