Wilfrid Laurier University Undergraduate Academic Calendar - 2006/2007
Canadian Excellence

Honours Bachelor of Music

The Honours BMus is a four-year program beyond the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (refer to Undergraduate Admissions chapter for requirements). Depending on the program, a sequence of at least 14.0 Music credits together with at least 4.0 non-music credits is required, for a total of 20.0 credits.

The Honours BMus program is intended for students who plan to become professional musicians: composers, church organists, performers, teachers, musicologists, music librarians, etc.

The core of required courses is designed to ensure that every student completing the program has a sound knowledge of music history and theory, and is a competent performer. Students in the comprehensive program have the most elective credits in which to pursue particular interests in music and in other subjects. The music education stream of the comprehensive program prepares students for teaching music in elementary and secondary schools. Students may apply to enter specialized programs in church music and performance after Year 1, and composition, music history and theory after Year 2.

Program Regulations

All Year 1 and Year 2 music requirements must be completed or in progress while the student is enrolled in MU190A*/B, MU290A*/B/D and MU390A*/B/D. Students must be enrolled full-time while registered in MU190A*/B, MU290A*/B/D, MU390A*/B/D and MU490A*/B/D. Part-time registration may be allowed while enrolled in MU490A*/B/D depending on the student's program and by permission of the dean.

    1. All Year 1 and Year 2 music requirements of the student's program must be completed or in progress when the student enrols in MU290*.
    2. Individual tuition (MU190*, MU290*, MU390*, MU490*) must be taken in consecutive years.
    3. Rule (a) takes precedence over rule (b) but if rule (b) is broken, the student must successfully complete an audition before resuming individual tuition.


  1. Students entering the Honours BMus program must take a piano proficiency test prior to the beginning of classes. If the faculty deems it necessary, registration in MU110 (piano proficiency) is required in Year 1.
  2. Failure to obtain the required standards in any year of the program will necessitate withdrawal from the program.
  3. Students in specialized programs (church music, composition, music history, performance and theory) must at the end of each year be recommended by the faculty in order to continue in those programs.
  4. A student who satisfies the requirements for a musical skills course by placement examination must take a music elective in its place. Before registering in MU385, a student must complete the final examination for MU287° with a minimum grade of B-.
  5. Students in BMus Performance programs may take MU195, MU295 and MU395 as Music electives. Students in all other BMus programs may credit MU195 or MU295 or MU395 as a Music elective. Any two of these courses may be substituted for MU490A*.
  6. Non-music general major or minor: students may, in consultation with the department concerned, elect to organize their non-music electives to meet the requirements for a minor or general major. (Refer to the regulations governing Minors and General Major programs in the Faculty of Arts or the Faculty of Science chapter.)

    Students admitted prior to September 2007, who have not allowed an 18-month lapse in course registration and are in good standing in their program/major, may declare a general major. As of September 2007, general majors will no longer be available for newly-admitted students.

  7. For the Progression/Graduation Requirements
    and Probation regulations, consult the University Undergraduate Regulations chapter.


Programs of Study:


This program allows the student to choose a maximum number of Music elective credits in order to design a program of study in accordance with the student's own musical interests.

Core credits required of all Honours BMus students:
MU161, MU162, MU171, MU181, MU186°, MU187°, MU190A*, MU266, MU268 (MU264* may count in lieu of MU266 and MU268), MU270, MU271, MU281, MU286°, MU287°, MU385.

Other credits required in the comprehensive program:
Principal Practical Studies: MU290A*, one of MU396 or MU390A* and one of MU496 or MU490A*, with the extra half credit(s) earned by taking MU390A* and/or MU490A* counting as music electives.
Ensemble: MU381, MU481
Post-Tonal and Contemporary: two of MU375, MU379, MU461 and MU462
Music History: an additional 0.5 credit from the Music 370 series or from MU470, MU471, MU472, MU473, MU474
Critical Studies: one of MU377, MU470, MU471, MU472, MU473, MU474
2.0 Music elective credits - students are encouraged to pursue the possibility of completing a 0.5 credit Graduation Project (MU479) in Year 4. Interested students should consult the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Music for the availability of faculty advisors;
2.0 electives that may be Music or non-music
4.0 non-music electives for a total of 20.0 credits.

Comprehensive Program: Music Education Stream

This program is designed for students wishing to pursue a career in teaching music at the elementary or secondary level. It combines the core Music credits of the BMus program with instruction in conducting, instrumental and choral techniques, and methods and philosophy of music education.

Required credits: All core credits listed above in the comprehensive program; MU290A*; MU396, MU496; if MU390A* is elected instead of MU396, MU490A* instead of MU496, the additional credit counts as a Music elective; MU381, MU481, MU367, MU394; MU358 or MU494; MU208 and MU209, or MU250*; 0.5 credit from the MU370 series or MU386, MU470, MU471, MU472, MU473, MU474; MU375 or MU461 or MU462; 1.5 credits from the MU251 series, including courses from three of the following groups, and excluding the group of the principal practical study:
MU251B, MU251C, MU251K
MU251D, MU251E
MU251F, MU251H, MU251L
4.0 non-music elective credits and 1.0 credit that can be Music or non-music.

Students with sufficient documented proficiency on an instrument may be exempted from the relevant techniques course. Non-music electives should be chosen so as to constitute preparation for teaching at least one other subject. MU251T is strongly recommended for students interested in teaching at the secondary level. MU354 is recommended for elementary school teachers.

