Jul 16, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Contemporary Music, M.M.

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Coordinator: Dirk Freymuth


To incorporate a contemporary music curriculum that extends to music of the European art tradition, jazz, popular music and music of non-Western cultures. Encourages connections among diverse musical cultures, between and within the arts and other expressions of human endeavor and supports creativity, innovation and discovery as students prepare for future professional involvement.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Be knowledgeable and articulate about the practices and works of the music from the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as the core of musical knowledge of the time before these centuries.
  2. Develop advanced levels of expertise in their concentration areas and apply the knowledge in a broad range of musical environments.
  3. Develop self-awareness as artists, educators and musical leaders.

The Master of Music in Contemporary Music is a flexible degree that allows students to study contemporary practice in one or more areas of concentration. In addition to a 12-credit common core, students will take 12 credits of academic electives in music and 30 credits of applied music.

The degree incorporates several distinctive features. One is that the scope of music considered in the curriculum extends to music of the European art tradition, jazz, popular musics and musics of non-Western cultures. Thus, the term “contemporary music,” as it is used at WOU, is meant to convey the broad scope of applied musical practice in the 21st century.

A second distinctive feature of this degree is its flexibility with respect to areas of applied practice. Students may focus on a single area, such as keyboard performance; or combine allied areas such as keyboard performance, jazz studies and composition. In the contemporary music environment, such allied areas are frequently intermixed.

A third distinctive feature is the requirement of a compact disc as an exit project. The compact disc requirement puts the art of recording on the same artistic plane as the art of live performance while recognizing the centrality of the recording arts in contemporary music practice.

Applied concentrations are available in the following areas:

Audio production
Collaborative piano
Instrumental performance
Jazz studies (performance and/or arranging)
Keyboard performance
Vocal performance
Dual concentrations may be approved on an individual basis

Exit Evaluation Requirement

Students must complete both of the following exit evaluations in order to receive their degree:

  • One recital in area of focus, Credits: 0
  • One compact disc master recording, Credits: 0

Total Credits: 54

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