Bachelor of Arts in Music

The Bachelor of Arts in Music is for students to who desire a liberal arts education in music without a strict focus in performance. Students in the BA can pursue a general route as well as pivot toward two concentrations, as follows:

  • BA in Music (General): Offers breadth and depth in a liberal arts music degree and provides students with a large selection of courses within the major and the most flexibility of all the routes in choosing music electives. The General BA route contains sufficient elective credits to be used for those students seeking Music Education licensure.
  • BA in Music with concentration in Musicology and Ethnomusicology: Provides students the opportunity to explore the large-scale relationships between culture, politics, and musical repertories of the Western and non-Western world, from the past to the present. Faculty expertise runs the gamut from the Middle Ages to popular music, from Indonesia to Japan, Africa, and the Americas, and from manuscript studies to oral traditions and technology.
  • BA in Music with concentration in Music Theory: Provides students the opportunity to explore the inner workings of music from all styles and periods in depth, utilizing theoretical, analytical, historical, and cultural perspectives.

Since all three routes have a common first year, BA Music students will normally choose a concentration, if they wish, by the sophomore or junior year.

The BA prepares students for graduate work and academic careers in musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, and composition, and through a choice of electives provides a base to pursue professional careers in music journalism, music librarianship, music publishing, arts management/leadership, and other wide-ranging areas of the music and arts industry.

Unique Opportunities

  • Students may take up to 6 credits of private instrumental or vocal instruction and/or participate in music ensembles toward the degree. Eligibility is determined by audition and faculty availability.
  • Cross-curricular experiences in the College of Fine Arts, including the popular Art Leadership Minor.
  • Flexibility through electives to customize the degree toward making interdisciplinary connections between music and related fields, and toward academic or professional outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a BA in Music are expected to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of music history, theory, and analysis, including formal and compositional idioms from the Middle Ages to the present.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with world music and culture and systems of non-western music making, including popular music.
  • Understand the relationship between music and social justice, race and politics, gender, cultural contexts, and analogous artistic movements.
  • Be able to connect music in a relevant, disciplinary, and interdisciplinary fashion to the effects of shifting practices of listening (societal, personal, digital) and the new modes of transmission.

All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students pursuing the BA in Music will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Historical Interpretation; Quantitative Reasoning; and some requirements in the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

Major Requirements

Students in the major take a combination of core courses in music history, music theory, and musicianship—the amount depending on the concentrationas well as a choice of required electives within the major, and a choice of non-music electives, as outlined below: