Music - Fountain School of Performing Arts
Location: Dalhousie Arts Centre, Room 514
6101 University Avenue
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-3772
Fax: (902) 494-2801


Dalhousie provides ways to study many kinds of music, within the vibrant context of our multi-disciplinary Fountain School of Performing Arts. Our offerings range from large survey classes open to students from across the campus, to performing ensembles entered by audition, to one-on-one applied music study for those with demonstrated talent and appropriate prior training. Through our programs, students can develop expertise as listeners, performers, and creators, in styles ranging from classical to popular.

The Bachelor of Music offers focused music studies to prepare graduates for careers or further study in many areas, including performance, composition, theory, musicology, popular music, and more. Through experiential learning, training in music teaches poise, discipline, creativity, collaboration, empathy, and the ability to think on one’s feet. These transferable skills are excellent preparation for many career paths in and beyond the performing arts.

In addition to the BMus, we offer the Honours BA in Music, the BA or BSc Combined Honours and Double Majors with Music, the Minor in Music, the Minor in Musicology, and many elective classes.

Elective Courses for Non-Majors

PERF 1000.03: Writing About Performance
PERF 1001.03: Writing About Music
MUSC 2007.06: The Guitar: History and Techniques (summer term)
MUSC 2008.06: Modern Guitar (summer term)
MUSC 2016.03: Topics in Music and Cinema
MUSC 2018.03: The Road to Rock 'n' Roll
MUSC 2019.03: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Era and Beyond
MUSC 2020.03: The History of Jazz
MUSC 2024.03: The Guitar: History and Techniques 1
MUSC 2025.03: The Guitar: History and Techniques 2
MUSC 2028.03: The Art and Science of Drumming 1
MUSC 2029.03: The Art and Science of Drumming 2
MUSC 3660.03: Introduction to Music and Sound Technology
MUSC 3661.03: Electroacoustic Music
MUSC 3360.03: African American Vernacular Music
MUSC 3314.03: History of Opera
MUSC 4355.03: Narrative Strategies in 19th-Century Music (cross-listed with GWST 4355.03)
MUSC 4356.03: Opera Studies
MUSC 4358/MUSC 4359: Studies in Medieval Music
MUSC 4360.06: Advanced Seminar in Baroque Culture (summer term, study abroad)
MUSC 4361.03/MUSC 4365.03: Topics in Musicology 1
MUSC 4362.03: Topics in Canadian Music
MUSC 4363.03/MUSC 4367.03: Topics in Musicology 2
MUSC 4380.03/MUSC 4381.03: Selected Composer Studies

Other courses in Music may be taken by special permission. Applied study (individual studio instruction) may be taken subject to an audition and available space.

Admission Procedures for all Music Programs

All Music major programs require that candidates (including transfer students) apply to both the university and the Fountain School of Performing Arts and audition for Applied Study. See the website at for the full application process. Re-audition and testing may be required if enrolment is deferred, if a program is interrupted for a year or more, or if an applied study course is not successfully completed in one academic year.

Students who demonstrate outstanding potential at their audition, but who require further preparation for university level music study, will be required to upgrade skills over the summer. Details will be communicated following the audition.


Ensemble Participation

Music Majors:

All students in music major programs enroled in an applied study course (instrument or voice) must participate in ensembles. 

As of the 2018-19 academic year, the Fountain School is phasing in Ensemble courses for credit.

Returning students who began a music major program prior to 2018-19 have the option of enroling in an ensemble course for credit OR in the appropriate level of non-credit ensemble beyond third year: MUSC 0423.00 and MUSC 0424.00 Ensemble 4a and 4b, MUSC 0523.00 and MUSC 0524.00 Ensemble (Advanced) a and b. See the Fountain School Handbook for more details about ensemble participation.

Music minors and Elective students:

Students in music minor programs who enrol in applied study (instrument or voice) and students who take applied study as an elective are encouraged to participate in ensembles. Students may register for an ensemble credit class, depending on course load.

The Fountain School of Performing Arts will monitor the number and types of ensembles for each student.

Students must attend regularly and punctually the rehearsals and performances of their required ensembles. Students should note that ensemble participation typically requires regularly occurring rehearsals and scheduled performances.

Membership in the various ensembles is open to the university and the community by audition. Auditions are held in the first week of September. Please contact the director of each ensemble (listed below) or the Fountain School for further details.

Dalhousie University Chorus (C. Murray)
Dalhousie Vocal Ensemble (C. Murray)
Dalhousie Symphony Orchestra (L. Perez)
Dalhousie Wind Ensemble (J. Caines)
Dalhousie Jazz Ensemble (C. Mitchell)
Dalhousie Percussion Ensemble (D. Gray)
Dalhousie Opera (TBA)
Small Ensembles (staff coaches)
Collaborative Piano (staff coaches)

Applied Study

Individual studio instruction in voice or instrument is required for most music degree programs. Applied courses may be taken as electives subject to an audition and available space. Please note that admission to all applied study courses requires an audition. Please contact the Fountain School of Performing Arts for audition dates or visit website Auxiliary fees apply. Students must achieve a minimum grade of C in first year applied study in order to advance to second year applied study. Idioms offered are:

  • Voice
  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Organ
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Double Bass
  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet
  • Bassoon
  • Saxophone
  • French Horn
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Tuba
  • Percussion
  • Harp