Minor In Music

A music minor is a great option for a student who is passionate about music, performance or conducting, but who chooses to major in another field. Our program aims to broaden, as well as deepen, students' understanding of the art of music and offers a good deal of flexibility, as outlined in the requirements below. In addition, many students at Duke have a serious interest in music and participate in our undergraduate ensembles, studio and classroom instruction, without pursuing either a major or minor.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 5.5 course credits are required for the Minor.


  • MUSIC 261: Theory and Practice of Tonal Music I

NOTE: MUSIC 161: Introduction to Music Theory, if taken first, may count as an elective toward the Minor.

One course in Music History, select from

  • History: MUSIC 255S: Music History I (Antiquity through Renaissance)
  • History: MUSIC 256S: Music History II (1600 through Mozart)
  • History: MUSIC 257: Music History III (Beethoven through WWI)
  • History: MUSIC 258: Music History IV (Post-WWI through the Present)

Two semesters in Performance, select from

  • MUSIC 101-108, 203-213 (excluding 210-3): classical or jazz piano, organ, harpsichord, violin, cello, string bass, classical or jazz guitar, harp, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba, percussion, djembe, voice, and some ensembles
  • MUSIC 318 [Instrumental Conducting], MUSIC 319 [Choral Conducting], MUSIC 418 [Advanced Study in Conducting]
  • MUSIC 401 [Advanced Study in Musical Performance]

Three additional courses, two of them above MUSIC 213, select from

  • MUSIC 130: World Music: Aesthetic and Anthropological Approaches
  • MUSIC 137: Music, Social Life, and Scenes
  • MUSIC 140: Introduction to Jazz
  • MUSIC 143: History of Rock
  • MUSIC 144: Meet the Beatles and the 1960s
  • and courses numbered above MUSIC 213

Waiver of Music Minor Requirements

A request for waiver of any requirement for the music major or the music minor, together with supporting documentation where appropriate, should be submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS).

After reviewing the request, the DUS may decide that the student needs to take a departmental examination in the area before a final decision can be made. Waived courses earn no credit towards the 34-course graduation requirement, nor will grades for them appear on your transcript.)