Skip to Main Content

The University of Tennessee

Undergraduate Academic Programs

Frequently Used Tools:


Music (B.A.) Major Guide for 2008-2009

What is Music (B.A.)

Music can be defined as an aural art. When most people think about musicians, they think about people that make music. But musicians work as performers, as administrators in the arts, as therapists, and as teachers. You should consider majoring in music if you love music and want to convey this love of music to others.

The Bachelor of Arts in music is designed for those students who have a strong interest in music, but desire a comprehensive liberal studies program. The primary goals are the development of basic musicianship, the ability to perform literature well, and an introduction to a set of principles and terms that lead to a fuller intellectual grasp of the art.
This major is especially ideal for students wishing to major in another area as well as music (double major).

Career Opportunities in Music (B.A.)

This degree is an appropriate background for prospective candidates for advanced degrees who are preparing for such careers as musicologists, composers, music librarians, arts administrators, and music therapists.

Salary Trends in Music (B.A.)

A degree in arts and sciences prepares students for many types of careers. Your college major is not necessarily the deciding factor in your career choice. As with any degree, pre­professional experience (for example, volunteering, work experience, and internships) increases your chances of obtaining the job you want and affects your potential salary. As a group, graduates in Bachelor of Arts programs average an annual starting salary of $35,000.

High School Preparation

To prepare for a degree in music, perform as much as possible. Take part in the chorus, the band, and the orchestra in your high school. Take private music lessons to help prepare you for the audition. Take any music theory, ear training, music history, or appreciation courses offered by your school. Listen to as much music and as many varied types of music as you can. Attend concerts in your area. And above all, practice!

How to Major in Music (B.A.)

All new music students (freshmen and transfers) must perform an audition on your major instrument and take a music theory examination, the results of which will determine your placement in applied music and theory. Both the audition and the theory exam should be completed during a visit to the university prior to your ar­rival to begin classes. Applicants are urged to schedule an audition via the School of Music website as early as possible.
No student officially progresses to a major in music until both the audition and the entrance examination have been successfully completed.

Requirements for Music (B.A.)

There are two tracks in the BA program in music: The BA in Music and the BA in Music and Culture.

The BA in Music is designed for students with an interest in performing music. It includes the core music classes: music theory and ear training, Form and Analysis, music history, applied music, and solo class. As a music major you are required to participate in an ensemble every semester. In your junior or senior year, you are required to either perform a recital, write a research paper on some aspect of music theory and history, or take a course in the aesthetics of music.

The BA in Music and Culture offers students the opportunity to study music with an emphasis on historical and ethnographic approaches. This interdisciplinary degree aims to highlight music as a culturally expressive form. Courses in this degree include music history, music theory and ear training, jazz theory, applied music and solo class, performance experience, ensemble, and interdisciplinary courses.

The remainder of your courses of both concentrations (120 hours) are structured the same as for any BA program in the College of Arts and Sciences. You can take courses that interest you and are applicable to your future careers.

Highlights of Music (B.A.)

Most students in the School of Music find their ensemble participation to be one of the highlights of their coursework. You can participate in many different ensembles including Symphony Orchestra, Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Men’s and Women’s Chorale, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic and Concert Band, The Pride of the Southland Marching Band, Big Band Jazz Ensemble, and various small jazz ensembles. The School of Music presents over 160 concerts each year.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

"Ready for the World” is part of a long-range plan to transform the UTK campus into a culture of diversity that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century.  Thus students are encouraged to actively participate in the diverse cultural programs offered on campus.  Some of these events include the guest lecture series, cultural nights at the International House, and international film screenings.  Visit the Center for International Education website ( or the Ready for the World website ( for more information on upcoming cultural programs and activities. 
Students are also encouraged to develop a global perspective within their academic program through study abroad.  Visit the Programs Abroad Office website ( for information on study abroad opportunities.

Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English Composition 6
Natural Science Lab Sequence 8
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Music Theory 110, 120 6
Music Theory 130, 140 1,1
Music Performance 100 level 1,1
Music General 200 0,0
Musicology 110 3
Music Ensemble 1,1
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Natural Science 3
Foreign Language 6
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning 3
Music Theory 210, 220 6
Music Theory 230, 240 1,1
Musicology 210, 220 6
Music Performance(200 level or above) 2,2
Music General 200 0,0
Music Ensemble 1,1
Junior Year Credit Hours
Electives or Foreign Language 0-6
Humanities (Upper-Division*) 3
Humanities 3
Non-US History 6
Social Science 6
Music Theory 310 3
Music Performance (200 level or above) 2,2
Senior Year Credit Hours
Musicology 350 or 380 3
Music Elective (Upper-Division*) 0-3
Upper Level Distribution 6
Social Science (Upper Division*) 6
Communicating Through Writing(Upper-Division*) 3
Communicating Orally (Upper-Division*) 3
Upper Division Electives 7-15
GRAND TOTAL (minimum) 120

*At least 42 hours at the 300-level or above are required.

For More Information

Associate Director for
Undergraduate Studies
School of Music Office
211 Music Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-2600
(865) 974-3241



The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.