This week’s featured program is the Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music Studies Major and Minor at East Tennessee State University. From the website:
The Bachelor of Arts in Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music Studies is designed to produce uniquely-prepared individuals who can compete and succeed in a wide array of careers. Possible career opportunities include: performing artist, studio musician, audio engineer, recording artist, songwriter, writer for trade publications, manager or promoter, road manager, museum or heritage center staff or administrator, educator, and private music instructor.
Students interested in the major can choose from one of four different concentrations: Audio Production, Bluegrass Profession, Old-Time Music Studies, or Scottish and Irish Traditional Music Studies. Regardless of concentration, all students enrolled in the major take a 30-credit core, a 27-credit concentration, and complete a 6-credit capstone.
Two Interesting Courses
BLUE 1710 – Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music Theory
Introduces fundamental musical principles and skills commonly used in Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music, including scales, chords, meters, and the Nashville Number System.
BLUE 3142 – Bluegrass Style and Practice
Provides an overview of bluegrass-related artists, entrepreneurs, communities, styles, practices, and venues from the rise of the post-World War II folk revival to the present. The course provides opportunities to conduct original research in the Archives of Appalachia and develop research and writing skills necessary for active participation in the professions and communities of bluegrass music.
Five Possible Complementary Majors/Minors at East Tennessee State University
Unique Opportunities within the Major/Minor
Students have access to playing with and listening to multiple student ensembles, including the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Pride Band, which has had several charted singles on the Bluegrass Today National Airplay Chart, including “Did You Hear Me Say Goodbye“ (2016) and “Sam Jocelyn’s Ghost” (2017).
Sample Similar Programs
- Berklee College of Music: American Roots Music Minor
- Denison University: Music Major, American Roots Music/Bluegrass Emphasis
- Morehead State University: Traditional Music Studies Major and Traditional Music Minor