Whether it is a desire to broaden a cultural perspective or to pursue a professional career in music, students can find courses to satisfy any musical interest.

Music courses are open to all students who have fulfilled the pre-requisites or gained permission of the instructor. Admission to choral and instrumental ensembles is by audition only.

The program offers a disciplinary major and both a disciplinary and interdisciplinary minor.


If you'd like to view a full listing of our course options in Music or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.

Click for the Course Catalogue


Requirements for the Major (B.A.)

disciplinary, 12 courses

MUS 120, 121, 202, 203, 204, 231, 232, 401, 460; one additional course from MUS 130 or above; and two course credits earned through participation in a major choral or instrumental ensemble for four semesters, or by taking private instruction for four semesters, or by taking two semesters of ensemble and two of private instruction.

Requirements for the Minor

disciplinary, 6 courses

MUS 120, 121; two courses from the group MUS 202, 203, or 204; one additional course from MUS 130 or above; and one course credit earned through participation in a major choral or instrumental ensemble for two semesters, or by private applied instruction for two semesters.

interdisciplinary, 7 courses

MUS 120, 121; two from the group MUS 202, 203 and 204; one non-music elective course from art, history, education, philosophy, religious studies, anthropology, languages, dance, or another department, chosen in consultation with the adviser; two course credits earned through participation in a major choral or instrumental ensemble, or by private applied instruction, for four semesters.


Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses, each designed to educate students in Music history, theory and performance.

Below, you'll find a sampling of some of our most popular classes, as well as suggestions for making Music a part of your larger interdisciplinary experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

MUS 130 Beethoven: The Man and His Music


Explore Beethoven's compositions as well as his place in history, his personality, his leading the way to individualism and subjective feeling in music, and his vision of human freedom and dignity. Then learn about some of the ideas that might have influenced Beethoven by enrolling in HIST 301 The Enlightenment.

MUS 205 Music at the Movies


Survey film music from the silent era through the present day, exploring musical topics such as form, style, and instrumentation, and additional areas of inquiry, such as how a film’s score can help to enhance and propel the drama on screen. Learn what major 20th-century composers wrote for film, and become familiar with important specialized soundtrack composers. Next, enroll in MDSC 150 The Visual Story to explore theory and practice of the visual side of storytelling.

MUS 120 Tonal and Theory and Aural Skills I


Develop a hearing mind from the Western classical tradition and become a listener or performer who can perceive sound in meaningful patterns. Learn the theoretical knowledge necessary for analysis and composition and the aural skills needed for perception and performance. Then, expand your knowledge even further either by enrolling in MUS 121 Tonal Theory and Aural Skills II or signing up for a private instruction course.




Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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