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Department of Music


We offer two degrees in music. Students in the bachelor of music (BM) program can pursue a concentration in composition, performance, pre-certification choral or pre-certification instrumental. Pre-certification graduates continue on to CNU's master of arts in teaching (MAT) program with a concentration in choral music education or instrumental music education that leads to teacher certification (students training to become teachers must pursue the dual degree program BM/MAT in order to earn teacher certification).

Acceptance into the music programs is highly competitive. In addition to applying for admission to Christopher Newport, you must also apply to the Department of Music and complete an entrance audition.

Bachelor of music

The primary emphasis is on developing the skills and knowledge to function as a teacher, performer or composer. Areas of concentration include choral and instrumental pre-certification, composition, and performance.

Bachelor of arts

Provides fundamental knowledge of written and aural skills, the history and development of music, and performance. The concentration in music studies serves students seeking a broad program of general education rather than intense specialization in the undergraduate years. The concentration in creative studies is designed for those interested in music technology and interdisciplinary studies.

Christopher Newport is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Sample Courses

The course is intended to give students a greater appreciation of cinema (movies and video) by exploring the concept of ‘genre’ in movie music and discovering how ‘genius’ might emerge from the collaborative process between director and composer.

The course focuses on specific creative software programs and hardware, providing a broad understanding of the ever-evolving field of music technology. Applied study in the basic theory and hands-on operation of the digital audio workstation allows students to conceive, create and produce musical works using digital audio, the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), and computer software. Other topics include acoustics, recording techniques and multimedia applications.

A study through analysis and compositional assignments of modal and 18th-century counterpoint. After completing exercises in the techniques of species counterpoint, students study the larger forms of inventions, canons, fugues and chorale-based compositions.

An extensive study of techniques used in composing and arranging for various sized jazz ensembles. Writing skills will be developed through listening, transcription, composition analysis and score study.

Full curriculum
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