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Arts and Sciences Learning Objectives


Tufts Department of Music has a distinguished legacy as one of the most comprehensive, inclusive, and connected programs in the country. At Tufts, you will encounter and study Western music and World music traditions from a multi-disciplinary perspective including music theory, composition, historical musicology, and ethnomusicology. We believe that hands-on performance is central to understanding music and sharing its power. Through private lessons and ensemble participation, you will have the opportunity to learn to perform in Western and World music traditions and to further develop your own creative musical personality. In the spirit of Tufts' emphasis on civic engagement and global citizenship, the Department of Music provides opportunities for its students to connect with others globally and locally through a curriculum that encourages fieldwork, outreach activities, and community activism.

Students graduating with a Major in Music will have developed:

  • An appreciation for the aesthetic, intellectual, and ideological complexity of musical works, musical performance and composition, and the role and function of music in culture and society;
  • A capacity for historical, analytical, theoretical, and critical thinking and writing concerning a broad range of musical styles and traditions;
  • An ability to engage with music through solo and ensemble performance;
  • The skills necessary to bring to fruition a substantial project in scholarly research, performance, or composition.

They will have learned:

  1. Historical contexts for the development of the Western art music tradition;
  2. The principles of tonal theory and analysis;
  3. The application of theoretical and analytical principles to more advanced work in tonal theory, jazz theory, or the musical systems of other cultures;
  4. The foundations of ethnomusicological and cultural theory and their application to world, folk, and popular music traditions;
  5. Vocal or instrumental performance at a juried level and the ability to perform with others in an ensemble;
  6. The logical, linguistic, and rhetorical skills to construct a compelling and persuasive argument based on primary and secondary sources, the means to convey such arguments successfully in written and oral form; and the ability to identify and use appropriate library research tools and resources effectively and persuasively.

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