Popular Music Studies (B.A)

Program Overview

The popular music studies major presents students with a focused study in 20th- and 21st-century popular music in a unique context that will give them an unrivaled advantage in any professional aspect of popular music.

Students in the program have the opportunity to develop their own groups and to perform and record projects in an interactive and supportive environment. Rider also helps students gain internships that are tailored to their passions and interests.

Students also can get involved with performance groups such as the Brass Band, Rider Choir, Pep Band and student-run ensembles.

Degree Offered

  • B.A. in Popular Music Studies

Contact

Ivan Fuller, Ph.D. 
Professor and Chairperson
Fine Arts 166
609-895-5630
ifuller@rider.edu

Program website: Popular Music Studies
Associated Department: School of Fine and Performing Arts

Related Programs:


Popular Music Studies Major Requirements

** Note that ART 120, MUS 120 or THE 120 do not fulfill any requirements of the major.**

Department Requirements
MUS 106Survey of Music History II3
MUS 110Music Theory I3
MUS 110LMusic Theory I Lab1
MUS 204Jazz History3
MUS 205History of Pop and Rock Part I3
MUS 206History of Pop and Rock Part 23
MUS 213Digital Comp of Pop Music I3
MUS 214Writing about Music3
MUS 216Digital Comp of Pop Music II3
MUS 308World Music3
MUS 498Popular Music Culture Capstone3
Department Electives
Culture/History12
Select two MUS and two non-MUS courses from the following:
Survey of Music History I
Music of the Theater
Great Composers
Cartoon and Anime Culture
Music & Techn/Mobile Society
Postmodernism & Populr Culture
Music of the Beatles
The Music of Radiohead
Film Music
Black Music in America
Selected Topics in Music Perf
American Myth in Literature, Landscape, and Music
American Folklore
The New South in Literature, Music and Film
American Popular Culture
Hip Hop and American Culture
American Identity in the Arts
Social Impact of Rock and Roll
Communication Criticism
Sex & Politics
Media, Culture and Society
Applied/Performance6
Select six credits of MUS courses from this section:
Applied Lessons (1 credit per term)
Applied Lessons require an audition. Up to three half-hour, 1-credit lessons may be taken under full-time tuition. More than three lessons are allowed. Credits above three will tally under “free electives.” Credits above three and full-hour, 2 credit lessons incur a fee.
Ensemble (1 credit per ensemble per term)
More than three semesters of ensemble will (not) be allowed in this section. Credits above three will tally under “free electives.”
Music Theory II
Music Theory II Lab
Beginning Piano I
Beginning Piano II
Music Theory III
Intermediate Piano
Media
Select one of the following:3
Into to Game Design & Development
Business and Art of Recording
Touring and Production Management
Fundamentals of Video Production
Audio Production
Television Production
Music Productn for Mass Media
Advanced Radio Production
Electives
Select 9 additional credits from Department Electives courses (listed above) See note above about applied lessons.9
General Education Requirements
See the School of Fine and Performing Arts General Requirements33
Free Electives
A minimum of 12 elective credits must be at or above the 300 level.26
Total Credits120

Popular Music Studies Minor Requirements

(18 credits)

Required Courses
MUS 204Jazz History3
MUS 205History of Pop and Rock Part I3
MUS 206History of Pop and Rock Part 23
MUS 304Music of the Beatles3
or MUS 307 The Music of Radiohead
MUS 106Survey of Music History II3
or MUS 309 Film Music
Elective
Select one of the following:3
Music of the Theater
Great Composers
Cartoon and Anime Culture
Writing about Music
Music & Techn/Mobile Society
Postmodernism & Populr Culture
Beethoven and the Romantic Age
Contemp Music Experience
World Music
Film Music
Black Music in America
Selected Topics in Music
Total Credits18

Academic Plan of Study

The following educational plan is provided as a sample only.  Rider students who do not declare a major during their freshman year; who change their major; or those who transfer to Rider may follow a different plan to ensure a timely graduation.  Each student, with guidance from his or her academic advisor, will develop a personalized educational plan.

