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Academics / M.A. Popular Music / Admission

Who will be admitted?

Popular Music is a consecutive master’s degree programme aimed at bachelor’s degree holders with practical musical experience at a high level who want to deepen and expand their existing knowledge.

In order to be considered for admission, you must have a university degree in one of the following subjects:
  • Pop Music Design or Music Business from the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg
  • Music, e.g. New Music, Classical Music, Jazz, Popular Music
  • Music Education
  • Musicology
  • Literature (German, English)
  • Cultural Studies
  • Media-related Studies
  • Art and Design


  • Application form including motivation and qualifications
  • Recording with 3 titles for concentration Performing Artist or Educating Artist and with 5 titles for concentration Producing/Composing Artist

Entrance Exam

Written Exam
  • Analysis of musical pieces regarding melodic, harmonic and rhythmic structure as well as in terms of form, arrangement and aspects of technical production
  • Written essay on a topic from history of aesthetics of popular music

Example Questions
  • Notate the melody of the first refrain/chorus.
  • Identify the accompanying harmonies and notate them as chord symbols.
  • Describe the melody. What can you say about the audio material, the motifs and the structure?
  • Analyse the harmonic structure.
  • Identify the structure by naming the individual parts and giving the respective time signatures
  • How are the lead vocals mixed in terms of space and effects?

  • Public, live performance, either with an accompanying band or solo with playback. Here you have a total of 15 minutes to perform 3 to 5 titles (either your own compositions or your own original covers of others’ compositions).
  • For the Producing/Composing Artist concentration it is possible to play your own works on CD or on your own laptop.
  • After that, an ad-hoc exam will take place in private, during which you will be asked about your musical abilities. The exam ends with a one-on-one interview on musically relevant questions and your personal motivation.
Musical Ad-hoc Accompaniment
  • Questions about your ability to implement ideas and flexibility of musical accompaniment in various styles and genres of popular music
  • Playing of your own productions, only for Producing/Composing Artist: technical and aesthetic questions about the productions
Oral Exam
  • Private conversation about music-related questions, about the written exam, your qualifications and motivation