Undergraduate Minor in Music


The minor in music provides for an exposure to music history/literature, music theory, and performance studies (through applied lessons and ensemble). It is intended for student musicians with previously established, substantive musical experiences - individuals who wish to expand upon already obtained musical skills and related study. This minor is not intended as an introduction to music. Students who have an interest in music and other arts in an international context might be interested to learn more about the International Arts Minor offered by the College of Fine and Applied Arts.

Admission to the Music Minor

General Procedures. Prospective music minors must have demonstrable experience as noted here:

  • Music performance; and/or
  • Composition (as evidenced by notated scores); and/or
  • Scholarship (as evidenced by writings on music)

Prospective music minors must apply for acceptance into the program, and must also audition for acceptance into the appropriate performance studies area and/or ensemble(s) as per normal procedures (see below).

Admission to performance studies is dependent upon faculty or teaching assistant studio space being available; admission to a particular ensemble is dependent upon the instrumentation and balance needs of that ensemble. While the School of Music offers many courses oriented for non-music majors, students pursuing a music minor must eventually enroll in selected music major courses by consent of the instructor and through fulfillment of prerequisites listed in the Courses Catalog or appropriate Timetable; this is essential in meeting the requirement of six semester hours of advanced or upper division music courses.

Audition Procedures

Prospective music minors should plan to audition as noted by the following three choices:

These auditions are confirmed through the Chairperson of the applied area of interest:

  • During the week prior to the beginning of the Fall or Spring semester; or
  • During semester-end juries (usually among the first few days of each semester's exam period)

These auditions are scheduled by the Music Admissions Office:

  • On a previously established School of Music Audition Date. (This nationally publicized list of dates is available in May of each year for the following admissions cycle.)

All prospective minors must make arrangements to perform their audition on a designated day. Please contact the Music Admissions Office (Music Building Room 3014 or 3019) for general instructions on how to secure an audition.

Applied Audition Repertoire

Repertoire for the audition must include at least two contrasting compositions from the classical repertoire, preferably performed from memory; persons having a serious interest in jazz should prepare a third composition in that idiom. In addition, students should be prepared to play scales of at least two octaves in major or minor (any form) keys including up to three flats or three sharps and to sight read a simple work for their instrument or voice classification.

Auditions for Participation in a Music Ensemble as a Prospective Music Minor

The School of Music offers numerous ensembles in which non-music majors may perform. Enrollment in such groups is by audition only, and admission to a particular ensemble is dependent upon the instrumentation and balance needs of that ensemble.

Auditions for ensembles take place in the week prior to the beginning of classes. Prospective music minors should contact the office of the respective ensemble for which s/he intends to audition.

Note: Participation in an ensemble is not required for completion of the minor.

Additional Admissions Information

Although a prospective music minor might perform a successful audition, such is not a guarantee of admission into the music minor. Admission to performance studies as a component of the music minor is dependent upon faculty or teaching assistant studio space being available.

Upon completion of the entrance audition, the Associate Director of the School of Music (as music minor advisor) will determine the admissibility of the prospective music minor. This process will be confirmed through a personal conference with the applicant. Students who are admitted into the program will work with the music minor advisor in determining a proposed selection of courses. The result of these course selections will then be attached to the University's Declaration of Intent to Pursue a Campus-Approved Minor Form, available by clicking Intent to Pursue a Minor Form. This Form should not be completed until after meeting with the Associate Director of the School of Music.

Note: Music minors should check with their home-department or college advisor to determine whether or not semester hours taken as part of the minor will count toward the total hours required for the chosen degree, and also if any music courses taken in addition to those for the music minor might satisfy additional general education requirements and/or count as elective credit toward the degree.

Course Requirements

The music minor requires the successful completion of 21 semester hours of courses in music according to the following distribution:

  1. Five to six semester hours in music history or music literature courses, to be selected from MUS 110, 313, 314, 130-134 (see 5);
  2. Six semester hours in music theory courses to be selected from MUS 103 and 104, or the equivalent (MUS 101/107 and 102/108);
  3. Four semester hours of applied music (two semesters of study) to be selected from MUS 179-198 pending successful completion of an audition;
  4. The five to six remaining hours may be selected from any of the areas included in 1-3, and may include up to three hours of a conducted music ensemble (to be selected from MUS 250, 252, 260-266, or 268-272; not more than three semester hours of ensemble may count toward the minor);
  5. At least six semester hours must derive from upper division or advanced music courses - for music minors, this includes Music 313, Music 314, or any 400-level music course;
  6. Topics offered under Music 199 (Undergraduate Open Seminar) or Music 499 (Proseminar in Music) must be approved in advance by the music minor advisor for credit toward the minor.

Further Information

Non-music majors who have questions about the minor in music should contact contact the Music Admissions Office 217/244-7899, or e-mail musadm@music.uiuc.edu.

Admissions Forms can be obtained by visiting the Music Admissions Office (Music Building Room 3014 or 3019).

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