Master of Arts (MA) Music Admission, Eligibility, Colleges, Distance Education, Syllabus, Jobs, Scope 2020-2021

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Pranjal Singhal

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MA Music is a 2-year postgraduate degree program that deals with the study of music. The course offers both theoretical and practical aspects of the study. It covers everything from understanding the origin, history to the form of music practiced in present times.

Check out: MA Music in Abroad

There are people who are passionate about music and who want to take up music professionally in the future. MA offers them a degree-based education in education, that can help them set up a career in various areas of music. This is mainly a specialization course for those aspiring to study the theory and roots of music and also practicing music for its value.

The syllabus includes topics like two theory papers, namely History and Aesthetics in Music and History of Indian Music, along with two practical papers on Stage Performance.

Key Highlights for MA Music

  • Full-Form: Master of Arts in Music
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Eligibility: Bachelor's degree in Music
  • Admission Process: Merit-based/ Entrance Test
  • Entrance Exams: BHU PET, DUET, MGU CAT, etc.
  • Top Institutes: Delhi University, Andhra University, Banasthali University, BHU, Kurukshetra University, etc.
  • Average Course Fees: INR 1,180- INR 1,10,000
  • Distance Education: Available
  • Distance Learning Institutes: Annamalai University, Jaipur National University, etc.
  • Average Salary: INR 78,000 - INR 2,16,000 per annum
  • Job Options: Performing Artist, Conductor in an orchestra, Music Producer, Sound Engineer, Radio Jockey, Music Professor, Music Journalist, etc.
  • Higher Studies: M.Phil Music, Ph.D. Music

The eligibility criteria for MA Music is that the candidates should have studied one of the music subjects in their graduation from any reputed institute. The admission process can be either Entrance Exam based or merit-based.

There are various institutes that offer MA Music. The fees for this course ranged from INR 1,180 - INR 1,10,000. This course can also be pursued through correspondence. There are institutes like Annamalai University, Jaipur National University, etc. who offer MA Music through distance learning.

Few universities that offer this course are:

Rank NIRF 2020 College Name Location Average Annual Fees Average Placement Salary
19 Andhra University Visakhapatnam INR 26,000 INR 1,42,000
55 Banasthali University Jaipur INR 67,250 INR 1,40,000
68 Bangalore University Bangalore INR 11,640 INR 1,55,000
69 Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University Aurangabad INR 6,741 INR 1,38,000
99 Kurukshetra University Kurukshetra INR 6,710 INR 1,47,000

Check the full list of Top MA Music Colleges.

There is a wide range of job opportunities for those pursuing MA Music. Some of the jobs include performing in bands & orchestras, teaching in performance arts schools, colleges and universities entertainment companies, music producers, or sound engineers in music and film studios, to name a few.

Alert: BHU PET 2020 has been announced to be held from August 16 - 21, 2020. The candidates can check the BHU PET Exam Pattern and Syllabus to continue with their preparation

After the completion of the degree, the graduates may pursue higher degrees like M.Phil. or Ph.D. or take up any of the jobs mentioned above. The average salary of a MA Music graduate ranges from INR 6,500 to INR 18,000 per month and increases with time and experience.

MA Music Admission Process

MA Music Admission Process

The admission process in most of the institutions offering this course is conducted either through an entrance exam or is merit-based.

  • In merit-based admission, the candidates are evaluated based on their previous academic records. But in such cases, the candidates will have to go through an audition, where they can show their expertise.
  • Universities like Ramjas College, Daulat Ram College, Miranda House, University of Madras, Andhra University offer merit-based admission.
  • In the Entrance exam-based admission, the candidates are expected to secure the cut-off mark in the entrance examination, which is also specified by the specific university or college.
  • Institutes like Tripura University, Bangalore University, BHU, University of Kerala, conduct entrance exam based admission.
  • Interviews and auditions will also be taken based on the selection done through the entrance exam or merit-based method, depending on the institute.
MA Music Admission Process

MA Music Eligibility

The candidates planning to pursue this course should fulfill the minimum eligibility criteria as mentioned below:

  • Graduation degree with honors in music or studied music as one of the subjects in their graduation.
  • Should have scored a minimum percentage between 45 to 50.

