African American Music Minor

Musical forms of the African diaspora are studied through the lenses of history, cultural studies, musicology, theater, dance, literature, and philosophy.

3 students listen attentively in class.

Students delve into the rich history, cultural significance, and musical styles and forms cultivated by the African American community. This interdisciplinary minor combines the study of African American music with a broad introduction to Africana studies and draws upon resources from both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music. Students are invited to envision the minor from a variety of perspectives—performative, creative, or academic—in line with their own areas of interest.

Students wishing to complete the African American Music Minor should consult with a faculty liaison and complete the Interdivisional or Arts & Sciences Minor form.


Required Courses

  • AST 171 – Introduction to African American Music II (crosslisted as JAZZ 291 or MHST 291)
  • AAST 172 – Introduction to African American Music II (crosslisted as JAZZ 291 or MHST 291)
  • AAST 101 – Introduction to Africana Studies

Sample Electives

  • ETHN 303 – Ethnomusicology as Activism
  • THEA 372 – The Word and The Beat
  • DANC 180 – Beginning Hip Hop Dance
  • JAZZ 702 – Gospel Chorus
  • MHST 333 – The Racial Politics of Classical Music
  • AAST 261 – Framing Blackness: African Americans and Film


Students must complete 20 credit hours, including 12 credits of required courses: Introduction to African American Music I and II in the conservatory and Introduction to Africana Studies in the college. Remaining credits may be selected from an array of approved courses in both the college and conservatory. Students will also develop a learning portfolio with substantive work from each course, including a reflection piece that connects the learning outcomes of multiple courses.

Faculty Liaisons

Charles Peterson (Africana Studies)

Chris Jenkins (Conservatory Dean’s Office)