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Music, General


General music programs teach people to appreciate music and understand its history.

General music programs include topics such as:

As a major, the emphasis is on performance, analysis, and critical interpretation.

Students that major in general music may go on to pursue graduate opportunities in:


In general music programs, students may be able to specialize in:


Most colleges and universities offer bachelor's degree programs in general music. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study. Community colleges and independent schools of music also offer training programs that lead to an associate degree. An associate degree program usually takes two years to complete.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in general music. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

Related Careers

Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

Other Careers Related to this Program of Study

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Some schools require you to audition before you can enter their music programs. If you apply to a program while applying to a school, you usually have to send in a tape of your playing. If you apply to a program after you've started college, you usually audition live.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, good test scores, and strong performance skills.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate course work tends to vary from program to program. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum looks like the following:

Things to Know

Not all musicians can make a living by performing only. You may consider combining your music education with other related skills such as teaching, marketing, or administration.

Proficiency in music performance requires long hours of practice. Music majors practice, rehearse, and perform with others in bands, orchestras, choirs, and recital groups. Some give frequent recitals.


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