MA Music Entrance Exams

Entrance exams for MA Music are usually conducted on the university level. The entrance exam has multiple sections that test different parts of your knowledge like communication, reasoning, current affairs, quantitative skills, and they may even add questions relating to the chosen field. The exam dates have mostly been postponed due to the current situation.

  • BHU PET: The performing arts faculty of Banaras Hindu University conducts an entrance exam for all aspirants of performing arts, candidates who wish to be a part of their music course must take this entrance exam.
  • DUET: Delhi University is one of the premier universities in India. Admissions to colleges under DU are most sought after. It consists of the top colleges in the country.

Alert: The registration for DUET has been extended until July 18, 2020. The candidates can check the application process and apply it accordingly

  • MGU CAT: Mahatma Gandhi University is a prominent university in Kerala, there are several colleges under it. The previously announced date for the online entrance exams had to be postponed.
  • Kerala University Entrance exam: Kerala University is another major university in Kerala with several arts and science colleges under its supervision. It offers multiple courses, especially in music.
Entrance exam Application Period Exam Date Exam Mode
BHU PET 2020 January 3, 2020 - March 21, 2020 August 16 - 31, 2020 Offline
DUET 2020 June 20, 2020 - July 18, 2020 To be announced Offline
MGU CAT 2020 February 20, 2020 - June 15, 2020 April 25 - 26, 2020 (Postponed, new dates will be announced) Offline
Kerala University entrance exam February 1, 2020 - June 30, 2020 April 1 - 7, 2020 (Dates postpone) Offline

How to prepare for the Entrance Exam?

  • To prepare well for the entrance exams the candidates should be aware of the syllabus, exam pattern, and the books to equip the knowledge required.
  • Practice solving previous years’ papers and mock tests to understand the type of questions asked. It also helps to improve and prepare yourself for the actual exam.
  • Solving as many papers can help you gain speed and accuracy.
  • Finish preparation well in advance, to have enough time for revision of the content.

How to get admission in a good college?

  • Preferably try to take admission in a government college or an aided institution. It is an economical option. It is imperative to score good marks in merit and the entrance examination.
  • Also, try to make a video portfolio for the interview or audition round.
  • Nowadays, most colleges offer their application form online. Stay updated on when the application form is released and fill it up on time before the deadline.
  • Ensure that all necessary documents are scanned and attached to the application form. Also, make sure it is available for verification by the college as and when required.
  • Follow the admission process carefully and ensure that you are aware of any updates regarding it.
  • Preparing well for the entrance exam is also highly necessary.
What is MA Music?

MA Music: What is it about?

  • The Master's course provides a roundup view of the history and origins of different kinds of music as we hear today.
  • It helps discover the roots in music and gives time and exposure in the practice of all forms of music.
  • Students opting for this course should be dedicated and hardworking and should have the patience and passion for practicing their art and honing their skills to perfection.
  • They also need to learn how to be cooperative and be in sync with other fellow musicians and learn the spirit of teamwork through group projects and performances.
  • Teamwork, hard work, and dedication are the core attributes needed to excel in this course.
  • The course is compulsory for researching music and also for further higher studies.

MA Music: Course Highlights

MA Music is wide-ranging and deep in the subjects it explores and is sure to catch the fancy of all music-lovers. The basic information about the course is mentioned in the table below:

Course type Postgraduate
Duration 2 years
Examination type Semester(4 semesters, 2 years)
Eligibility Any Student with a graduation degree in Music Honours or Music as a subject in their bachelor's level course is eligible for the Masters' course in music
Admission process Merit-based/ Entrance exam
Course fees INR 1,180 - INR 1,10,000
Recruiting sectors Bands, Orchestras, Film and Music Studios, Performance Arts Centres, Schools, Colleges and Universities
Job roles Performing Artist, Conductor in an orchestra, Music Producer, Sound Engineer, Radio Jockey, Music Professor, Music Journalist, etc.
Average initial salary INR 6,500 to INR 18,000 per month
Why Study MA Music?

