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Bachelor of Music

Bachelor of Music in Composition (Scoring for Visual Media Program)

The goal of the program is to provide students with the educational foundation for careers as composers of musical soundtracks for visual media including film, television, animation and games. The curriculum includes in-depth studies in both traditional and popular techniques and styles of composition with emphasis on professional applications to contemporary media.

Specific objectives include providing students with:

  • Comprehensive education in Composition that prepares graduates to pursue careers as composers, orchestrators, arrangers, music copyists and music editors in the field of visual media.
  • Professional training in the use of digital tools for music creation.
  • Broad foundation in supportive music including theory, ear training, music history, and understanding of musical styles. General education that develops students’ broader intellect, critical thinking skills, and perspectives on music as part of contemporary culture.
  • Preparation for further studies at the graduate level.

MAJOR AREA: COMPOSITION

Private Composition Lesson 1-12
Weekly private lesson focused on developing and applying traditional and contemporary compositional techniques and skills. Includes analysis and critique of compositions and preparation for both scoring assignments and Sophomore and Senior projects. One private lesson hour per week per quarter.

Contemporary Arranging 1
Prerequisite: Theory 3 (BACH-M301). Introduction to instrumentation, arranging techniques, and notation practices for a live rhythm section. Emphasis is on score and parts preparation and notation in selected contemporary styles. As a final project, each student completes a studio recording of an arrangement for piano, guitar, bass and drums. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Required lab fee: $200.

Contemporary Arranging 2
Prerequisite: BACH-M103 Contemporary Arranging 1. A continuation of rhythm section arranging with the addition of brass instruments (trumpet and trombone). Discussion will include transposition, range, and idiomatic usage of these instruments in popular styles. The objective is to study the brass family with emphasis on two-part and guide-tone writing. Students conduct analysis and learn to build arrangements for a core rhythm section (beat, bass line, chord accompaniment) and solo voice in four styles – Rap, Rock, Folk and Reggae. As a final project, each student completes a studio recording of an arrangement for trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, and drums. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Required lab fee: $200.

Contemporary Arranging 3
Prerequisite: BACH-M203 Contemporary Arranging 2. Arranging techniques for ensembles, including woodwind instruments (saxophone, flute, and clarinet). Discussion includes transposition, range, and idiomatic usage of these instruments in popular styles. The objective is to study the woodwind family with emphasis on four-part harmonization. Builds on core rhythm section by adding instrumental riffs, accents, counter melody and additional harmony. Stylistic analysis and arrangement projects in Pop, Hip-Hop, Country and Electronica. As a final project, each student completes a studio recording of an arrangement for trumpet, alto, or clarinet, tenor or flute, trombone, guitar, bass, and drums. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Required lab fee: $200.

Contemporary Arranging 4
Prerequisite: BACH-M303 Contemporary Arranging 3. Course focuses on string section writing as it applies to contemporary production, with an emphasis on re-harmonization. Basic contrapuntal arranging with voice leading and understanding of ranges and color/timbre blending. As a final project, each student completes a studio recording of an arrangement for string quintet and drums. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Required lab fee: $200.

Contemporary Arranging 5
Prerequisite: BACH-M403 Contemporary Arranging 4. Intermediate contrapuntal arranging. Combines all previous course skills as students employ combination techniques to build intermediate level arrangements in Fantasy Orchestra, Power Ballad, Big Band and Gospel styles. Introduces additional concepts of sweetening and stacking. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Additional lab fee required.

Contemporary Arranging 6
Prerequisite: BACH-M503 Contemporary Arranging 5. Advanced contrapuntal arranging. Teaches successful management of complex interactions and sectional arranging. Detailed study of texture manipulation, dynamic contrast and sectional roles. Students conduct analysis and build sophisticated arrangements in Fusion Jazz, Oratorio, Progressive Rock and Action Orchestral styles. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Additional lab fee required.

Scoring 1
Basic scoring information, including difference between score and source, diegetic versus non-diegetic music and underscore. Research about functions of Media Music, the roles of Media Music professionals and their employers, and the scoring process pipe line. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Scoring 2
Prerequisite: BACH-M334 Scoring I. Analysis and Transcription of well-known Media music scores. Understanding musical concepts: instrumentation choices, stylistic considerations, ‘Behind the Scenes’ material from well-known scores. Students will also study about Scoring with or against Picture. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Scoring 3
Prerequisite: BACH-M335 Scoring II. In-depth melodic and harmonic analysis and transcription of film scores as well as other modern media scores, including non-traditional form, score reading and orchestration techniques. At the end of the quarter, students will have Recording session with String Quartet. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Scoring 4
Prerequisites: BACH-M336 Scoring III. Applied Scoring Techniques: Introduction to scoring for animation. Survey of historical and contemporary animation styles and scoring approaches. Utilizing the tools and techniques previously taught, students complete take-down of animation scenes, recreating the scores virtually to match picture. Scoring projects are assigned in cartoon and science fiction styles. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Additional lab fee required.

