Evolution and History of Music & Music Theory: Music Degrees

Those passionate about performing and absorbing music are ideal candidates for an online degree in music or music history. These programs heavily focus on providing hands-on learning tools that allow students to become proficient music composers, music journalists, professors or historians. Online music degree programs feature topics such as music theory, cultural effects of music and evolution of music.

Music and Music History Degree Information

Musicology programs are dedicated to general music theory while touching on as many of the sub-disciplines as possible, allowing students to learn basic facts about the history, cultural effects and psychological underpinnings of the art of music. Historical musicology focuses specifically on the lives and bodies of work of influential composers and the study of music against the backdrop of the historical events of the time.

Study Options

Bachelor of Arts degrees in musicology are available both at physical universities and online. Liberal arts colleges and universities with a reputation for liberal and fine arts programs are more likely to have the best musicology programs. These degrees can be obtained in around four years, possibly less through distance online learning programs.

Advanced Degrees

Master's degrees and doctoral degrees in musicology are available. Students will generally specialize in one area of musicology, usually historical musicology, ethnomusicology or music theory. Master's degrees in musicology typically take two years to complete although some may take longer.

Master Of Arts in Musicology

The Master of Arts in Musicology is a traditionally two-year degree where students will learn to deepen their understanding of music history, theory and cultural relevance. Students are expected to focus on one of the major areas of musicology, but they can also opt to study two of the fields together or link one of the fields to an outside discipline.

Doctor Of Musicology

Doctoral candidates in musicology are expected to bring even more intense focus to their study of the discipline and make an original contribution to the field, be it in the area of research, analysis or composition. The doctoral degree in musicology can take as many as six years or more to complete, and doctors of musicology will be well equipped for academia and many other music-related careers upon their completion of the degree.

Choosing A Degree

Students do not need to have any innate musical talent or skill for playing an instrument in order to successfully earn a bachelor's degree in music. They do not even need to be able to read music, although learning to read music may be encouraged depending on the program and some programs may have separate tracks for those who do and do not read music. All one must possess is a love for music and an interest in how it has developed and how it influences the world.

Career Opportunities

Musicology majors can of course become musicians, music composers or music producers, but there are many other careers open to music and music history specialists including music teacher, music therapist, music librarian, film scoring, music reviewer and music software development.

Earning Potential

A music teacher at a public school usually makes up to $45,000 per year. At a college or university, the salary can reach $70,000 or more. Music therapists can also make anywhere from $20,000-$70,000. Salaries for performing musicians will vary tremendously based on the type of performance, the venue, the reputation of the performer and the talent of the performer.

Getting Your Degree Online

There are several online universities that offer music degrees. It is important that you make sure that you are earning your online music degree from an accredited institution so that your degree will carry the same weight as one earned from a brick-and-mortar institution. Online distance learning music programs tend to be the best option for those interested in continuing their education who already have work and family responsibilities preventing them from attending regular classes. The right online university can provide continuing students with the information and materials they need to become an expert in the field of music.

Getting Your Degree Offline

Bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and doctoral degrees in musicology can all be earned at a traditional university. Students interested in a career in music may want to look into schools that are specifically designed around art or music curricula. In addition to coursework, students will often be required to do research which will involve listening critically to various pieces of music, so the state of the schoolís music library will also be important. Students should take advantage of the university setting to interact with other musically inclined students and professors and share thoughts and experiences on music with them.

Music & Music History Degree FAQs

What Can I Do With a Music Degree?

Most music and music history graduates pursue careers as musicians. Others prefer to lend their musical knowledge to composition or music production.

In the academic environment, some graduates go on to become music teachers, professors or researchers. Other potential careers include music therapist, film scoring, music journalism, music librarian and instrument designer.

What Skills Are Necessary to Pursue an Online Degree in Music History?

Programs often include music lesson courses that allow students to learn how to read music and play an instrument after enrollment. An appreciation and love for music, as well as a desire to understand the effects of composition are the only characteristics needed to excel in an online music degree program.

What Topics of Study Are Included in an Online Music Degree Program?

Music history, composition, musicology and music theory are crucial aspects of a music degree program. Students often have the ability specialize in a particular instrument, such as guitar, percussion, keyboard and woodwinds. Graduate music history degrees allow students to focus on a particular genre and/or era of music, such as Scottish folk music.

What Kind of Salary Can I earn With a Music Degree?

The expected salary for graduating musicians varies depending on the career path. Performing artist earnings vary wildly, but potential earnings are well into the millions of dollars.

Music teachers earn an average of $45,000 annually. Music professors can expect to earn approximately $70,000 each year. Depending on the clientele, music therapists can earn approximately from $20,000 to $70,000 annually.

Online Music and Music History Degree Programs

Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees are available in music-related subjects. On-campus bachelor's degree programs tend to take four years to complete. Some online music degree programs feature an accelerated structure that allows students to graduate in less than four years.

Graduate-level music degrees allow students to specialize in a particular aspect of music study. Some popular master's degree programs include music history, music education and musicology. Graduate-level classes require students to understand complex music theories.

Music & Music History Student Guide

Musicology, as the name implies, is the study of music. Within the field of musicology are a number of subfields, including ethnomusicology, the study of music as it relates to particular cultures, music psychology, the study of how the methods and content of psychology relate to music, and historical musicology, or music history.Music history/historical musicology is the subfield of musicology that studies the development of music over the ages. Music has evolved tremendously over the span of human civilization, and historical musicologists track those changes, the reasons for them and their effects on society.

Music And Music History Books

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in musicology may start with the "HarperCollins College Outline Music Theory" by George T. Jones and the "HarperCollins College Outline History of Western Music" by Hugh M. Miller. Those studying historical musicology may wish to consider Historical Musicology: Sources, Methods, Interpretations (Eastman Studies in Music)î by Stephen A. Crist and Roberta Montemorra Marvin, Historical Musicology by Lincoln Bunce Spiess or Introduction to Musicology: A Survey of the Fields, Systematic & Historical, of Musical Knowledge & Researchî by Glen Haydon and Douglas Moore.

Music And Music History Articles And Databases

Your study of musicology and historical musicology will require research into the origins and development of music and its performers and composers. If you're looking for articles and databases for your musicology research online, head to ViFaMusik, the Virtual Library of Musicology (http://mdzx.bib-bvb.de/vifamusik_e/index.php?pcontent=onlinedb). Here you will find links to a variety of musicological online databases.

Online Music And Music History Journals

Links to many extremely useful musicological journals can be found through the American Musicological Society. Some of the more helpful journals may include Discourses in Music, Critical Musicology Journal, The Journal of Musicology and The Journal of Music Theory.

Other Music And Music History Research Tools

A plethora of useful musicology information can be found at the American Musicological Society website (http://www.ams-net.org/musicology_www.php). Here you can find links to websites providing detailed information about music job listings, online journals, music theory, composers, instruments, music education and much more.

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