Welcome to the Department of Musicology!
Musicology is the study of music as an academic discipline, and musicologists explore the relationship of music to the wider liberal arts. Faculty in the Department of Musicology offer a broad array of courses on topics in ethnomusicology, historical musicology, musical aesthetics, performance studies, popular music studies, and film music studies. Studying music produced within various cultural and historical contexts draws our attention to the activities and values of listeners, patrons, performers, teachers, composers, critics and scholars. Students are encouraged to enroll in a variety of musicology courses so as to encounter a wide range of musical styles, functions, aesthetics and meanings.
Recent Course Offerings
Aesthetics of Music • Borrowed Music in the Movies • Claude Debussy • Divine Love in the 17th Century • Early Music Revivals • The German Lied • History of Recorded Sound • History of the String Quartet • History of the Symphony • History of the Wind Band • Jazz History • Music and the Environment • Music and Fairy Tales • Music and Gender • Music and Memory • Music and Power Under the Sun King • Music in the Age of Exploration • Music in the Middle East • Music in the U.S. • Opera and Betrayal • Performing Arts of Bali • Popular Music • The Second Viennese School • Stravinsky
Musicology courses at Lawrence promote independent and active learning about musical practices and practitioners. Students in musicology courses engage in the variety of activities that constitute the academic study of music: studying scores, listening critically to recordings, reading and discussing primary source documents and scholarly literature, and undertaking library research and ethnographic fieldwork. In addition to emphasizing the development of critical listening and reading skills, musicology courses incorporate various kinds of writing, from listening journals to original research papers.
A two-term sequence, Western Music in History (MUCO 201 and 202), introduces students to music of the Middle Ages to the present. Focusing on the historical moments in which major works were created, notated, performed, and documented, in these courses we examine musical and societal values as they changed over time, eventually shaping a diversity of musical styles and practices into what is now commonly called the Western classical tradition. Upper-level musicology seminars introduce a range of analytical approaches and methodologies, including issues of performance practice. All Conservatory students choose at least two upper-level electives (some majors require an additional upper-level musicology or music theory course). Upper-level seminars focus on the music of a specific time and/or place, a specific composer, a specific genre or a specific issue.
Independent Studies in Musicology
Students with special interest in musicology who have completed the core sequence and required number of upper-level courses may undertake faculty-supervised independent studies in which they investigate specific musicological topics in depth in the process of writing substantial original research papers.