Scoring 5
Prerequisites: BACH-M337 Scoring IV. Advanced Applied Scoring Techniques: Focus on state of the art in contemporary animation, Comedy, and Romantic Comedy. Advanced Writing Tools for Composers: Chord Morphing, Implied Harmony, Pivoting Techniques, Monochordal and Bichordal Structures, Reharmonization Techniques, Scales and Scale Clusters, ‘Helpers’, Thinking in shapes rather than too literally, Rhythm as a source of inspiration, Classical works as a source of inspiration, Tonal versus Modal music. At the end of the quarter, students will have recording session with Woodwind Quartet. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Additional lab fee required.

Scoring 6
Prerequisite: BACH-M337 Scoring V. Applied Thematic Scoring Techniques for Thriller, Suspense, Horror. Suspense Techniques and extended 20th century composition techniques (e.g. serialism, aleatoricism, minimalism, etc.). Advanced Scoring Techniques using virtual, hybrid and live production. At the end of the quarter, students will have recording session with String Octet. Students choose between Main Title and a cue that calls for extended string writing techniques. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Additional lab fee required.

Scoring 7
Prerequisite: BACH-M338 Scoring VI. Fundamental game scoring concepts and techniques. Introduction of interactive paradigm and survey of prevailing styles. Emphasis on common cue types, including loops, stingers and cinematics. Students complete scoring assignments for racing and adventure games. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Scoring 8
Prerequisites: BACH-M339 Scoring VII. Advanced Applied Thematic Scoring Techniques I in Game, Drama, Epic Drama, Historical/Period Drama, Romance. Analysis of different types of drama from relationship/family drama to political drama to big, epic drama considering geographical, social and time period settings. Dealing with temp tracks (Holst – The Planets, Copland, Orff – Carmina Burana, Arvo PaÅNrt). Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Scoring 9
Prerequisites: BACH-M341 Scoring VIII. Advanced Applied Thematic Scoring Techniques II in Action, Adventure, Fantasy, SciFi, Super-Hero, Western. Students will learn about gestural writing, hook writing, borrowing from the animation and drama departments, analysis of action/adventure scores and creating advanced loops. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Additional lab fee required.

Scoring 10
Prerequisite: BACH-M342 Scoring IX – Subgenres: World Music and applied scoring techniques using ethnic elements in relation to all dramatic genres. Music for Documentaries – analyzing docs covering various different subject matters. Students will have requirements composing for Music Libraries, Trailers, Reality TV challenges and for Jingles and Commercials. At the end of the quarter, students will have Recording session with Full orchestra. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Additional lab fee required.

Orchestration 1
Prerequisite: BACH-M432 Contemporary Arranging IV. Chronological analysis of the orchestra as used in chamber and symphonic styles, including instrumentation and common rules. Orchestration techniques will be studied through score study and through the application of writing skills. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Orchestration 2
Prerequisite: BACH-M434 Orchestration I. In-depth study of the orchestration techniques used in contemporary media scoring, including style, instrumentation in relation to picture, combining with other ensemble types, and synth tracks. Projects will demonstrate orchestration skills. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Sophomore Project
Prerequisite: BACH-M337 Scoring IV. Student will give lecture about a Media Composer and one detailed score analysis along with refined scoring clips from previous quarters.

Senior Project
Prerequisite: BACH-M342 Scoring IX and Sophomore project. Students compose a complete musical score for a short film. The score will be presented both as a virtual score and as a full acoustic realization, with musical style to be determined by film content. Students are also required to perform specific parts included in the final score.

 

SUPPORTIVE MUSIC: ALL INSTRUMENTS

Apple Logic 1

Sequencing using the Logic Pro software application on the Mac platform. Topics include basic MIDI routing, building tracks, recording, editing and virtual instruments. Topics covered include working with MIDI and audio, virtual instruments, effects, drum programming, time stretching and working with loops. Students build a basic palette and complete commercial scoring assignments. One lecture hour and one lab hour per week for one quarter.

Apple Logic 2
Prerequisite: BACH-M268 Logic I. Continuation of Logic I. Advanced sequencing techniques. In-depth exploration of MIDI parameters and aesthetic applications. Introduction to digital audio module. Topics include effects, automation, scoring to picture, third-party plug-ins, and mastering using Logic’s companion program, Waveburner. Students create 30-60 second commercial jingles from virtual and live overdub with lifts in contemporary popular styles. One lecture hour and one lab hour per week for one quarter.

Studio Recording 1
An introduction to digital audio techniques using Digidesign Pro Tools with primary focus on applications to arranging and composing. Recording and mixing techniques, importing audio, recording of play lists, equalization, and effects will be incorporated into the final project. One lecture hour and one lab hour per week for one quarter.

