Minor in Music

How to apply

To enrol in any Minor within the UBC B.A degree, students must meet the academic admission requirements of the Faculty of Arts. Minors are declared at the end of second year, although coursework usually commences in the first year.

There are no performance requirements for entrance into the Music Minor. Entrance to the Music Minor is through the course Music 100: Principles of Musical Form.

Students who are not in the B.Mus. program cannot register themselves for this course. But they may receive permission to take it by passing the Music 100 Placement Test. The test evaluates the depth and fluency of students' knowledge of the rudiments of Western music, including scales, intervals, triads, seventh chords, rhythmic values, and time signatures.
Explanations of these topics, along with drills for daily practice, can be found on the following free websites: teoria.com and musictheory.net. Students who have recently completed Royal Conservatory of Music Advanced Rudiments (or the equivalent) with high standing should be well prepared for this test.

The test will be given on the first Wednesday morning of classes in September.
To sign up for it, email Dr. John Roeder at j.roeder@ubc.ca before the end of August.
Students who pass will be registered in the lecture and in a tutorial.
As a backup in case you do not pass, we suggest that you register for another course, which you can drop if you do pass. Here are a sample placement test and answer key

Required Credits

  • View B.A. minor requirements

  • 15 credits of foundation courses in music theory and history, normally taken in the first two years of the B.A.:
    Music Theory - MUSC 100, 101, and 200 (or, if you are in Intensive Music Theory, MUSC 110 and 210 only), and
    Music History - any two of MUSC 120, 121, 220, and 221.

  • 18 credits of 300- or 400-level Music courses. Any 300- or 400-level course in music history, music theory, ethnomusicology, or music composition, as well as MUSC 107 and 207, counts toward this requirement, along with up to twelve credits of ensemble. Even though the ensemble courses in Music have 100 numbers, they will count as 300- or 400-level courses when taken in the third or fourth years, and hence as part of the requirements for the Major, Honours, or Minor in Music. At most twelve credits of ensemble may be counted toward the Bachelor of Arts minor.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take private music lessons?

No, not as a course for credit. You must be registered in the Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) degree program to take lessons for credit. You may, however, take non-credit private lessons from available faculty & students. Please see our private lessons list.

I’m entering the third year of the B.A. and haven’t taken any music courses yet. Can I finish a Music Minor in two years?

Yes, it’s possible, according to the following schedule:

This year = 3rd Year

  • 9 Credits of foundation courses: MUSC 100, and any two of MUSC 120, 121, 220, and 221.

    1. 6 credits of upper-level Music courses that have no prerequisite: For example, MUSC 328, MUSC 428

Next year = 4th Year

  • 6 credits of foundation courses: MUSC 101, 200

    1. 12 credits of 300- or 400-level Music courses

Can I play or sing in ensembles for credit?

Yes! You may take up to 12 credits of music ensemble in the B.A. Ensemble courses may be repeated for credit. There are many ensembles in which you may participate.



Minor in Applied Music Technology

The School of Music now offers a 24-credit Minor in Applied Music Technology (AMT). This exciting Minor provides training in technology for music composition, performance and software programming, as well as knowledge about interactive video manipulation and art installations. Lower level courses focus on the basic theory and practice of music technologies, such as understanding the recording and creative manipulation of sound, becoming familiar with repertoire, and learning to program using Max/MSP/Jitter. Fourth year courses emphasize creative programming and performance.

Group and individual projects focus on creating interactive environments or manipulating live sound using game controllers, web cams, tablets, and smartphones. Recent and current projects include: visual tracking of a pianist’s hands to control piano samples; interactive dance with PlayStation Move Wands; a video mixer; real time creation of 3D visuals representing sound modifications; infrared tracking of hand motions to move sound around Barnett Recital Hall; and working with Engineering students to create smartphone apps that help process image and video in performances.

The four specialized technology courses MUSC 319, 320, 419, and 420 provide the core of the Minor. In the culmination course – MUSC 420 (the supervised capstone project) – you develop your own technology-related ideas, creating a software environment or hardware interface that directly relates to your future plans. If you have a particular interest in music technology we also encourage you to take other courses at UBC (such as film scoring or theatre sound) as part of your electives to strengthen your knowledge in the area.

The AMT minor is co-directed by Professors Bob Pritchard and Keith Hamel. For further information contact Professor Pritchard: bob@mail.ubc.ca

The courses involved are:

Prerequisites: 6 credits
MUSC 100 (3) First Principles of Musical Form
MUSC 119 (3) Introduction to Music Technology

Core Courses: 12 credits
MUSC 319 (3) Introduction to Electroacoustic Music (prereq MUSC 100, 119)
MUSC 320 (3) Introduction to Computer Music (prereq MUSC 319)
MUSC 419 (3) Laptop Orchestra (prereq MUSC 320)
MUSC 420 (3) Capstone project (prereq MUSC 419)


6 credits chosen from the following courses (subject to approval by a Music Technology Advisor):

  • MUSC 419 (3) Laptop Orchestra (taken a second time)

  • Any 300- or 400-level MUSC course

  • PHYS 341 (3) Physics of Music (strongly recommended for Music majors)

  • ARTH 340 (3) 20th Century Art and Culture: The Triumph and Demise of Modernism

  • ARTH 341 (3) 20th Century Art and Culture: The Postmodern

  • COGS 300 (3) Understanding and Designing Cognitive Systems

  • COGS 303 (3) Research Methods and Cognitive Systems

  • CPSC 310 (3) Introduction to Software Engineering

  • Any 300- or 400-level FIPR course

  • Any 300- or 400-level FIST course

  • LING 311 (3) Studies in Phonology

  • LING 314 (3) Instrumental Phonetics

  • THTR 308 (3) Sound Design

  • VISA 310 (3) Intermediate Digital Arts I

  • VISA 311 (3) Intermediate Digital Arts II

More information

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