Carleton University offers two streams through which students can study music: the Bachelor of Music program (BMus) and the Bachelor of Arts program (BA).  The program requirements for each are listed in the Undergraduate Calendar.

The Music programs at Carleton provide a solid grounding in the study and performance of various instruments and genres of music. Subjects of study include the practice, analysis and history of European classical music from the Middle Ages to the present, as well as Canadian music, computer music, composition, ethnomusicology, jazz, popular music, and gender studies. One of the unique things about Carleton’s Bachelor of Music program is that it is possible for students to undertake performance studies in jazz, classical, musical theatre, popular music idioms, or traditional musics. In addition, Carleton is the only university in Canada to offer a performance program in carillon studies. All music students (both BMus and BA) have opportunities to study the theory and analysis of jazz, classical, and popular styles, as well as a range of non-western musical traditions. Music admits a small number of students to the BMus program each year who receive personal attention from highly qualified faculty, internationally distinguished and recognized for their achievements in teaching and research. While at Carleton, students may enroll in a cooperative practicum course for credit, gaining valuable hands-on work experience in Ottawa’s vibrant artistic and cultural community. A degree in Music from Carleton provides a broad yet thorough education, giving graduates a competitive advantage in today’s job market.

Principal Music Subjects


  • individual study (open to BMus students only)
  • wide range of classical and popular instruments, voice
  • ensembles: choir, jazz, jazz-rock fusion, early music, contemporary music, music theatre, African drumming, chamber music, and other ensembles with community partners: orchestra, concert band, jazz choir
  • conducting
  • student recitals and masterclasses
  • keyboard harmony


  • class and small group instruction over three years
  • orchestration, computer music, film music, arranging, contemporary notation
  • concerts of student compositions


  • Historical musicology: medieval, renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, modern.
  • Popular music:  rock, jazz, folk, pop
  • Ethnomusicology: traditional and popular music of the world’s peoples


  • Classical music: common practice and 20th-century harmony, form and analysis, 16th- and 18th-century counterpoint
  • Popular music and jazz: theory and arranging

Ear Training

  • sight-singing
  • dictation
  • choral singing
  • aural analysis