Duke’s undergraduate music curriculum is designed to cultivate the wide-ranging interests and abilities of its students while providing them with a coherent approach to understanding the techniques and history of music. Its offerings encompass the many ways that we perform, create and comprehend music.

The music major is flexible and may be shaped to emphasize any of the various subspecialties of the field, including preparation for graduate work. The goal of the major is to develop a depth of analytical, historical, and aesthetic understanding, as well as enhance the specific aural and physical capacities necessary for good musicianship. These skills will provide the music graduate with a foundation for future learning in a variety of fields.

Wenjia Xu (Duke Class of 2014) created a composition that melds his two majors, Music and Biology. "Elemental Suite" assigns musical properties to the elements that make up our universe. By manipulating and combining these representations, Xu builds complex molecules, eventually creating a musical representation of DNA. (Video by Libi Striegl)

Undergraduate News

Master Classes, Fall 2014

    • Heliand Consort
All master classes are free and open to the public. WIND INSTRUMENT MASTER CLASS WITH HELIAND CONSORT Thursday, October 16 @ 5 pm Bone Hall, Biddle Music Building Heliand Consort (Elisabeth LeBlanc, clarinet; Rachael Elliott, bassoon; and Cynthia Huard, piano) is a dynamic group of virtuoso musicians who perform…
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Duke named one of top 10 music colleges in the U.S.

    • mbira class 2012
USA Today's College Factual names Duke one of the top 10 music colleges in the United States. Joining the ranks of lauded music programs at Yale, Columbia, and Stanford, Duke's music program is praised for providing "a comprehensive education in performance, theory, history and ethnomusicology. The undergraduate program exposes…
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Duke Engage in Zhuhai, China: Summer 2014

    • Duke Engage Zhuhai 2014 photo 6
Duke Engage in Zhuhai, China: Summer 2014 Each summer, Professor of the Practice of Music (violin) and Ciompi Quartet member Hsiao-mei Ku leads a Duke Engage trip to Zhuhai, China. The focus of the trip is to partner with a middle school to provide arts education. Click image to…
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Ciompi in China, Dec. 2013

    • Ciompi Kunshan 1
The Ciompi Quartet visited China in December, playing a number of concerts and conducting master classes. Here are some photo highlights of the tour. (Click the image to view additional photos.) The Quartet visited the building site of DKU, Duke Kunshan University, and performed a Duke-sponsored concert. The Quartet…
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Master Classes, Spring 2014

    • William Conable
All master classes are free and open to the public. Thursday, January 16 @ 5 pm Nelson Music Room, East Duke Building Alexander Technique Master Class with William Conable William Conable enjoys worldwide renown as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, a method for improving freedom and ease of…
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More Undergraduate News here.

Interested in majoring or minoring in Music, please contact:

Declaring a major or minor in Music contact:

The Academic Advising Center

  • phone: 919-684-6217
  • hours: Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm
  • email:

Office of Undergraduate Education

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