** Note that ART 120, MUS 120 or THE 120 do not fulfill any requirements of the major. **

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Fall SemesterCredits
CMP 120 Expository Writing 3
MUS 205 History of Pop and Rock Part I 3
MUS 213 Digital Comp of Pop Music I 3
Gen Ed 3
Applied/Media Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
CMP 125 Research Writing 3
MUS 110 Music Theory I 3
MUS 110L Music Theory I Lab 1
MUS 206 History of Pop and Rock Part 2 3
MUS 216 Digital Comp of Pop Music II 3
Gen Ed 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Year 2
Fall Semester
MUS 204 Jazz History 3
Culture/History Elective 3
Gen Ed 3
Gen Ed 3
Applied/Media Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
MUS 106 Survey of Music History II 3
MUS 214 Writing about Music 3
Culture/History Elective 3
Gen Ed 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Year 3
Fall Semester
MUS 308 World Music 3
Gen Ed 3
Gen Ed 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
Culture/History Elective 3
Applied/Media Elective 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
Department Elective 3
Culture/History Elective 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
Minor/Free Elective 2
Applied/Media Elective 1
 Semester Credit Hours15
Year 4
Fall Semester
Department Elective 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
Gen Ed 3
Applied/Media Elective 1
Department Elective 1
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
MUS 498 Popular Music Culture Capstone 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
Minor/Free Elective 3
Gen Ed 3
Department Elective 1
Department Elective 1
 Semester Credit Hours14
 Total Credits120

MUS 105 Survey of Music History I 3 Credits

A chronological survey of Western music from the Medieval through the Baroque periods stressing the origin and evolution of musical forms, musical styles, and the important composers before 1750. The relation between the music and the aesthetic movements of each period is studied.

MUS 106 Survey of Music History II 3 Credits

A chronological survey of Western music from the classical through the contemporary periods stressing the origin and evolution of musical forms, musical styles, and the important composers since 1750. The relation between the music and the aesthetic movements of each period is studied.

MUS 109S Basic Music Theory 3 Credits

This is a beginner’s course in music theory. It familiarizes the student with the basic elements (e.g., staff, clefs, time signatures, musical notation, intervals, triads and chords). This course is ideal for both the student wanting to know only the essential, or the student wanting to go on to develop their theoretical skills. For non-music majors, MUS 109S counts toward graduation and grades are awarded on an A-F basis. For music majors, MUS 109S does not count toward graduation, and grading is on a pass (“Y”) or fail (“Z”) basis.

MUS 110 Music Theory I 3 Credits

A practical introduction to the basic elements of music, beginning with the reading of music notation. Practice in scales and chords; ear-training in rhythm and pitch. Techniques may be applied to the student’s own instrument (e.g., guitar, piano, winds) if he or she plays one. Prerequisite(s): MUS 109S or placement.

Corequisite(s): MUS 110L.

MUS 110L Music Theory I Lab 1 Credits

Dictation, aural skills training, sight singing, and keyboard skills to accompany MUS 110 (Music Theory I). Prerequisite(s): MUS 109S or placement.

Corequisite(s): MUS 110.

MUS 111 Music Theory II 3 Credits

Continuation of MUS 110,leading to some original composition. Prerequisite(s): MUS 110 and MUS 110L.

Corequisite(s): MUS 111L.

MUS 111L Music Theory II Lab 1 Credits

Dictation, aural skills training, sight singing, and keyboard skills to accompany MUS 111 (Music Theory II). Prerequisite(s): MUS 110 and MUS 110L or placement.

Corequisite(s): MUS 111.

MUS 120 Music and Society 3 Credits

Introduction to the basic elements of music (rhythm, melody, harmony, etc.) and the appreciation of representative types of music from all historical periods.

MUS 127 Instrumental Ensemble- Band 1 Credits

Ensemble rehearsal and performance of traditional and current concert band music. Maximum of eight credits are accepted in band, choir, and/or theater production.

MUS 128 Choir 1 Credits

Rehearsal and performance of multi-era Western and non-Western repertoire. Instruction in music fundamentals and vocal production. Pitch matching and part-singing abilities must be demonstrated in the first-week sectional hearing.