Church Music

This program is intended for those planning to become organists and choirmasters, possibly to pursue graduate degrees in those areas. A special advantage of this program is the co-operation of the Faculty of Music with Waterloo Lutheran Seminary in chapel services. Students in this program work with the Faculty of Music Chapel Choir, taking part as choristers and organists in regular chapel services, performing music from Gregorian chant to contemporary repertoire.

Required credits: All core courses listed in the Comprehensive program; MU290A*, MU390A*, MU490A*; MU381 and MU481 Chapel Choir; MU375 or MU461 or MU462; MU392A, MU392B, MU394, MU358, MU479, 2.0 Music electives which must include, for organists MU365, MU465, MU292A, MU292B, and for voice majors MU196 and MU296 in organ and an additional 0.5 credit relevant to the program; 4.0 non-music credits.


Students in this program are required to write works for various ensembles and to participate in a composition master class. Those students wishing to continue in the composition program beyond Year 2 must submit a portfolio of their work to the composition faculty. Upon approval, the student can enrol in Year 3 and Year 4 composition courses (MU360* and MU460*), which can be taken by composition majors only. During Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4, students study individually with members of the faculty; in the final year students write an extended work as their graduation composition.

Required credits: All core courses listed above in the comprehensive program; MU251T, MU252, MU260*, MU360*, MU460*, MU290A*, MU396 or MU390A*, MU496 or MU490A*; two of MU361, MU367, MU461, MU462; MU381; and 4.0 non-music electives credits; Music or non-music electives to make a total of 20.0 credits.

Music History

This program allows students to emphasize the academic and research-oriented courses in music. It serves as excellent preparation for graduate work in musicology. Students take at least 4.0 credits in music history, and in their final year write a major research paper.

Required credits: All core courses listed above in the comprehensive program; MU290A*; MU390A* or MU396; MU490A* or MU496;  electives from the MU370 series (1.5 credits) (of which a 0.5 credit may be MU386) excluding MU375, electives form the MU470 series (0.5 credit); MU375; MU478*; Music electives as needed to complete 14.5 credits in Music; 2.0 credits in any of French, German, Italian or Latin; 1.5 additional non-music credit; 2.0 Music or non-music elective credits.


This program is designed for students who intend to become professional performers and teachers of performance. Students who demonstrate at audition time or during Year 1 or Year 2, that they have the potential to succeed as performers may apply to enter this program. Students in Year 1 receive one-hour weekly lessons, while those in Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 receive 1.5 hours of private instruction per week. If exceptional performance abilities are demonstrated at the time of audition, students may, at the recommendation of the audition panel and with permission of the dean, be offered 1.5-hour lessons in Year 1. All performance majors are required, during Year 2 and Year 3, to take part regularly in recitals, and during Year 4 to give a full-length formal solo recital.

Core credits required in all performance programs: All core courses listed above in the comprehensive program; MU290B‡, MU390B‡, MU490B‡; MU375 or MU461 or MU462; 4.0 non-music credits.

Additional credits required in performance areas:

Fortepiano: MU390B‡ and MU490B‡ in fortepiano; MU293; MU373; MU383 or MU483; MU253 (in place of MU281) and MU393; MU386; 0.5 Music elective credit; 1.0 Music or non-music elective credit.

Guitar: MU381; 0.5 credit from the Music 370 series or from MU470, MU471, MU472, MU473, MU474; 2.0 Music elective credits; 1.0 Music or non-music elective credit.  


Historical Instruments: MU381 (Baroque Ensemble) or MU383; MU481 (Baroque Ensemble) or MU483; MU371 or MU372; MU386; 1.0 Music elective credit; 1.0 Music or non-music elective credit.

Orchestral Instruments: MU381, MU387, MU481; 0.5 credit from the MU370 series or from MU470, MU471, MU472, MU473, MU474; 1.0 Music elective credit and 1.0 Music or non-music elective credit. Students whose principal instrument is violin, viola, or violoncello must take MU283, MU383 and MU483; those whose principal instrument is double bass, woodwind, or brass must take one of MU283, MU383, MU483.

Organ: MU292A, MU292B, MU361, MU365, MU367, MU465; 1.0 Music or non-music elective credit.

Piano: MU293; MU373 or MU374; MU181, MU253, and one of MU383 or MU483; MU253 (in place of MU281) and MU393; MU493; 1.0 Music elective credit; 0.5 Music or non-music elective credit.

Voice: MU294, MU298*; MU291; 0.5 credit from the MU370 series or MU386, MU470, MU471, MU472, MU473, MU474; MU381, MU391; 0.5 Music elective credit.


Students in this program complete 4.0 credits in music theory and a minimum of a 0.5 credit in composition. They must, by the time of graduation, have achieved competence on a keyboard instrument equivalent to that required for the satisfactory completion of MU190A*. In Year 4, students will meet the requirements of MU478* by presenting a graduation project in musical analysis or history of theory.

Required credits: All core courses listed above in the comprehensive program; MU361, MU367, MU461, MU462, MU160A, MU478*, MU381, MU290A*, MU390A*, MU490A*; 0.5 credit from the MU370 series or from MU470, MU471, MU472, MU473, MU474; 1.5 Music elective credits; 4.0 non-music credits; 1.0 senior Music elective credit dealing with aesthetic and/or theoretical issues may be substituted for MU478*.


Senate/Editorial Changes

Senate November 14, 2006: Changes to Music History program