Commercial Music Major

To prepare students personally and professionally for careers in the music industry, the Department of Commercial Music focuses on integrating skills in the areas of music business, composition and arranging, live and studio performance, audio recording, and production. The combination of internship opportunities, a growing network of working APU alumni, and a faculty of experienced professionals offers students access to strategic links within the Los Angeles music industry.  

The Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music program seeks to produce broadly prepared musicians with the skills required for a variety of careers in commercial music, and who are able to teach themselves skills and practices in an ever-changing commercial music industry.

Students pursuing this program select from one of five tracks: Audio Recording, Composing/Arranging, Instrumental Performance, Music Business, or Vocal Performance.

Coursework

General Education Requirements for the Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music

GE 100First-Year Seminar3
WRIT 110Writing 1: The Art and Craft of Writing3
Writing 23
Humanities: Literature3
Social Science3
Natural Science4
Biblical, Theological, and Philosophical Formation
MIN 108Christian Life, Faith, and Ministry3
UBBL 100Introduction to Biblical Literature: Exodus/Deuteronomy3
UBBL 230Luke/Acts3
PHIL 100Introduction to Philosophy3
or HUM 224 Core Texts in Philosophy
or HUM 324 Core Texts in Philosophy
Upper-Division Bible Elective3
Theology3
Personal and Social Responsibility
Intercultural Competence3
Total Units40

Commercial Music Tracks

Students must select one of the tracks listed below; they may select more than one track but should be aware that doing so will almost certainly require more than 8 semesters to complete. There is a minimum grade requirement for certain courses in each track. See the appropriate footnote.

Audio Recording Track

Piano Proficiency4
Music Theory12
Music Theory I (F/S, Fr, So) 1
Music Theory II (F/S, Fr, So)
Music Theory III (F/S, So, Jr)
Music Theory IV (F/S, So, Jr)
Practical Musicianship4
Practical Musicianship I (F/S, Fr, So)
Practical Musicianship II (F/S, Fr, So)
Practical Musicianship III (F/S, So, Jr)
Practical Musicianship IV (F/S, So, Jr)
Music History9
Writing 3: Baroque, Classical, and Early Romantic Music Literature (F/S, Jr) 2
History and Literature of Commercial Music (F, Jr)
Late Romantic and 20th-Century Music Literature (F/S, Sr) 3
Applied Music16
Ensemble Requirement 48
Other Requirements
MUS 296Introduction to Music Technology (F/S, Fr)2
MUS 441Music in Worship (F/S, Jr, Sr)3
MUS 210Performance Forum (F/S, 8 semesters)0
Commercial Music Courses 5
MUS 107Advanced - Intermediate Piano Class1
MUS 223Web-Based Tools (S, Jr)2
MUS 323Arranging and Rehearsal Technique3
MUS 327Audio I2
MUS 328Audio II3
MUS 337Music Business I2
MUS 349Intermediate Logic Pro3
MUS 467Advanced Pro Tools2
MUS 472Audio For Post Production2
MUS 474Music Career Development (F, Sr)2
MUS 494Commercial Music Internship2
MUS 491Senior Recital (Students may take either MUS 491 or 492, F/S, Sr) 60
or MUS 492 Senior Project in Commercial Music
MUS 495Production Techniques2
MUS 394Critical Listening Skills For Audio Recording Professionals2
Commercial Music Elective 73
Total Units89

