Bachelor's Degree Programs in Music and Sound Recording

A bachelor's degree in music and sound recording can open up a wide array of careers in the music recording field. Read on to learn about what degree titles are offered, core coursework, program requirements, and career possibilities for graduates. Schools offering Music Production degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Bachelor's Degrees Can I Earn in Music and Sound Recording?

Bachelor's degree programs in areas related to music and sound recording go by several different names. You can earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Music (B.M.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. In general, B.S. and B.M. degrees are in recording arts or technology, while B.A. degrees are issued in such areas as audio production and sound engineering.

The curricula of these programs vary widely from one school and degree type to the next. Some bachelor's degree programs will allow you to declare a major in one of the above-mentioned fields of study, while others offer them as areas of concentration within majors in music performance, composition or management. Because of the hands-on nature of recording and sound production, these degrees are not currently available online.

Degree Fields Audio production, sound engineering, recording arts
Common Courses Digital production, music theory, sound reinforcement
Requirements 50-60 credit-hours in recording-related studies, internship
Possible Careers Record producer, sound engineer
Median Salary (2018)$43,660 (Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians)
Job Outlook (2018-2028)8% growth (Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Do These Programs Entail?

Despite the differences in program names, all programs described above will provide you with a solid fundamental knowledge recording techniques, music production, audio equipment and sound engineering technology. Common required classes focus on digital production in multimedia formats. Many programs also include courses in music theory and composition. Generally speaking, programs heavily based in music composition or performance delve more deeply into these areas and only include basic studies in recording.

All programs allow you to take several credit hours of elective courses. In this case, you can still become knowledgeable in areas outside your major through electives. Programs that focus on music performance also require you to give an audition performance in order to be admitted. Here are some more course topics you can expect to study:

  • Audio technology
  • Live and studio sound production
  • Physical acoustics and psycho-acoustics
  • Visual media production
  • Multi-track production
  • Audio systems engineering
  • Sound reinforcement
  • Audio equipment repair

What Are the Course Requirements?

A large chunk of your required courses will be core music and sound recording classes. In general, you can expect to complete between 50 and 60 credit hours of recording-related study. Many programs also mandate the completion of an internship in sound recording, engineering or production.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Music and Sound Recording?

A bachelor's degree in music and sound recording or a related area will give you the hands-on skills needed for a career in audio or audio-visual recording, production or engineering. Employment opportunities in these areas exist in many different forms. You can work as a record producer, specializing in multi-track recording and engineering. If you're interested in production, you can also produce single-track studio recordings, audio-visual media or live audio performances.

As a graduate of a bachelor's degree program in music or sound recording, you can also work in audio sound engineering or technology. As with music production, this field allows you to work in multiple audio-related media, including studio recording, live concert recording and even advertising, recording jingles and other marketing media. Exact job responsibilities differ by position, but typical responsibilities may include audio synthesis, track remixing and audio systems maintenance.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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