Course Listings

In this section you will find options of music courses you can choose from. This is not a comprehensive list of what is taught in the Department of Music. Refer to BearTracks for all of the current course offerings. If you are in one of our music programs, your program’s requirements are likely not listed here as you don’t need to choose them.

Music course options are grouped by Academic Year: 2023-2024 | 2024-2025

100 Level Courses

At the 100 level, there are introductory courses to music traditions and histories such as Western Art Music (MUSIC 101), World Music (MUSIC 102), and Popular Music (MUSIC 103). There is also an innovative course, Musical Life Today (MUSIC 186) that introduces you to the many and multifaceted ways in which music can be an object of study across traditions. These courses can be taken by any student at the University of Alberta, and require no previous knowledge of music, just interest! Some of our courses at the 200, 300 and 400 level are similarly open: just make sure you check the description. If there are no prerequisites listed you are good to enroll! If there are some prerequisites, and you still want to enroll, please contact  the instructor.

200 and 300 Level Courses

At the 200 and 300 level, you can keep studying traditions and fields that have “introductions” at the 100 level, with courses such as MUSIC 201 Western Music and Contexts, MUSIC 202 Studies in World Music, and MUSIC 203 Issues in Popular Music Studies; as well as start exploring new fields, like MUSIC 245 Introduction to Music Technologies and MUSIC 314 Music in Canada. At this level, we offer courses in Western art music theory (MUSIC 255 and 256), which guide you through in-depth analyses of music from that tradition; as well as courses dedicated to explorations of Western art music history (MUSIC 283 and 284) considering not only which stories we tell about music, but also how and why we do so.

400, 500 and 600 Level Courses

At the 400, 500 and 600 level, the majority of courses are smaller seminars on more specific topics. These courses allow students to engage in sustained conversations around more specialized issues, and to pursue original avenues of research. Some of these upper-level courses are called “variable” topic courses, which means that the specific topic of the course varies from year to year. If so, you can normally take the same seminar more than once, as long as the special topic is different from the previous time you took it. For instance, the general course title of MUSIC 468 is “Area Studies in Ethnomusicology” but depending on the year you’ll see a different topic specified after the colon, such as “The Arab World.” 500-level courses can be taken by both undergraduate and graduate students. 600-level courses can be taken by graduate students only.