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Why Major in Music Business?
Music business combines the creative expression of a career in the music industry with the business skills to make an impact. A degree in this dynamic field puts you at the center of the action in a booming industry.
Billboard Magazine ranked Belmont in the Top 15 Schools for Music Business, and it’s easy to see why. Belmont owns and operates three of the most historic recording studios in the world — Ocean Way Nashville, Quonset Hut and Historic Columbia Studio A. You'll practice your skills in the same studios where Bob Dylan, Luke Bryan and other stars have recorded.
Music City, USA
Our location next door to Nashville’s legendary Music Row gives you easy access to internships and jobs with some of today’s top industry leaders and producers. In the heart of Music City, you’ll study with scholars and authors, producers and engineers, songwriters and legal experts with years of experience in the music, recording and entertainment industries.
Our strong connections within the industry also give you access to internship opportunities with national companies like Sony, The WB Network, VH1 and Radio City Music Hall, among many others. Our students often get involved in producing events like the Grammy Awards, Sundance Film Festival and the CMA Awards.
Learn from the Best
Our accomplished faculty represent the best of the best. They provide knowledge from across the industry - from record label executives, to publishing company leaders, to artists and performers, to entertainment lawyers, to concert promoters, to marketing/social media experts, to venue owners and so much more - to the future professionals they are training.
Your Path to Success
After graduation, you can follow in the footsteps of Belmont alumni such as Brad Paisley, Trisha Yearwood, songwriter and publisher Ashley Gorley, Ben Vaughn of Warner/Chappell and Cindy Mabe of Universal Music Group. You’ll have the skills – and the network – to build a fulfilling career at the intersection of art and business.
What You'll Learn
As a music business major at Belmont, you'll get a strong foundation in management, marketing, ethics, economics, finance, analytics, law, accounting and other topics in business. You'll also take a deep dive into the intricacies of the music industry with courses in publishing, copyright law, artist management, public relations, concert promotion and marketing.
Depending on your career interests, you can choose from several emphases:
- Legal Studies
- Legal Studies (3 + 3 JD)
- Live Event Management
- International Music Business
- Music Production
- Tour Operations
When you graduate, you'll have the tools to thrive in any area of the music industry.
A music business degree from Belmont sets you up for a successful career in any area of the creative economy, including production, live events and even entertainment law. Here are just a few of the careers you’ll be equipped to pursue:
- Artist manager
- Concert promoter
- Entertainment attorney
- Music publisher
- Recording executive
- Booking agent
- Business manager
The music business major is equivalent to a double major in business administration and music business, so you won't need to complete a minor area of study. A major in music business leads to the Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) and requires a total of 128 credit hours of coursework:
- BELL core requirements: 50 hours
- Business courses: 33 hours
- B.B.A. core technical requirement: 3 hours
- Major area: 13 hours
- Emphasis area: 15-27 hours
- General electives: All remaining hours
Courses You'll Take
- MBU 1110. Survey of Music Business
This course is a general overview and a study of the major functional areas of the music business. Attention is given to the theoretical foundations and practical application of current business practices in the music industry including supporting organizations and the revenue flow from music consumer to creator.
- MBU 2000. Internship and Career Foundations
This career development course addresses personal and professional development, career and job strategies, interviewing and networking skills, and internship participation expectations.
- MBU 2120 Digital Music Marketing
A study of best practice strategies for digital marketing in the music industry.
- MBU 2130. History of the Recording Business
A study of the history of the recorded music business from 1877 to the present with emphasis on the development of independent and major recording labels, popular recordings, social, cultural, economic and political influences, and the stylistic differences of notable historic time periods.
- MBU 2131 Venue Management I
A study of venue and event management that provides a practical and theoretical understanding of public assembly venues and how they operate. Whether part of a sport administration, event management, hospitality or other related discipline, this class will address the functions common to all venues, as well as how different disciplines apply to venue management.
- MBU 2520. Copyright Law
This course provides an in-depth study of copyright law in the entertainment industry including its origins, rationale, protections and limitations.
- MBU 2610. Radio Promotions
A study of the major areas of radio promotion as it relates to the music industry. Students receive an in-depth look at the label’s use of charting, demographics, release plans, sales and the role of research in the life of a radio single.
- MBU 2620. Influencing Culture as a Christian in the Entertainment Industry
This course examines the role and influence of Christianity within the entertainment industries with an emphasis on how the Christian faith and Christian ethics influences, business practices, marketing and the development of entertainment products and the creative arts, and the role that Christians play as creatives and in professional entertainment workplaces. Emphasis will be placed on raising awareness of strategies for maintaining one’s Christian identity and influencing culture when working in the entertainment industry.
- MBU 2730. Electronic Media in the Music Industry
This course investigates the integration of electronic media and the media’s role in promoting music-oriented artists. Emphasis is given to current events, personal, and professional change, and predicting the future influence of electronic media industries.
