Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music

129 units

General Education: 40 units
Specific Track: 89 units

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, and 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.  

This 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 220Introduction 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 Competence
MUS 201Introduction to World Music3
or MUS 302 Soul Music
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.

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/S, 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
MUS 107Advanced - Intermediate Piano Class1
MUS 223Web-Based Tools2
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 Development2
MUS 494Commercial Music Internship2
MUS 491Senior Recital (Students may take either MUS 491 or 492, F/S, Sr) 50
or MUS 492 Senior Project in Commercial Music
MUS 495Production Techniques2
MUS 394Critical Listening Skills For Audio Recording Professionals2
Commercial Music Elective 63
Total Units89
1

Meets the General Education Humanities: Fine Arts requirement.

2

Meets the General Education Writing 3 requirement.

3

Meets the General Education Humanities: History requirement.

4

See details on the APU website.

5

Meets the General Education Integrated and Applied Learning requirement.

6

Commercial music electives include all courses listed in the tracks not selected by the student as their primary track. Also included are MUS 321 Counterpoint, MUS 422 20th Century Compositional Techniques, MUS 320 Keyboard Improvisation, MUS 423 Orchestration, and 3 units of additional applied lessons. Students may petition to have other upper-division music courses count as commercial music electives.

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/S, 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
MUS 107Advanced - Intermediate Piano Class1
MUS 223Web-Based Tools2
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 Development2
MUS 491Senior Recital (Students may take either MUS 491 or 492, F/S, Sr) 50
or MUS 492 Senior Project in Commercial Music
MUS 494Commercial Music Internship2
MUS 495Production Techniques2
Total Units89
1

Meets the General Education Humanities: Fine Arts requirement.

2

Meets the General Education Writing 3 requirement.

3

Meets the General Education Humanities: History requirement.

4

See details on the APU website.

5

Meets the General Education Integrated and Applied Learning requirement.

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/S, 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
MUS 107Advanced - Intermediate Piano Class1
MUS 223Web-Based Tools2
MUS 323Arranging and Rehearsal Technique3
MUS 324Songwriting2
MUS 327Audio I2
MUS 337Music Business I2
MUS 423Orchestration I3
MUS 474Music Career Development2
MUS 491Senior Recital (F/S, Sr) 50
MUS 494Commercial Music Internship2
MUS 495Production Techniques2
Commercial Music Elective 62
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
1

Meets the General Education Humanities: Fine Arts requirement.

2

Meets the General Education Writing 3 requirement.

3

Meets the General Education Humanities: History requirement.

4

See details on the APU website.

5

Meets the General Education Integrated and Applied Learning requirement.

6

Commercial music electives include all courses listed in the tracks not selected by the student as their primary track. Also included are MUS 321 Counterpoint and MUS 422 20th Century Compositional Techniques.

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/S, 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
MUS 107Advanced - Intermediate Piano Class1
MUS 223Web-Based Tools2
MUS 323Arranging and Rehearsal Technique3
MUS 324Songwriting2
MUS 327Audio I2
MUS 337Music Business I2
MUS 338Music Business II2
MUS 474Music Career Development2
MUS 491Senior Recital (Students may take either MUS 491 or 492, F/S, Sr) 50
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 66
Total Units89
1

Meets the General Education Humanities: Fine Arts requirement.

2

Meets the General Education Writing 3 requirement.

3

Meets the General Education Humanities: History requirement.

4

See details on the APU website.

5

Meets the General Education Integrated and Applied Learning requirement.

6

Commercial music electives include all courses listed in the tracks not selected by the student as their primary track. Also included are MUS 321 Counterpoint, MUS 422 20th Century Compositional Techniques, MUS 320 Keyboard Improvisation, MUS 423 Orchestration, and 3 units of additional applied lessons. Students may petition to have other upper-division music courses count as commercial music electives. Music Business track students may also select electives from BUSI 100 Personal Finance, MGMT 210 Principles of Organization and Management, and ECON 251 Principles of Microeconomics. 

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/S, 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
MUS 107Advanced - Intermediate Piano Class1
MUS 223Web-Based Tools2
MUS 323Arranging and Rehearsal Technique3
MUS 324Songwriting2
MUS 327Audio I2
MUS 337Music Business I2
MUS 474Music Career Development2
MUS 491Senior Recital (F/S, Sr) 50
MUS 494Commercial Music Internship2
MUS 495Production Techniques2
Commercial Music Electives 65
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
1

Meets the General Education Humanities: Fine Arts requirement.

2

Meets the General Education Writing 3 requirement.

3

Meets the General Education Humanities: History requirement.

4

See details on the APU website.

5

Meets the General Education Integrated and Applied Learning requirement.

6

Commercial music electives include all courses listed in the tracks not selected by the student as their primary track. Also included are MUS 321 Counterpoint, MUS 422 20th Century Compositional Techniques, MUS 320 Keyboard Improvisation, MUS 423 Orchestration, and 3 units of additional applied lessons. Students may petition to have other upper-division music courses count as commercial music electives.

Course Requirements Legend

Course Requirement Availability: Recommended Year:
F = Offered every fallFr = Freshman
S = Offered every springSo = Sophomore
Jr = Junior
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.

Music Business I

A grade of C or better is required in MUS 337 Music Business I, 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 Upper-division 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 upper-division courses in the selected commercial music track, or the course must be repeated.

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.