Studio Recording 2
Prerequisite: BACH-M109 Studio Recording 1. A continuation of Avid Pro Tools(R) recording techniques using Virtual Instruments, MIDI recording, sequencing, trimming, fading, tempo, meter maps, time stretching, and plug-in automation, culminating in the mixing of a fully arranged song applying all of the studied techniques. One lecture hour and one lab hour per week for one quarter.

Mechanics of Score Production 1
Prerequisite: BACH-M209 Studio Recording II. Students will gain knowledge of and practical experience in performing each duty required of a film music editor. Through course lectures, exercises, critiques and collaborative projects encompassing film score recording sessions, students will gain an understanding of the music editor’s position, artistic scope, responsibilities, and techniques in the post-production process of a film. Pro Tools session setup for film scoring. Spotting sessions and documentation for film music production. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Mechanics of Score Production 2
Prerequisite: BACH-M309 Mechanics of Score Production I. This course covers fundamentals of subtractive synthesis, sampling techniques and their application using Apple Logic software. Includes practical application of theory using the ES-1, ES-2 and Sculpture synthesizers as well as the EXS-24 sampler and Apple Loops utility. The class also covers midi mockup process using the vast catalog of virtual instruments included with Logic Audio and Native Instruments Komplete. Students will learn about editing and programming of various instrument and effects combinations in a variety of practical applications. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Composers Ensemble 1
This class is designed to cultivate collaborative skills that are vital for media composers. Two composition students will work together as a team on an assigned project. Team members will exchange ideas openly and work effectively, with each member of the team taking turns assuming the roles of leader and follower during the project. The course is intended to simulate a common real-life situation. Students are expected to be open to ideas and develop a flexible, entrepreneurial attitude. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

Composers Ensemble 2
This Prerequisite: BACH-M340 Composers Ensemble I. Continuing development of collaborative skills. In this quarter, three students will work together on a team. Each team will have one composer with clearly defined power structure and leadership. The exact composition of the team may vary depending on student enrollment: Recording artist, editor, instrumental performer, and vocalist may be members of a team. Each team is given an assignment and receives feedback throughout the quarter. Students are asked to interpret demands and critiques and implement changes accordingly. Team members are expected to work effectively and demonstrate ongoing improvement and transformation. Students are expected to be open to ideas and be committed to creating an empowering collaborative experience in the process. A number of experts will be invited as special guests. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

Composers Collaborative
Prerequisite: BACH-M350 Composers Ensemble II. This is a continuation of Composers Ensemble II and preparatory course for Senior Project. Each group of Students will work together for a comprehensive portfolio. Discover your individual styles and refine scoring clips from previous courses. Special topic panelists and guests will be invited for evaluation and lecture. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

The Business of Composing 1
Survey of the business of film, television, and video game music, including licensing, performing rights organizations, unions, publishing rights, mechanical and sync royalties, contracts, agents, and buy-outs. Students learn how to contract a studio and hire players, read and write a union contract, negotiate royalties and buy-outs, and set up both a composer and publisher account with BMI, ASCAP or SESAC. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

The Business of Composing 2
Prerequisite: BACH-M486 Business of Composing I. A practical application of all topics covered in Business of Composing 1, advancing to catalog compilation and management along with promotional media marketing tools. Basic website design and social networking branding will serve to promote catalog material toward publishers, music supervisors and music libraries. Business networking, pitching material and composing for custom projects will be practically applied with members of the current Film/TV/Video Game music industry. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

