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Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance and Sacred Music (Curriculum A)

The Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance and Sacred Music (Curriculum A) is designed for those who wish to work in performance, church music, or teaching. Organists desiring to teach in elementary or secondary schools should elect a curriculum in the Department of Music Education.

Pre-college Music Preparation

A secure grasp of technique and musicianship from piano study. A student planning to major in organ should be able to play such repertory as the preludes and fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach, classical sonatas, selected etudes by Chopin, and a significant modern work.


  • Core Curriculum
  • Minimum of eight terms of private instruction in organ (including the Core requirement)
  • Instruction in piano, beyond the Core, as recommended by the department
  • Two conducting courses (315 and 316)
  • Nine hours of upper-level theory courses beyond the Core
  • Two organ literature courses (481 and 482)
  • Four courses in sacred music (483, 484, 490 and 491)
  • Early music 450: Basso Continuo
  • Thirty hours of non-music courses including the University's English requirement (included in the Core) and two terms of French, German or Spanish
  • Presentation of a memorized recital
  • Electives to complete a total of 120 hours

Minimum Repertory Requirements for graduation

At least three works by German baroque composers before Bach; one French baroque suite or selected movements from several works that would be equivalent to a six to eight-movement suite; two works by Italian, English, or Iberian composers before 1750; works of J.S. Bach including at least four smaller chorale preludes (Orgelbüchlein, Neumeister Collection or similar), two larger chorale preludes (Clavierübung III, Leipzig Chorales, Schübler Chorales or similar), one trio sonata, and four free works (prelude and fugue, toccata and fugue, etc.); one work by an 18th-c. composer after 1750; three works by 19th-c. German composers such as Brahms, Mendelssohn, or Rheinberger; one work of Franck; three additional works by French symphonic composers such as Widor, Guilmant or Vierne; eight works by 20th and 21st-c. composers. Sacred music classes include additional requirements in hymn-playing, accompaniment and improvisation. Repertoire should include works by American composers, women composers, living composers and composers outside the European tradition, as well as works for organ and other instruments or voice. Substitutions may be made in any category with the approval of the faculty. Works performed for juries and the degree recital are to be memorized, with the exception of ensemble works and works in challenging contemporary idioms.


Information on Dual Degree Programs

Bruhns, Praeludium in G Minor

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Photography Credits:

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Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

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