Student Attendance

Students are required to attend a minimum of eight concerts/recitals per year. This requirement must be met under the following criteria: two Artist Concert Series performances and six other recitals or concerts selected from the following: junior recitals, senior recitals, or any School of Music ensemble concerts (excluded from these options are any Bel Canto Women’s Choir and Men’s Chorale concerts). The School of Music office maintains careful attendance records, but students should keep a copy of all programs of recitals they attend for their own records. To help track recital attendance, students may obtain a Recital Attendance Form from the School of Music office. To receive attendance credit, students must fill out and submit an attendance card at the recital. Workshops, off-campus concerts by APU performing groups, or performing in a concert as a member of an ensemble may not qualify for recital attendance credit. Students who do not meet these requirements will be required to take MUS 353 Concert Music to make up the deficiency. 

Concert Music

MUS 353 Concert Music offers redemption for students who have not met the requirements of recital attendance or have failed MUS 210. In extenuating circumstances, students may petition in advance to make up attendance by registering for Concert Music. If this petition is granted, students making up recital attendance in this manner must adhere to the course requirements. Students negligent in fulfilling the requirements of MUS 353 may be called to appear before the School of Music faculty and are subject to disciplinary action and eventual dismissal from the program.

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 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 Arts in Music students with an applied music concentration may prepare a junior recital at the discretion of the applied professor involved and are not required to register for MUS 491when preparing the senior recital. Bachelor of Music in Performance students must present both a junior and a senior recital and register for MUS 491.

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 one applied area.
  2. Students must take at least 1 unit of applied lessons each semester, even if the minimum number of units for their emphasis has been met. 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 selecting an accompanist for juries by the indicated deadlines. There are three ways to select 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 make arrangements 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. “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 a music major, a student must meet the designated performance requirements as listed by emphasis below. Transfer students must participate each semester until they graduate or accumulate eight semesters. Membership in multiple ensembles in a given semester counts as only one semester toward the ensemble requirement. All ensembles listed require audition except Masterworks Chorale.

Performance Area Required Ensemble Remaining Semesters Ensemble Choices
Guitar and Electric BassMasterworks Chorale (one year) MUS 170Chamber Ensemble1 MUS 251, MUS 252, MUS 355, MUS 356
Chapel Band (By audition only with Chapel Programs. For registration, visit the School of Music office.)1
Gospel Choir (Rhythm Section)1 MUS 146, MUS 147, MUS 248, MUS 249, MUS 346, MUS 347, MUS 478, MUS 479
Guitar Ensemble MUS 270
Jazz Combo1 MUS 191, MUS 391
Jazz Ensemble1 MUS 182, MUS 183, MUS 382, MUS 383
Jazz Choir (Rhythm Section)1 MUS 182, MUS 183, MUS 382, MUS 383
Qualifying Small Group (during academic year)1
Studio Orchestra MUS 195
Drums and PercussionMasterworks Chorale (one year) MUS 170Chapel Band (By audition only with Chapel Programs. For registration, visit the School of Music office.)1
Gospel Choir1 MUS 146, MUS 147, MUS 248, MUS 249, MUS 346, MUS 347, MUS 478, MUS 479
Jazz Choir1 MUS 182, MUS 183, MUS 382, MUS 383
Jazz Ensemble1 MUS 182, MUS 183, MUS 382, MUS 383
Percussion Ensemble1 MUS 157, MUS 158, MUS 257, MUS 258, MUS 365, MUS 366, MUS 469, MUS 470
Qualifying Small Group (during academic year)1
Symphonic Band1 MUS 142, MUS 143, MUS 244, MUS 245, MUS 342, MUS 343, MUS 449, MUS 450
Symphony Orchestra1 MUS 271, MUS 272, MUS 371, MUS 372
Wind Ensemble1 MUS 187, MUS 188, MUS 289, MUS 290, MUS 387, MUS 388, MUS 489, MUS 490
PianoMasterworks Chorale (one year) MUS 170Ensemble Accompanist1,2
Chapel Band (By audition only with Chapel Programs. Maximum of one year for credit in this ensemble. For registration, visit the School of Music office.)1
Gospel Choir1 MUS 146, MUS 147, MUS 248, MUS 249, MUS 346, MUS 347, MUS 478, MUS 479
Jazz Choir1 MUS 182, MUS 183, MUS 382, MUS 383
Jazz Ensemble1 MUS 182, MUS 183, MUS 382, MUS 383
StringsSymphony Orchestra (four years) MUS 271, MUS 272, MUS 371, MUS 372N/A
VocalMasterworks Chorale (one year) MUS 170
Chapel Band (By audition only with Chapel Programs. Maximum of one year for credit in this ensemble. For registration, visit the School of Music office.)1
Gospel Choir MUS 146, MUS 147, MUS 248, MUS 249, MUS 346, MUS 347, MUS 478, MUS 479
Jazz Choir MUS 182, MUS 183, MUS 382, MUS 383
WindsSelect four years from:N/A
Symphony Orchestra MUS 271, MUS 272, MUS 371, MUS 372
Wind Ensemble MUS 187, MUS 188, MUS 289, MUS 290, MUS 387, MUS 388, MUS 489, MUS 490
Symphonic Band MUS 142, MUS 143, MUS 244, MUS 245, MUS 342, MUS 343, MUS 449, MUS 450
1

One year in each of at least two different groups is required. Chapel Band rehearsals and performances cannot conflict with the courses needed for the student’s degree.

2

Ensemble accompanists are assigned by the director of piano studies.

Course Requirement Availability: Recommended Year:
F = Offered every fallFr = Freshman
S = Offered every springSo = Sophomore
E = Even YearJr = Junior
O = Odd YearSr = Senior