May 28, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


P.O. Box 70661
Phone (423) 439-4270
Web Address:

The Department of Music at East Tennessee State University was established in 1946 and is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

The Department of Music provides specialized training in music to prepare students for professional work or advanced study, for teaching music in the elementary and secondary schools, and for general cultural attainment.

The curriculum of the Department of Music is designed to present the learning of music as an integrated whole. Solo and ensemble performance, theoretical and historical studies, concert attendance, and electives both within and outside the department are intended to provide a balanced education.

In addition to training in the various professions of music, the department provides general music studies and activities for the non-music major, the university, and the community.

Major Fields of Study and Degrees

Undergraduate instruction in the department leads to the Bachelor of Music (BM) or to the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. The Bachelor of Music concentrations (Jazz, Music Education, or Performance) prepare students for professional work or advanced study or for teaching music in the elementary and secondary schools. The concentrations in the Bachelor of Arts (Applied, Conducting, Contemporary Music Performance & Instruction, Marching Band, Music & Culture, Theory/Composition) focus on those who want to major in music but want neither to be a performer nor an educator. Some may want to choose other paths in music or simply want to get a music degree but work in areas outside of music that require a college education. The BA degree provides the opportunity to study music from a liberal arts perspective.


The Department of Music offers a wide variety of recitals, concerts, lectures, and other programs by students, faculty, and distinguished guest artists. Most of the programs are free and open to the public. The events schedule can be found at

Student Organizations

The Department of Music encourages participation in music-related student organizations. Active chapters of Percussive Arts Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Sigma Alpha Iota provide social, service, and professional opportunities for both music and non-music majors.

Scholarships and Awards

Upon recommendation of the faculty, students may be awarded scholarships for talent in music. Scholarship auditions are held in February and March of each year. Details are available on the department’s web page. Awards vary in size and include the following:

The Lamar Alexander Scholarship
The Elsie Artz Memorial Scholarship
The Teresa Bowers Scholarship
The Floyd Cramer Scholarship
Chih-Long Hu Piano Scholarship
Ella V. Ross Scholarship
The Mary Florence and Virgil C. Self Scholarship
Band and Choral Performance Scholarships
The Powell Choral Scholarship
Richard Compton Memorial Scholarship
W.G. Patton Scholarship
Robert LaPella Vocal Scholarship
Marie Hutchinson Hunter Piano Scholarship
Marilyn Davis Piano Scholarship
Walter Marshall Scholarships
Topalian Jazz Scholarship
Nicholas L. Tate Scholarship
Kenton Coe Composition Award
Thomas Jenrette Vocal Scholarship
Academic Performance Scholarships
Public Performance Scholarships
ETSU Strings Scholarship

Other awards based upon academic excellence and performance ability are also available from the Department of Music.

Admission and Enrollment Policies

Any student seeking a major or minor in music at ETSU must first meet the general university admission requirements. Once that admission is granted, the student must audition for admission to the music degree program. Auditions are held on selected dates during the spring (see the department web page,, for dates, and by appointment.

The audition may be performed live or via videotape (if the student lives more than 250 miles from campus.) The audition, which is judged by faculty in the Department of Music, should demonstrate the student’s technique and musicianship.

If a student meets the audition requirements and is admitted to the program, an academic advisor will assist the student in determining courses to be taken. Students who do not meet the audition requirements may register for applied music and for ensembles and may audition again at a later date. It should be noted that the student’s academic progress will be seriously delayed if the music major is not declared by the sophomore year. Students electing the music minor must declare that minor prior to reaching 60 credits of coursework to ensure that the program can be completed in a timely manner.

It is recommended that students not successfully completing the theory entrance exam take music fundamentals prior to starting theory courses

Applied Music

Music education majors must register for a minimum of seven semesters of applied music (private instruction) in their major area of performance; performance concentration majors and jazz studies concentration majors must register for a minimum of eight semesters. Lessons must be taken with a member of the department faculty. Students may register for either one or two credits per semester. Each credit represents a minimum of one half-hour lesson and six hours of practice per week. A fee of $150 per credit is assessed.

