Music (B.A.) Major Guide for 2011-2012

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 students who wish to pursue careers in:

  • Musicology/ Music History
  • Music Libraries
  • Arts Administration
  • Music Therapy
  • Some students will also pursue graduate studies in areas such as law, political science, history, or anthropology.

Salary Trends in Music (B.A.)

A Bachelor of Arts degree prepares students for many types of careers so it is difficult to predict salary ranges.  As a group, graduates in Bachelor of Arts programs average an annual starting salary of $40,000.  As with any degree, pre­-professional experience (for example, volunteering, work experience, and internships) increases your chances of obtaining the job you want and affects your potential salary.

High School Preparation

To prepare for a degree in music:

  • Perform as much as possible.
  • Perform 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.
  • Read about music history and history in general.

How to Major in Music (B.A.)

All new music students in the Bachelor of Arts program (freshmen and transfer) must

  • Perform an audition on their major instrument.
  • Interview with a member of the musicology faculty (for the BA in Music & Culture)
  • Take a music theory examination.

The audition, interview (if needed), and theory exam can be completed on the day of your audition.  No student progresses to a major in music until the audition, interview, and entrance examination have been successfully completed.

Applicants are strongly urged to register for an audition as early as possible.  Information on the audition process can be found on the School of Music web site (

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, but with other interests as well.  This degree includes core music classes:

  • Music theory and ear training,
  • Form and Analysis,
  • Music history,
  • Applied music,
  • Recital attendance,
  • Ensembles.

In your junior 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 remainder of your courses (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 career.

The BA in Music and Culture offers students the opportunity to study music history 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,
  • interdisciplinary courses in anthropology, medieval studies, or other areas.

The remainder of your courses (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

The School of Music faculty members encourage their majors to acquire a wide range of experiences.  If students can afford and have an interest in studying abroad, the faculty will work with them to make this opportunity as easy as possible.  Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

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

Following this four-year plan will help you stay on track to graduate in four years.  Milestone courses have been identified as the minimum courses that must be completed.

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
Milestone Courses: English 101, two courses in Music 200, Music Theory 110 and 130, Musicology 110 and two music ensemble courses
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
Milestone Courses: English 102, two courses in Music 200, two music performance courses, Music Theory 120 and 140, two music ensemble courses and Musicology 210 or 220
Junior Year Credit Hours
Electives or Foreign Language 0-6
Arts and Humanities (Upper-Division*) 3
Arts and 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

See the School of Music Areas of Study web site:

Or contact the School of Music:
Undergraduate Admissions
School of Music
1741 Volunteer Blvd.
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.