University of California, Berkeley


The Department of Music fosters the cultivation of music on campus through undergraduate and graduate programs of study, and also public concerts and lectures in Hertz Hall, Morrison Hall, and elsewhere. For undergraduates, the department offers a major in music as well as numerous nonmajor courses for students with little or no previous experience in music. A minor in music draws on courses for either majors or nonmajors, depending on student qualifications. For graduate students the department offers programs leading to the MA/PhD or PhD degrees in musical composition, history and literature, or ethnomusicology.

The department's theory courses provide an introduction to the materials of musical composition through ear training, harmony, counterpoint, and analysis. The history and literature courses present a survey of Western music and detailed study of the chief periods of its development. Courses in ethnomusicology provide study of specific areas of world music, both in survey and in depth, and also provide an introduction to the principles and methods of research. Courses in performance (including orchestra, chorus, and various ensembles) offer the opportunity to perform a varied repertory and are open by audition to all students and auditors.

Facilities and Library

The Center for New Music and Audio Technologies is the site for interdisciplinary research and teaching on the application of computer and related technologies to music, and for related concerts, lectures, workshops and seminars by internationally renowned performers, scholars, and researchers.

One of the finest music research collections in the world, the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library provides strong support for instruction, research, and performance at Berkeley. The Hargrove Music Library currently holds some 180,000 volumes of books and printed music; 50,000 sound and video recordings; 30,000 microforms; and extensive manuscript and archival collections. Originally centered on the Western classical tradition, it has in recent years increasingly extended its collecting into non-Western, traditional, and popular musics. While supporting advanced research in musicology and ethnomusicology, it also serves the needs of composers and performers. Its extraordinary collection of music manuscripts and early editions, which continues to grow thanks to generous endowments, offers students the opportunity to work directly with original sources.

Now in its 63rd year, the well-attended free noon concert series takes place in Hertz Hall, a 678-seat performance space. Also used for evening concerts, rehearsals, and lecture classes, it is home to many department ensembles including the symphony, choruses, and ensembles.

A campus icon located in the middle of campus, the Campanile houses the 61-bell carillon and features daily performances by carillonists, students, and guests.

Located on the ground floor of Morrison Hall, the music practice rooms at Berkeley consist of 31 small rooms, most with a single piano, as well as five larger grand rooms which double as teaching studios and an organ/early music practice room.

The department maintains several instrument collections, including the Salz Collection of String Instruments, the Baroque Instrument Collection, the Edmond O'Neill Memorial Organs, and world Instruments. For further information on these collections, see the department's website.

In addition, the department houses two special collections of musical resources, the Joan Lam Choral Library and the Chambers Campanology Collection.  For further information on these collections, please see the department's website.

Performance Opportunities

Unique to Cal’s Department of Music, among the great music departments in the country, is the degree to which performance experience and study are integrated into every aspect of the academic program, whether honing musicianship skills; acquiring knowledge of the music of diverse cultures and traditions; or studying the history and literature of European music or contemporary music life in America and elsewhere. It shows up as a requirement only in one form: Music majors must enroll in at least three semesters of performance from the 140 or 150 series. However, undergraduates and graduate students avail themselves of rich performance opportunities by participating in one of the department’s ensembles that presents evening and weekend concerts; by presenting a noon concert; by auditioning for the opportunity to perform a concerto with the university orchestra; by performing in concerts of the Berkeley Undergraduate Composers Club; and in many other ways.

For further information on these opportunities, see the department's website.

Undergraduate Program

Music: BA, Minor

Graduate Program

Music: PhD, Graduate areas of specialization can be seen above. 

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Contact Information

Department of Music

104 Morrison Hall

Phone: 510-642-2678

Fax: 510-642-8480

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

David Milnes

104 Morrison Hall

Undergraduate Advisor

Brenaia Blue

104 Morrison Hall

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