The course of study for music majors is best accomplished if spread over three or four years. First year students may start with any music classroom course as well as lessons and/or ensembles. Classroom courses recommended for first year students include:

Fall Term:  Introduction to Composition (117); History of Rock (136); Global Popular Music (141); Theory I (200) and Medieval & Renaissance Music (210). One Argument & Inquiry seminar is also offered: Keeping it Real: Authenticity & Popular Music (100).

Winter Term: Introduction to Music Technology (108); Golden Age of R&B (132); Theory II (201) and Baroque & Classical Music (211).

Spring Term: Music Fundamentals (101); Music and Film (115); Music & Text: Songs from Beethoven to Ben Folds (121); Symphonies from Mozart to Mahler (122); History of Jazz (130); The Blues from the Delta to Chicago (131); Music and Social Movements (144); Theory III (201) and Computer Music & Sound (208).

Students who are more certain about majoring are encouraged to begin the theory sequence (200, 201, 202) as first-year students or sophomores. Click here for information about the Music Theory Placement Exam. For a flowchart explaining how to progress through music courses en route to becoming a music major, click on "Pathways toward the Music Major" below.

A student may emphasize performance, music history and literature, theory, non-Western music, or composition. Those interested in teaching music in public schools will receive exceptional preparation at Carleton, but will need to complete a fifth year at another institution offering a Master of Arts in Teaching, or Master of Music Education degree in order to satisfy various state requirements.

Requirements for the Music Major

Pathways toward the Music Major (prose)

Pathways toward the Music Major (flowchart)

Music Major Handbook 2013-2014

The major course requirements, different pathways toward the major, options for the integrative exercise "comps," and a variety of other detailed information about the music major.

S. Eugene Bailey Scholarship

Scholarship program for students who intend to major in music, play an orchestral instrument (strings, woodwinds and brass), and plan to participate in one or more of the following Carleton ensembles: Orchestra, Symphonic Band, or Jazz Ensemble.

Current Majors

Alumni Profiles