Minors

All minors require an application for admission. Please refer to the descriptions of each individual minor for specific admissions requirements, as well as courses that may be taken prior to admission as a gateway to the minor.

It is important to apply as early as possible to the minor that you want to complete, as admission to the minor allows access to required course offerings. If you are not admitted to the minor of your choice, staff members will help you explore different options for pursuing your musical interests at USC Thornton.

Music Industry

The Music Industry minor gives you an opportunity to explore careers in fields such as the record business, music publishing, artist management, radio, concerts, music for film, TV, video games, and the Internet. For performers, it provides the practical knowledge needed to protect your rights, maximize your opportunities, and understand the dollars and cents of the music business. This minor requires 20 units for completion, as detailed below:

Required Courses Units
MUIN 272x Basics of the Music Industry 4
MUIN 372x Business and Legal Aspects of the Music Industry 4
Select 4 units from the following: Units
MUHL 315x Music and Culture 4
MUSC 400m The Broadway Musical: Reflection of American Diversity, Issues, and Experiences 4
MUSC 410 Electronic Dance Music 4
MUSC 420m Hip-Hop Music and Culture 4
MUSC 422 The Beatles: Their Music and Their Times 4
MUSC 423 Classic Rock: Popular Music of the Sixties and Seventies 2
MUSC 424 Iconic Figures of Popular Music 2
MUSC 444 American Roots Music: History and Culture 4
MUSC 450m The Music of Black Americans 4
MUSC 460 Film Music: History and Function from 1930 to the Present 4
MUSC 465 Music, Television and American Culture 4
Select 8 units from the following: Units
MTEC 245 Introduction to MIDI Sequencing 1
MTEC 246 Introduction to Audio Recording and Editing 1
MTEC 277x Introduction to Music Technology 4
MTEC 446ab Computer Assisted Recording and Editing 2-2
MUIN 280 Communications in the Music Industry 4
MUIN 370 Music Publishing and Licensing 2
MUIN 410 Marketing, Branding and Strategic Alliances in Music 2
MUIN 420 DIY Music Marketing 2
MUIN 425 Live Music Production and Promotion 4
MUIN 430 Artist Management and Development 4
MUIN 443 The Business of Music for Visual Media 4
MUIN 495 Web Design for the Music Industry 4
MUIN 497 Current Topics, Case Studies and Analysis 2

Admission Requirements and Gateway Courses
Prior musical experience is not required. Students must apply for this minor, but the primary consideration is academic standing at USC. Prior to admission, students may take MUIN 272x, MUIN 372x, or any of the music history and culture courses listed above (e.g., MUSC 460).

Music Production

A successful career in the 21st century music industry often requires that musicians be the songwriter, performer, producer and/or audio engineer on any given project. The minor in Music Production allows students to develop the creative, collaborative and technical skills required to compose, arrange and produce for contemporary music projects. This minor requires 19 units for completion, as detailed below:

Required Courses Units
MTEC 245 Introduction to MIDI Sequencing 1
MTEC 246 Introduction to Audio Recording and Editing 1
MTEC 277x* Introduction to Music Technology 4
MUCO 130a Basics of Music Theory 3
MUSC 255 Songwriting I 2
Select 8 units from the following: Units
MTEC 443 Desktop Music Production 2
MTEC 444 Non-Linear MIDI Sequencing 2
MTEC 445 Advanced Desktop Music Production 2
MTEC 446ab Computer Assisted Recording and Editing 2-2
MTEC 474ab Electronic Synthesizer Techniques 2-2
MTEC 478 Advanced Multichannel Remix 2
MUSC 355 Songwriting II 2
MUCO 338x Elementary Orchestration 2
MUCO 445** Introduction to Scoring Video Games 2

*Music Industry majors can substitute MTEC 175 and MTEC 176 for MTEC 277x.
**Course has prerequisites that cannot be applied toward the Music Production Minor.

Admission Requirements and Gateway Courses
Students must apply for this minor, and admission is based on successful completion of MUSC 255: Songwriting I. Generally, students who earn a B or better in this course and have a GPA of 2.0 or higher are admitted. Students admitted to this minor will be expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 with no grade lower than a “C” for all courses taken in the minor.

