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Bachelor of Music (BMus)

Carleton University
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
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Bachelor of Music (BMus)

About this program

Bachelor of Music (BMus)

Carleton University’s Bachelor of Music (Honours) program provides a solid grounding in the study and performance of a wide variety of musical instruments and traditions. Subjects of study include the practice, analysis and history of European classical music from the Middle Ages to the present; 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 individual performance instruction with highly qualified instructors in virtually any musical tradition. We also offer a wide range of music ensembles including choir, jazz, jazz-rock fusion, music theatre, African drumming and more. In addition, Carleton is the only university in Canada to offer a performance program in carillon studies.

A degree in Music from Carleton provides a broad yet thorough education, giving graduates a competitive advantage in today’s job market. The BMus program can lead to various careers in music, as well as graduate studies in musicology, theory, composition or performance.

Admission to the program is by audition, and applicants may audition on any instrument (or voice) used in classical, traditional or popular music. Applicants are expected to demonstrate musical competence on their instrument and knowledge of basic music theory.

A Bachelor of Arts (Honours, Combined Honours, General) in Music is also available.

Admission requirements

After you have applied to the Bachelor of Music program at Carleton, you will be required to audition on the instrument you intend to study at university. Applicants must also complete an online theory and listening test prior to the audition.

Graduates of our Honours programs are well qualified to go on to graduate studies in a variety of fields including musicology, theory/composition, performance, journalism or cultural studies.

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Program content

The Bachelor of Music (Honours) program is usually completed after four years of full-time study. It provides valuable preparation for graduate work in musicology, music theory or composition; for advanced studies as a performer; or for careers in music education. Your courses in theory, performance and musicology will allow you to study the nature of musical processes from practical, artistic, historical and social points of view.

In your first two years, there is an equal emphasis on the sub-disciplines of performance, theory and musicology. In the final two years of the program, you can choose from a variety of courses while concentrating on performance, music theory, music composition, computer music, historical musicology, ethnomusicology or popular music studies.

You will pursue individualized performance-study in at least three of your four years and participate in performance ensembles in one or more of the following areas: Chamber music, Concert band, Choir, Jazz, Music Theatre, Opera, African drumming or Fusion (Jazz/Rock). The Carleton music program also has affiliations with a variety of off-campus performance groups, which offer an even greater array of ensemble choices.

The Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Music program allows you to pursue studies in musicology, theory and composition. In addition to the first-year survey courses in music history and popular music, other courses focus on various aspects of music and culture. Bachelor of Arts (Combined Honours) students can combine studies in Music with a major or a minor in another discipline.

In the past, Music students have had placements that allowed them to learn and develop a variety of skills, such as:

  • Digitizing, restoring and cataloguing audio from tape and vinyl;
  • Editing music scores for publication;
  • Researching information about composers, manuscripts, their location, previous editions if any, etc.;
  • Setting up and maintaining Websites and researching information on the Internet;
  • Practical recording studio techniques, and film-scoring composition;
  • Music therapy, or other music-related social work with older and/or infirmed adults;
  • Developing and implementing online publicity strategies and resources.
  • Writing (refining, abridging) user manuals for digital audio and video software; and
  • Assisting music teachers by preparing materials and working with students one-on-one.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.


Standard Fee: CAD 31,502.07

Career paths

The workplace

Graduates of Music programs enjoy careers in a wide range of areas including arts management, performance, teaching and arts journalism.

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About this institute

Carleton University

Carleton University is located in beautiful Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Carleton is committed to giving back through education while pursuing contributions to the common good. These founding values are at the heart of the university’s focus on research, community...

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Why study at Carleton University

Why Carleton?

  • A large percentage of Canada’s major medical, clinical and life science research centres are located in the Ottawa area, as well as a growing technology industry with over 1,900 companies.
  • The majority of their programs feature work-study opportunities (known as “co-op”), that allow students to gain full-time, paid employment related to their academic program.
  • Carleton is a close-knit, supportive and diverse community. This includes academic support, help with jobs and career, health and counselling, student life, athletics, and 300+ student-run clubs and societies. Students come from 140+ countries and have many opportunities to get involved in community-building activities both on and off-campus.
  • Campus is a green oasis, nestled between the Rideau River, Rideau Canal and Dow’s Lake. Their self-contained campus and focus on community encourage student interaction, which can provide you with both valuable communication skills and lasting friendships.
  • Qualified applicants are automatically offered entrance scholarships ranging from $4,000 to $16,000 CAD over four years, and a place in one of Carleton’s on-campus residences.

Contact info

Carleton University

1125 Colonel By Drive
K1S 5B6 Ottawa Ontario

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