Theory 1
A presentation of basic concepts including scales and intervals, triads, major mode progressions with voice leading, minor modes and modal scales. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 2
Prerequisite: BACH-M101 Theory I. Adds the use of first inversion triads, figured bass, function and structure of melody, non-harmonic tones, harmonization of a melody, the ‘six-four’ chord and cadences. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 3
Prerequisite: BACH-M201 Theory II. Elaborates on the concepts of harmonic rhythm, harmonic phrase structure, modulation, use of dominant seventh chords, secondary dominants and irregular resolutions. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 4
Prerequisite: BACH-M301 Theory III. Focuses on topics including musical texture, analytical techniques, use of sequences, diminished seventh chords, major ninth and non-dominant seventh chords. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 5
Prerequisite: BACH-M401. Analysis and applications of ninth, eleventh, thirteenth, chromatically altered raised supertonic, submediant, Neapolitan, augmented sixth and other chromatic chords. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 6
Prerequisite: BACH-M501 Theory V. Extensions of common practice including modal scales and harmony, remote tonal relationships, contemporary counterpoint and independent vertical sonorities. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 7
Prerequisite: BACH-M601 Theory VI. Exploration of various scales and chord types including pentatonic, whole tone, artificial scales, parallel harmony, tertian, quartal, quintal and secundal. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 8
Prerequisite: BACH-M701 Theory VII. Discussion of extended chromaticism including pandiatonicism, polychords and polytonality, modal mixture, inverted ninth and appoggiatura chords, and elements supporting and weakening tonality. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Ear Training 1
Emphasizes aural recognition of music’s essential elements including all simple and compound intervals, sight singing and dictation in simple and compound duple and triple meters. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Ear Training 2
Prerequisite: BACH-M102 Ear Training I. Continued development of the ability to hear quality, inversion and function in triadic progressions with applicable dictation and sightsinging exercises. Additional topics include figured bass. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Ear Training 3
Prerequisite: BACH-M202 Ear Training II. Focuses on aural recognition of the quality, function and inversions of seventh chords, including diminished and implied, in both major and minor mode progressions. Study of asymmetrical meters will be introduced. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Ear Training 4
Prerequisite: BACH-M302 Ear Training 3. Primary focus is on hearing secondary dominant functions and various modulation types. Clefs, transposing and appropriate harmonic, melodic and rhythmic dictation will be used. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Ear Training 5
Prerequisite: BACH-M402 Ear Training 4. The emphasis is on hearing multiple parts with topics including four-part homophony, diatonic seventh chords, non-chord tones and suspensions along with recognition of canon and imitative writing. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Ear Training 6
Prerequisite: BACH-M502 Ear Training 5. Emphasis is on hearing chromaticism, altered chords, and progressions that incorporate them as well as unexplored rhythmic combinations including two against three. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Music History I – Roots of Rock and Roll
A survey of Rock’s roots, including Rhythm & Blues, Rockabilly, New Orleans, vocal groups, doo-wop, and early 60’s pop, including an examination of the founding figures and major influences. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Music History II – World Music
A study of music in the context of selected cultures around the world, i.e. World Music. Ways in which music and lyrics function in these cultures are explored through listening and transcriptions. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Music History III – Western Art Music I 600-1820
A survey of Western art music from the Middle Ages through the end of the 18th century. The course will include discussion of major styles and forms in historical context, supplemented by representative listening. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Music History IV – Western Art Music II 1820-21st Century
The history of musical styles from the Romantic period through the 20th century including cultural contexts and social meaning. Composers and musical developments in European and American Art Music, orchestral, choral, band, chamber music and solo repertoire are combined with the influences of music from other world cultures. Compositional techniques, style characteristics, and relationships will be emphasized. In addition to a midterm and final examination, the course requires one critical concert report, workbook assignments, and presentation. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

History of Scoring
Survey and analysis of scoring from its roots in photography through silent films, “talkies,” television, animation and current digital formats, including the roles and influences of musical styles on this global art form. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

Contemporary Vanguard
This course would survey the leading edge of current innovators in mainstream film, independent film, games and television composition. A focused study of current innovators will energize students’ creative thinking. Graduates from this program will be entering a crowded and competitive marketplace. Among the most valuable skills a composer can cultivate in order to rise through all the noise is innovation. This forward-looking exposure and reinvention mindset will help prevent degree obsolescence upon graduation. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

Counterpoint
The study of two, three and four-part writing as it applies to species counterpoint. Areas of concentration include creating lines in diatonic, modal and serial writing. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

Keyboard Proficiency 1
Develops basic motor skills involved in playing the keyboard through diatonic scales, arpeggios, and selected repertoire. One hour per week for one quarter.

Keyboard Proficiency 2
Prerequisite BACH-M113 Keyboard Proficiency 1. Applied keyboard harmony including chord families, voice leading, and selected chord repertoire. One hour per week for one quarter.

Keyboard Proficiency 3
Prerequisite: BACH-M213 Keyboard Proficiency 2. Using the keyboard as an arranging tool for lead sheet interpretation, basic score reading and outlining an arrangement. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

Keyboard Proficiency 4
Prerequisite: BACH-M313 Keyboard Proficiency 3. A survey of score reading techniques and practices as applied to the keyboard, including: “C” clefs, transposing and non-transposing instruments, as well as scores of different sizes and instrumentations. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

Keyboard Proficiency 5
Prerequisite: BACH-M413 Keyboard Proficiency 4. A “keyboard orchestra” performance class. Students play written scores and improvised parts based on repertoire in a variety of styles. One ensemble hour per week for one quarter.

Pro Reading Ensemble 1
Prerequisite: BACH-M513 Keyboard Proficiency 5. A keyboard-based performance class developing sight-reading skills with various instrumentations and ensemble configurations. Reading selections will include multiple styles and degrees of difficulty. One ensemble hour per week for one quarter.

Pro Reading Ensemble 2
Prerequisite: BACH-M613 Pro Reading Ensemble 1. Continuation of advanced sight-reading performance. One ensemble hour per week for one quarter.

