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Popular Music Studies


The B.A. in Music at CCNY is designed to provide students with a well-rounded music education. Recognizing that students have different interests, goals, and career paths, the degree is structured around a set of basic core courses that all B.A. students must take but includes substantial elective credits.

•  B.A. students must complete or exempt Music 10100, 13100, and 16100 before taking theory, musicianship, or music history classes.
•  Music 21000 is the co- or prerequisite for Music History I–IV. This course does not count towards the major but does satisfy the General Education requirement of a second level writing course.
•  For students without prior vocal training, Voice I (Music 16500) is highly recommended.
•  All B.A. music majors are encouraged to take private instruction on an instrument.
•  All music majors are expected to have a working knowledge of a music notation software program such as Finale or Sibelius by the end of Music 13200 (Theory I).

B.A. in Music Curriculum
Course                                                 Credits
Theory I–III                                                9
Musicianship Lab I–IV                               8
Music History, three courses from:       
24100, 24200, 34100, 34200                    9
Ensemble/Performance                            2
Chorus                                                        2
Elective                                                      12

Total Credits                                              42

Typically, students take the theory, musicianship, history, and performance courses during their first years as music majors. Then based on these experiences, students may select one of a number of “tracks” within the B.A. around which they pursue elective credits in their upper-level years as majors. Tracks are a collection of recommended elective courses grouped according to specific areas of interest, such as performance, education, classical composition, and musicology. 

The Popular Music Studies Track is comprised of courses on topics in contemporary popular music studies, including history, analysis, composition, performance, and socio-cultural context. There are four, three-credit courses (which comprise the 12 elective credits from the B.A. in Music curriculum) recommended for this track.

•  Music 27103, A Survey of Popular Music. 

•  Music 42000, Rock Analysis.

•  Music 43100, Popular Music Composition. 

•  Popular Music Elective. Three (3) credits selected from: Songwriting (23300), Music and Politics (27404), The Musician Entrepreneur (29900, Business of Music), Rock Ensemble (26018), Guitar Ensemble (26016), Jazz History (24400), Music Production MIDI and Audio (21600), Blues Vocal Workshop (26017), Studio Ensemble Singing (35000), Pop Vocals Workshop (36002), Latin Popular Music (27104), or a Special Topics popular music course.

While not required for the B.A. degree, students who participate in the Popular Music Studies track are encouraged to take additional electives: Theory IV, the complete Music History I–IV sequence, Counterpoint (taken as the Advanced Counterpoint graduate-level course).
The Popular Music Studies Track is not a distinct degree program, but rather an area of specialization within the overall B.A. in Music degree.

Please see the Advising Guide page for curriculum outlines through the entire degree.


Jonathan Pieslak

Shepard Hall
Room 72
160 Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031

p: 212.650.7665
f: 212.650.5428