Music History

  • Megan Francisco quote
  • Collegium Musicum
    Students Maria Mannisto, Taro Kobayashi, and Madeline Bersamina in MUSEN 583, Collegium Musicum, directed by JoAnn Taricani.
  • Students in MUHST 400, Medieval Music, taught by Professor JoAnn Taricani, learn how to use the sightsinging method of Guido of Arezzo.
    Students in MUHST 400, Medieval Music, taught by Professor JoAnn Taricani, learn how to use the sightsinging method of Guido of Arezzo.
  • Scholar Joseph Horowitz partiipated in the UW's Festival of Ives in Spring 2013.
    Scholar Joseph Horowitz partiipated in the UW's Festival of Ives in Spring 2013. The festival was organized by Music History Professor Larry Starr.

The undergraduate and graduate degree programs in music history at the University of Washington allow students to explore music from medieval chant to the Broadway musical, considering the aesthetic issues, cultural forces, and practices that shape musical composition, performance, and reception.

Students in music history explore music from antiquity to the new millennium, earning degrees up to the doctoral level. The faculty teach and conduct research in cultural context, interdisciplinary research, and critical theory, and encourage students to work in growing fields in music history, such as digital humanities, historical performance practice, American popular musical culture, and film music. 

Expert Faculty, Diverse Approaches

The music history faculty are internationally recognized scholars whose areas of expertise include music of the Renaissance and Restoration, musical theater, opera, German and French art song, early keyboard instruments, film music, Brahms studies, gender studies, and textual criticism. 

The approaches vary from source studies to stylistic analysis to the digital humanities. History courses integrate performance and scholarship, helping students to engage deeply with the music they perform. 

The music history graduate program has placed students in academic positions throughout the country, and prepared others for further study at the top programs in music history around the country.

Applying to the Program

For more detailed information on graduate programs in music history at the University of Washington, please consult the program requirements for the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees on the graduate programs overview page.

Students planning to apply for the masters-level program are expected to have the equivalent of the B.A. in music history, and applicants for the doctoral degree are expected to have the equivalent of the M.A. at the University of Washington, including a thesis in music history or a related area. 

Applicants should submit two or three papers in the area of music history or another academic area of music; these should display the ability of the student to write thoughtfully and with clarity about issues in music.  The "Statement of Purpose" is a significant aspect of the application, in which the applicant is expected to outline his or her areas of scholarly interest and eventual career plans.

Student Support

Graduate students are supported through a combination of teaching assistantships and scholarship support. Teaching assignments include a range of courses, such as a survey of Western art music, a course in American popular music, the core history courses for music majors, and courses that focus on writing about music.

In addition to student support distributed by the University of Washington’s financial aid office, the School of Music distributes more than a half million dollars annually in merit- and need-based student support. Graduate teaching assistantships are highly competitive and are granted in all areas of study.  

HOW TO APPLY

For more information, contact SoMadmit@uw.edu