Art & Culture

Department of Music

Department of Music

The Department of Music of the University of Pennsylvania offers an outstanding program of undergraduate study. Courses and performing ensembles are open to all Penn students: undergraduates from all of the schools join in musical activities on the campus. There are two paths of study for the music minor. The interdisciplinary minor in jazz and popular music studies is intended for students who wish to integrate their interest in music in the contemporary world and in academically-based community service as a form of learning. This minor is also for music majors who wish to include knowledge of jazz and popular music performances into their degrees. A second flexible undergraduate minor allows students to draw together courses on a wide array of topics in the history, theory, and anthropology of music. The core courses of the music major combine study of classical, American, and world music with a thorough grounding in music theory, serving students concentrating on music as a liberal art as well as those who aspire to graduate training in music.

With the assistance of the School of Arts and Sciences and the Student Activities Council, the Department sponsors many performance activities that allow students to refine their musicianship in an enjoyable yet challenging environment. A special program of instruction in vocal and instrumental performance is available to music majors and minors through an endowment by Marian Anderson. Through this program the Department is able to offer the possibility of up to two years of private applied music instruction (Music 10 and Music 11). Students may elect to receive academic credit for their participation in the Music Department ensembles.

The Faculty of the Department of Music includes three composers, one theorist, two ethnomusicologists, and six musicologists. This distinguished group of scholars and composers has received numerous fellowships and awards, among them a MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowships, NEH and NEA Fellowships, and book and article prizes from the American Musicological Society. The Faculty has also been recognized for the excellence of its instruction and includes several award-winning teachers. The department, a recipient of the Kahn Award for Educational Excellence, is known for an extraordinary degree of personal interaction in the classroom; music courses routinely receive excellent evaluations from students.

The Department of Music offers four Ph.D. programs in four fields of study: Composition of Music, History of Music, Theory of Music, and Ethnomusicology. The curriculum provides rigorous preparation while incorporating flexibility to develop individual interests. Penn graduate students are able to avail themselves not only of the diversity of the faculty in music, but also of the richness of the larger university community through courses in other departments and interdisciplinary seminars on such topics as Early Modern Studies, Gender Studies, and Ethnohistory, to name just three of the many such seminars that are active on the campus. The programs in the history, theory, and anthropology of music are closely interconnected, reflecting the interdisciplinary focus of both the department and the larger community of humanistic scholars at Penn, but also focus on discipline-specific work. The program in composition, with its legacy of pultizer prize winners, aims primarily to develop the student's compositional craft and knowledge of contemporary repertory.

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