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The Hartt School

Music History

Hartt’s music history program enables you to explore an array of global and Western music in their historical and cultural contexts. From broad survey courses to in-depth seminars, majors, and minors, you gain a comprehensive understanding of music as an artistic and cultural phenomenon.

Hartt offers a Bachelor of Music, a Master of Music, and a minor in music history. Information about each of these degrees is given below.

Music History at Hartt

An important feature of Hartt’s curriculum is the offering of flexible, elective courses suited to your interests and needs. Electives are designed with students in mind and have included opera history, string quartet literature, video game music, music and emotions, music of India, and critical editing. Students may also take courses about jazz and African-American musical traditions in Hartt’s Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz.

In addition to Hartt’s rigorous coursework, you will participate in a number of 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 and provide you with an active and creative learning environment.

Within the music history major, undergraduates will choose between our scholarship and research emphasis and our performance practice 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. Master’s students may choose among scholarship and research, performance practice, or music history pedagogy for their emphasis. Our music history pedagogy emphasis pairs our music history program with Hartt’s music education program for a rigorous exploration of current trends in pedagogical technique and historical methods.

Minor in Music History

The minor in music history is open to all Hartt and non-Hartt undergraduate students who wish to broaden their experience in this subject.

Hartt graduate students may complete a minor in music history or music history pedagogy. The latter offers students who are focused in fields such as performance, composition, or conducting an opportunity to become well-rounded candidates for educational positions in which they may teach music history courses.

Both undergraduate and graduate students must complete 18.5 credits.

Degree Requirements

At the bachelor’s and master’s levels, students may choose either an emphasis in scholarship and research or in performance practice. At the master's level, students have the additional choice of an emphasis in music history pedagogy.

SCHOLARSHIP AND RESEARCH

The scholarship and research emphasis helps students become familiar with an array of scholarship, methodologies, and approaches to the critical investigation of musical practices past and present. Students pursuing this emphasis will hone their insights through rigorous coursework, systematically written papers, and oral presentations leading to a bachelor's or master's thesis.

Learn more about the bachelor’s or master’s emphasis in scholarship and research.

Performance Practice

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 bachelor’s or master’s emphasis in performance practice.

Music History Pedagogy

Master's students may also choose the music history pedagogy emphasis, designed for students pursuing a master's degree who wish to further hone their teaching skills and mastery of musicological issues for use in K-12 or other educational situations. Students who wish to go on to doctoral-level study with the added benefit of a thorough pedagogical background will also find this emphasis valuable. Students pursuing this emphasis will not only engage in high-level music history coursework but also complete our music history pedagogy seminar (open to all graduate students) and choose from an array of courses in our robust music education division. This emphasis also culminates in a master's thesis.

Learn more about the music history pedagogy emphasis. 

Admission and Audition Requirements

Bachelor of Music

Undergraduate applicants are required to interview with a member of the music history faculty. The interview provides an opportunity for the applicant to discuss the program, and its emphases in scholarship and research and in performance practice, and to confer about 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 an 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.

Music History Minor—Undergraduate

Applicants must interview with the music history department chair and secure their approval for admission. To add the minor, the student must complete a Change of Curriculum form that requires the signature of the student, the student’s advisor, the music history chair, and the Music Studies division director. The minor is open to both Hartt and non-Hartt students.

 

Master of Music

Applicants to the master’s degree program should have a bachelor’s degree in music or a related field. Master’s students may choose among emphases in scholarship and research, performance practice, or music history pedagogy. Regardless of emphasis, all applicants are required to interview with a member of the music history faculty and to submit a research paper that demonstrates their knowledge of a music-related topic, their ability to write at a high level, and their ability to conduct research and/or analysis. Applicants’ research papers should consist of no fewer than 15 pages, complete with citations and bibliography, and must be submitted with their application to the University of Hartford. Applicants with questions about the research paper should feel free to contact the chair of the music history program and/or the Music Studies division director. Applicants in the performance practice emphasis must also audition on an instrument or voice. Learn more about the audition requirements.

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

Music History Minor—Graduate

Applicants must interview with the music history department chair and secure their approval for admission. To add the minor, the student must complete a Change of Curriculum form that requires the signature of the student, the student’s advisor, the music history chair, and the Music Studies division director. Students may choose between an emphasis in music history or an emphasis in music history pedagogy.

 

Music History Faculty

The music history faculty at Hartt is unique, and each 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. They also engage with their music history communities 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.

Hartt music history faculty have recently published work 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.

Music History Faculty

Karen Cook
Associate Professor of Music History
Music History
History and Philosophy

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Kenneth Nott
Professor of Music History
Music History
History and Philosophy

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Thomas Schuttenhelm
Part-time Faculty
Dean's Office for Hartt

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