Directing and Conducting 1
Fundamentals of conducting, including beat patterns, posture, arm and hand position, articulations, dynamics, left hand functions, incomplete beats and fermatas as well as basic score reading and application of skills to contemporary music. Students will be videotaped for study. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Directing and Conducting 2
Prerequisite: BACH-M125 Directing and Conducting 1. Continuation of Directing and Conducting I with focus on larger scores and various musical styles. Emphasis on conducting to click, variable click, meter changes, odd meters, punches and streamers. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Digital Music Notation
An Introduction to music notation using both traditional hand and computer techniques. Exploring and applying Sibelius notation software to various ensemble writing configurations. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

BM-SPECIFIC ELECTIVE CLASSES

Baccalaureate elective requirements may be fulfilled through any combination of the courses listed below as well as General Electives and Instrument-Specific electives listed under Associate Degree programs.

Jazz History
A survey of the chronological development of Jazz with emphasis on socio-economic influences. Includes an examination of the influential players and composers through analysis of style and form. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Special Topics in Jazz
Topics vary and may focus on a theme, genre, a historical period, composers or an influential group. Consult with course instructor or program Dean for information. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Introduction to Salsa
A survey of the major influences on the development of this rich music including African, Caribbean, Spanish and Jazz contributions. Important figures will be studied through analysis and recordings. Two hours per week for one quarter.

Independent Study
Provides students with an opportunity to explore a specific subject area in depth through independent course work with faculty supervision. A maximum of six credits may be applied toward BM requirements. Weekly hours vary.

Special Topics in Music
Analysis and comparison within focused topic areas such as an historical period, a particular artist’s work or a world music topic. Two ensemble hours per week for one quarter.

Bachelor of Music in Performance (Contemporary Styles)

Bachelor of Music Degree requirements include completion of 30 semester-units or 45 quarter-units of coursework in General Studies. For general reference, the required distribution of units is shown below along with representative areas of coursework. Please refer to the General Education Transfer Agreement between Los Angeles City College and Musicians Institute for specific course titles and numbers that meet the requirements. Units completed at other institutions will be evaluated to determine their equivalency; see Admissions: Transfer of Credit for more information.

Would you like to continue your music education beyond a Bachelors Degree? Musicians Institute has created a new partnership with the renowned McNally Smith College of Music (MSCM) in St. Paul, Minnesota. This mutual academic agreement ensures that graduates of MI’s Bachelor of Music in Performance who are in good standing are eligible to enroll in the Master of Music in Performance degree at MSCM. Contact admissions@mi.edu for further details.

Language and Rationality: minimum of 12 semester-units or 18 quarter-units in:

  1. English Composition: at least 3 semester-units or 4.5 quarter-units
  2. Communication and Analytical Thinking: at least 6 semester-units or 9 quarter-units:
    • Speech
    • Philosophy
    • English
    • Mathematics

Natural Sciences: minimum of 3 semester-units or 4.5 quarter-units in:

  1. Physical Universe (Astronomy, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Meteorology, Mineralogy, Oceanography, Physical Science, Physics)
  2. Life Forms (Anatomy, Anthropology, Biology, Microbiology, Physiology)

Humanities: minimum of 6 semester-units or 9 quarter-units* in:

  1. The Arts (Architecture, Cinema, Photography, Theater)
  2. The Humanities (Foreign Language, Humanities, Linguistics, Speech, Literature, Philosophy)

*Students with a concentration in Vocals are required to complete 3 semester hours/4.5 quarter hours of language courses in French, German, or Italian as part of their minimum Humanities course requirements.

Social and Behavioral Sciences: minimum of 9 semester-units or 13.5 quarter-units, including:

  1. Minimum of 3 semester-units or 4.5 quarter-units in American Institutions and Government
  2. Minimum of 3 semester-units or 4.5 quarter-units in:
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (Anthropology, Family & Consumer Studies, Geography, History, Linguistics, Psychology, Sociology
    • Economics and Politics (Business, Economics, Journalism, Law, Political Science)

Additional options for study include:

BM-Performance (Minor in Music Industry Studies)
The Minor in Music Industry Studies provides an opportunity for Performance Majors to include concentrated studies in record company management and independent artist management and promotion. Minor Area studies replace some Supportive Music requirements and additional credits allow for greater depth in the Minor Area while retaining the comprehensive scope of the Performance Degree. Click Here for overall credit requirements.

BM-Performance (Minor in Audio Production)
The Minor in Audio Production provides an opportunity for Performance Majors to include concentrated studies in audio recording technology and techniques. Minor Area studies replace some Supportive Music requirements and additional credits allow for greater depth in the Minor Area while retaining the comprehensive scope of the Performance Degree.

You must complete the Major Area and Supportive Music requirements described below (for students taking Minor Studies described above, some requirements are replaced by alternate courses in the minor area). For instrument-specific requirements, click on the appropriate link. Click Here to download overall credit requirements.

MAJOR AREA: ALL INSTRUMENTS

All non-keyboard major degree students must demonstrate keyboard proficiency by the end of their freshman year through examination or a passing grade of C- or better in Keyboard Proficiency III.

