The Department of Music offers both a major and a minor in music. Both programs give students the opportunity to gain proficiency in the theory, history, and interpretation of music throughout the world, and help them build a solid set of applied critical and listening abilities demanded of musicians and listeners today. The major offers students opportunities for independent research during their final year.
The department teaches a wide range of innovative courses in ethnomusicology, popular music, the cultural study of music, and sound studies. Many of these courses are open to non-majors. Some recent courses include: Music in the Post-9/11 World; Introduction to World Music; Music in New York; Music, Global Hip-Hop, and the Politics of Culture; and Music, Sound, and Technology.
The department’s Waverly Labs provide digital resources for composition and research. The department hosts the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society and a number of other performing ensembles and initiatives. Our majors and minors may also take private instrumental instruction with department support, and are eligible to join performance ensembles at the Steinhardt School. Our students take advantage of our location in one of the world’s major cultural centers by attending concerts and pursuing internships with New York recording companies, music magazines, or major performing arts organizations.
Students pursuing a major or minor in music, and indeed all students in the College of Arts and Science, are encouraged to participate in musical performance, lessons, and ensembles. We believe that the joys of making music, the dedication and study necessary to perform music, and the collective effort required of ensemble participants constitute an inimitable experience that should have a central place in a liberal arts education. Students are encouraged to participate in the performance ensembles regularly offered (for credit) by our clinical faculty. They can also participate in the NYU Orchestra, and many of the lessons, programs, and ensembles associated with the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions. Students are also invited to attend the numerous concerts that the department sponsors each year, as well as concerts of the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society. We encourage students to patronize the large collection of independent music venues located throughout Greenwich Village, and, more broadly, to participate in the vibrant music cultures found in all five boroughs of the city. Exploration of music in the city is a central component of the music major, and the Department's faculty and graduate students regularly organize concert trips for our undergraduates.
In addition to participation in the various performance ensembles, the department encourages students to partake vigorously of the cultural life of New York City. Students are entitled to discounted tickets to the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, concerts of the World Music Institute, concerts of the Kalavant Center for Indian Music and Dance, and many other music-presenting organizations.
To request declaration of a minor, CAS students should visit the host department. To request declaration of a cross-school minor, CAS students should complete the online Minor Application available in their Albert Student Center. Students may also use the Minor Application in Albert to request cancellation of a CAS or cross-school minor.