Music (Music and Culture), BA

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The BA in music with a concentration in music and culture offers the most elective flexibility of any ASU music major.  The degree provides skills applicable to careers in music and many other fields (e.g., librarianship, arts festival management/production, criticism, audience educator, recruitment, artist representation, publishing, creative writing). Students may develop mainstream competencies such as performing or writing about Western European musics, conducting, and teaching about music. They may also pursue coursework in popular song writing, beat-making, acoustics, advocacy of wellness through music, dance as musical embodiment, and selected musical competencies of Asia, Latin America, and other areas. Let your imagination shape your degree!

Musicology faculty members include Sabine Feisst, Dave Fossum, Kay Norton, Catherine Saucier, Peter Schmelz, Ted Solis, Christopher J. Wells, and faculty associate Bliss Little.

From the mainstream to the alternative, this program lets your imagination shape your degree.

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The BA in music with a concentration in music and culture is a broadly based liberal-arts degree offering the most elective flexibility of any ASU music major.

The program provides skills applicable to careers in music and many other fields (e.g., librarianship, arts festival management or production, criticism, audience educator, recruitment, artist representation, publishing, creative writing). Students may develop mainstream competencies such as performing or writing about Western European music, conducting and teaching about music. They may also pursue coursework in popular song writing, beat-making, acoustics, advocacy of wellness through music, dance as musical embodiment and selected musical competencies of Asia, Latin America and other areas.

Students explore music as human history, cultural artifact and social behavior, and engage in interdisciplinary thinking and academic research and writing. Because of the high percentage of elective courses, students may tailor both the General Studies courses and the music electives to suit their career goals.

At A Glance

Music (Music and Culture), BA

Required Courses

A major map outlines a major's critical requirements, courses, and optimal course sequence and aids students in remaining on track to graduation.

While circumstances vary between students and their paths towards graduation (utilizing placement testing to fulfill required math or foreign language courses, fulfilling multiple General Studies requirements with one course, etc.), completing the courses listed in a major map fulfills all of the requirements for graduation.

Application requirements

Application Procedures + Requirements

Application Deadlines
Spring 2021: October 15, 2020
Fall 2021: January 5, 2021

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements:

Affording college

Scholarships
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Financial Aid
ASU has many financial aid options. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.

Admission requirements

Important: Applicants must submit an ASU application for undergraduate admission in addition to a separate School of Music application. Students should visit https://music.asu.edu/admissions/undergraduate-steps-to-apply for details. Admission to the School of Music is based on an audition. Live auditions take place on campus in November (spring admission) and in January and February (fall admission) of each year. Review audition information at http://music.asu.edu/admissions/undergraduate-auditions.

Admission to the School of Music is highly selective and based on an audition process. Students are admitted as music audition students and must successfully complete the audition before enrolling in music major courses. Upon admission to both ASU and the School of Music, the applicant's major will be changed to music. In the event a student is admitted to ASU but not to the School of Music or misses the audition deadline, the student will remain as a music audition major and will need to successfully pass the music audition milestone in the first semester in order to gain admission into the program.

Audition process for admittance to music and culture concentration:

  1. Submit a writing sample, which will be evaluated by all musicology faculty members.
  2. Submit evidence of musicianship broadly defined (basic notational literacy plus live audition on, for example, didgeridoo or gospel-style composition, or documented transdisciplinary installation including music), which will be evaluated by all musicology faculty.
  3. Attend an interview with at least three musicology faculty members.
  4. Each student will be matched with a musicology advisor at the time of acceptance. The advisor will assist students in the choice of ensembles (as qualified) and electives to support their programs of study. Students must audition and be accepted into large ensembles following established procedures.
  5. Students who wish to take studio lessons as part of the degree must audition for the appropriate performance faculty members. Students should follow the BA in music audition requirements.

Application Deadlines:Students should visit https://music.asu.edu/admissions/undergraduate-deadlines-fees for complete music deadlines.

Spring 2020: The deadline to apply for admission to this program is Oct. 15, 2019.

Fall 2020: The deadline to apply for admission to this program is Jan. 5, 2020.

Career outlook

The program prepares students for potential careers in fields that require skilled written communication, the ability to conduct research both in electronic and print media, critical and logical thinking, the dissection of an argument, and careful time management.

In addition to the careers listed below, graduates may pursue jobs in music and medical humanities or copyright and entertainment law. Graduates are prepared to work in various professional capacities, including:

  • music criticism and research, ethnomusicology and musicology
  • music entrepreneurship, concert management and promotion
  • music in culture, music blogging
  • music publishing, program annotation
  • performer in community and professional ensembles in a variety of styles and traditions
  • private studio or community program teaching
  • music librarian
  • music-related fields

Example careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:


Career*growth*median salary
Historians6%$59,120
Librarians8.9%$58,520
Curators 14%$53,770
Music Composers and Arrangers5.7%$50,590
Music Directors5.7%$50,590
Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners1.2%$36,530
Musicians, Instrumental6%*
Singers6%*

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

  • Bright Outlook
  • Green Occupation