Bachelor of Music

In 1983, Peabody became the first conservatory in the United States to offer a music-focused major in recording engineering intended for students who excel in math, science and musicianship. The Bachelor of Music in Recording Arts and Sciences program is designed to develop skilled audio engineer and producers who possess both technical expertise and a sophisticated knowledge of music. This unique program is based on the “Tonmeister” model of educating students towards competencies in the theoretical and practical applications of music engineering through coursework at The Peabody Conservatory and JHU’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering.

The Recording Arts and Sciences curriculum includes extensive practical recording engineering experience in styles ranging from jazz, rock, and popular music to classical opera, chamber, choral, and orchestral. In addition to regular studio sessions with live musical groups, students serve as recording engineers for all Peabody performances, some of which require realtime mixing for a broadcast livestream. All recording majors are expected to work in the recording studios throughout the course of their enrollment and are compensated through the College Work Study program or part-time employment. Following their third year, students complete an internship with a company or individual specializing in the sector of the industry in which they intend to pursue a career following graduation.

Program Requirements

Depending on your background and career aspirations, the major can be pursued in the following variants:

  • BM Recording Arts and Sciences (RAS)
    • Who?
      For musicians with calculus and physics in high school, ideally those with AP and IB credits in those subjects.
    • How?
      Applicants submit a portfolio demonstrating their musicianship. Examples include video of instrument or vocal performance (live or studio recording with no editing) or compositions (recorded and/or notated).
      See section on Admission for more details.
  • BM Recording Arts and Sciences – Double Major
    • Who?
      Students pursuing the double major enter with calculus and physics credits from high school AP or IB-HL examinations or transfer credits from collegiate-level study. The RAS double major is combined with a full music major in one of the following disciplines:

      • Composition
      • Computer Music
      • Piano
      • Orchestral Instrument
      • Jazz
      • Guitar
    • How?
      In addition to RAS requirements, applicants will audition or interview for one of the above listed performance or composition majors.
      See section on Admission for more details.
  • BM-MA Five-Year Double Degree
    • Who?
      Students with a strong academic foundation who intend to pursue a master’s degree in recording or acoustics and wish to do it in one year rather than two.
    • How?
      Students interested in this path must be accepted into one of the four-year versions listed above and complete all calculus and physics requirements prior to admission or through summer coursework (at JHU or another pre-approved institution).
      In the third year of study, students who have maintained a GPA of 3.5 or better, successfully completed the prerequisite coursework, and have secured approval from the department coordinator or chair apply to the Office of Academic Affairs for formal acceptance into the MA coursework in either Recording Arts and Sciences or Acoustics. See the course catalogue for details.
      The BM degree is completed at the end of the fourth year so that the fifth year can be concentrated on graduate-level work towards a capstone portfolio.
  • BM-MA Music for New Media (MFN) and Recording Arts and Sciences
    • Students accepted into the Music for New Media major who would like more experience in recording engineering and qualify academically (see details under BM RAS Double Major above) follow the two-semester Recording for Musicians course requirements in MFN with those in the RAS track: Recording 2, 3 and 4.
    • Additional required classes for the RAS major include Intro to Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mastering Electronics at JHU’s Whiting School of Engineering.

Interested in music technology with less focus on recording and more along the lines of writing music?

  • Music for New Media – for musicians who would like to pursue a career scoring music for picture, interactive (e.g., video games and VR) and narrative (e.g., TV and film). These composers typically work professionally among a team of creatives that include storytellers, directors and producers to animators, graphic designers, coders, and studio engineers. Their objective is to compose music cues and incidental music that serves the visual storytelling.
  • Computer Music – for the composer who wants to incorporate technology into their work through the use of advanced synthesis and computer programming.

Note: Due to credit load and scheduling conflicts, it is not possible to combine the undergraduate Recording Arts major with the Double Degree program at the Homewood campus of Johns Hopkins University or the Music Education, Music for New Media, and Voice majors at Peabody.

MA Audio Sciences: Recording Arts and Sciences
MA Audio Sciences: Acoustics

The Master of Arts program in Audio Sciences was developed in conjunction with members of the professional audio and acoustics communities to offer students the opportunity to develop a strong foundation of practical skills and a deep understanding of theory from faculty with extensive experience in their field.

At the core of both concentrations are shared courses in architectural acoustics, electroacoustics, psychoacoustics, and musical acoustics. Specific to each concentration are the following courses:

  • MA Recording Arts and Sciences:
    • Advanced Recording Systems
    • Advanced Studio Production (with capstone portfolio)
  • MA Acoustics
    • Architectural Acoustics 2
    • Graduate Acoustics Seminar
    • Acoustics Practicum (with capstone design project)

Program Requirements

The curriculum is designed as a two-year full time residency program.