Free Online Applied Music Courses from Top Universities

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If you thought you couldn't learn how to compose and perform music online, think again. Not only do these courses help musical artists and composers, but they're free to boot!
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Free Applied Music Courses

Here are 15 online applied music courses offered free by three top universities: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Open University and Brigham Young University.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT has a huge OpenCourseWare library including classes in applied music. Introduction to Musical Composition focuses on unity and variety to help new composers transfer their ideas into a coherent piece. Pair that with Harmony and Counterpoint I, which examines the harmonics and melodics of Western music.

The Open University

The Open University has a trio of Voice-Leading Analysis courses, which teach students about Schenkerian analysis of harmonic structure. Creating Musical Sounds covers a variety of musical instruments and the sounds they make.

Brigham Young University (BYU)

BYU offers two online instructional courses in Organ Performance, which includes an introduction to music theory and techniques.

Free Online Applied Music Courses at a Glance

Course & SchoolProgram LevelFormatAssignmentsQuizzes & ExamsDownloadable
Introduction to Musical Composition course from MITUndergraduateExternal Reading and Audio ResourcesYesYesYes
Harmony and Counterpoint I course from MITUndergraduateTextbooks, Audio FilesYesYesYes
Harmony and Counterpoint II course from MITUndergraduateExternal Reading Resources, Audio FilesYesYesYes
Composing with Computers I course from MITUndergraduateText Lessons, Audio FilesYesNoYes
Fundamentals of Music course from MITUndergraduateTextbooks, External Audio ResourcesYesNoYes
Vocal Repertoire and Performance: Women Composers course from MITUndergraduate/GraduateExternal Reading ResourcesYesNoYes
Developing Musical Structure course from MITUndergraduateTextbooksYesNoYes
Voice-Leading Analysis of Music 3: The Background course from Open UniversityAdvancedText Lessons, Audio FilesYesNoYes
Composition and Improvisation in Cross-Cultural Perspective course from Open UniversityAdvancedText Lessons, Video FilesYesNoYes
Voice-Leading Analysis of Music 2: The Middleground course from Open UniversityAdvancedText Lessons, Audio Files, Video FilesYesNoYes
Voice-Leading Analysis of Music 1: The Foreground course from Open UniversityAdvancedText Lessons, Audio Files, Video FilesYesNoYes
Creating Musical Sounds course from Open UniversityBeginnerText Lessons, Audio Files, Video FilesYesNoYes
Sound For Music Technology: An Introduction course from Open UniversityBeginnerText Lessons, Audio FilesYesNoYes
Organ Performance 1 from BYUBeginnerText Lessons, Media FilesYesYesYes
Organ Performance 2 from BYUIntermediateText Lessons, Media FilesYesYesYes

Popular Schools

Featured Schools

The schools and programs listed below are popular educational options, and tuition varies based on program and location

Full Sail University

  • B.S. - Music Production
  • B.S. - Music Business
  • BS - Audio Production

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Southern New Hampshire University

  • MBA in Music Business

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Penn Foster High School

  • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
  • HS Diploma

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