Music Theory


Your future in music theory

Are you fascinated by different forms of music? Do you want to gain a better understanding of music? Then you should pursue a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory at the University of North Texas.

Music theorists are interested in how music works, leading to more informed, meaningful and impactful interpretations as a performer. They also have deeper listening experiences.

A bachelor’s degree in Music Theory is often the first step toward a teaching career at a college, university or conservatory.

What we offer

The program’s rigorous curriculum will provide you a deeper understanding of music across a broad variety of styles. You’ll draw upon centuries of music research — from Ancient Greece to today — to develop the critical thinking and listening skills needed to best articulate what you find interesting and beautiful about music.

As you build a richer analytical toolkit, you’ll better appreciate the complex counterpoint of Bach, the grand formal schemes of Beethoven and the effortless charm of Mozart.

Our faculty members offer expert guidance in areas ranging from ancient music to contemporary popular music, with in-depth study in Western music from the Renaissance to contemporary post-tonal practices.

They’ve earned recognitions from the Society for Music Theory, the American Musicological Society and the Society for Ethnomusicology for their work. In addition to their scholarly contributions, many are nationally and internationally known award-winning musicians and performers.

We also give you the opportunity to:

  • Access one of the nation’s largest music libraries
  • Discover your potential in classes with an average 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Meet some of the world’s top music scholars and artists through specialized lectures and events hosted by various divisions in the college
  • Perfect your instrumental or vocal techniques in one of our 300 practice rooms
  • Perform in state-of-the-art performance halls with exceptional acoustics
  • Take advantage of countless solo, chamber music and ensemble opportunities

Scholarships are available to help you pursue your degree. These scholarships are awarded based on talent and an audition.

The College of Music is a community of diverse talent and inspiration. It is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21; Reston, Va. 20190-5248; telephone 703-437-0700). This distinction means the college meets or exceeds the association’s strict academic standards for excellence in education.

What to expect

You’ll need to be admitted to the College of Music through an audition in addition to applying to the university. Auditions are held on campus during the spring semester for enrollment the following fall.

If you can’t audition in person, you can submit a video or audio recording. A placement exam in piano is required once you’re accepted to the college.

As a Music Theory major, you’ll take courses in aural and keyboard skills and theoretical concepts. Other course work involves:

  • Music composition
  • Learning the craft of counterpoint in 16th- and 18th-century styles
  • Studying form and harmonic analysis
  • 12 credit hours of lessons in voice or an instrument and 2 credit hours of secondary piano (If your instrument is the piano, you’ll complete 2 credit hours of lessons in another instrument or in voice.)
  • Two years of French or German language courses
  • Schenkerian analysis and post-tonal analytical methods
  • Completing a senior research project to help you acquire the investigative skills needed to prepare for graduate school and teach at a university
  • Participating in a student ensemble each fall and spring semester

Our Career Center, Learning Center and professional academic advisors are among the many valuable resources available to you at UNT. The Career Center can provide advice about internships, future employment opportunities and getting hands-on experience in your major. The Learning Center offers workshops on speed reading, study skills and time management. Academic advisors will help you plan a class schedule each semester.

How to enroll at UNT

High school students

We encourage you to fulfill the graduation requirements for the distinguished level of achievement under the Texas Foundation, Recommended or Distinguished Achievement high school program or the equivalent.

In your junior year, take the SAT or ACT and have your scores sent to UNT.

In the fall of your senior year, apply for admission to UNT and to audition for the College of Music by the first Monday in December. You can apply for admission to UNT at ApplyTexas.org. The College of Music application, audition requirements, audition dates and repertoire are available at our website.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses can count toward college credit at UNT.

Transfer students

If you’re attending a Texas community college, you should consult our online transfer guides, the UNT Undergraduate Catalog and an academic counselor or advisor to review your degree plan. Proper planning will allow you to receive the maximum amount of transfer credits.

Our Transfer Center will help you make a successful transition to college life at UNT by connecting you with a peer mentor and other campus resources. Each year, 3,900 students transfer to UNT.