Find Your Sound

Cape Breton University’s Bachelor of Arts Community Studies (BACS) Music Major is like no other music program in Canada. This program focuses on traditional and tradition-based popular music, with particular emphasis on local music traditions like Celtic, Acadian and First Nations. The program is designed for students who have a passion for a broad range of music and want to work with music.

What Is The Study of Music?

Cape Breton is one of the most celebrated cultural regions in the country and it is especially known for its musical traditions. We offer courses that introduce students to a variety of musics, from local traditions to music from around the world, and from popular music to classical music. Students learn to analyze the music that they love in order to see how it works. Together, we delve into current issues that affect not just local musics but our broader community, including protest music, cultural tourism, and music revivals. Students have the opportunity to take performance courses taught by some of Cape Breton’s best known traditional musicians including the likes of Stan Chapman, who taught Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster, and Kyle MacNeil of the Barra MacNeils.

Why Study Music At CBU?

An education in tune with your interests!

  • No audition is required, as the BACS Music Major is a primarily academic study of music (please note that the program is not suitable for students who are interested in being a music teacher in the public school system).
  • Shape your career around Music with the option to minor in Business or receive a certificate in Ethnomusicology. Find out more in Program Details.
  • With rich audio archives, a state-of-the-art Rotary Music Performance and Digitization Lab, and access to a thriving traditional music scene, opportunities are endless for research for music students on Cape Breton Island.
  • Students have the opportunity to be involved in local music-making, where they will learn playing techniques and build their repertoire through the community and experiential learning.
  • Experience Music off-campus with opportunities including:
    • International Exchange Programs to Ireland, Scotland, or England, where students can learn the ins and outs of the music industry in a completely different context
    • Learn more about how your work placements can work for you in music, with co-op options (earn money and university credit), student employment opportunities, and career counselling.

Possible Career Paths

Some careers you could leverage with a Major in Music. Please talk to your  Academic Advisor to make sure you are taking the right courses and any additional post-graduate courses or training you would need to make any of these careers a reality.

  • Academia
  • Archives
  • Arts Administration
  • Broadcasting
  • Events management
  • Festivals
  • Film
  • Journalism
  • Museums
  • Music Industry
  • Private music instruction
  • Tourism
Download the  CBU Viewbook  CBU isn’t just a place where students go. It’s a place where they Happen, and  then keep on Happening wherever they go. Find Out How
Download the  CBU Viewbook  CBU isn’t just a place where students go. It’s a place where they Happen, and  then keep on Happening wherever they go. Find Out How