Commercial Music Concentration | Music Major | Concordia University Irvine

Music Major

Commercial Music Concentration

School of Arts and Sciences



Concordia’s commercial music program is a diverse, immersive experience, designed to prepare the student for the vigorous, musical demands of today's music industry. Concordia’s liberal arts emphasis, with its exemplary Q&I curriculum, combined with the commercial music program, creates an environment where graduates are provided with a well-rounded musical education featuring a unique combination of skills. In addition to the classroom, students learn and perform in small ensembles as well as one-on-one study in areas such as performance, composition/songwriting, arranging and music production. Concordia’s close proximity to the Los Angeles music industry provides a fertile ground for creative interaction, collaboration and a first-rate faculty.

If you want to have a conversation with a professor about the Commercial Music Concentration, please contact Prof. Steve Young.

  • Commercial Music Concentration
  • Ensemble units in this concentration are in addition to the Musicianship Core of the Music Major.
  • MUS 204: Songwriting and Analysis
  • 2

Songwriting and Analysis explores the practical application and technique of songwriting, including lyrics, melody, harmony, form, and stylistic content. Emphasis is placed on the historical development of writing songs for the popular genre. Students will collaborate in the creation of songs utilizing a variety of genres and techniques.

  • MUS 216: Music Technology I
  • 2

An introduction to music technology hardware and software, focusing on the tools and methods used to create, prepare and perform music. Topics include MIDI, digital audio workstations, score preparation, live performance systems, and methods of music production. Students will participate in hands-on projects in which they will apply their understanding of basic music technology principles. Students should be able to read muscial notation.

  • MUS 217: Contemporary Music Styles
  • 1

Contemporary Music Styles compares and contrasts various popular music genres from historical, technological and musical perspectives. Students explore the unique role of each member of a modern ensemble through listening, analysis and performance. Emphasis on the historical, musical and technical development of popular music styles including rock and roll, R&B, pop, country and contemporary worship music.

  • MUS 218: Music Business
  • 2

An overview of the recorded music business including market structure, distribution, publishing, income streams, marketing, copyright, licensing and contracts. Students will collaborate in order to develop materials for marketing their performing, songwriting or production careers.

  • MUS 305: Arranging
  • 2

This course introduces students to the basic principles of arranging pre-existing musical material for the small ensembles commonly encountered in church, educational, and commercial settings. Aspects of reharmonization, voicing, scoring, part generation, and idiomatic instrumental and choral writing will be studied. Pre-requisite: MUS 202.

  • MUS 316: Music Technology II
  • 2

Building on the skills attained in Music Technology I, this course is focused on the creation of music, utilizing state of the art music technology with an emphasis on preparing the student for vocation in the classroom, studio or stage. Prerequisite: MUS 216 or permission of instructor.

  • MUS 393: Practicum: Contemporary Ensemble Leadership
  • 1

Contemporary Ensemble Leadership is a practicum designed to prepare the student for the effective leadership of jazz, pop, rock and worship ensembles. The class includes ensemble lab experience and individual coaching and instruction between the instructor and the student. The student may function as a member of the ensemble or a sa non-playing ensemble leader. Requires consent of instructor.

  • MUS 404: Contemporary Music Theory
  • 2

An introduction to modern harmonic relationships found in jazz, contemporary pop and worship music, focusing on chord structure, spelling, inversions, plural interior chords, scalar relationships, and jazz and pop notation. Students will learn to create genre-specific improvised melodic and harmonic accompaniment from a lead sheet or rhythm section chart. Pre-requisite: MUS 304.



  • MUS 413: Music Production
  • 2

Music Production explores the collaborative and technical aspects of studio recording sessions. Students will apply proper recording techniques in order to capture high quality performances of solo vocalists, group vocals, rhythm section instruments, strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion. Students will employ leadership, collaborative and organizational skills as they construct recording projects through the following phases: concept, pre-production, tracking, overdubbing, editing, mixing/mastering.

  • Choose 4 units from the following ensemble options:
  • MUE 255: Jazz Combo
  • 0.5

This course will provide improvisation, performance, skills, and repertoire. Students will have the opportunity to arrange and compose new works for the ensemble. Membership is by approval of instructor.

  • MUE 282: Worship Band
  • 0.5

In this course band members will rehearse basic contemporary worship repertoire for use in campus chapel and worship services. Worship ensembles meet on a weekly basis and personnel can vary depending on schedule availability. Worship ensembles meet on a weekly basis and personnel can vary depending on schedule availability. There may be an additional charge for required field trips or tours. Membership Placement into a worship ensemble is by audition and/or invitation only.

  • MUE 285: Commercial Music Ensemble
  • 0.5

The commercial music ensemble is a lab ensemble designed to familiarize the student with idiomatic characteristics and repertoire common to commercial music styles such as pop, rock, country, folk and gospel. Audition required.

Recommended: Worship Arts Leadership Minor

Current students, please note: The requirements listed here may not reflect the most current courses for this major and may not be the requirements for the catalog year you are following to complete your major. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for official requirements you must meet to qualify for a degree.

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