Commercial Music

The goal of the Commercial Music degrees is to provide students with a comprehensive curriculum including education in music theory, composition, performance, technology, production, and business. These degrees offer a unique blend of the art of music and the discipline of business. Graduates of the Commercial Music degree can transfer to 4-year universities which can prepare them for successful careers at major and independent record labels, motion picture studios, music production companies, music publishing companies, music libraries, artist management companies, music promotion companies, or as performing artists.

Commercial Music combines elements from our Music program and Music Industry Studies program. The Music Industry Studies program at Diablo Valley College is the #1 Career Education destination for Music Industry Studies in the Bay Area and Top 10 Music Industry school in California. For more info, please contact Dr. Nick Vasallo, Director of Music Industry Studies and Commercial Music, at nvasallo@dvc.edu with any questions you might have.

There are three different Commercial Music degrees with different areas of emphasis: Performance, Media Composition, and Technology and Production. Each Commercial Music degree share the same core of required courses with different electives for each emphasis area. Each degree has a total of 36 units for the Certificate of Achievement and 60 units for the Associate in Arts degree.

Required courses:

MUSIC-122 Theory and Musicianship I (4)
MUSX-120 Live Sound (3)
MUSX-124 Introduction to Music Production and Multi-Track Recording (3)
MUSX-172 Introduction to Electronic Music and MIDI (3)
MUSX-174 Introduction to Music Technology and Pro Tools (3)
MUSX-181 Introduction to the Music Industry (3)
MUSX-182 Songwriting I (3)

Commercial Music – Performance

Student playing instruments in a studioDVC's Commercial Music – Performance degree consists of comprehensive curriculum that provides students with a solid foundation in music theory, composition, performance, technology, production, and business. This degree offers a unique blend of the art of music and the discipline of business. Students can participate in traditional music courses such as individual applied music lessons and performing ensembles, while immersing themselves in music technology. Graduates of the Commercial Music – Performance degree move into all facets of the music and entertainment industries. Many graduates transfer to 4-year universities which can prepare them for successful careers at major and independent record labels, motion picture studios, music production companies, music publishing companies, music libraries, artist management companies, music promotion companies, or as performing artists.

Choose at least 14 units from these electives:

MUSIC-100 Applied Studio (1-4)
MUSIC-101 Beginning Guitar (1)
MUSIC-103 Guitar Ensemble (1)
MUSIC-108 Rock Theory and Improvisation I (1)
MUSIC-109 Live Music Production and Stagecraft I (1)
MUSIC-127 Jazz Theory and Improvisation (2)
MUSIC-128 Jazz Theory and Improvisation II (2)
MUSIC-135 Vocal Jazz Ensemble (1-4)
MUSIC-136 Jazz Ensemble (1-4)
MUSIC-137 Jazz Combos (1-4)
MUSIC-150 Beginning Piano I (1)
MUSIC-151 Beginning Piano II (1)
MUSIC-162 Concert Choir (1-4)
MUSIC-166 Chamber Singers (1-4)
MUSIC-168 Percussion Ensemble (1-4)
MUSIC-170 Applied Voice (1-4)
MUSIC-171 Jazz and Popular Voice (1-4)
MUSIC-250 Intermediate Piano I (1)
MUSIC-251  Intermediate Piano II (1)
MUSIC-256 Pedagogy for Studio Music Teachers (1)
MUSX-183 Artist Development in the Music Industry (3)
MUSX-282 Songwriting II (3)
Recommended GE elective (pick one for DVC GE Area III credit):
MUSIC-114 World Music (3)
MUSIC-117 History of Rock and R&B (3)
MUSIC-118 History of Jazz (3)
MUSIC-119 The History and Culture of Hip Hop Music (3)
MUSX-110 History of Electronic Music (3)

Commercial Music – Media Composition

Student composing music on computersDVC's Commercial Music – Media Composition degree begins with a set of core music and technology courses to provide both the conceptual foundation in music theory and the technical foundation in a digital audio workstation to record, sequence, and mix music. Graduates of the Commercial Music – Media Composition move into all facets of the music and entertainment industries. Upon completion of this degree you’ll have a portfolio of diverse compositions to prepare you for securing work as a film composer, music editor, film arranger, orchestrator, and more. Many graduates transfer to 4-year universities which can prepare them for successful careers at major and independent record labels, motion picture studios, music production companies, music publishing companies, and music libraries.

Choose at least 14 units from these electives:

MUSIC-121 Introduction to Music Composition (3)
MUSIC-123 Theory and Musicianship II (4)
MUSIC-127 Jazz Theory and Improvisation (2)
MUSIC-129 Counterpoint (3)
MUSIC-150 Beginning Piano I (1)
MUSIC-178 String Ensemble (1)
MUSIC-221 Advanced Music Composition (3)
MUSX-178 Music and Sound for Visual Media (3)
MUSX-221 Orchestration and Arranging for Digital Instruments (3)
Recommended GE elective (DVC GE Area III)
MUSX-110 History of Electronic Music (3)

Commercial Music – Technology and Production

Student at a mixing consoleDVC's Commercial Music – Technology and Production degree begins with a set of core music and technology courses to provide both the conceptual foundation in music theory and the technical foundation in a digital audio workstation to record, sequence, and mix music. Graduates of the Commercial Music – Technology and Production move into all facets of the music and entertainment industries. Upon completion of this degree you’ll have a portfolio of work to prepare you for securing work as a AV technician, music engineer, music producer, music editor, film composer, and more. Many graduates transfer to 4-year universities which can prepare them for successful careers at media venues, major and independent record labels, motion picture studios, music production companies, music publishing companies, and music libraries.

Choose at least 14 units from these electives:

MUSX-100 AV Essentials: Systems and Analysis (3)
MUSX-176 Introduction to Ableton Live (3)
MUSX-177 Introduction to Reason (3)
MUSX-175 Advanced Pro Tools (3)
MUSIC-117 History of Rock and R&B (3)
MUSIC-150 Beginning Piano I (1)
MUSIC 151  Beginning Piano II (1)
Recommended GE elective (DVC GE Area III credit):
MUSX-110 History of Electronic Music (3)