The department offers a variety of courses (MU 070, MU 066, MU 030) that satisfy the University Core requirement in the Arts and that serve as introductions to the various areas of musical knowledge.
- MU 070 Fundamentals of Music Theory focuses on technical aspects of the language of music and serves as a prerequisite to Tonal Harmony and further upper level courses in theory and composition, such as Chromatic Harmony, Counterpoint, as well as Jazz Harmony, Instrumentation, and the Seminar in Composition.
- MU 066 Introduction to Music offer broad surveys of music history and styles of music, while upper level courses focus on either various periods of Western music history (Middle Ages and Renaissance, Baroque, Classical Era, Romantic Era, 20th century), the historical development of various genres (Opera, Symphony), or the contributions of various individual composers (Bach, Beethoven, Wagner).
- MU 030 History of Rock and Roll and Popular Musics in the US offers a socio-historical approach to the history and context of commercial popular music; upper level cross-cultural courses deal with Western traditions (such as Celtic Musics, Irish Folk Music, Music in America, Rhythm and Blues) and non-Western traditions.
- MU 301 Introduction to Musics of the World, MU 306 African Music and MU 307 Musics of Asia satisfy the Cultural Diversity requirement of the Core.