theory teacher giving a lecture
Welcome to Music Theory at CU Boulder!

Welcome to Music Theory at the University of Colorado Boulder! Music theory forms an integral part of each College of Music student’s education, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate music majors take required courses in Music Theory (semesters 1-4) and Aural Skills (semesters 1-4), along with upper-division electives in tonal analysis, post-tonal analysis, counterpoint, jazz theory, composition and music technology. Graduate students may pursue study in advanced topics in music theory and analysis. The Master's in Music Theory equips students for theory teaching and original research and prepares them for advanced doctoral study. Beginning in Fall 2018, the college also offers a Graduate Certificate in Music Theory for currently enrolled master's, doctral and PhD students. Find more information in the Graduate Advising section.

Our faculty offer a broad array of research specializations that include analysis of the music of the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries; post-tonal theory; jazz theory; theories of rhythm and meter; pedagogy of music theory and musicianship; and popular music analysis. This flyer lists our faculty and areas of expertise

Each year the Music Theory Department hosts presentations and classes by distinguished scholars. Guests have included Richard Cohn, Poundie Burstein, Charles Burkhart, Joel Lester, Kofi Agawu, Elizabeth West Marvin, Steve Laitz, Robert Hatten and Eugene Narmour.