About the Music Department

The Music Department introduces a student to the role of music in today’s world, helps form personal goals, and provides the discipline, skills and knowledge to accomplish those goals.

The program develops musical skills, encourages creativity, and cultivates vision for the future. The University’s polytechnic emphasis also provides an excellent opportunity to explore music in conjunction with a wide range of other fields. Graduates are prepared to begin specialized study at the graduate level and to enter a wide variety of professional careers. The department offers a wide range of elective courses which allow the student to specialize to some extent within a liberal arts degree.

There is a rich tradition of music at Cal Poly dating back to the earliest years of the university which was established in 1901. The Music Department was founded in 1936, and its first department head was Harold P. "Davy" Davidson. Many generations of students have found satisfaction and developed their musical skills while at Cal Poly, and they remain close friends today.

A part of the College of Liberal Arts, the Music Department continues the tradition of excellence with an excellent program and uniquely qualified faculty. It serves as a cultural center for both the university and the community through a program of public performances by student and faculty groups and through clinics, workshops, concerts, and lectures by outstanding individuals from outside the university.

The Bachelor of Arts in Music was established in 1991. The department consists of 12 full-time faculty and 18 part-time lecturers and applied music instructors.

Cal Poly has been accredited by NASM (National Association of Schools of Music) since 2004.