No More Mayonnaise Rice: A Music Major for the Masses
Rianna Turner 12:39 am, Sep 07, 2018
On this campus, it often seems as though everyone and their roommate is some kind of musician. The quiet boy downstairs plays the cello; every third person you pass on Cross Campus sports the emblem of some a cappella group; your suitemate unveils her alto sax a month into sophomore year — and how did you not know about this talent of hers before?
But for all the vibrancy of Yale’s arts and culture scene, there are not actually that many music majors — just nine students were granted music degrees in the 2016–17 academic year, according to the University’s Office of Institutional Research, which pale in comparison to the 106 degrees conferred in history and 143 in economics.
These numbers may change alongside the major’s updated requirements, which went into effect this semester. The changes broaden the scope of the major, thereby attracting a wider array of students into the department. Perhaps more critically, the changes also reflect a desire to redefine what it means to be a music major, rejecting a traditional framework of Western-centric music education often criticized for its elitism.
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