May be elected as an interdepartmental major

Effective Fall 2015 (course list additions retroactive to Fall 2012)

The Music major provides students with broad experience in the study of music (both creative expression and critical analysis), through musicology and music theory, along with introductions to musical composition and performance. The LSA Major works in conjunction with the LSA Bachelors of Arts and Sciences degrees and provides a liberal arts alternative to the Bachelor of Musical Arts and Bachelors of Music degrees offered within the School of Music.

The objectives of this major are to encourage the study of music as art and culture in the many contemporary and historical contexts of its creation, performance, dissemination, reception, and representation, including an understanding of the relationships and distinctions among the musical cultures of diverse historical epochs, civilizations, and geographical regions. Musical study fosters an awareness of the aesthetic, social, political, religious, and personal values that may be embedded in musical works and practices; an understanding of theoretical approaches to music and the relations between music and other arts and disciplines; and an awareness of the impact of technology on musical creation and production.

Requirements for the Major

 A minimum of thirteen courses are required; with the permission of the department advisor, as many as five courses from outside the University of Michigan may be accepted to fulfill requirements for the major. Eight courses must be taken at the University of Michigan, including the following:

  1. Musicology (MUSICOL): one introductory course in music (MUSICOL 121, 122, or 123 or advisor approved equivalent) and two additional courses of in Musicology or Ethnomusicology (MUSICOL 122, 123, 343, 345, 346, 351, 411, 450, 456, 458, and other 300-400 level courses, or advisor approved equivalent). MUSICOL 139, 140, 239, or 240, may be elected to fulfill requirements for the major with permission of the instructor and the department advisor. (revised 2/3/05)
  2. Music Theory (THEORY): two courses of basic music theory (THEORY 137 (section 001, plus a lab section 002-005) and 238 (section 001, plus a lab section 002-003), or 139/149 and 140/150, or 239/240 and 240/250 or advisor approved equivalent (by permission of instructor).
  3. Music Composition (COMP): COMP 221, 222, PAT 201, or equivalent (students with an historical or ethno-musicological focus within the major may request that this requirement be waived through substitution of another 400-level course in Musicology).
  4. Music Performance: a total of four courses of performance instruction, selected from PIANO 110, 111, 112, 113 or private instruction 150. At least two courses of private instruction are required (applied piano class is acceptable as "private" instruction). Private instruction courses are those listed at 150 (VIOLIN 150, PIANO 150, TUBA 150, and so on). Ensemble may be elected to cover two of the four required terms.
  5. Two additional MUSICOL, THEORY, COMP, or PAT courses at the 400 level or above.

Additional Electives

  • AAS 354 / RCHUMS 354 / WOMENSTD 354 / HONORS 354. Race and Identity in Music
  • AAS 366. Music of Africa
  • AMCULT 209. History of American Popular Music
  • AMCULT 226 / HISTORY 226 / LATINOAM 226. The Latin Tinge
  • AMCULT 228. American Musical Soundscapes
  • AMCULT 337. A Survey of American Blues Music
  • AMCULT 407. The History of American Folk Music: Culture, Politics, Music
  • AMCULT 409. American Roots Music
  • AMCULT 411 / WOMENSTD 411. Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music
  • AMCULT 436. Music of Asian Americans
  • COMM 445. Music and Mediated Identities
  • ENS 406 / RCHUMS 406. Beginning Javanese Gamelan
  • ENS 407 / RCHUMS 407. Javanese Gamelan Ensemble
  • HISTORY 226 / AMCULT 226 / LATINOAM 226. The Latin Tinge
  • HONORS 354 / RCHUMS 354 / AAS 354 / WOMENSTD 354. Race and Identity in Music
  • LATINOAM 226 / AMCULT 226 / HISTORY 226. The Latin Tinge
  • PHYSICS 288. Physics of Music
  • PSYCH 211. Project Outreach (Topic 37 Mind, Music, and the Community) [Winter 2016, retroactive to Fall 2012]
  • RCHUMS 249. Foundations of Music
  • RCHUMS 250. Chamber Music
  • RCHUMS 251. Topics in Music
  • RCHUMS 252. Topics in Musical Expression
  • RCHUMS 253. Choral Ensemble: Residential College Singers
  • RCHUMS 256. Studying and Playing Southeast Asian Music
  • RCHUMS 258. Afro-Cuban Drumming and Styles
  • RCHUMS 259. Music Improvisation
  • RCHUMS 350. Creative Musicianship
  • RCHUMS 351. Creative Musicianship Lab
  • RCHUMS 352. Found Instruments: Building, Design, and Performance
  • RCHUMS 354 / AAS 354 / WOMENSTD 354 / HONORS 354. Race and Identity in Music
  • RCHUMS 356. The Symphonic Century: Music and Revolution in the 19th Century
  • RCHUMS 406 / ENS 406. Beginning Javanese Gamelan
  • RCHUMS 407 / ENS 407. Javanese Gamelan Ensemble
  • SOC 255. Sociology of Music
  • WOMENSTD 354 / RCHUMS 354 / AAS 354 / HONORS 354. Race and Identity in Music
  • WOMENSTD 411 / AMCULT 411. Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music
  • All other group music ensembles offered at the 300-level in the Residential College


The core requirements listed here typically demand approximately 30 credits. Music majors may select the remaining music courses in accordance with their personal interests. Students should acquaint themselves with graduate school requirements if they plan to do graduate work in composition, musicology, theory, or performance. The department advisor can assist students in arranging the best program in preparation for graduate studies and discuss the possibility of transferring into the School of Music.

Honors Plan

Qualified students are encouraged to consider an Honors Plan in Music. The standards for admission are a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 and evidence of outstanding ability in music. Application is made and admission is granted to the Honors major during the first term of the junior year. Two additional courses (in performance instruction or at the 400-level or above) are required, and the primary focus of an Honors program is a written senior Honors Thesis or a lecture recital with extensive program notes approved by a Music department advisor. Independent research study with an advisor may satisfy the additional course requirement (one term of 2 or 3 hours of independent study fulfills one term of the course requirement). Honors majors should elect one term of junior-senior seminar in Musicology or Music Theory.

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