The mission of the Music Program is to teach the theory, literature, and performance of music, and the theory and practice of music technology, to the highest attainable standard in the context of a liberal arts environment, with an orientation towards performance and study in both Western and Arab music.
The program lays a special emphasis on two aspects of what musicians do which are of particular value to students, whether they aspire to a career in music, or only seek to broaden their understanding of the world by enrolling in one or two courses. First, all students who take private instruction in voice or an instrument will learn to sight-read musical notation fluently, and to comprehend what they hear. Second, in the classroom and studio, lessons, rehearsals, and performances, all students in the program are expected to conform to a professional standard: to be punctual and prepared, and to treat their colleagues, and the material to be studied or performed, with the respect that is their due.
Students who major in music may pursue either a Bachelor of Arts degree in music technology, or a Bachelor of Musical Arts (B.M.A.) degree in Performance. The Bachelor of Musical Arts in Performance is a professional degree built on a liberal arts core which prepares students for a career in teaching or performance in voice or an instrument, or for graduate study in performance.
The Institute for Music Technology offers a sequence of courses in music recording, editing, and production, music for video and film, and electronic music. Such training is crucial not only to students interested in a career in these professions, but also to performers and teachers who need to create and edit demos and audition tracks, to use music files in web sites and other internet applications, or to prepare and market recordings of their own performances and compositions. The Institute for Music Technology is responsible for the recording studio, which is used both as a teaching space and for professional recording.
The Cairo Choral Society is a community chorus dedicated to the study, promotion, and performance of the great choral works in the Western musical tradition. It presents performances with a professional orchestra (the Cairo Festival Orchestra) and soloists at various venues in Cairo. The membership is voluntary, multinational, and cross-generational. The Cairo Choral Society was founded in 1983; in the fall of 2009 it became an ensemble-in-residence within the Department of the Arts. One of the leading large choral ensembles in Egypt, it is both a community-based organization and a for-credit course at AUC. Students may also participate in the chorus on a not-for-credit basis.
Bachelor of Musical Arts (B.M.A.)
Requirements for the Concentration in Performance
In order to complete the Bachelor of Musical Arts with a concentration in performance, a student will:
- Learn to read music fluently, and demonstrate advanced listening and sight-reading skills.
- Demonstrate the ability to play the piano at an intermediate level or better.
- Develop a significant understanding of Western and Arab music theory.
- Study representative great works of Western and Arab music literature and the composers who produced them.
- Demonstrate the ability to sing or play an instrument at or near a professional level; as a final project the student would present a solo recital.
- Sing in choir, and/or play in an instrumental ensemble.
Students who enter the concentration in performance must choose a primary instrument or voice, in which they must complete at least five semesters of private applied instruction, plus MUSC 4980, the Capstone Solo Recital. In order to be accepted into the major, all students will be required to audition before the faculty in their primary instrument or voice, normally by the end of the freshman year.
All students entering the Bachelor of Musical Arts program must either pass the music literacy placement exam or take MUSC 1805, How to Read Music, concurrently with MUSC 1800, the first semester of Private Applied Instruction. Students who choose a primary instrument other than piano will also be required to pass a piano proficiency exam by the end of the sophomore year in order to graduate; those who fail to pass this exam are required to take three semesters of MUSC 2850, Private Applied Instruction for Piano Proficiency.
A total of 120 credits are required for the Bachelor of Musical Arts degree. Students who wish to add a second major in another subject can do so by completing 140-145 credits.