- MBU 3000. Music Business Internship
This formal career education experience enables students to intern at entertainment business organizations for a selected period of time. Grade is pass/fail. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 6 credit hours.)
- MBU 3210 DIY Creative
Examining Creative Innovation, DIY Creative helps engage highly personalized self-development, evaluating key professional topics such as: artistic and creative techniques; vocal and instrumental frameworks for health and efficiency; self-publishing; strategic planning for brand development in the music industry, and more. DIY engages reflective discussions, interdisciplinary pedagogical approaches, and foundational content pertinent to any creative.
- MBU 3330. International Music Business
An exploration of issues confronting entertainment and Music Business firms in a competitive global environment. Particular emphasis includes the manufacturing, marketing, management or financing of entertainment and promotion of the music and entertainment industries which are additional areas of study.
- MBU 3360. Entertainment Career Development
A study of personal entertainment career development and management including educational, promotional, and financial concerns of the professional entertainer. Various unions, guilds, and associations are studied from the entertainer’s viewpoint.
- MBU 3450. Music Publishing
This course is a study of music publishing income streams, contracts and licensing, foreign publishing, catalog development and setting up a publishing company.
- MBU 3550. Music Industry Contract Law
This course examines the background and principles of contract law as applied to the negotiation, creation, interpretation and enforcement of binding agreements in the music industry.
- MBU 3460 Tour Merchandising
A study of the business of touring merchandise, including related tour entities, production, merchandise, VIP/Sponsorships, and tour management.
- MBU 3620. Marketing of Recorded Music
A study of the theories and techniques used in the marketing of recorded music by major and independent labels and artists to consumers. Topics include market structure and analysis, distribution methods, promotional strategies, charts, airplay, pricing, research and legal issues specific to entertainment marketing.
- MBU 3720. Public Relations in the Music Industry
An applied based overview of the functions and tools of public relations (PR) techniques used to affect public perception and image of an artist within the music industry. Topics include the analysis of media strategy and crisis control, the development of press releases, print and electronic press kits, promotional events and artist-oriented news for media distribution.
- MBU 3740. Music Supervision In Film and Television
This course presents the role of the Music Supervisor through an analysis of scripts and the exploration of the musical, financial, legal, and production aspects of placing music in film, television, and other entertainment media.
- MBU 3760. A & R Administration
This course presents the artist and repertoire (A & R) operations of recording companies including how contractual obligations impact activities and profitability and how music products are delivered and archived for future re-purposing.
- MBU 4015. Senior Capstone
This course is a culminating experience in the major, which also addresses the goals for the Senior Capstone as defined in the course description for GND 4015. These goals include reflection on the students’ whole educational experiences and on their transition from the university setting to post-graduation.
- MBU 4200. Record Company Operations
Practicum-based course applying the operational principles of independent record labels.
- MBU 4210 Venue Management II
A study of who, what, why, when and where of opening and running a successful live music venue, including examining the inner-workings of establishing and running nightly shows from a venue owner perspective. This course will emphasize the entrepreneurial aspects of the development and operations of a live music business.
- MBU 4630. Legal Issues in the Entertainment Industry
This course presents an overview of current and emerging legal trends that have significant implications in the entertainment industries.
- MBU 4800. Entrepreneurship in the Music Industry
Entertainment entrepreneurship is based on the process of identifying opportunities in the entertainment marketplace, exploring potential resources to pursue those opportunities and committing to action the resources necessary to exploit the opportunities for long-term gain.
- MBU 4820. Artist Management
An analysis of the various aspects of artist management including talent agencies, personal management, performance and recording contracts, tours and artist promotion.
- MBU 4830. Concert Promotion and Booking
A study of the role of the concert promoter and the organization of concert promoting, including contracts, riders, venues, audience projections/demographics and finance (budgets, corporate sponsorships, gate receipts, etc.).
Beyond the classroom, you’ll have a wealth of opportunities to explore the business of music, make connections and discover your purpose.
- Get insights from industry leaders like Brad Paisley, Ashley Gorley, Ben Vaughn, Vince Gill and Amy Grant. Our Seminar Series gives you access to the inner workings of the music business.
- Study away and abroad programs in NYC, LA and across the world in England, Ireland and beyond
- Take on an internship through our expansive network in Nashville, Los Angeles, New York or beyond. Our internship programming puts you in the center of the music & entertainment business
- Connect with classmates and gain hands-on industry experience by joining one of more than 10 clubs devoted to the music and entertainment industry – such as CMA EDU, GRAMMY U and Women in Entertainment.
- Get hands-on experience working events like the Grammy Awards, Sundance Film Festival, CMA Awards and many more.
Belmont University’s B.B.A. programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the premier agency for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in business administration and accounting.
Fewer than 5% of business schools worldwide achieve AACSB accreditation, and Belmont is the only private college or university in Tennessee that is accredited by AACSB International for BBA, MBA and accounting programs.