Music

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Classically
Oriented

The Department of Music offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Western classical music, with concentrations in composition and performance and a specialized undergraduate program in music education. Jazz performance is also offered at the graduate level, in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

The four-year Bachelor of Arts curriculum in music prepares students for professional success in an ever-changing musical world, combining practical training and individual study with the development of theoretical and historical context and artistic imagination. The major, designed for students who seek to combine fine musicianship with academic excellence, centers on a core curriculum of academic music courses, one-on-one work with artist-teaching faculty, and opportunities to collaborate with peers in large and small ensembles.

In addition to these foundational music studies, the Music Education major offers professional preparation leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree and teaching credential in just four years. Students develop pedagogical skills and innovative insights into theories and practices essential to teach music to California’s diverse student population and provide leadership in the field of arts education.

At the graduate level, specialized studies lead to Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in composition; Master of Music (M.M.) and Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degrees in all classical solo instruments, voice, and conducting; and the master of music degree in jazz performance.

Students interested in a concentration in music history and literature should consider the major in Musicology, and those interested in a concentration in world music should consider the major in Ethnomusicology.

The Department of Music, aligned with the departments of Ethnomusicology and Musicology in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, fosters creative collaboration between performance and scholarship; a cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of musical expression in many forms; and transformative engagement with fellow artists, audiences, and communities both local and global. In short, we strive to prepare students to make the music our world needs now and into the future.

Explore Music Degrees

Composition
Mentorship in the creation and realization of music for concerts, opera, and visual media
Conducting
Graduate study and training in choral, orchestral, or wind conducting
Music Education
Preparation for music educators leading to a B.A. and teaching credential in just four years
Music Performance
Study and training towards professional performance careers in Western classical music
Music Performance Jazz
A highly selective M.M. program in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Music Faculty

See All Faculty
Kay Rhie
Assistant Professor
Gordon Henderson
Professor; Department Vice Chair
Gary Gray
Professor Emeritus
Robert Winter
Distinguished Professor
Jocelyn Ho
Assistant Professor
Mark Kligman
Chair of Ethnomusicology; Professor
Travis J. Cross
Chair of Music; Professor
Daniel Szabo
Adjunct Associate Professor
James Newton
Distinguished Professor
Juliana Gondek
Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Professor
Elisabeth Le Guin
Chair of Musicology; Professor
Frank Heuser
Professor; Department Vice Chair
Train with Guest Artists

Each year, dozens of guests from Los Angeles and around the world work with our students in masterclasses and performances, helping them further develop their talents. Recent guests have included John Adams, Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer; Tim Buzbee, Principal Tuba, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Placido Domingo, internationally renowned tenor; Hershey Felder, pianist, actor, playwright and composer;  Gilbert Kalish, pianist, pedagogue and recording artist; Matthew Howard, principal percussionist LA Philharmonic; Kronos Quartet; Esa-Pekka Salonen, composer and conductor of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra; David Starobin, critically acclaimed jazz guitarist; and John Williams, composer.

Placido Domingo Placido Domingo Plácido Domingo
Leonard Bernstein at 100: Four UCLA Professors Reflect on an American Music Icon
World-wide celebrations are underway honoring American composer, conductor and educator Leonard Bernstein, who would have been 100 on August 25, 2018. Opera UCLA joins the global celebration with an evening dedicated to Bernstein’s theater music plus his late masterpiece SONGFEST, on Nov. 17.
Golden Opportunity for UCLA Bruin Marching Band: Performing with Muse in Song on New Album
That “Solid Gold Sound” you’ll hear on Grammy award-winning band Muse’s latest album comes from none other than the UCLA Bruin Marching Band.
Announcement: Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz
The Board of Trustees of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz announced November 6, 2018 that effective January 1, 2019 the Institute will become the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz.
Cultural harmony found in concert with Russian String Orchestra, UCLA composers
Six chosen UCLA student composers will finally hear their works performed live after traveling on a full tour in Moscow.
Russian String Orchestra presents U.S. Premiere of Six Student Compositions
“It is always exciting for a composer to hear their work brought to life, but working with such a renowned ensemble as the Russian String Orchestra will make this performance particularly exhilarating,” said Anthony Constantino, a Ph.D. composition student.
Milken Fund for American Jewish Music Launches Program Year
The Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music presents more than a dozen performances this academic year. Featuring special guest artists, world-class student performers and leading scholars in the field,

Explore Our Degrees

Composition
Mentorship in the creation and realization of music for concerts, opera, and visual media
Conducting
Graduate study and training in choral, orchestral, or wind conducting
Ethnomusicology
The study of global musical traditions through performance training, research, and field work
Global Jazz Studies
Jazz performance and musicianship courses are paired with African American Studies
Music Education
Preparation for music educators leading to a B.A. and teaching credential in just four years
Music Industry
Industry professionals and UCLA faculty prepare students for music-related careers
Musicology
The scholarly study of the histories, cultures, and critical interpretations of music and music-making
Music Performance
Study and training towards professional performance careers in Western classical music
Music Performance Jazz
A highly selective M.M. program in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz