Music

Professor Richard K. Wolf, Director of Undergraduate Studies 
 
The concentration in Music exposes students to a wide variety of musical styles, sounds, and musical traditions in order to develop their critical understanding of music in diverse cultural and historical contexts. The concentration also provides a solid foundation in theory, analysis, composition, and criticism, as well as the opportunity to develop acute listening skills. The trained ear grounds the unique contribution of musical study to the humanities. Although the Department of Music is not in itself a school of music with a performance department, all of our courses support the intellectual development of musicians, and many of our courses incorporate or focus on performance. 
 
Students are encouraged to participate (with credit) in faculty-led ensembles in orchestra, chorus, jazz, and dance. We offer a wide range of introductory and advanced courses in music theory, composition, historical musicology, ethnomusicology, in addition to many courses that incorporate or focus on musical performance. These courses reflect the specialties of our academic faculty: diaspora studies and migration, opera, jazz, music and politics, early music, musical theater, music and media, improvisation, hip hop, history of the book, film, Islam, American and European modernism, music and cognition, music and ecology, music and language, new music of the 21st-century, and cross-cultural composition; regular cross-cultural offerings include the musical traditions of Africa, Latin America, South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia. 
 
Students choose their own pathways through these course offerings, creating a mix of introductory and advanced courses that best reflect their musical interests and aspirations. Students may enter the concentration from any music course, including performance courses, Freshman Seminars, Gen. Ed. and introductory courses, as well as through the first-year theory course. The heart of the concentration is the two-semester concentration tutorial, “Critical Listening” and “Thinking About Music.” These required courses, taught by different faculty on a rotating basis, provide listening and analytical skills as well as a familiarity with a wide range of methodologies in music studies. 
 
Students continue with electives that invite engagement with musical questions at a deeper level. In musicology and ethnomusicology, these courses take the form of proseminars for small groups that explore in detail selected musicological issues and direct students toward significant independent projects. Several courses in acoustic and electronic composition are given each year, along with occasional offerings in orchestration and other specific compositional topics. Advanced theory and analysis courses include such topics as tonal and post-tonal analysis, jazz harmony, and modal and tonal counterpoint. Performance-oriented courses include chamber music, jazz, South Indian, West African, historical performance practice, improvisation, conducting and creative music. 
 
There are three concentration tutorials: 97T Thinking about Music, 97L Critical Listening, and 98 Advanced Tutorial. The two concentration tutorials, Music 97T and Music 97L, can be imagined as offering a macrocosm and microcosm of the musical world. Where Music 97T tackles broad questions pertaining to music and its place in human existence, Music 97L entails a more detailed level of engagement with music. Music 98 (optional for joint concentrators), emphasizes skills that students may be able to use with the view to a senior thesis or capstone project.  
 
For those writing senior theses, a year of Senior Tutorial (Music 99r) is required. Options for senior theses include research papers, original compositions, or senior recitals. Students working toward a senior thesis will normally enroll in Music 98 in the spring of junior year. There are no general examinations for undergraduates. 
 
A capstone project can be either an extension of a final class project, or a fresh project, undertaken in the context of Music 98.  It is ungraded and serves as a culminating experience in the music department for those not pursuing a senior thesis. Where Music 98 leads to a capstone project, it may be taken during the senior spring semester.  
 
The department welcomes joint concentrations with other departments that allow them. Students who had wished to pursue a joint concentration with a department that does not allow them should consult with the DUS to explore how best to pursue their course interests in music. Joint concentrators need to fulfill a reduced number of course requirements, as outlined below. A senior thesis is required, usually on a topic that engages both fields. 
 
For students who feel they require more time for applied practice and study, the department offers a five-year performance program. Students approved by the department and the Administrative Board for this program take the normal number of courses in their freshman year, but then work at the three-course rate for the four years following. This permits more intensive work in performance. These students are expected to give a senior recital. 
 
Students who have taken college courses in music at other institutions may receive concentration credit for work done elsewhere. This ordinarily involves a written petition to the faculty and may require taking an examination in the materials of the course for which credit is requested. 
 
