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​Music History and Cultures

Immerse yourself in the study of music in a historic, social, and cultural context, as well as in its relation to other arts.

Even though your focus will lean toward liberal arts, your major will also accommodate the required studio lessons and performance skill development. If you excel in your program, you may be invited to earn your degree with distinction. This requires a high GPA, independent work, and a large-scale project.

About the College of Arts and Sciences

The founding college of Syracuse University remains at the center of undergraduate learning. The College is divided into the natural sciences and mathematics, the humanities, and the social sciences, with the lattermost offered in partnership with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.


Sample courses for music history and cultures majors include:

  • Introduction to Music History
  • European Music from 1750-1914
  • Introduction to World Music
  • Musicology in Action
  • Diatonic Harmony
  • Ear Training

View official major requirements.

Practical Experience

Seize opportunities to do community volunteering and professional internships—on campus, off campus, or internationally. Academic counselors and faculty advisors will guide you in aligning your interests and academic path with opportunities for growth.

Turn to the College of Arts and Sciences’ Center for Innovative Learning (iLEARN) for support with educational programs and your undergraduate research activities. The center can help complement your traditional classroom and laboratory work with enhanced out-of-classroom learning experiences.

There are more than 300 recognized student organizations at Syracuse University, including many that are specifically related to music. Explore other themes too, including art, culture, language, advocacy, government, religion, and service.

Study Abroad

Syracuse Abroad  features more than 100 programs in 60 countries. You can choose semester, summer, short term, and yearlong options for international study.

Music history and cultures majors most often go abroad to Syracuse University centers in Florence and Strasbourg.

Life After Syracuse University

As a College of Arts and Sciences graduate with a major in music history and cultures, you can explore such careers as:

  • Music education
  • Music historian
  • College professor
  • Music librarian
  • Archivist
  • Conservator

You can also pursue graduate training in such areas as education, arts administration, music journalism, and more. Recent graduates of the program have attended some of the top graduate schools in the U.S.