Composing/Arranging Track

Piano Proficiency4
Music Theory12
Music Theory I (F/S, Fr, So) 1
Music Theory II (F/S, Fr, So)
Music Theory III (F/S, So, Jr)
Music Theory IV (F/S, So, Jr)
Practical Musicianship4
Practical Musicianship I (F/S, Fr, So)
Practical Musicianship II (F/S, Fr, So)
Practical Musicianship III (F/S, So, Jr)
Practical Musicianship IV (F/S, So, Jr)
Music History9
Writing 3: Baroque, Classical, and Early Romantic Music Literature (F/S, Jr) 2
History and Literature of Commercial Music (F, Jr)
Ancient, Renaissance, and World Music Literature
Late Romantic and 20th-Century Music Literature (F/S, Sr) 3
Applied Music18
(8 units in applied performance and 10 units of applied composition)
Ensemble Requirement 48
Other Requirements
MUS 296Introduction to Music Technology (F/S, Fr)2
MUS 441Music in Worship (F/S, Jr, Sr)3
MUS 210Performance Forum (F/S, 8 semesters)0
Commercial Music Courses 5
MUS 107Advanced - Intermediate Piano Class1
MUS 223Web-Based Tools (S, Jr)2
MUS 322Score Preparation and Printing2
MUS 323Arranging and Rehearsal Technique3
MUS 327Audio I2
MUS 337Music Business I2
MUS 349Intermediate Logic Pro3
MUS 423Orchestration I3
MUS 428Arranging II2
MUS 473Composing for Film and Television3
MUS 474Music Career Development (F, Sr)2
MUS 491Senior Recital (Students may take either MUS 491 or 492, F/S, Sr) 60
or MUS 492 Senior Project in Commercial Music
MUS 494Commercial Music Internship2
MUS 495Production Techniques2
Total Units89

Instrumental Performance Track

Piano Proficiency4
Music Theory12
Music Theory I (F/S, Fr, So) 1
Music Theory II (F/S, Fr, So)
Music Theory III (F/S, So, Jr)
Music Theory IV (F/S, So, Jr)
Practical Musicianship4
Practical Musicianship I (F/S, Fr, So)
Practical Musicianship II (F/S, Fr, So)
Practical Musicianship III (F/S, So, Jr)
Practical Musicianship IV (F/S, So, Jr)
Music History9
Writing 3: Baroque, Classical, and Early Romantic Music Literature (F/S, Jr) 2
History and Literature of Commercial Music (F, Jr)
Late Romantic and 20th-Century Music Literature (F/S, Sr) 3
Applied Music16
Ensemble Requirement 48
Other Requirements
MUS 296Introduction to Music Technology (F/S, Fr)2
MUS 361Introduction to Conducting (F, Jr)2
MUS 441Music in Worship (F/S, Jr, Sr)3
MUS 210Performance Forum (F/S, 8 semesters)0
Commercial Music Courses 5
MUS 107Advanced - Intermediate Piano Class1
MUS 223Web-Based Tools (S, Jr)2
MUS 323Arranging and Rehearsal Technique3
MUS 324Songwriting2
MUS 327Audio I2
MUS 337Music Business I2
MUS 423Orchestration I3
MUS 474Music Career Development (F, Sr)2
MUS 491Senior Recital (F/S, Sr) 60
MUS 494Commercial Music Internship2
MUS 495Production Techniques2
Commercial Music Elective 72
Additional Ensemble Requirement (select from the following four options)6
Jazz and Commercial Ensemble
and Jazz and Commercial Ensemble
Commercial Styles I
and Commercial Styles II
Jazz Improvisation Workshop
and Jazz Improvisation Workshop
Commercial Styles III
and Commercial Styles IV
Total Units89

Music Business Track

Piano Proficiency4
Music Theory12
Music Theory I (F/S, Fr, So) 1
Music Theory II (F/S, Fr, So)
Music Theory III (F/S, So, Jr)
Music Theory IV (F/S, So, Jr)
Practical Musicianship4
Practical Musicianship I (F/S, Fr, So)
Practical Musicianship II (F/S, Fr, So)
Practical Musicianship III (F/S, So, Jr)
Practical Musicianship IV (F/S, So, Jr)
Music History9
Writing 3: Baroque, Classical, and Early Romantic Music Literature (F/S, Jr) 2
History and Literature of Commercial Music (F, Jr)
Late Romantic and 20th-Century Music Literature (F/S, Sr) 3
Applied Music16
Ensemble Requirement 48
Other Requirements
MUS 296Introduction to Music Technology (F/S, Fr)2
MUS 441Music in Worship (F/S, Jr, Sr)3
MUS 210Performance Forum (F/S, 8 semesters)0
Commercial Music Courses 5
MUS 107Advanced - Intermediate Piano Class1
MUS 223Web-Based Tools (S, Jr)2
MUS 323Arranging and Rehearsal Technique3
MUS 324Songwriting2
MUS 327Audio I2
MUS 337Music Business I2
MUS 338Music Business II2
MUS 474Music Career Development (F, Sr)2
MUS 491Senior Recital (Students may take either MUS 491 or 492, F/S, Sr) 60
or MUS 492 Senior Project in Commercial Music
MUS 494Commercial Music Internship (Must be taken twice)2
MUS 495Production Techniques2
BUSI 110Business and Entrepreneurship3
Business or Commercial Music Electives 76
Total Units89