Private Lesson 1-12
Weekly private lessons on student’s primary instrument. Topics vary based on the needs of the individual – from fundamentals to advanced niche techniques; from personal topics of interest to preparation for juries and final projects. One private lesson hour per week per quarter.

Bachelor Ensembles 1-12
Weekly live performance workshops providing development of ensemble techniques, improvisational skills and building repertoire in various styles. One ensemble hour per week per quarter.

Performance 1-8
An in-depth study of a variety of contemporary and commercial performance-related subjects, including prototypical characteristics of influential styles, repertoire, improvisation, and interpretation. Dedicated sections for instrumentalists and vocalists. Weekly critiqued performances of selected repertoire. One ensemble hour per week for one quarter.

Sophomore Jury Prep
Individual preparation for the Sophomore Jury including song selection (see ‘Sophomore Jury’ below), and lead sheet preparation under the guidance of the jury supervisor and student’s private instructor. Five bi-weekly mentoring sessions with the jury supervisor for one quarter.

Sophomore Jury
Prerequisite: BACH-P118 Sophomore Jury Prep. A judged performance (including rhythm section) takes place at the end of the quarter. Student performance is evaluated by a panel consisting of members of the Bachelor Program faculty. Students must demonstrate significant skills in the following areas: solo performance, solo transcription, stylistic competency in ensemble repertoire (R & B / Funk, Rock, Latin, Swing), rhythm section scoring /arranging, band leadership / musical direction, and sight-reading. Preparation includes bi-weekly meetings with the jury supervisor to review arrangements, rehearsal progress and related issues. Five bi-weekly mentoring sessions with the jury supervisor for one quarter, and a jury performance at the end of the quarter.

Senior Jury Prep
Prerequisite: BACH-P108 Sophomore Jury. Individual preparation for the Senior Jury including song selection and lead sheet preparation under the guidance of the jury supervisor and student’s private instructor. Five bi-weekly mentoring sessions with the jury supervisor for one quarter.

Senior Jury
Prerequisite: BACH-P218 Senior Jury Prep. A judged performance (with rhythm section and horns) takes place at the end of the quarter. Student performance must demonstrate ability to meet final graduation requirements. Performance is evaluated by a panel consisting of members of the Bachelor Program faculty. Students must demonstrate advanced technical skill, stylistic awareness, arranging abilities using a small horn section, overall musicianship in contrasting styles, and stylistic identity as a performer. Preparation includes bi-weekly meetings with the jury supervisor to review arrangements and/or original compositions, rehearsal progress and related issues. Five, bi-weekly mentoring sessions with the jury supervisor for one quarter, and a jury performance at the end of the quarter.


