What is Music?

Studying Music covers a variety of areas from more traditional, technical studies, including harmony and counterpoint, orchestration, and musical analysis, to more contemporary approaches including ethnomusicology, sociomusicology, and music psychology. The study of music is highly interdisciplinary; in exploring such questions as what music is, what music means, and how it conveys meaning, music students engage with many other fields, including philosophy, neuroscience, anthropology, politics, and history of art. The music that you study at university may also cover a vast range of genres and styles.

If you are thinking of studying music in higher education, one of the decisions you will face is whether to go to a university or a conservatoire. While both involve practical studies, universities set these studies in a broader context of academic learning, treating music as an object of intellectual inquiry.

What can I do with a Music degree?

A degree in Music does not tie you to a career in music though it is a good basis for one; many music graduates go into careers that are connected to music, including: performing, composing, researching, teaching, music journalism, working with recording companies, orchestral management, music production, arts administration, marketing, and much more.

But a Music degree also prepares students for a career in almost anything; there are as many options open to music students as there are for students of any other arts and humanities degrees. Lots of music graduates go on to careers in areas that have no direct connection to music, such as finance (e.g. accountancy, investment banking), management, law, publishing, the civil service, politics, and software development.

What might I need to study Music?

In most cases, studying Music at A level or equivalent is necessary. Some universities, will allow you to substitute this with Grade 8 Music Theory instead. Depending on the focus of the course, an audition may be required. Beyond this, additional subjects of study can be either arts and humanities, social sciences or physical sciences as studying Music at degree level will draw on a range of skills.

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