The Bard Music Program

The Bard College campus is awash in music; by all accounts, that fact is one of the school’s most distinctive features. The Music Program, one of the largest programs on campus, provides a wide range of musical concentrations, from classical composition and performance to jazz, electronic music, musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory. The music faculty all maintain highly visible careers outside academia, many of us nationally or internationally. Our various concert spaces, from the Sosnoff Theater to the College chapel to the most informal black-box theater, allow all kinds of music—electronic sound installations, rock opera, chamber music, orchestral performance—and the calendar is richly abundant in guest artists and student concerts. Many of our most active music students are majoring in something other than music, and all are welcome.

The Music Program is separate from the Bard College Conservatory of Music, which has a double-degree program and various graduate programs. The primary differences are as follows:


  • Focus on classical music performance and composition
  • Secondary major required
  • Five-year program
  • Requires audition to apply

Music Program

  • Classical, jazz, electronic, composition, musicology, ethnomusicology
  • Standalone major: second degree not required
  • Conventional four-year program
  • Does not require audition

Despite the separation, many performance opportunities involve both Conservatory students and Music Program students. More information on the Conservatory.

exterior of music building at Bard