MUS 129 Contemporary Vocal Ensemble 1 Credits

The objective of the contemporary vocal ensemble course is to allow students to experience the aesthetics of popular music through the study, interpretation and performance of the music. Students will develop their ensemble skills, independent part singing, as they experience a wide range of popular music genres (jazz, pop, R&B, world, etc.) Students must pass an audition to participate in this course.

MUS 130 Music in Children's Lives 3 Credits

Students in this course will study how music interacts in the lives of children as they sing, listen, play instruments and move. Song repertoire and selections for listening and moving from the American, European and non-Western cultures will be introduced. Playing recorder as well as pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments will be demonstrated.

MUS 131 Beginning Piano I 3 Credits

Class approach to learning to play the piano. How to read music, basic piano technique, and appropriate piano pieces and songs are studied.

MUS 132 Beginning Piano II 3 Credits

Continuation of MUS 131. Emphasis on further development of technique and the ability to interpret piano music from a variety of styles.

Prerequisite(s): MUS 131 or equivalent.

MUS 150A Applied Flute 2 Credits

MUS 150B Applied Flute 1 Credits

MUS 150C Applied Flute 2 Credits

MUS 150D Applied Flute 1 Credits

MUS 151A Applied Oboe 2 Credits

MUS 151B Applied Oboe 1 Credits

MUS 151C Applied Oboe 2 Credits

MUS 151D Applied Oboe 1 Credits

MUS 152A Applied Clarinet 2 Credits

MUS 152B Applied Clarinet 1 Credits

MUS 152C Applied Clarinet 2 Credits

MUS 152D Applied Clarinet 1 Credits

MUS 153A Applied Bassoon 2 Credits

MUS 154A Applied Saxophone 2 Credits

MUS 155A Applied French Horn 2 Credits

MUS 156A Applied Trumpet 2 Credits

MUS 156B Applied Trumpet 1 Credits

MUS 156C Applied Trumpet 2 Credits

MUS 156D Applied Trumpet 1 Credits

MUS 157A Applied Trombone 2 Credits

MUS 158A Applied Euphonium 2 Credits

MUS 159A Applied Tuba 2 Credits

MUS 160A Applied Guitar 2 Credits

MUS 160B Applied Guitar 1 Credits

MUS 160C Applied Guitar 2 Credits

MUS 160D Applied Guitar 1 Credits

MUS 160E Applied Guitar 2 Credits

MUS 161A Applied Violin 2 Credits

MUS 161C Applied Violin 2 Credits

MUS 161E Applied Violin 2 Credits

MUS 161G Applied Violin 2 Credits

MUS 162A Applied Viola 2 Credits

MUS 163A Applied Cello 2 Credits

MUS 164A Applied String Bass 2 Credits

MUS 164B Applied String Bass 1 Credits

MUS 164C Applied String Bass 2 Credits

MUS 164D Applied String Bass 1 Credits

MUS 165A Applied Piano 2 Credits

MUS 165B Applied Piano 1 Credits

MUS 165C Applied Piano 2 Credits

MUS 165D Applied Piano 1 Credits

MUS 165G Applied Piano 2 Credits

MUS 166A Applied Organ 2 Credits

MUS 167A Applied Percussion 2 Credits

MUS 167B Applied Percussion 1 Credits

MUS 167C Applied Percussion Elective 2 Credits

MUS 167D Percussion Elective 1 Credits

MUS 168A Applied Voice 2 Credits

MUS 168B Applied Voice 1 Credits

MUS 168C Applied Voice 2 Credits

MUS 168D Applied Voice 1 Credits

MUS 168E Applied Voice 2 Credits

MUS 168F Applied Voice 1 Credits

MUS 168G Applied Voice 2 Credits

MUS 169A Applied Composition 2 Credits

MUS 199 The Arts in Contemporary Civil 3 Credits

An integrated study of the arts and their place in contemporary American life. Includes attendance at several events in art, music, and drama.

MUS 204 Jazz History 3 Credits

Survey from 19th C. roots to 21st C. styles. Development of listening skills and overview of musical skills used by jazz performers. Exploration of the relationship between jazz and poetry, race relations, and the reputation of jazz in popular culture.

Prerequisite(s): CMP 120 or LL 131.