Why Study MA Music?

  • This course is a comprehensive study on music theory, the cultural history of music, and performance art.
  • More individual direction, continuous and constant multidisciplinary exposure, the opportunity to focus
  • If you're looking for a job as a professional musician, this is the best course for you.
  • It will be a supplement to your existing skills and will help you hone your talent in the field of music.
  • There are plenty of specialization opportunities that help you focus on your area of interest.
MA Music vs PG Diploma Music

Course Comparison

  • MA Music vs PG Diploma Music

The course comparison sheds light on the similarities and differences between MA Music and Post Graduate Diploma courses in music.

Check here: Top Music Diploma Colleges in India.

Criteria MA Music PG Diploma in Music
Course Level Post Graduate Post Graduate
Duration 2 Years 6 months to 1 Year
Examination Type Semester Based Unit System
Eligibility Graduates in music honors and those who had music as a subject in their graduation course Bachelor's degree in any stream with music as a subject.
Admission Process Entrance Exam (might require cut off) / Merit Based Required grade or equivalent marks obtained in any Undergraduate program or based on entrance exams.
Course Fee INR 11,800 to INR 1,10,000 INR 10,000 to INR 1,00,000
Recruitment Bands, Orchestras, Film and Music Studios, Performance Arts Centres, Schools, Colleges and Universities Commission of Fine Arts, Cultural Affairs, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Archives, National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, Reality TV Shows and Talent Hunts like Indian Idol, All India Radio, Bollywood
Job Positions Music Professor, Assistant Researcher, Sound Engineer, Music Producer, Musician, Music Journalist, Artist Manager, etc. Artist and Repertoire (A&R) Person, Bands, Composer/Arranger, Music Attorney, Asst. Art Director, Concert Promoter, Music Teacher, Recording Technician, Music Publisher, Singer/Performer, Writer/Music Journalist
Average Starting Salary INR 4,00,000 to INR 10,00,000 per annum INR 2,00,000 to 9,00,000 per annum
MA Music Fees Vs PG Diploma in Music Fees
MA Music Salary Vs PG Diploma in Music Salary
MA Music Specialisations

MA Music Specialisations

After the completion of the Master's degree, students can opt for specializations that help in their career prospects. Some of these include:

MA Music Specializations
  • Music Composition: This mainly focuses on the composition of music, it will be highly useful if you are planning to take music composition as an occupation
Average Course Fees INR 12,000 - INR 13,000
Average Salary  INR 5,00,000 - INR 10,00,000
  • Music Management: Music managers handle the careers of performers, bands, DJs, etc. If you are looking for a job in this field, this specialization is optimal.
Average Course Fees INR 17,000 - INR 18,000
Average Salary  INR 3,00,000 - INR 7,00,000
  • Carnatic Music: if you are interested in learning in-depth about Carnatic music, this is the optimal specialization.
Average Course Fees INR 10,000 - INR 15,000
Average Salary  INR 3,00,000 - INR 5,00,000
  • Hindustani Classical Music: Focal point in Hindustani Classical Music, you will be learning the history, roots, performance, etc.
Average Course Fees INR 9,000 - INR 15,000
Average Salary  INR 2,00,000 - INR 5,00,000
  • Vocal Music: students planning to pursue an occupation along the lines of being a vocalist, this will be a sound specialization.
Average Course Fees INR 12,000 - INR 14,000
Average Salary  INR 1,00,000 - INR 6,00,000
  • Instrumental Music: instrumentalists of all types will gain a higher knowledge in this art by pursuing this specialization.
Average Course Fees INR 13,000 - INR 18,000
Average Salary  INR 4,00,000 - INR 7,00,000
MA Music Specialization Fees
MA Music Specialization Salary
MA Music Top Colleges

MA Music Top Colleges

There are a wide variety of colleges and universities in India that offer MA Music. The average fee structure of these institutes can vary from INR 2,000 to INR 2,00,000. Given below is a list of famous colleges and universities offering MA Music along with their average fees and NIRF rankings.

