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 industry. The program consists of general business and industry-specific courses, and often include experiential learning opportunities.

Essential Information

Music business master's programs often focus on topics such as organizational leadership and business law. The curriculum also usually includes courses specific to the industry and music fundamentals. Many master's programs require hands-on experience in the industry through internships. Other programs say a thesis can be substituted for this experience.

Students must hold a bachelor's degree in order to be admitted into a program. Some programs say the degree must be in music or business, but others don't stipulate a major. These programs take about two years of full-time study to complete.

Master's Degree in Music Business

Degrees in this field go by a few different names, including a 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. 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:

  • Concert promoter
  • Radio promoter
  • Retail manager
  • Entertainment attorney
  • Booking agent
  • Record executive

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.

A master's degree in music business prepares students for a variety of careers involving profitable sales of music. Students will learn aspects of business, law, marketing and public relations as they apply to the music industry.

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