Music History, Theory and Composition

Where does music come from? What makes a piece of music work? How does music speak to people and societies — in its own time and place, or across continents and centuries?

Understanding the origins and the inner workings of music deepens your experience as a listener, performer,and creator of music. That’s why the study of music history and music theory are integral to all music degrees.

For those who want to dig deeper, we offer advanced courses on special topics from Schenkerian Analysis to Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in America. These courses count toward an emphasis in music history and theory, which can be added to any music degree.

Students may engage in independent or collaborative research with faculty members. Some have presented their work at national conferences and gone on to pursue graduate degrees in these fields.

Are you a composer, or have you always wanted to try writing music? Applied composition lessons are open to all students, whether or not you have previous experience. Student composers have opportunities to hear their work performed by fellow students and to receive feedback from renowned composers who visit our campus.