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Music BA

As a music major, you'll develop your performance abilities and explore the world's musical heritage from the Americas to Africa, Asia and Oceania, Europe, and the Middle East/West Asia.

The BA in Music program provides opportunities for intensive study in applied music, the history of music, music education, and theory. Grounded in the importance of cultural, geographical, and social contexts, our curriculum is distinguished by its focus on the study and performance of music from diverse cultures, including jazz and world music.

Technology is an important part of the curriculum, emphasizing skills for contemporary music and its integration with time-based arts such as computer music, dance, theater, video/film, and the visual arts.

Your studies in music at UMassD will prepare you for careers in composition, education, performance, recording, and sound design—as well as for advanced study in music and related disciplines.

Van Riley '14, music major, saxophone
Van Riley '14

Improved his musicianship by playing with a variety of UMassD ensembles, from jazz to steelpan, from be-bop to gamelan. 

Focus on performance

We offer a variety of performance opportunities, including:

  • Jazz ensembles: Latin/world, bepop, avant garde, jazz vocal
  • Opera & vocal ensembles
  • University chorus
  • Wind & percussion ensembles

We also feature a number of distinctive groups:

  • Javanese Gamelan
  • Kekeli African Drum & Dance
  • El Caribe Steel Band
  • Laptop ensemble

Career placements

  • Gamewell-FCI
  • Golden Rose Music
  • Hayden-Mcfadden Public School
  • Merry Melody Music Academy
  • New Bedford Public Schools
  • The New England Studio of Music
  • Plymouth High Schools
  • Fall River Public Schools
  • Worcester Public Schools
  • Brockton Public Schools

Our curriculum is designed to develop your performance ability, musical analysis, critical and creative thinking, and original ideas. With a focus on applied music, history, and technology, your courses will provide you with a solid foundation, while allowing you to pursue your individual interests. Choose from a variety of topics including music therapy, recording, and video scoring and explore genres ranging from gospel to jazz to rock.

You'll work closely with faculty, receive personalized attention, and advance your performance ability through workshops and classes that culminate in senior-year recitals and performances.

For the BA in Music, you'll complete 120 credit hours.

Develop your musical abilities in piano, voice, or orchestral instruments. For the minor, you'll complete 18 credits in music.

  • Performance: advance your skills as a performer through our many vocal and instrumental ensembles
  • Concert series: the department sponsors performances by professional artists of national and international stature
  • Jam sessions: share your love of jazz at jam sessions with faculty and guest musicians
  • Community: participate in student-led ensembles
  • Honors College: take advanced courses, pursue research, and be part of a community of scholars
  • Study Abroad: earn academic credits and gain a global perspective on your field
  • Undergraduate Research: faculty work with students on cutting-edge research projects
  • University Studies: gain the benefit of a broad university education to enhance your knowledge and skills

Music Faculty


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