This liberal arts major emphasizes the cultural
and social significance of music in today’s world. It explores the global
diversity of contemporary music; music history, theory, and criticism; and the
evolving technologies used in composing, performing, and listening.
The curriculum highlights creative musical thinking and music making in the spirit of The New School’s tradition of progressive education and experimentation in the arts. Its three areas of focus are
- Popular and global music, both mainstream and alternative, including the musical life of diverse communities in New York City
- Music technology and new media, including digital production and distribution of music and music’s central role in other artistic media, such as film and video
- Music theory, history, and criticism, including musical aesthetics, the poetics of song, and the study of music in social and cultural context
Students can study Contemporary Music as a major (BA), a minor (non-Liberal Arts majors), a guided area of study (Liberal Arts majors), or within an Arts-in-Context concentration (Arts majors).
The University and New York City
Did you know? For students who want both a liberal arts education and professional training in jazz and contemporary music, The New School offers a five-year dual-degree BA/BFA program. Learn more.
While it offers the atmosphere and intimacy of a small college, Eugene Lang College is part of The New School, a leading, progressive university in New York City.
- The university includes two professional music divisions, Mannes College and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. There is a dedicated music library and an extensive program of public concerts and music-related lectures, seminars, and conferences.
- New York City itself presents a wealth of opportunities to experience music of all styles and eras, including concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and experimental venues like the Kitchen, The Stone, and Issue Project Room.
- Students have opportunities for internships with local music and arts institutions that draw on the city’s diverse cultural resources for professional development and practical experience in many fields of creative work.
Education at Eugene Lang College is designed to develop well-rounded and engaged citizens who are thoughtful, articulate, and creative. Contemporary music majors go on to pursue advanced studies in fields like musicology, anthropology, history, and media studies and careers as music producers and distributors, arts writers and critics, administrators, and educators.