Minor in Music Literature

The Music Literature track approximates the Music Literature minor of a Bachelor of Music program of any reputable Conservatory or College of Music. The graduate of this track should have a critical grasp of Western and Philippine music history, a rudimentary grasp of music theory, and have developed a cultivated taste in listening to live concerts and recordings of serious music. He or she should be fairly adept at music research, able to write program notes of standard concert repertoire, and eventually try his or her hand at music criticism.
RATIONALE. Philippine society needs writers of both classical and popular music, ones that will shape the taste of present and future generations of music lovers. Journalists can misuse the term “music impresario” or “music critic” without the proper education in music literature and without the necessary experience in the critical listening of the various genres of the field. Both professions require cultivated taste, at the very least.
The Music Literature minor is designed to develop this cultivated taste for the musical arts in a systematic fashion. After the student’s orientation on the written language of music and on the traditions of playing music through 500 years of Western music history, a course on basic music research will develop a proper writing style for program notes that will eventually, through enough experience, lead to sound and healthy music criticism. A required course in Philippine Music will give the student a local perspective of performance practice and research that is rooted in both native and Western influences.
The music electives give the student a free hand in further studies on a particular genre of music, e.g., Asian music or musical forms of the West (symphonic music, liturgical music, opera, Latin American music, etc.).
Graduates of this minor can work as music writers and researchers of cultural foundations like the CCP, NCCA, and the MCO Foundation. They can also teach music appreciation at the primary and secondary levels. Ideally, they should be equipped to write about music in print media: reviews of concerts and recordings, articles about music in general, its aesthetics, and its role in an individual’s mental development and emotional growth.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS. The student fulfills the requirements of the Minor in Music Literature upon passing, with a minimum grade of C, the courses listed below:
First Semester, 3 units each: IS 121.3; IS 121.7
Second Semester, 3 units each:  IS 121.8*; IS 161.6
First or Second Semester, 3 units: IS Music Elective
*prerequisite: IS 121.3
Total: 15 units
The student will receive a certificate and a notation on their transcript of records indicating their completion of the program.

IS 121.3: DEVELOPMENT OF MUSIC IN WESTERN SOCIETY. A general survey of music in Western history from ancient classical cultures to the early modern period. Developments will be examined within the historical context, taking into account the multiple influences of social, cultural, political, and other relevant forces.
IS 121.7: RUDIMENTS OF MUSIC. This course orients the music literature track / minor on the written language of music—Notation, Scales, Intervals, Transposition, Chords, Cadences, Non-harmonic Tones, Melodic Organization, Basic Tonal Harmony in four voices—and on Aural Skills: Rhythmic, Melodic and Functional Dictation, Interval Identification, and Sight Singing.
IS 121.8: BASIC MUSIC RESEARCH AND CRITICISM (prerequisite: DEVELOPMENT OF MUSIC IN WESTERN SOCIETY). This first course in musicology is an introduction to reliable and recently revised sources of music research for writing program notes. It aims to develop good taste in listening to live and recorded music, an essential ingredient in music criticism.
IS 161.6: PHILIPPINE MUSIC AND CULTURE. The course is a general survey of Philippine music from native, tribal, and ethnic beginnings to Muslim, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, and American influences. Developments will be examined within the historical context, taking into account the multiple influences of social, cultural, political, and other relevant forces. Philippine culture of the 21st century will also be explored through the OPM and entertainment industry.
IS 121.6: AN INTRODUCTION TO OPERA. This layman’s first course in the opera as a genre aims to heighten its appreciation as an art form through the survey of its development over the last 400 years. Includes lecture and film showing.
IS 121.9: PHILIPPINE TRADITIONAL SONG FORMS OF THE 20TH CENTURY. This course examines the evolution of the Kundiman, Balitaw, Kumintang, and Danza from 1900 to the present times and establishes the elements that set them apart from the pop culture that developed after World War II.
IS 121.10: ART SONG AS CONDENSED OPERA. This is the erudite music lover’s course in the fusion of music and poetry of the 19th century, a survey of standard German, French, and Russian art songs that exemplify the concept of “Art Song as language.”
121.11: SONATA, SYMPHONY, AND CONCERTO. This course surveys the development of the sonata–allegro form from the 18th to the 20th centuries. It includes form analysis and critical listening of the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Prokofiev.
IS 121.12: WAGNER’S RING: A 21ST CENTURY APPROACH (prerequisite: INTRODUCTION TO OPERA). This course is a philosophical, sociopolitical, and psychological approach to Wagner’s 16-hour opera cycle that is based on Nordic mythology. It establishes the relevance of the work for present times in every scene of every act, revealing allusions to power play, corruption, retribution, and enlightenment.
IS 121.13: FORM ANALYSIS OF 18TH CENTURY WORKS (prerequisite: RUDIMENTS OF MUSIC). This course is an orientation in basic harmonic, form, and motive analysis of small and large works of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven that aims for a more critical listening of works of the 18th century, a period that called for more structure and balance in music.
IS 121.14: PROGRAM MUSIC OF THE 19TH CENTURY. This course surveys the attempts at the dissolution of classical forms that led to a musical genre that would be the seed for 20th century film music.
IS 121.15: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL OF THE 20TH CENTURY. This course is a mapping of how three centuries of opera comique gave birth to a popular genre (music theater) developed in England and the USA.
IS 121.16: ASIAN MUSIC. A survey of the musical output of the old and older world of East and Southeast Asia and of its socio-anthropological implications and influences in the music of the 20th century.

  1. Get and accomplish a Load Revision Form (LRF) from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (ADAA) office.
  2. Present your LRF to the IS Department, have it signed by the Chair or the Music coordinator, and then accomplish the Minor in Music Literature Application Form (to be submitted to the secretary).
  3. Enroll in the 4 required subjects and in any music elective of choice.
  4. Complete all required & music elective subjects with a grade no lower than C.
  5. After taking all the required subjects, submit to the IS Department a photocopy of your grade report or print-out of grades from your home department to receive a certificate of completion and the proper notation in your transcript of records.