Bookmark and Share

Music and Culture Minor

The Music and Culture Minor Program offers students from any discipline or major the opportunity to study the ways in which human cultural diversity is represented through music, and to learn how musical practices and values, including those embedded in the teaching and transmission of music, relate to core values in a particular culture or subculture. They will also develop skills in hearing, thinking about, analyzing, discussing, and writing about music and relating it to other aspects of human life.

The Program’s curriculum has three components: 1) courses that use the concepts, methods, and theoretical approaches of ethnomusicology (an interdisciplinary field of study that focuses on music in culture and in global contexts) to explore diverse musical cultures and genres; 2) courses that provide more in-depth case studies of particular musical cultures or regions; and 3) world music ensemble courses that complement knowledge about musical practices with embodied knowledge of how they are transmitted and performed.



Academic Courses (15 crs.)

1) Any two of the 200-level courses offered by the School of Music’s division of Musicology and Ethnomusicology (these courses also satisfy General Education requirements, usually in Humanities and Plural Societies). The following courses are approved to fulfill this requirement, but in consultation with the Coordinator of Ethnomusicology, other courses may be substituted.

MUSC 204       Popular Music of Black America (3 crs.)

MUSC 210       The Impact of Music on Life (3 crs.)

MUSC 215       Global Popular Music and Identity (3 crs.)

MUSC 220       Selected Music Cultures of the World (3 crs.)  

MUSC 289I      The Power of Performance in Social Engagement (3 crs.)


2) Three 400-level courses, including at least two of the MUSC 438 area studies courses. Each of these courses covers a different geographic area, and their topics vary from semester to semester (at least three different 438 courses are generally offered over any two-year period). Recent offerings in the series include:                                                                                                            

MUSC 438D     Music of Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador (3 crs.)

MUSC 438E     Music of the Balkans (3 crs.)

MUSC 438K     Music in the Middle East (3 crs.)

MUSC 438M    Sounds of the Mediterranean (3 crs.)

MUSC 438M    Mexican and Mexican/American Music (3 crs.)

MUSC 438S     Music of Southeast Asia (3 crs.)

MUSC 438X     Music of China and Japan (3 crs.)


The following courses may also be used to satisfy this requirement:

MUSC 435       Music of North America (3 crs.)

MUSC 448F     Music and Film in Cross-Cultural Perspectives (3 crs.)


Other 400-level music courses (or relevant courses offered by other departments) may also be approved on a case-by-case basis.


Performance Courses (4 crs.)

Four semesters of World Music Ensembles. Other than in the Advanced Japanese Koto class (or other advanced classes that may be added in the future), none of these classes require any prior performance experience. All of these ensemble courses may be repeated for credit, but students must take ensembles from at least two different culture areas. Other performance courses (including dance) may be substituted on a case-by-case basis. The following courses have been approved (other courses may be approved as World Music Ensembles are added):

MUSC 129G    Ensemble: Balinese Gamelan (1 cr.)    

MUSC 129K     Ensemble: Japanese Koto (1 cr.)

MUSC 129L     Ensemble: Advanced Japanese Koto (1 cr.)

MUSC 129Q    Ensemble: Korean Percussion (1 cr.)



No more than six credits may be applied to satisfy both the requirements of this minor and a student’s major program. So long as this rule is followed, a student majoring in Music (BM, BME, or BA) may add this minor. No course used to satisfy this minor may be used to satisfy another minor. All courses in the minor must be completed with a minimum grade of C-. A minimum cumulative grade point average of C (2.00) must be obtained across the courses in the minor.


Applications and Advising

Interested students should contact J. Lawrence Witzleben ( and fill out an application survey form here Music and Culture Minor Application Survey