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Music Theory

student's hands writing on a sheet of staff paperUL Lafayette Music Theory Curriculum

Beginning in the Fall 2023 semester, the undergraduate music theory curriculum will be structured in a modular system that allows students more choice in their study of music theory. The first step in the curriculum is taking the Music Theory Diagnostic Exam.

Once students take the diagnostic exam, they will be advised to take either MUS 120: Foundations of Western Music Theory or MUS 130: Diatonic and Chromatic Harmony. Both courses count toward the total number of required music theory credits in the curriculum and are offered every fall and spring semester.

After completing MUS 130, students may then choose from the following menu of music theory courses, which will be offered on a rotating basis, beginning in Fall 2023. See the current University Catalog for details on required theory credits for each music concentration.

Theory Menu

Core Skills Courses (offered every semester)

  • MUS 120: Foundations of Western Music Theory
  • MUS 130: Diatonic & Chromatic Harmony in Western Music*

Elective Courses (offered on rotating basis)

  • MUS 112: Music Theory for Popular Music
  • MUS 110: Music Theory for Oral Traditions
  • MUS 312: Jazz Theory
  • MUS 349: Advanced Analysis of Jazz Music (prerequisite: MUS 312)
  • MUS 320: Analysis of Baroque & Classical Music**
  • MUS 350: Analysis of Romantic Era Music**
  • MUS 290: Analysis of Music After 1900
  • MUS 440: Undergraduate Music Theory Seminar

* MUS 130 is a required prerequisite for all Music Theory Elective Courses

** Most concentrations require students take either MUS 320 or MUS 350 as one elective course