Music theory is the study of the fundamental principles of music, including harmony, melody, rhythm, and form. It can be a challenging subject to learn, but it is essential for anyone who wants to understand music at a deeper level.

One way to gain expertise in music theory is by pursuing a degree in this field. In this article, we will explore what degrees in music theory entail.

What Is Music Theory?

Before we dive into degrees in music theory, let’s define what this subject encompasses. Music theory is the study of how music works.

It involves analyzing the elements of musical compositions, such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and form. Music theory also explores how these elements interact with each other to create different styles and genres of music.

Degrees in Music Theory

There are several types of degrees available for those interested in studying music theory. Here are some of the most common:

Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s degree in music theory typically takes four years to complete and provides students with a comprehensive education in this field. Students will take courses such as ear training, sight-singing, counterpoint, analysis of musical form and structure, and history of Western art music.

Master’s Degree

A Master’s degree in music theory builds upon the knowledge gained during a Bachelor’s degree program. Students will delve deeper into topics such as advanced analysis techniques, contemporary music practices, and non-Western musical traditions. A Master’s degree typically takes two years to complete.

Doctorate Degree

A Doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in music theory is the highest level of education available in this field. It requires several years of study beyond a Master’s degree program and involves significant research and writing projects. Graduates with a Ph. may work as university professors or researchers in the field of music theory.

Careers in Music Theory

There are many career paths available to those with degrees in music theory. Some of the most common include:


In summary, music theory is the study of how music works, and pursuing a degree in this field can provide a comprehensive education in this subject. With a degree in music theory, you can pursue various careers related to music and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for this art form. Whether you choose to pursue a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate degree, the knowledge gained from studying music theory can enrich your life and career.