Music Theory Minor

The Music Theory Minor prepares students for further in-depth theoretical study and work, such as graduate placement exams, a major or double major at the graduate level, and teaching assistant positions in graduate schools.
The Music Theory Minor consists of 10 credits, including a Capstone Project.

Students may pursue a Music Theory Minor in one of the following tracks:

  • Performance and Analysis
  • Studies in Contemporary Music
  • Music Theory and Applied Composition
  • Research in Music Theory

The Capstone Project

The Capstone Project for the Music Theory Minor is a one or two-semester course of individual study with a member of the Music Theory faculty, the duration and scope of which is determined by the Music Theory Minor track elected by the student; it is undertaken after the student completes their Music Theory elective requirements. All students seeking the Music Theory Minor will give a public presentation of their Capstone Project to the NEC community. The Capstone Project will be evaluated by a three-member committee comprised of the Minor Advisor, the Minor Department Chair, and a third faculty member (selected by the student and/or Minor Advisor). For students pursuing the tracks in Performance and Analysis, Studies in Contemporary Music, or Music Theory and Applied Composition, the one-semester Capstone Project requires seven individual meetings with a Music Theory faculty member, during which time students extend a scholarly paper, composition or an integrated project completed in one of their Music
Theory electives. For these three tracks, the Capstone Project will typically take place in either the spring semester of the junior year or the fall semester of the senior year.

For students pursuing the Research in Music Theory track, the Capstone Project is comprised of two semesters of half-time Music Theory studio (THYU 100). Over the course of the fourteen individual meetings with a Music Theory faculty member, students develop research topics and strategies and write an extensive scholarly paper. The goal of this track is to prepare students for the Music Theory Major at the graduate level.

During the completion of the Capstone Project, students in both the Liberal Arts and Music Theory Minors will receive ongoing individual support from their Advisors and collegial support from the other students in their department Minor cohort at scheduled meetings. At these meetings, students will receive general advice on research strategies, provide peer feedback to one another on their projects as they develop, and work on their presentation skills in advance of their public presentations to the NEC community.

For more information on the Music Theory Minor, please contact the Music Theory Department Chair Katarina Miljkovic at