Popular Music Studies

Explore the roots of the music that you know and love and expand your musical horizons. The Popular Music Studies minor is for students whose passion is popular music and who want to delve into the cultural and historical contexts behind the music. Previous musical experience is not required. This minor requires 16 units for completion, as detailed below:

Select 16 units from the following: Units
MUSC 400m The Broadway Musical: Reflection of American Diversity, Issues and Experiences 4
MUSC 410 Electronic Dance Music 4
MUSC 420m Hip-Hop Music and Culture 4
MUSC 422 The Beatles: Their Music and Their Times 4
MUSC 423 Popular Music of the Sixties and Seventies 2
MUSC 424 Iconic Figures of Popular Music 2
MUSC 444 American Roots Music: History and Culture 4
MUSC 450m The Music of Black Americans 4
MUSC 460 Film Music: History and Function from 1930 to the Present 4
MUSC 465 Music, Television and American Culture 4
MUJZ 419m The Jazz Experience: Myths and Culture 4

Admission Requirements and Gateway Courses:
Students must apply for this minor, but virtually any student with a 2.0 GPA or higher will be admitted. All of the courses in this minor are open to any student at USC. Therefore, any course listed above may serve as the gateway.

Music Recording

The Music Recording minor provides the basic tools for high quality audio recording needed in today’s music industry. Areas of study include digital equipment and recording, acoustics and speaker design, computer assisted recording and editing, remote recording techniques, advanced multichannel remix, audio mastering, and audio signal processing equipment. This minor requires 18 units for completion, as detailed below:

Required Courses Units
MTEC 277x* Introduction to Music Technology 4
MTEC 275 Fundamentals of Audio Engineering 4
MTEC 446a Computer Assisted Recording and Editing 2
Select 8 units from the following: Units
MTEC 389 Digital Equipment and Recording 2
MTEC 392a Acoustics and Speaker Design 2
MTEC 446b Computer Assisted Recording and Editing 2
MTEC 477 Remote Recording Techniques 2
MTEC 478 Advanced Multichannel Remix 2
MTEC 479 Audio Mastering 2
MTEC 491 The Recording Console 4
MTEC 493 Audio Signal Processing Equipment 2
MUIN 340 Introduction to Sound Reinforcement 4

*Music Industry majors can substitute MTEC 175 and MTEC 176 for MTEC 277x.

Admission Requirements and Gateway Courses:
Students must apply for this minor, and admission is based on successful completion of MTEC 277x: Introduction to Music Technology. Generally, students who earn a B or better in this course and have a GPA of 2.0 or higher are admitted.

Jazz Studies

The Jazz Studies minor is for students who already play jazz and want to continue to expand their musical experience. Through jazz improvisation, theory, and history classes, as well as private lessons and ensembles, students will gain the tools necessary to perform at a high level. This minor requires 21 units for completion, as detailed below:

Required Courses Units
MUCO 130ax Basics of Music Theory 3
MUJZ 150x Beginning Jazz Improvisation 2
MUJZ 301 Individual Instruction 4
MUJZ 450 Intermediate Jazz Improvisation 2
Any Music elective courses numbered 300-499 2
Select one of the following courses: Units
MUJZ 419m The Jazz Experience: Myths and Culture 4
MUSC 450m The Music of Black Americans 4
Select 4 units from the following: Units
MUEN 329 Jazz Ensemble 1-1-1-1
MUEN 332 Jazz Chamber 1-1-1-1

Admission Requirements and Gateway Courses:
Students must apply for this minor and audition on the instrument of their choice. Admission is primarily based on performance ability in the jazz idiom. Those who want to prepare for this audition and make progress in the minor may take individual lessons on their instrument (MUJZ 300x). If admitted into the minor, these lessons will not count toward the Jazz Studies minor requirements. Students who are confident about the audition and wish to begin taking minor requirements may take MUJZ 419m or MUSC 450m (which fulfill the undergraduate Diversity requirements) and upper division elective courses in music. Those students who have substantial background in jazz improvisation may also be permitted to take MUJZ 150x.

Musical Studies

The Musical Studies minor is for students who already have a background in music performance and want to continue to develop their skills. Musical Studies minors have the opportunity to study their instrument in private lessons and participate in ensembles, as well as study music theory and music history. Through the electives, students may explore their own unique musical interests. Students may apply on virtually any instrument, including voice. This minor requires 26 units for completion, as detailed below:

Required Courses Units
MUEN 300-499 Music Ensemble Electives 2
MUHL 315x Music and Culture 4
MPKS 250a Keyboard Instruction I 2
Individual Instruction at the 301 level 6
MUCO 130abx Basics of Music Theory 3-3
Music electives (must include 4 upper division units) 6

Admission Requirements and Gateway Courses:
Students must apply for this minor and audition on the instrument of their choice. Admission is primarily based on performance ability. Students who want to prepare for this audition and make progress in the minor should take individual lessons on their instrument. If admitted into the minor, these lessons will not count toward the Musical Studies minor requirements. Students who are confident about the audition but wish to begin taking minor requirements before being admitted to the minor may take MUHL 315x, music ensembles, or music electives.