MUS 205 History of Pop and Rock Part I 3 Credits

Students will receive grounding in the origins and flow of popular music up to the break-up of the Beatles. They will learn the musical developments set in their historical and sociological contexts.

MUS 206 History of Pop and Rock Part 2 3 Credits

Students will receive grounding in the developments and flow of popular music from the 1970s to today. They will learn the specific musical developments set in their historical and sociological contexts.

MUS 207 Masterworks in Music 3 Credits

Major works by great composers from different historical periods Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and Wagner, among others are studied. Up to 10 compositions by six composers are covered, with an emphasis on listening to recorded and live performances of representative works.

MUS 208 Music of the Theater 3 Credits

A study of music drama both historical and contemporary covering European opera of the Baroque, classical and romantic periods, and the American musical theatre, especially the contemporary Broadway musical.

MUS 209 Great Composers 3 Credits

A study of selected major composers life, works, and historical significance with an emphasis on the listening experience. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, or others.

MUS 210 Music Theory III 3 Credits

Analysis of musical forms, including binary, rounded binary, ternary, and popular song. Identification of techniques that support musical form, including harmonic language, contrast/repetition, compositional process. Advanced sight singing and aural drills.

Prerequisite(s): MUS 111 and MUS 111L.

MUS 211 Music Theory for Music Theater 3 Credits

Analysis of music theater songs, scenes and scores. Various techniques, placement of examples into historical, musical, artistic, and literary perspective. Reading of full and piano/vocal scores, conducting, orchestration and harmonic language will be emphasized.

Prerequisite(s): MUS 111 and MUS 111L.

MUS 212 Cartoon and Anime Culture 3 Credits

This course investigates the music and culture of animated films and television shows, anime, animated shorts including cartoons, and related incidental music for documentary films.

MUS 213 Digital Comp of Pop Music I 3 Credits

This course is about “the doing of music”. It ties music theory to pragmatic concerns with keyboards and software in the making and distribution of music.

MUS 214 Writing about Music 3 Credits

This course instructs students in the art of writing about music, from small-form criticism to large scale scholarship, focusing especially on the ability to translate what one hears into engaging prose.

Prerequisite(s): CMP 120 and 125, MUS 110, 110L and 213.

MUS 215 Music & Techn/Mobile Society 3 Credits

This course compares the recent history of music technology to past innovations, focusing on the aesthetic implications and ideological influences of an increasingly mobilized musical milieu.

MUS 216 Digital Comp of Pop Music II 3 Credits

This course is about “the doing of music.” It ties music theory to pragmatic concerns with keyboards and software in the making and distribution of music, continuing the content begun in The Digital Composition of Popular Music I.

MUS 217 Black Music in America 3 Credits

This course covers the history of music made by and/or about African Americans, from minstrel shows to hip-hop and everything in between.

MUS 218 Postmodernism & Populr Culture 3 Credits

This course considers music in light of the ideological trends of postmodernism in order to better understand contemporary music in its cultural context.

MUS 233 Intermediate Piano 3-12 Credits

Continuation of MUS 132 with further development of reading skills, piano techniques and interpretation. Each student studies a set of pieces selected together with the instructor tailored specifically to the students’ needs and interests.

MUS 300 Beethoven and the Romantic Age 3 Credits

A study of the Romantic period with particular emphasis on Beethoven. The classical heritage, the transformation of that heritage into romantic terms, the prominent influence of Beethoven on 19th century musical style.

MUS 303 Music Literature: Baroque Era 3 Credits

A survey of European musical styles from c. 1600 to 1750, approached by listening to the music of the period, including Bach, Handel, and many lesser known masters. Topics include the development of modern musical sound, instrumental forms, Lutheran and Catholic church music, and the beginnings of dramatic music.

MUS 304 Music of the Beatles 3 Credits

This course is a very in-depth analysis of the music and personalities of the Beatles. The student will gain in depth insight to the Beatles songs and albums as the course proceeds through the music chronologically. This will be contextualized historically and sociologically where required.

MUS 305 Words and Music 3 Credits

MUS 306 Contemp Music Experience 3 Credits

A survey of European and American musical styles of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Topics include postromantic music, neoclassicism, serialism, electronic music, and the current avant garde.

