Music and Popular Culture emphasizes the study of music’s effect on mainstream cultural practices throughout history, as well as the impact of cultural factors on music from a given era or region of the world.


This minor allows students to explore the role of music in popular culture, broadly defined as the traditions, practices, objects that dominate in a society at any given moment in history. In this minor, music serves as a lens through which one comes to understand mainstream cultural practices both historically and globally. And, the study of popular culture provides a vantage point for understanding music in broader social and historical context.

Students wishing to complete the Music & Popular Culture Minor should consult with an academic advisor or a member of the minor committee, and complete the Declaration of Music & Popular Culture Minor form.

    Sample Courses

    Study of Music & Related Arts

    • AAST 190 - West African Dance Forms in the Diaspora I: Survey
    • ETHN 302 - Musical Thought: Analysis of World Music
    • EAST 248 - Postwar Japan through Music and Film
    • HISP 440 - Music, Orality, and Literature in Hispanic Traditions
    • JAZZ 131 - Jazz Arranging and Composition
    • MHST 332 - History of Film Music
    • TECH 101- Intro to Electroacoustic Music
    • THEA 266 - Freak Show Performance

    Study of Culture

    • ARTS 318 - Preserving Culture and Heritage: Past, Present, and Future
    • CINE 315 - Queer Media, Activism, and Thought in France: Case Studies
    • ENG 263 - Black English and Voice: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics
    • POLT 200 - Mass Politics in a Media Age
    • RHET 210 - Rhetoric and Social Protest
    • SOCI 432 - How Places Make Us: Sociology of Place and Space

    Foundations in Popular Culture Studies

    • SOCI 250 - Sociology of Popular Culture
    • ANTH 101 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology


    Students must take 20 credits to complete the minor, with courses coming from at least three different departments. Students will also develop a learning portfolio with substantive pieces of work from each of the classes taken to fulfill the minor as well as a reflection piece that explicitly connects the learning outcomes in the different courses.

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