SUPPORTIVE MUSIC: ALL INSTRUMENTS

Theory 1
An introduction to fundamental concepts, including intervals, triads, major mode progressions with voice-leading, minor modes and modal scales. Students will learn basic techniques for melodic and harmonic analysis and be introduced to four-part writing techniques. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 2
Prerequisite: BACH-P101 Theory 1. Continuation of four-part writing techniques, including first inversion triads, figured bass, melodic function and structure, further study in melodic analysis, non-harmonic tones and their use. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 3
Prerequisite: BACH-P201 Theory 2. Basic harmonization of a melody, formulaic fourpart writing using second-inversion triads and proper voice leading, cadences and their function in phrases, harmonic rhythm, supporting melodies, independent bass movement, analysis of excerpts and contemporary song forms. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 4
Prerequisite: BACH-P301 Theory 3. Dominant-seventh voicings and their function, standard resolutions, secondary dominant function and voice-leading, modulation techniques, analysis of modulating progressions, harmonic structure of phrases, antecedent-consequent structure, analysis of orchestral excerpts and contemporary song forms. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 5
Prerequisite: BACH-P401 Theory 4. Musical textures, irregular resolutions, use of melodic and harmonic sequences and diminished seventh chords. Continued focus on four-part writing, figured bass and harmonization. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 6
Prerequisite: BACH-P501 Theory 5. Analysis and application of the incomplete major ninth chord, seventh chords in non-dominant harmonic function, neighborchord harmony, ninth, eleventh, thirteenth, and appoggiatura chords. Continued focus on four-part writing, figured bass and harmonization. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 7
Prerequisite: BACH-P601 Theory 6. Analysis and application of chromatic altered chords, including the +II7 and +VI7, Neapolitan chords, augmented sixth chords and chords with lowered and raised fifths. Continued focus on four-part writing, figured bass and harmonization. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Theory 8
Prerequisite: BACH-P701 Theory 7. Analysis of late 19th- and early 20th century scores. Discussion includes pandiatonicism, serial writing, polytonality, parallel harmony and use of symmetrical scales. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Ear Training 1
Introduction to the “Movable Do” system, including basic solfeggio syllables applied to single notes, melodic fragments, diatonic triads and intervals in all major keys. Students learn basic rhythms and four-beat conducting patterns. Dictation of majorkey melodies and basic triads. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Ear Training 2
Prerequisite: BACH-P102 Ear Training 1. Application of solfeggio to minor keys, including single notes, melodic fragments, diatonic triads and intervals in natural minor, melodic minor and harmonic minor key centers. Students learn more advanced rhythms and two, three, and four-beat conducting patterns. Dictation of minor-key melodies, including note groups and patterns and all types of triads. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Ear Training 3
Prerequisite: BACH-P202 Ear Training 2. Dorian and Mixolydian key centers, including single notes, melodic fragments, diatonic triads and intervals as well as two-, three-, four-, five, and six-beat conducting patterns. Dictation of more advancedrhythms, Dorian and Mixolydian melodic examples, including note groups and patterns and seventh chords. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Ear Training 4
Prerequisite: BACH-P302 Ear Training 3. Phrygian and Lydian key centers, including advanced use of note groups and patterns in melodic dictation, rhythmic phrases and all types of seventh chords. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Ear Training 5
Prerequisite: BACH-P402 Ear Training 4. Locrian and Lydian Dominant scales. Introduction of multiple parts, four-part homophony, diatonic seventh chords and non-chord tones. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Ear Training 6
Prerequisite: BACH-P502 Ear Training 5. Study of Locrian Natural 9 and Altered scales with emphasis on hearing chromaticism, altered chords, and related progressions. Continued melodic, rhythmic and harmonic dictation, with applications including bass line transcription and lead sheet preparation. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Music History I: Roots of Rock and Roll
A survey of Rock’s roots, including Rhythm & Blues, Rockabilly, New Orleans, vocal groups, doo-wop, and early ‘60s pop, including an examination of the major artists and regional influences. Weekly discussion, analysis and listening examples related to each topic. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Music History II: World Music
A study of music in the context of selected cultures and regions around the world. The many ways in which music and lyrics function in reflecting these cultures are explored through listening, analysis and transcriptions. In addition to workbook assignments, midterm and final examinations, students must attend and write a report on a relevant concert performance. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Music History III – Western Art Music I: 600-1820
A survey of Western art music from the Middle Ages through the beginning of the 19th century. The course will include discussion of major styles and forms in historical context, supplemented by representative listening and score analysis. In addition to workbook assignments, midterm and final examinations, students must attend and write a report on a relevant concert performance as well as make a separate presentation to the class on a related topic of student’s choice. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Music History IV – Western Art Music II: 1820-21st Century
The history of musical styles from the Romantic period to the present, including cultural contexts and social meaning. Composers and musical developments in European and American Art Music, orchestral, choral, band, chamber music and solo repertoire are combined with the influences of music from other world cultures. Compositional techniques, style characteristics, and relationships are emphasized. In addition to workbook assignments, midterm and final examinations, students must attend and write a report on a relevant concert performance as well as make a separate presentation to the class on a related topic of student’s choice. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Contemporary Arranging 1
Prerequisite: Theory 3 (BACH-P301). Introduction to instrumentation, arranging techniques, and notation practices for a live rhythm section. Emphasis is on score and parts preparation and notation in selected contemporary styles. As a final project, each student completes a studio recording of an arrangement for piano, guitar, bass and drums. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Required lab fee: $200.

Contemporary Arranging 2
Prerequisite: BACH-P103 Contemporary Arranging 1. A continuation of rhythm section arranging with the addition of brass instruments (trumpet and trombone). Discussion will include transposition, range, and idiomatic usage of these instruments in popular styles. The objective is to study the brass family with emphasis on two-part and guide-tone writing. Students conduct analysis and learn to build arrangements for a core rhythm section (beat, bass line, chord accompaniment) and solo voice in four styles – Rap, Rock, Folk and Reggae. As a final project, each student completes a studio recording of an arrangement for trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, and drums. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Required lab fee: $200.

Contemporary Arranging 3
Prerequisite: BACH-P203 Contemporary Arranging 2. Arranging techniques for ensembles, including woodwind instruments (saxophone, flute, and clarinet). Discussion includes transposition, range, and idiomatic usage of these instruments in popular styles. The objective is to study the woodwind family with emphasis on four-part harmonization. Builds on core rhythm section by adding instrumental riffs, accents, counter melody and additional harmony. Stylistic analysis and arrangement projects in Pop, Hip-Hop, Country and Electronica. As a final project, each student completes a studio recording of an arrangement for trumpet, alto, or clarinet, tenor or flute, trombone, guitar, bass, and drums. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Required lab fee: $200.

Contemporary Arranging 4
Prerequisite: BACH-M303 Contemporary Arranging 3. Course focuses on string section writing as it applies to contemporary production, with an emphasis on re-harmonization. Basic contrapuntal arranging with voice leading and understanding of ranges and color/timbre blending. As a final project, each student completes a studio recording of an arrangement for string quintet and drums. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Required lab fee: $200.