Songwriting

Songwriting is a craft that you can learn and develop even if you haven’t spent years studying music. This minor offers practical hands-on instruction in the techniques of writing and performing your own original works, the technology to produce your songs, and critical studies in relevant repertoires. You will have opportunities to interact with established songwriters and to have your work showcased in public performances. This minor requires 24 units for completion, as detailed below:

Required Courses Units
MUCO 130abx Basics of Music Theory 3-3
MUSC 255 Songwriting I 2
MUSC 355 Songwriting II 2
MUSC 455 Songwriting III: The Performing Songwriter 2
MTEC 245 Introduction to MIDI Sequencing 1
MTEC 246 Introduction to Audio Recording and Editing 1
MTEC 443
or
MTEC 446a
Desktop Music Production

Computer Assisted Recording and Editing
2

2
Select 8 units from the following: Units
COMM 306 The Communication Revolution, Entertainment, and the Arts 4
COMM 307 Sound Clash: Popular Music and American Culture 4
COMM 384 Interpreting Popular Culture 4
COMM 440 Music as Communication 4
MUSC 400m The Broadway Musical: Reflection of American Diversity, Issues, and Experiences 4
MUSC 410 Electronic Dance Music 4
MUSC 420m Hip-Hop Music and Culture 4
MUSC 422 The Beatles: Their Music and Their Times 4
MUSC 423 Classic Rock: Popular Music of the Sixties and Seventies 2
MUSC 424 Iconic Figures of Popular Music 2
MUSC 444 American Roots Music: History and Culture 4
MUSC 450m The Music of Black Americans 4
MUSC 460 Film Music: History and Function from 1930 to Present 4
MUSC 465 Music, Television and American Culture 4

Admission Requirements and Gateway Courses:
Students must apply for this minor. Those who are considering this program should enroll in MUSC 255: Songwriting I. Admission will be based on songwriting ability and potential as determined by the Songwriting faculty. Any of the COMM and MUSC courses may also be taken prior to admission to the minor.

Musical Theatre

Fine acting, good singing, beautiful dancing: it takes years to master the craft for any of those disciplines. The Musical Theatre minor is designed to broaden the skills of anyone on such a track by offering classes in theatre, music, and movement.

Music majors wishing to pursue this minor must consult the Catalogue for requirements. Students majoring in any non-music discipline should follow the track below.

This minor requires 27 units for completion, as detailed below:

Required Courses Units
MUSC 400m The Broadway Musical: Reflection of American Diversity, Issues, and Experiences 4
MPVA 402* Musical Theatre Workshop 2-2-2-2
THTR 343 Musical Theatre Audition 3
6 units of voice courses selected from: Units
MPVA 301 Individual Instruction 2-2-2
MPVA 141 Class Voice 2
MPVA 241 Intermediate Class Voice 2
4 units of piano or guitar courses selected from: Units
MPKS 150ab Beginning Piano 2-2
MPGU 121** Intensive Beginning Pop/Rock Guitar 4
MPGU 120a** Beginning Pop/Rock Guitar 2
MPGU 125 Beginning Fingerstyle/Chord Guitar 2
MPGU 126 Easy Fingerstyle Beatles 2
MPGU 120B** Beginning Pop/Rock Guitar 2
2 units of movement courses selected from: Units
DANC 181-189 Various dance technique courses 2
THTR 216/316 Movement for Actors or Advanced Movement 2

*2 units of MPVA 402 may be satisfied by taking THTR 397 Theatre Practicum I
** Approved substitutions for this requirement

Admission Requirements and Gateway Courses:
Students must apply for this minor and perform an audition of two musical theatre songs from the standard repertoire (one ballad and one up-tempo number). Admission is based primarily on performance ability. No separate acting or dance audition is required. Students who wish to prepare for this audition may take MPVA 141: Class Voice or seek admission into MPVA 402: Musical Theatre Workshop by contacting the course instructor, Professor Parmer Fuller at pfuller@usc.edu. Other possibilities for pre-admission enrollment include the guitar and piano courses listed above and MUSC 400m: The Broadway Musical, which fulfills the undergraduate diversity requirements.