The Department of Music offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs within the following interest areas. Click on individual areas to view associated degrees, faculty, graduate students and more, or to explore degrees by academic level choose a level:


Student making notes on music score

Music Theory

The theory program consists of a core curriculum devoted to the theory and analysis of tonal and 20th-century music, complemented by seminars on a wide variety of topics.

music history


The musicology program spans the entire spectrum of music history, from the earliest chant to music of the 20th century. It emphasizes the humanistic study of music, music in the context of society, and new critical approaches to the discipline. 

Student composing at the piano


The composition program at UCSB is recognized internationally for its innovation, instruction, and performance resources in contemporary art music. It maintains high standards for the composition and performance of new music and offers to students excellent opportunities for pursuing research. 




The Ethnomusicology Program consists of core courses in three areas: Regional Studies, including the Middle East, South Asia, Eastern Europe, American folk and vernacular music, Japan, Indonesia, and Mexico; Issues - such as anthropology of music, globalization, cosmopolitanism, tourism, sound studies, and gender studies; and Methods - such as theories and methods in ethnomusicology, fieldwork, tuning and temperament, and maqam



The Department of Music offers a wide range of performance activities and offers performance degree programs in Piano, Voice, Choral Conducting, Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass), Woodwinds (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon), Brass (Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba), and Percussion. In addition, the department seeks to promote a spirit of collaboration among its performers, composers and scholars.