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.


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, 220, 304, 320, 420, 460; two courses from MUS 202, 203, and 204; one elective at the 200-level or above; one additional elective from MUS 130 or above; and two performance course credits (one course credit earned through participation in a major choral or instrumental ensemble for two semesters, and one course credit earned through taking private instruction for two semesters).

Requirements for the Minor

disciplinary, 6 courses

MUS 120, 220; one course from the group MUS 202, 203, or 204; one music elective at the 200-level or above; one additional course from MUS 130 or above; and one performance course credit earned through participation in a major choral or instrumental ensemble for two semesters or through private applied instruction for two 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 Theory and Aural Skills I – Tonal


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.



Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.