MUS 307 The Music of Radiohead 3 Credits

This course investigates the music, lyrics, art and marketing strategies of the British so called ”alternative” band, Radiohead, moving song by song through their demos, videos and albums.

MUS 308 World Music 3 Credits

The student is introduced to selected world cultures by listening to and analyzing specific music that is indigenous to each culture. The position and importance of the music within each society will be the main focus of the investigation. Comparing this music to the music of our American culture will provide a basis for judging and interacting with unfamiliar world cultures.

MUS 309 Film Music 3 Credits

A study of music in feature film, documentary film, and television. A chronological survey of film music from silent to contemporary film, animated shorts, and television, with emphasis on listening to recorded performance of representative works.

MUS 312 The Arts Abroad 3 Credits

A two week trip abroad that includes a critical study of music and theater. Students are required to attend all performances, guided tours, and classes before and after the trip.

MUS 315 Black Music in America 3 Credits

This course covers the history of music made by and/or about African Americans, from minstrel shows to hip hop and everything in between.

MUS 350A Applied Flute 2 Credits

MUS 350B Applied Flute 1 Credits

MUS 351A Applied Oboe 2 Credits

MUS 351B Applied Oboe 1 Credits

MUS 352A Applied Clarinet 2 Credits

MUS 353A Applied Bassoon 2 Credits

MUS 354A Applied Saxophone 2 Credits

MUS 355A Applied French Horn 2 Credits

MUS 356A Applied Trumpet 2 Credits

MUS 356B Applied Trumpet 1 Credits

MUS 357A Applied Trombone 2 Credits

MUS 358A Applied Euphonium 2 Credits

MUS 359A Applied Tuba 2 Credits

MUS 360A Applied Guitar 2 Credits

MUS 360B Applied Guitar 1 Credits

MUS 361A Applied Violin 2 Credits

MUS 362A Applied Viola 2 Credits

MUS 363A Applied Cello 2 Credits

MUS 364A Applied String Bass 2 Credits

MUS 364B Applied String Bass 1 Credits

MUS 365A Applied Piano 2 Credits

MUS 365B Applied Piano 1 Credits

MUS 366A Applied Organ 2 Credits

MUS 367A Applied Percussion 2 Credits

MUS 368A Applied Voice 2 Credits

MUS 368B Applied Voice 1 Credits

MUS 368C Applied Voice 2 Credits

MUS 368E Applied Voice 2 Credits

MUS 369A Applied Composition 2 Credits

MUS 490 Independent Research and Study 1-4 Credits

Students may pursue a special topic for which they have prepared through prior course work. Only one project may be scheduled in a semester. The project may involve 1 to 4 Credits. Approval of the faculty sponsor, department chair, and dean required prior to enrollment.

Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing; good academic standing.

MUS 491 Internship in Music 1-4 Credits

Provides junior or senior music majors with the opportunity to gain practical experience working within a professional music environment. Students must be sponsored by a music professor. For each academic credit, interns must work 48 hours for the semester, or approximately 3.7 hours each week.

Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor.

MUS 493 Selected Topics in Music Perf 3 Credits

Intensive study of a particular topic in applied music for the intermediate to advanced student. Students are led to understand the historic and aesthetic elements in music through critical listening, performance, research, and class projects.

MUS 495 Selected Topics in Music 3 Credits

Studies specialized aspects of the literature, history, or theory of music, to supplement the established curriculum. Emphasis on creative investigative work and individual experiences in music.

MUS 498 Popular Music Culture Capstone 3 Credits

The capstone is an independent, student-led project resulting in a material product (recording/performance/event/presentation) that demonstrates a student's interests and skills in the area of popular music.

MUS 499 Senior Honors Program 3 Credits

A senior honors program may be submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for graduation with honors in fine arts. Honors work is limited to those departmental majors with a GPA of 3.5 in fine arts courses and cognates. The program, planned under the direction of a faculty advisor, represents a culmination of demonstrated excellence in a specific area of fine arts. Candidates for honors in fine arts must be approved by the department chairperson and the faculty.