The Hartt School

Music History

Hartt’s music history program enables you to explore Western music in its historical and cultural contexts. From broad survey courses to in-depth special seminars, majors, minors, you gain a comprehensive understanding of all periods of Western music.

Music History at Hartt

As an important feature of our curriculum is flexible elective courses that are suited to your interests and needs, our electives are often designed with our current students in mind. To that end, courses offered within the last two years have included opera history, string quartet literature, C.P.E. Bach, pre-tonal theory and analysis, medievalism in modern media, cognitive psychology, and critical editing; students may also take courses on jazz and African-American musical traditions in the Jackie McLean Jazz Studies Division.

In addition to our rigorous coursework, you will participate in a number of our performance organizations, including our Baroque ensemble, the Collegium Musicum. Hartt’s wide collection of early instruments, including recorders, Renaissance lutes and flutes, harpsichords, clavichord, baroque bows, shawms, and sackbuts, are available for use and provide you with an active and creative learning environment.

Within the music history major, you will choose between scholarship and research emphasis or performance practices emphasis. Our scholarship and research emphasis systematically investigates various elements of music in written papers, employing a rigorous scholarly approach. Our performance practice emphasis combines your interest in performing with the study of treatises, earlier performance techniques, ornamentation, and related issues.

Minor in Music History

The minor in Music History is open to all Hartt students who wish to broaden their experience in this subject.

Students must complete 18 credits.

Degree Requirements

At both the bachelor’s and master’s levels, students may choose either an emphasis in research or performance practices.

The Scholarship and Research emphasis investigates various elements of music systematically written papers, employing a rigorous scholarly approach. Learn more about the bachelor’s or master’s emphasis in scholarship and research.

The performance practice emphasis combines the student's interest in performing with the study of treatises, earlier performance techniques, ornamentation, and related issues. Learn more about the or bachelor’s or master’s emphasis in performance practice.

Admission and Audition Requirements

Bachelor of Music

Undergraduate applicants are required to interview with a member of the Hartt Music History faculty. The interview provides an opportunity for the applicant to discuss the program and a career in music history. It also allows the faculty member to learn more about the applicant's background and training in music. Undergraduate applicants are also required to audition on a classical instrument or voice. The audition ensures that the applicant is at a performance level sufficient to participate in one of the school's ensembles, an essential component of the music history program.

Master of Music

Applicants to the master’s degree program should have a bachelor’s degree in music history or its equivalent

Scholarship and Research Emphasis

Applicants in Music History- Scholarship and Research emphasis are required to interview with a faculty member in the music history department. The required research paper must be received at least two weeks prior to the interview.  Learn more about the research paper.

Performance Practice Emphasis

Applicants in the music history/performance practice emphasis are required to interview with a faculty member in the music history department.  The required research paper must be received at least two weeks prior to the interview. A classical instrument or voice audition is also required. Learn more about the audition requirements.  

All new, incoming graduate students will take placement exams during the week of orientation to determine the appropriate course of study and whether subject review courses are necessary.

Music History Minor

Applicants must secure approval, through an interview, from the music history department chair. The change of major form must be completed to add the minor and requires the signature of the student’s advisor, music history chair and Academic Studies division director.

Music History Faculty

The music history department faculty at Hartt is unique and each of our members enjoys a dual career as a performer and a scholar. The Music History faculty specialize in topics that span the history of notated Western music, ranging from medieval music theory and performance to twentieth-century modernism, from opera and German Romantics to film and video game music, from Händel to hip hop. We also engage with our areas of interest from a multitude of perspectives, drawing not just on traditional historical methods but also on methodologies stemming from ethnomusicology, ludomusicology, cognitive and psychological theories, and other approaches.

Recent work has been published in respected journals such as Plainsong & Medieval Music, Musica Disciplina, Music and Letters, Journal of Musicological Research, Music Analysis, Early Music America, and Händel-Jahrbuch, in various Oxford Handbooks and Bibliographies, and in Bärenreiter scores. Members of our music history faculty teach courses that are required components of the various degree programs that Hartt offers, as well as electives that are open to both Hartt and other University students. Hartt and non-Hartt students alike can consider a minor in music history.

Music History Faculty

Ira Braus
Associate Professor of Music History
Music History

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Karen Cook
Assistant Professor of Music History
Music History

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Krystal Klingenberg
Assistant Professor of Music History
Music History

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Kenneth Nott
Professor of Music History; Program Chair, Music History & BA Music
Music History

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Thomas Schuttenhelm
Artist Teacher
Music History

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Music History Forum

Founded in 1987, the Music History Forum has brought accomplished musicologists to The University of Hartford campus. This program provides students a chance to learn about the latest in musicological research. Past participants include Ashon Crawley, Darren Mueller, John Daverio, and Barbara Heymen.

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