NIRF Ranking (2020) Name of the Institute Location Total Fees  Average placement offer
3 Banaras Hindu University Varanasi INR 7,290 INR 1,38,000
19 Andhra University Visakhapatnam INR 10,200 INR 1,42,000
55 Banasthali University Jaipur INR 88,000 INR 1,40,000
68 Bangalore University Bangalore INR 11,640 INR 1,55,000
69 Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University Aurangabad INR 18,400 INR 1,45,000
99 Kurukshetra University Kurukshetra INR 9,026 INR 1,47,000
- Queen Mary’s College Chennai INR 1,180 INR 1,40,000
- Miranda House Delhi INR 21,660 INR 1,56,000
- Ramjas University Delhi INR 9,380 INR 1,39,000
- Rabindra Bharati University Kolkata INR 8,180 INR 1,35,000
- Nehru Gram Bharati University Allahabad, UP INR 14,000 INR 1,55,000
- Dr. Hari Singh Gour University Madhya Pradesh INR 9,840 INR 1,42,000
MA Music Top Colleges

MA Music College Comparison

A basic comparison between the top three institutes in India offering a Master of Arts in Music is provided below.

Parameters Miranda House Andhra University Queen Mary’s College
Overview Miranda House is a college for women established in 1948. It initially started with six departments, and now there are eighteen. It is a well-known institution for science and liberal arts. Andhra University is a public university established in 1926. The university at present offers about 313 courses in Arts, Science & Technology, Commerce, Management, Engineering, Law, Pharmacy and Education. Queen Mary’s College was established in 1914. Initially, it offered courses. Later on undergraduate courses in subjects like History, Economics were offered along with intermediate courses in Geography, Indian Music, Home Science, Physics, and Chemistry.
Affiliation Delhi University - University of Madras
Location Delhi Visakhapatnam Chennai
NIRF Ranking 2020 1 (among colleges) 19 (among universities) 41 (among colleges)
Total Fees INR 21,660 INR 10,200 INR 1,180
Salary INR 80,000 - INR 1,56,000 p.a INR 78,000 - INR 1,42,000 p.a INR 75,000 - INR 1,40,000 p.a
Top Recruiters StarIndia, entertainment companies, radio stations Intra college placement, music firms Radio stations, music companies
Top MA Music College Fees Comparison
Top MA Music College Salary Comparison

MA Music Distance Learning

Undergraduate degree holders can also pursue post-graduation in music through distance learning. The duration of the distance learning course is also 2 years. Some of the top institutes that offer MA Music Distance Learning are :

Name of the Institute Location Duration Average Annual Fees (INR)
Subharti University Meerut 2 years INR 6,400
Annamalai University Chidambaram 2 years INR 3,800 - INR 5,200
Jaipur National University Jaipur 2 years INR 16,550
NIMS University Jaipur 2 years INR 6,000
Periyar University Salem 2 years INR 4,620 - INR 5,000
MA Music Distance learning Institutes
MA Music Syllabus

MA Music Syllabus

The subjects related to this course varies according to specializations and the institutes. For example, subjects in Music-Vocals include Raag, Taal, Folk Songs, classical Hindustani music, Carnatic music, compositions of individual artists, etc. It involves criticism, the study of the history of music, and aesthetic examinations.

