Music theory is concerned with how music works, and uses analysis to identify musical relationships, structures, and the procedures composers follow in the process of creating music. In seeking a deeper understanding of music, theorists employ analytic methods and modes of inquiry similar to those used in other disciplines, such as language study, literary criticism, mathematics, and psychology.
Whereas some study of music theory is required for all music majors, those with an emphasis in theory at the undergraduate level combine studies in performance, history, and other subjects with upper-level courses in music analysis and related topics. Advanced study in theory is useful for performers, conductors, composers, and other musicians who seek to elevate the level of their artistry.
At the graduate level, degrees in music theory are typically directed towards acquiring college-level teaching positions and producing scholarly work. Graduate degrees offered in UConn's Department of Music include the Master of Arts degree in music theory and a joint theory-history Ph.D. degree. For further information on these programs, consult the Handbook for Graduate Music Students.
Applied Music, listed in the university catalog as MUSI 1222 and MUSI 3222, consists of private study of an instrument or voice with a member of the Department of Music faculty. The student's major determines the number of credits of Applied Music taken each semester. Some undergraduate degrees require the student to progress to upper division performance status. Admission to upper division performance status is achieved by passing a promotional jury, typically taken at the end of the sophomore year.
As with all lessons, the main emphasis is on performing. Lessons will address technical and musical skills in order to improve the student's performance ability and understanding. Musical analysis, history, and other musical skills learned in the course of the student's academic career may be applied during Applied Music, thereby elevating the student's musical awareness.
Students pursuing the BM in Music Theory are required to take seven semesters of Applied Lessons for 2 credits each. Thee of those seven semesters must be in MUSI 3222.