Vocal Performance Track

Piano Proficiency4
Music Theory12
Music Theory I (F/S, Fr, So) 1
Music Theory II (F/S, Fr, So)
Music Theory III (F/S, So, Jr)
Music Theory IV (F/S, So, Jr)
Practical Musicianship4
Practical Musicianship I (F/S, Fr, So)
Practical Musicianship II (F/S, Fr, So)
Practical Musicianship III (F/S, So, Jr)
Practical Musicianship IV (F/S, So, Jr)
Music History9
Writing 3: Baroque, Classical, and Early Romantic Music Literature (F/S, Jr) 2
History and Literature of Commercial Music (F, Jr)
Late Romantic and 20th-Century Music Literature (F/S, Sr) 3
Applied Music16
Ensemble Requirement 48
Other Requirements
MUS 296Introduction to Music Technology (F/S, Fr)2
MUS 361Introduction to Conducting (F, Jr)2
MUS 441Music in Worship (F/S, Jr, Sr)3
MUS 210Performance Forum (F/S, 8 semesters)0
Commercial Music Courses 5
MUS 107Advanced - Intermediate Piano Class1
MUS 223Web-Based Tools (S, Jr)2
MUS 323Arranging and Rehearsal Technique3
MUS 324Songwriting2
MUS 327Audio I2
MUS 337Music Business I2
MUS 474Music Career Development (F, Sr)2
MUS 491Senior Recital (F/S, Sr) 60
MUS 494Commercial Music Internship2
MUS 495Production Techniques2
Commercial Music Electives 75
Additional Applied Music
MUS 389
MUS 390
Commercial Styles I
and Commercial Styles II
2
MUS 407
MUS 408
Commercial Styles III
and Commercial Styles IV
2
Select one of the following2
Jazz and Commercial Ensemble
and Jazz and Commercial Ensemble
Jazz Improvisation Workshop
and Jazz Improvisation Workshop
Total Units89

Course Requirements Legend

Course Requirement Availability: Recommended Year:
F = Offered every fall Fr = Freshman
S = Offered every spring So = Sophomore
E = Even year Jr = Junior
O = Odd year Sr = Senior

Music Theory Proficiency

The Music Theory Placement Examination is given to incoming students who are not transferring credit for Music Theory I from another college or university. This examination measures the student’s background in music theory and ensures placement at the appropriate level. The examination may be taken online. Students who are not ready for Music Theory I take MUS 120, and upon successful completion of MUS 120, begin the music theory sequence in the next semester. Music theory is taken in sequential order (I, II, III, IV). Before advancing to the next level, a grade of C or better is required. If a C or better is not achieved at any level, the course must be repeated.

Practical Musicianship

Practical musicianship is taken in sequential order (I, II, III, IV). Before advancing to the next level, a grade of C or better is required. If a C or better is not achieved at any level, the course must be repeated.

Introduction to Music Technology

A grade of C or better is required in MUS 296 Introduction to Music Technology, or the course must be repeated.

Piano Proficiency

Commercial music students are required to take the five-semester piano proficiency sequence, MUS 103-107, at the beginning of their commercial music program. A grade of C or better is required at each level or the course must be repeated. Students may, by audition, be allowed to waive one or more of these courses because of previous piano experience.