The curriculum includes both theoretical and practical papers. The compulsory subjects include:

  • History and Aesthetics in Music
  • Revision of Ragas and Sessional

The syllabus varies according to specializations. However, there are some compulsory courses taught throughout the four semesters. It comprises both Theory and Practical Papers. The basic structure of the semesters and the syllabus is as follows :

Semester I Theory (History and Aesthetics in Music)
Practice paper I (Stage Performance)
Semester II Theory (General and Applied Theory)
Practice Paper II (Viva – Voce)
Practice Paper III (Revision of Ragas and Sessional)
Semester III Theory (History of Indian Music)
Practice Paper IV (Stage Performance)
Semester IV Theory (Applied Theory and Musical Competitions)
Practice Paper V (Viva- voce)
Practice Paper VI (Revision of the Ragas and Sessional)

MA Music Books

Books on music for academic purposes differ according to specializations. However, some common titles are :

Name of the Book Author
Nad: Understanding Raga Music Sandeep Bagchee
Music in North India: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture George E. Ruckert
The Dawn of Indian Music in the West Peter Lavezzoli
The Raga Guide Savarnalata Rao
Music and Musical Thought in Early India Lewis E. Rowell
South Indian Music P. Sambamoorthy
MA Music Jobs

MA Music Job Profiles and Career Options

Career prospects for a postgraduate degree holder in music greatly vary. It depends on the respective specialization and demand.

  • The graduates are usually hired for profiles as teachers, performers, composers, music managers, music directors, songwriters, music publishers, music therapists, disk jockeys, radio jockeys, etc.
  • They can find jobs in areas like entertainment companies, music and film industry, education sector, FM channels, media companies, music clubs, and so on.
  • The salaries and annual earnings depend on the specific kind of music, the methods of practice, expertise, and other related aspects.

The details of job descriptions of a few job profiles are given below along with the expected salaries :

Job Profile Job Description Average Annual Salary (INR)
Lecturer or Professor It involves teaching musical instruments or the basics of specialized music. It includes teaching a class at schools, universities, or in private classes. INR 3,09,134
Music Manager It involves managing music bands, individual singers, or DJs and their respective career prospects by communicating with the clients. It includes building the brand image and hence requires good communication skills as well as experience in career planning. INR 2,64,000
Radio Jockey It involves hosting music programs on the radio. It may also include crowd performances. INR 3,32,868
Music Director It involves creating and directing music streams and background scores for an entire film. The earning often depends on the commercial success of the film. INR 9,82,635
Singers in Films It involves singing tracks for a film. It can include either solo or duet tracks. The earning greatly varies in cases of individual singers depending on the experience, popularity, and commercial success. INR 6,00,000 per project (varies)
Jobs and Salary After MA Music

Source: Payscale

MA Music Future Scope

MA Music Future Scope

After completion of MA Music, the candidates can choose to take up jobs or can continue with their higher studies.

  • Specialization: The graduates can specialize in a specific area in music by taking up PG Diploma courses or certificate courses in areas like instrumental, Music Therapy, etc.
  • Advanced courses: The have options to go for research field through advance courses like Ph.D. Music and M.Phil Music
  • Students who have a postgraduate in music can apply for the UGC-NET or JRF exam; clearing these exams provide options like teaching and research.
  • Taking up jobs in several media organizations, studios, music companies advertising agencies are also great options.
  • It is also possible to apply for as a music teacher in music learning institutions.

Check out the top Ph.D. Music Colleges and M.Phil Music Colleges in India.

MA Music FAQs

MA Music FAQs

Ques. What are the eligibility criteria for pursuing MA Music?

Ans. The minimum eligibility criteria for pursuing MA Music is a graduation degree in music with a minimum of 50% marks for general candidates, and 45% for reserved candidates.

Ques. What types of jobs will I get if I have a postgraduate degree in music?

Ans. A postgraduate degree in music can land you with different types of jobs, ranging from the education sector to the entertainment sector. Some job profiles are - music teacher/professor, composer, music director, singer, songwriter, music/band manager, disc jockey, radio jockey, and many more.

Ques. Why choose this course?