Admission to applied music is by audition only. Non-music majors may register for applied music when faculty loads permit. All students must have permission from the department to register for lessons.

Applied music classes are structured so students take MUSC 18xx their freshman year and MUSC 29xx their sophomore year. At the end of the freshman and sophomore years all students must pass a barrier examination in order to advance to either MUSC 29xx or upper-division MUSC 39xx status. Students failing these juries will be placed on probationary status and given one semester to raise their performance ability to achieve the next level status. Students failing their second barrier examination will be dismissed from the music program.

Jury examinations are held at the end of each semester of applied study for music majors and minors. The purpose of the jury is to determine student progress in the performance area, serve as a final exam, and be a benchmark performance showing the student’s ability to advance to the next level of applied study. Applied study for music majors and minors is offered at three levels. Level I (freshman year - two semesters), Level II (sophomore year - two semesters), and Level III (upper division - junior and senior years.) Students who remain at Level I or Level II after three semesters of study will be dismissed from the music program. Students who are retained in the music program are expected to achieve Level III (upper-division standing) during their third year of study and a minimum of two semesters of study at Level III must be completed prior to graduation. Additional performance and jury requirements are found in the Music Student Handbook in D2L.

Performance Requirements

All music majors must perform a solo work in public each semester. Freshman music majors are expected to perform once during the year. “In public” includes studio class or recital, department recital, half or full recital, and other public events as approved by the applied instructor.

All music majors, regardless of concentration, must perform a 30-minute half recital. Music performance majors must also perform an hour-long full recital. A student must be admitted to Level III prior to presenting a half or full recital.

Specific information about the recital approval process is available in the Music Student Handbook on D2L.

Piano Proficiency

All music majors are required to meet minimum proficiency levels on piano. Beginning with the first semester of residence, music majors must enroll for piano study, either through group keyboard classes or through private lessons, every semester until the piano proficiency examination is passed. Students with prior piano training may request to take the piano proficiency when they enter into the music program. Music education majors must pass the examination prior to student teaching. Jazz Concentration majors must pass a jazz piano proficiency exam. Specific details about the examination are found in the Music Student Handbook.

Sight-Reading Proficiency

All music majors must successfully pass two sight-reading proficiency examinations. The examination is part of the jury for advancement from one level to another. Students advancing to Level II are expected to sightread at Grade 7 on the Associated Board scale; students advancing to Level III must sight-read at Grade 8.

Independent Musicianship

All music majors must demonstrate the ability to prepare a new piece of music for performance without the assistance of a faculty member. This skill must be demonstrated at the jury during which a student applies for admission to Level III. Details about the requirement can be found in the Music Student Handbook.


Performing experience in ensembles is a vital part of the training of all musicians. Thus, all music majors are required to participate in a major ensemble every semester of full-time enrollment. Jazz Studies majors must enroll for jazz ensemble each semester. Wind and percussion majors in the music education concentration must be in band (wind ensemble or concert band) each semester. Performance majors may substitute orchestra if they hold a regular, permanent position in the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra. Those students must enroll in MUSC 1204 /MUSC 3204  Orchestra. String majors might also enroll for orchestra at Milligan College. Voice majors must participate in choir. Keyboard majors must enroll in MUSC 1272 /MUSC 3272  Accompanying. Jazz Studies majors must enroll for jazz ensemble each semester.

Students are not limited to a specific number of ensembles, but music majors must enroll for a minimum of ten (10) non-ensemble credits each semester of full-time attendance.

Recital Attendance

Attendance at recitals and concerts is considered critical to the education of a musician. Prior to graduation, students must attend a variety of events, as described in the Student Handbook and in the departmental D2L site. Evidence of recital attendance is submitted to the specified faculty member and records are maintained in the D2L site.


All music majors will be assigned an academic advisor upon entrance to the degree program. Students should consult DegreeWorks for specific course requirements in the Bachelor of Music degree. All majors must be advised prior to registration each semester.

Music education majors should consult an academic advisor in the College of Education for the Secondary Education minor.