Music History, Theory and Composition

Program Information

The History, Theory and Composition concentration studies the traditions of thought that have surrounded European and American music from its origins to the present day. The theory component is designed to provide a foundation for such study, and covers the essential concepts of music structure—harmony, voice-leading, and form—as well as offering extensive training in aural and keyboard skills. The history component traces the cultural development of European music in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, in the 18th and 19th centuries, and among Romantics and Moderns. We also offer seminars in 18th, 19th, and 20th century music as well as courses which investigate the principles of form and historical and analytic issues.

Since it is also important for students to have an understanding of people making music throughout the world, an introduction to ethnomusicology is required. The concentrator is also required to take courses from an array of advanced theory and composition classes: Modal or Tonal Counterpoint, Nineteenth-Century Harmony, and Theories of Twentieth-Century Music. Beyond these, a variety of advanced courses are designed to strengthen one’s understanding of the theoretical foundations of music: Jazz Transcription, Seminar in Form and Analysis, Orchestration, and numerous courses in composition, and computer music.  Along with these, membership in a performing ensemble is strongly encouraged.

Undergraduate Concentration:
Degree requirements