REQUIREMENTS 
10 courses (40 credits) 
  1. Required courses: 
    1. Music 97T and Music 97L; Music 98 (see item 3. Tutorials). 
  2. Electives
    1. Any 7 courses taught by Music Department faculty with no more than 2 each from the following categories  
      1. -  Faculty-led ensembles and Introductory courses 
      2. -  A particular course number followed by the letter ‘r’, indicating that it is repeatable (you can take as many repeatable courses with different numbers as you wish, but only two of a particular number, and only one time; so for example if you take 160r twice and 161r twice, either two 160rs and one 161r count, or two 161rs and one 160r count for concentration credit) 
      3. -  SAT/UNSAT courses 
      4. -  Approved courses outside the department that are not taught by Music Department Faculty. 
  3. Honors 
    1. Thesis (Music 99, 2 semesters, graded SAT/UNSAT) 
  4. Department of Music Course offerings are categorized as follows: 
    1. Composition: Music 160r through 167r 
    2. Conducting or orchestration: Music 121a through 128r 
    3. Faculty-led Ensembles: Music 10 through 18 
    4. Introductory Music: Gen Ed and Freshman Seminars taught by Music Department faculty, Music 1 through 9, and 20 through 49 
    5. Music Theory: Music 51a, 51b, 142r, and 150 through 159 
    6. Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Popular Music, and Music & Science: 176r and 190r through 194r 
    7. Performance-oriented: Music 105r, 173r, 174r, 175r, 180r, 181r, 185r, 186r, and 189r. 
    8. Supervised Reading and Research: Music 91r (must submit a proposal form prior to registration, concentration credit requires advance petition). 
  5. Tutorials
    1. Sophomore year: Music 97T and Music 97L 
    2. Junior year: Music 98 Advanced Tutorial--Graded SAT/UNSAT 
    3. Senior Year (honors only) Music 99—Graded SAT/UNSAT 
  6. Concentration Examination: None 
  7. Other information: None 
  8. Thesis: Required of all honors candidates. May be an original composition, a recital or similar performance-based event, or a written thesis. Plan or subject to be approved by the department at the end of the junior year. All students proposing to do a creative thesis must identify an adviser and submit examples of their work for pre-screening in the first term of the junior year. Students wishing to do a composition thesis must have taken an advanced composition course in the department and submit a portfolio of work for consideration by the composition faculty; students wishing to pursue a recital must submit a representative recording for consideration by the performance committee, along with a resumé and a letter from their performance teacher. Any change of plan must be resubmitted to the department. 
    1. - Examination: None. 
    2. - requires enrollment in Music 99r SAT/UNSAT, which does not count toward the 10 courses  
Joint Concentration Requirements: 8 courses (32 credits) 
  1. Required courses: 
    1. Music 97T and Music 97L. 
    2. Electives
      1. Any 6 courses drawn from the list of electives in Basic Requirements.  
  2. Tutorials
    1. Sophomore year: Music 97T and Music 97L (see item 1. Required courses) 
    2. Junior year: Music 98 Advanced Tutorial is optional and may be counted toward the 6 electives. 
    3. Students should enroll in two terms of Senior Tutorial 99r in their primary department. They will need to find a faculty adviser in Music in any case. Music 99 will not count toward Music concentration credit. 
  3. Thesis: Required. Plan or subject to be approved by both departments by the end of the junior year. 
  4. Examination: None. 
  5. Other information: Music 98 cannot be taken for credit in the two joint departments during the same semester.  In exceptional circumstances, the student can take 98 for college credit only while receiving concentration credit in the joint department.  Otherwise, same as Requirements for full concentration. 
ADVISING 
All students are required to confer with the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies at the outset of their concentration or joint concentration, in order to develop an overall plan for fulfillment of requirements. All concentrators will continue to be advised by one of these two faculty members at the start of each term. 
For up-to-date information on advising in Music, please see the Advising Programs Office website
 
RESOURCES 
The Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library offers an outstanding collection of books and scores, as well as listening equipment for its extensive recording collection. The Sound Lab provides access to cutting- edge tools for audio capture and recording, digital media and video editing, as well as audio mixing, mastering, and restoration. Musicians have access to the practice rooms, all of which have pianos, and to a limited number of instrument lockers. The many musical organizations on campus include the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, the Bach Society Orchestra, the Mozart Society Orchestra, the Harvard Glee Club, the Collegium Musicum, the Radcliffe Choral Society, the University Choir, the Group for New Music at Harvard, and the Organ Society. Students interested in composition may submit works for performance at concerts offered by the department and for the Harvard University Prizes. The Office for the Arts offers a special lesson subsidy program to concentrator and non-concentrators, as well as information on private teachers in the area. 
 
HOW TO FIND OUT MORE 
For further information, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Richard K. Wolf (rwolf@fas.harvard.edu), Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Alexander Rehding (arehding@fas.harvard.edu), or the Undergraduate Coordinator in the Music Building (617-384-9507). You may also wish to consult the department website
 
ENROLLMENT STATISTICS
Number of Concentrators as of December
Concentrators
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Music
30
26
21
18
10
15
16
17
12
7
11
14
Music + another field
9
8
3
3
5
6
9
11
9
8
7
5
Another field + Music
6
8
4
4
4
8
6
7
10
10
16
19