Commercial Music

Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music
Prepares students for professional work in the music media industry. Students may select from two tracks, one in media composition and the second in music technology and production.

Commercial Music Graduation Plan

Completion of the program requires students to demonstrate the following:

Core Musicianship

  • Identify elements and organizational patterns of music through aural and visual analysis
  • Display knowledge of musical forms and processes through compositional, analytical and performance activities
  • Describe the various time periods, important historical figures, styles and genres throughout the historical development of western music
  • Demonstrate keyboard skills in the theoretical areas of scales, chord progressions, harmonization, transposition, and improvisation


  • Demonstrate technical and stylistic capabilities for the major instrument or voice
  • Prepare solo and ensemble performances that demonstrate creative expression and interpretation

Core Music Media

  • Treat musical ventures in a professional business manner
  • Demonstrate effective marketing skills
  • Understand principles of copyright, permissions, and contracts
  • Demonstrate the basics of a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), Pro Tools, and contemporary music notation (Finale and/or Sibelius), in-depth editing, effects, and mixing techniques
  • Understand the concepts of arranging and producing in the recording studio
  • Describe the theory of rock and jazz and demonstrate the usage of chords related to blues, Latin jazz, funk, and bebop
  • Compose melodies in a variety of improvisation styles and give a live improvisational performance with a rhythm section
  • Compose songs in a music media style and understand the process of developing a production plan for a song demo
  • Create a demo reel of original work which demonstrates facility in industry-standard practices
  • Create arrangements for large and small instrumental and vocal ensembles

Media Composition Track

  • Demonstrate scoring for various media such as movies, games, television, and internet applications
  • Demonstrate historical and contemporary techniques as applied to creating an original piece of music
  • Compose examples of counterpoint in historic and contemporary styles

Music Technology and Production Track

  • Demonstrate understanding of basic sound principles, cable types, microphone types, and basic techniques of use
  • Demonstrate abilities with multi-track audio, editing, EQing, mixing and mastering
  • Gather sound for use in film and video productions
  • Demonstrate proper boom miking and wireless microphone techniques
  • Demonstrate acoustics preparation to record dialogue and sound effects on location and on sound stages
  • Edit audio of multimedia productions, including the balancing of artistic relations, mixing and mastering of music, sound effects tracks and Foley