Students encounter a wide range of musical repertories, theoretical approaches, and research strategies. While many students opt to major in BA in Music alone, many others enroll as part of a double major. This is especially true of young scholars who are aiming for careers in engineering, sciences, business, and fields in the humanities and social sciences, but who still want to pursue their interests in music. Students in the BA concentration take a variety of classes in history, theory, and ethnomusicology, and they may be active performers, participating in our many ensembles and taking private lessons. Students also participate in a wide array of co-ops and are encouraged to explore opportunities that conform to their interests. Recent alumni have gone on to graduate programs in music at Princeton University, Lesley University, and the University of Hartford; other graduates are now attending law school, medical school, and are pursuing careers outside the academy.

Program director
Deirdre Loughridge


NOTE: Please see the current catalog or course descriptions maintained by the university registrar.

Introduction To College

MUSC 1000 Music at Northeastern 1 SH

Music Theory

MUSC 1201 Music Theory 1, 4 SH
MUSC 1202 Music Theory 2, 4 SH

Music in Context

Choose one from each category below. At least three choices must be 2000-level or above. Two must be writing intensive. Courses may not double-count across the five areas.

Required Introduction Course

MUSC 1001 Music in Everyday Life 4 SH


Complete one of the following:

MUSC 1105 Music of the USA 4 SH
MUSC 1106 Women in Music 4 SH
MUSC 1108 Music and Poetry 4 SH
MUSC 1109 Intro to Art, Drama and Music 4 SH
MUSC 1136 What’s Playing at Symphony? 4 SH
MUSC 2107 Introduction to Opera 4 SH
MUSC 2311 Historical Traditions: America 4 SH
MUSC 2312 Historical Traditions: Classical 4 SH
MUSC 2308 Principles of Music Literature 4 SH
MUSC 2320 40,000 Years of Music Technology
MUSC 3470 War and Music 4 SH
MUSC 3550 Historical Traditions: Special Topics 4 SH


Complete one of the following:

MUSC 1103 Music as a Social Expression 4 SH
MUSC 1104 Survey of African-American Music 4 SH
MUSC 1127 Introduction to World Music 4 SH
MUSC 1128 Music of Africa 4 SH
MUSC 1129 Music of the Middle East 4 SH
MUSC 1131 Music of Latin America and  the Caribbean 4 SH
MUSC 1132 Music of the Jewish People 4 SH
MUSC 1143 Music in Culture 4 SH
MUSC 2101 Black Popular Music 4 SH
MUSC 2130 Music of Asia 4 SH
MUSC 2308 Principles of Music Literature 4 SH
MUSC 2313 Historical Traditions: World 4 SH
MUSC 3550 Historical Traditions: Special Topics 4 SH


Complete one of the following:

MUSC 1106 Women in Music 4 SH
MUSC 1110 Music in Popular Culture 4 SH
MUSC 1117 George Gershwin 4 SH
MUSC 1126 New Directions in Music 4 SH
MUSC 1135 Coltrane 4 SH
MUSC 1141 Wired for Sound 4 SH
MUSC 2101 Black Popular Music 4 SH
MUSC 2308 Principles of Music Literature 4 SH
MUSC 2316 Historical Traditions: History of the Music Industry 4 SH
MUSC 3560 Historical Traditions: Music Since 1900 4 SH
MUSI 3401 Hip Hop in the Music Industry 4 SH
MUST 2315 History of Electronic Music SH


Complete one of the following 4SH courses or choose four 1SH Ensembles from the list below:

MUST 1220 Introduction to Music Technology 4 SH
MUST 1301 Introduction to Composition 4 SH
MUSC 2208 Jazz Improvisation 4 SH
MUSC 2209 Conducting 4 SH
MUSC 2210 Songwriting 1, 4 SH
MUSC 3337 Writing about Music 4 SH
MUSC 2150 Making a Musical: Analysis, Craft, and Creation  4 SH


MUSC 1904 Chorus 1 SH
MUSC 1905 Band 1 SH
MUSC 1906 Orchestra 1 SH
MUSC 1907 Wind Ensemble 1 SH
MUSC 1911 Jazz Ensemble 1 SH
MUSC 1912 Rock Ensemble 1 SH
MUSC 1913 Blues/Rock Ensemble 1 SH
MUSC 1914 Create Your Own Music 1 SH
MUSC 1915 Chamber Ensembles 1 SH
MUSC 1916 Contemporary Music Ensemble 1 SH
MUSC 1917 Jazz Choir and Combo 1 SH
MUSC 1918 World Music Ensemble 1 SH
MUSC 1919 Fusion Ensemble 1 SH
MUSC 1920 Pep Band 1 SH
MUSC 1921 World Fusion Ensemble 1 SH

Music Electives

Complete three additional courses in Music (MUSC, MUSI, or MUST). At least two must be at the 2000-level or higher.


Major/Program Requirements

Complete 43 Semesters in the major.

Minimum 2.667 GPA is required in the major.

128 total semester hours required.

Program Outcomes

Students graduating with a B.A. in Music are expected to have acquired the following competencies:

Musical Aptitudes

1. To identify and apply the fundamental principles
behind the melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, and formal
components of music from a variety of time periods
and cultures.

2. To hear, identify, and work conceptually with the
elements of music, including intervals, scales,
chords, meters, rhythm, melody, harmony,
modulations, structure, and other elements.

3. To understand the basic principles and structures
of at least three or four other systems of musical
performance, including improvisation from genres,
cultures and ethnicities beyond the European/North
American “classical” canon.

Cultural Knowledge and Analytical Skills

1. To demonstrate a familiarity with the broad trajectory of music and its history up through the present day.

2. To demonstrate an understanding of listening, aesthetic properties of style, and the ways these shape and are shaped by artistic and cultural forces.

3. To identify and define musical, aesthetic, and cultural styles, the lives and processes of composers, the activities of performers and performance traditions, and the technological advances that have affected musical production from centuries past to the present in all parts of the world.

3. To integrate a broad range of cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural knowledge into a comprehensive understanding of music, aesthetic properties of style, and the ways these shape and are shaped by artistic, cultural, societal and political forces in cultures around the globe.

4. To demonstrate the ability to write fluently about music, its history, evolution, cultural meaning and social impact (These skills should be transferable such that students who concentrate in the BA in Music will be able to apply for a broad range of jobs once they graduate).

Research Skills

1. The ability to think critically, write, and present musical analyses and research.The ability to present original research, both written and oral through developing a primary (& possibly secondary) area of interest.


Note: Following successful completion of the capstone class, students should have built a portfolio of projects and papers that will aid them in applying for jobs or graduate school.