[Smt-talk] Truncated theory for Music BA

Phillip Dineen pdineen at uottawa.ca
Sat Feb 18 09:36:44 PST 2012

Zae: I think the question behind your query is the old chestnut: "How much theory is enough?" The answer depends upon the goal of the Music BA at your institution. If the degree is intended to produce music analysts, then presumably it's not enough. If the goal is to produce, for example, students who could become music therapists, then perhaps it's generous, since they will have to take other courses (psychology, group process) appropriate to their goal. If the degree is intended to produce theorists who are at the same time well versed in, among others, Adorno, Badiou, and Rancière, it might be fine, but only if supplemented by other kinds of music theory. Models for the first instance are legion. Models for the basic training of music therapists exist, albeit without uniformity, to my knowledge. Models for the latter -- a Music BA aimed at theory from a critical stance, or some other multidisciplinary perspective -- are rare I should think, and ultimately pose another fraught question: "Which theory?"

So, what is the goal of the degree in question?

Murray Dineen
University of Ottawa
pdineen at uottawa.ca

>>I am seeking models for a Music BA in which the theory requirement is  
limited to one semester of fundamentals plus 2 semesters of theory,  
while the Music BM (Music Ed) would require fundamentals plus 3  
semesters of theory.  So all music majors would proceed together for  
the first 3 semesters, then the Music Ed students only would continue  
on to a 4th semester....

Thanks, Zae Munn
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list