Ans. This course is a comprehensive study on music theory, the cultural history of music and performance art

Ques. What is the basic fee structure for a MA course in music?

Ans. The basic fee structure of this course can vary according to the college or university. It can range between INR 1,180 to 1,10,00.

Ques. Is distance learning available in MA Music?

Ans. Yes. Some reputed universities like Periyar University, Jaipur National University, among others offer MA Music through distance learning.

Ques. What is the average starting salary in the job profiles of MA Music students?

Ans. The average starting salary is about INR 4 LPA. But it depends on the job profile and individual talent.

Ques. What is the admission process for colleges offering MA Music?

Ans. The admission process for this course can differ from college to college. It can be either merit-based or based on entrance examinations. Many reputed institutes rely on both as a selection procedure.

Ques. Do I need to have a MA degree in music to become a Music Therapist?

Ans. You can become a Music Therapist if you have a MAMA degree in music, but ideally, you can pursue a certificate course or diploma in Music Therapy from a reputed institute.

Ques. Can I do a Ph.D. in Music?

Ans. Yes. There is enough scope for pursuing an advanced course like Ph.D. in Music after completing Masters. It can be done in accordance to your field.

Ques. Are there different degrees in Music courses?

Ans. Yes. MA Music Vocal, MA Music Instrumental, MA Music (Vocal & Instrumental) are a few examples of different MA Music degrees. Many colleges offer degrees specific to the regions, e.g., Rabindra sangeet, classical Hindustani, classical Carnatic, and other instrumental specializations.

Ques. Are there any specializations in a MA Music degree?

Ans. The specializations depend on the various institutes. There can include specializations in instrumental, vocal, classical Hindustani, Carnatic, Rabindra sangeet, etc.

Ques. What are the employment areas?

Ans. The employment areas for students having a MA Music degree are versatile. They include college and universities, schools, film and music industry, music companies, advertising agencies, entertainment companies, media firms, orchestras and bands, production companies, etc.

Ques. Why is a MA Music course beneficial?

Ans. MA Music degree can provide a basis for further advanced studies and research. The qualified candidates can apply for jobs of a music teacher or instructor in schools. It can land a career in the music and film industry as well. This degree is particularly for those students who want to pursue a career through their passion for music.

Master of Arts [MA] (Music) Fee Structure in India

1.24 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES70 K  (Maximum Fee)
17.63 K (Average Fee)
2.88 K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES2.15 L (Maximum Fee)
57.51 K (Average Fee)

Master of Arts [MA] (Music) Fee Structure By state

Uttar Pradesh

8.31 K
2.88 KPrivate COLLEGES27.90 K
10.43 K


17 K
23 KPrivate COLLEGES23 K
23 K

Madhya Pradesh

10.51 K
18.80 KPrivate COLLEGES69 K
43.90 K

Delhi NCR

24.04 K
2.88 KPrivate COLLEGES2.88 K
2.88 K


7.19 K
1.20 LPrivate COLLEGES1.20 L
1.20 L


25.54 K
64 KPrivate COLLEGES1.34 L
99.25 K

Tamil Nadu

14.29 K
26.13 KPrivate COLLEGES55.30 K
40.71 K


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Good. The university is very much adorable. The clearks are also helpful. The professors always their level best to teach us. They refer books to read. They always motivates us to learn and acquire knowledge as much as possible. They always says to invest our precious time on good books. They always says us to make the best out of every single day.

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Wi fi. Big library. Big play ground. Pollution free environment. Any ragging squard. Good instrument to play. Like tabla guitar mridangam etc. The size of the library is almost 1000square foot. There we can find various types of acquire knowledge.

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The finearts faculty is very good. The professors are very much careing. The clerks are aslo very good. The instruments of the facility are also good. The university campus is aniragging. Smoke free environment.

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Master of Arts [MA] (Music) Colleges IN INDIA

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New Delhi, Delhi NCR
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Jaipur, Rajasthan
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