Grade-point Average and Minimum Grade Requirements

Music students must maintain a 2.5 GPA for all upper-division music courses (those classified as 300 and 400 level). Students with a cumulative GPA lower than 2.0 or who are on probation are not eligible to participate in a performing group other than Masterworks Chorale. A grade of C or better is required in all courses listed under the subheading Commercial Music Courses, or the course must be repeated. See appropriate footnote.

Performance Forum

MUS 210 meets every Monday at 4:20 p.m. and features a variety of presentations including student recitals, guest artists, and lecturers. Music students must be continuously enrolled in Performance Forum for eight semesters. This class is graded pass/fail based on attendance. Students who do not pass the course will be required to take MUS 353 Concert Music to make up the deficiency. Transfer students must enroll in MUS 210 and an approved ensemble every semester in attendance, up to eight semesters.

Recital Performance

Each performance major must present a solo performance annually in a student recital. This requirement can be met through either a Performance Forum student recital, junior recital, or senior recital. Non-performance majors must present a solo performance annually in either a studio recital, typically scheduled by the applied music instructor, or Performance Forum student recital. In the case of a student who is taking instruction in more than one applied area, recital performance is required only in the primary applied area.

Senior recitals are required of all performance majors during their senior year. Bachelor of Music students pursuing either the Instrumental Performance track or Vocal Performance track must present a junior and a senior recital and register for MUS 491 when preparing their senior recital.

Students giving junior or senior recitals should follow the guidelines in the Azusa Pacific University School of Music Recital Confirmation Packet (available through the School of Music office).

Applied Music

  1. Students must take at least 16 units in their primary applied area.
  2. Students must take 2 units of applied lessons the semester of their senior recital.
  3. Jury examinations are required each semester for all students taking applied lessons. Presentation of a junior or senior recital fulfills this requirement.
  4. All students, in conjunction with the instructor, are responsible for securing an accompanist for juries by the indicated deadlines. There are three ways to secure an accompanist:
    1. Faculty may request an accompanist with the Accompanist Request Form available in the School of Music office by the indicated deadlines.
    2. Faculty may request a specific accompanist by submitting an Accompanist Request Form available in the School of Music office by the indicated deadlines.
    3. If no Accompanist Request Form is submitted, or is requested after the published deadlines, faculty members are responsible to secure an accompanist for their students.
  5. Applied lessons:
    1. Grades for applied lessons are issued based on a minimum of 12 lessons per semester. The grade will be lowered if the student attends fewer than the minimum of 12 lessons. Additionally, if the student does not meet the annual mandatory solo performance requirement, an F will be assigned for the spring semester applied grade.
    2. The area director will assign an instructor.
    3. When the student is ill and notifies the teacher in advance, a makeup lesson will be rescheduled if possible. Students should consult their Applied Music course syllabus to determine what constitutes sufficient advanced notice. “No-show” students do not receive makeup lessons.

Voice Class

All music majors without voice as their major performance area must take one semester of Voice Class or Applied Voice.

Ensemble Requirement

In each of eight semesters as music majors, students must participate in an appropriate performance ensemble. The information for the appropriate ensemble for each degree and concentration is clearly articulated in the Undergraduate Music Student Handbook and further communicated through the music student advisement process. Membership in multiple ensembles in a given semester counts as only one semester toward the ensemble requirement. Transfer students must participate in a performance ensemble each semester until they graduate or accumulate eight semesters.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Command of Skills: Demonstrate a command of skills required for comprehensive musicianship, including sight singing/ear training, functional keyboard, music technology, and analysis.
  2. Contextual Understanding: Demonstrate understanding of music in historical, cultural, and stylistic context.
  3. Creative or Interpretive Utilization: Demonstrate creative or interpretive utilization of skills and contextual understanding.
  4. Career-Oriented Application: Demonstrate career-oriented application of skills.
  5. Music and Faith: Demonstrate appropriate understanding of the intersection of music and faith.