Contemporary Arranging 5
Prerequisite: BACH-P403 Contemporary Arranging 4. Course focuses on combined rhythm section, woodwind, brass, and string writing as it applies to contemporary productions. As a secondary objective, students learn to analyze scores of contemporary arrangements that include all instruments. As a final project, each student completes a studio recording of an arrangement for rhythm section, woodwinds, brass, and strings, including overdubs. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter. Required lab fee: $200.

Directing and Conducting
Fundamentals of conducting, including beat patterns, posture, arm and hand position, articulations, dynamics, left-hand functions, incomplete beats and fermatas, as well as basic score reading and application of skills to contemporary music. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Music Industry Studies
An overview of the contemporary music industry with special concentration on how record companies work, how A&R reps find and sign new talent, copyrighting songs, music publishing and the roles of personal managers, booking agents, business managers and music business attorneys. Current music business news is discussed with regard to its effect on students as independent artists. Three lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Studio Recording 1
An overall introduction to digital audio techniques using Avid Pro Tools˝ with primary focus on applications to arranging and composing. Handling of tracks, importing audio, recording of playlists, equalization, and effects. One lecture hour plus one lab hour per week for one quarter.

Studio Recording 2
Prerequisite: BACH-P109 Studio Recording 1. A continuation of Avid Pro Tools˝ recording techniques using Virtual Instruments, MIDI Recording, Sequencing, Trimming, Fading, Tempo, Meter Maps, Time Stretching, Plug-in automation and mixing a fully arranged song applying all of the studied techniques. One lecture hour plus one lab hour per week for one quarter.

Computer Music Applications – Sibelius
Using Sibelius notation software to create lead sheets, master rhythm scores and individual parts formatted in a way similar to those students will need to create for Arranging 1-5 and Sophomore and Senior Juries. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

Computer Music Applications – Apple Logic 1
Apple’s Logic Studio is a powerful music production package designed for music creators and producers. This Apple-certified course, when combined with Apple Logic 2, is equivalent to Apple’s own Logic 101 course. Topics covered include working with MIDI and audio, virtual instruments, effects, drum programming, time stretching and working with loops. One lecture hour plus one lab hour per week for one quarter.

Computer Music Applications – Apple Logic 2
The second level of this Apple-certified course focuses on using Logic as a mixing and mastering tool. Topics include effects, automation, scoring to picture, third-party plug-ins, and mastering using Logic’s companion program, Waveburner. Upon successful completion, students are eligible to take Apple’s Logic Pro Certification Exam. One lecture hour plus one lab hour per week for one quarter.

Styles Survey
Provides students with an analytical overview of styles, chart reading and critical listening as they relate to repertoire requirements. Styles covered include Rock, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz and Latin. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

Contemporary Music Instruction
The skill and art of teaching contemporary music in a variety of settings, including rehearsals, coaching, and group and private lessons. Two lecture hours per week for one quarter.

Keyboard Proficiency 1
Degree-specific requirement for non-keyboard majors. Covers basic motor skills involved in playing the keyboard through diatonic scales, arpeggios, and selected repertoire. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

Keyboard Proficiency 2
Prerequisite: BACH-P113 Keyboard Proficiency 1. Degree-specific requirement for non-keyboard majors. More advanced application addressing harmonic shapes on the keyboard, including chord families, voice leading, and basic keyboard harmony with selected chord repertoire. One lecture hour per week for one quarter.

Keyboard Proficiency 3
Prerequisite: BACH-P213 Keyboard Proficiency 2. Degree-specific requirement for non-keyboard majors. Emphasizes using the keyboard as an arranging tool, lead sheet interpretation, basic score reading and outlining an arrangement. One lecture hour per week for one quarter. 

Bachelor of Music Degree General Education Transfer Credits

The two main components of the Bachelor of Music Degree are the music coursework and the general education requirements.

Note: To fulfill the general education degree requirements, you must complete 45 quarter units or 30 semester units in liberal arts subjects.

For this purpose, Musicians Institute has entered into a partnership with Los Angeles City College (LACC). All required general education courses, including a wide selection of subjects in English, mathematics, natural science, social science and humanities are offered on the nearby LACC campus. You may register for appropriate general education classes in consultation with LACC advisors with support and coordination from Musicians Institute. LACC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). See Bachelor of Music Degree requirements in this catalog for a summary of required general education credit distribution.

You may also transfer up to the maximum number of required general education units from institutions other than LACC pending review and approval by the Dean. Acceptance of coursework will be based on standards set by the National Association of Schools of Music and Musicians Institute, as well as comparisons to offerings from LACC.

Download General Education Requirements

Download Instrument Performance Placement Test Information

Download Theory and Ear Training Placement Test Information

Emphasis:

Bass

Drums

Guitar

Keyboard

Vocals

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