Why major in music at St. Olaf?
The Music Department offers extensive opportunities to explore, practice, and celebrate the musician’s art with an ongoing commitment to a distinctive ensemble program, excellent individualized instruction, and a comprehensive undergraduate music curriculum. We honor St. Olaf’s rich heritage spanning more than a century of international artistry and scholarship and will continue to cultivate a spirit of exploration and innovation, seeking and celebrating the transcendent and transforming power of music.
A liberal arts degree, with approximately one-third of the course work in music. The B.A. music major may lead to a wide range of career options in music and related fields such as performance, broadcasting, multimedia, arts administration, advertising, education, arts journalism, music librarianship, or music therapy. Students may choose a general music major or may elect an emphasis in composition, musicology, or theory.
What can I expect to learn?
- Hear, identify, and work with musical elements: rhythm, pitch, harmony, structure, timbre, texture.
- Read and realize musical notation fluently.
- Recognize and articulate an understanding of compositional process and musical style with reference to artists, technologies, events, and cultural forces through the major periods of music history.
- Research tools and analysis independently to develop, defend, and write musical judgments.
- Have a trajectory of continuing growth in applying basic musicianship skills, independently, to the preparation of expressive performances informed by outcomes 1-3 above.