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Master's Degree in Music Business: Program Summary and Course Info

Several schools offer master's degree programs that focus on the business aspect of the music entertainment industry. In a music business master's degree program, students usually complete core courses in music-related business topics.

Essential Information

These programs often focus on topics such as organizational leadership and business law. The curriculum also usually includes courses specific to the industry such as artist management, promotions, strategic marketing and recording rights. Students may be required to take a few courses in music as well.

  • Prerequisites: Master's degree programs require that students possess bachelor's degrees. In some cases, prior music-related education or experience is necessary. Schools may also require students to submit resumes, personal essays and letters of recommendation.
  • Program Length: These programs generally require two years of study.
  • Other Requirements: Many master's programs require hands-on experience in the industry through internships. Other programs say a thesis can be substituted for this experience.

Master's Degree in Music Business

Degrees in this field go by a few different names, including Master of Science in Music Business or Music Management. In these programs, students examine the business side of music entertainment through coursework in marketing, finance and music industry management. They explore concepts related to the legal aspects of music, licensing and the contracts of recording artists. Some programs delve into the distribution, production and promotion of music. Optional specializations may be available in related areas, like music technology.

Students learn about business administration in the music industry by studying intellectual property, artist management, strategic marketing and contract law. Practical skills may be attained through the completion of a thesis or internship opportunity within an entertainment setting. Additional topics include:

  • Music business entrepreneurship
  • Copyright law
  • Business ethics
  • Financial accounting
  • Venue management

Popular Career Options

Graduates of music business programs pursue a broad range of career opportunities. The music industry requires professionals with knowledge in business administration and contract management, the legal aspects of music and the marketing process. Some popular career options include:

  • Entertainment writer
  • Product manager
  • Music publisher
  • Artist manager
  • Booking agent

Continuing Education

Graduates may wish to continue their education by pursuing doctoral degrees in music technology, music theory or music history. Graduates of doctoral programs may find work as researchers or professors at universities, publishers in the recording industry or music librarians. Doctoral programs offer students a connection between scholarly research and artistry in the entertainment industry.

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