What does the concentration entail? / What can you do with an AB in Music from Harvard?
The Department of Music at Harvard provides an understanding of music in diverse cultural and historical contexts as well as a solid foundation in composition, theory, analysis, and criticism. A variety of courses in music theory, composition, musicology, ethnomusicology, and performance-related areas allow students to engage with musical questions at a deep 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 advanced 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, historical performance practice, and conducting. The program is not directed primarily toward students planning careers in performance fields, but serves such students by deepening their intellectual involvement with the music they are to play.
The department welcomes joint concentrations with other departments that allow them. Joint concentrators need to fulfill a reduced number of course requirements, as outlined below. A senior thesis is required on a topic in which both fields are represented. Joint concentrators pursue combined fields such as Music/Government, Music/Physics, Music/Math, and Music/Anthropology, to name just a few of the many options.
What does the Music Concentration entail?
The study of music not only deepens the student's appreciation and understanding of art, culture, and history; it hones the analytic, writing, creative, and critical thinking skills as much or more than any liberal arts subject. The concentration in Music incorporates theory, much as math does, and composition, much as any study of the arts. But the study of music also includes cultural history, politics, science (sound studies), and philosophy. Recent course offerings include those on Schoenberg, technomusicology, Coltrane, music in Jewish life, sacred and profane music in the 13th century, and a seminar conducting original research into an archive of new music.
Students reap the advantages of a smaller concentration: individual attention, friendliness, the opportunity to get to know faculty, fellow students, graduate students in music, and to become familiar with the department's many resources.
What can you do with an A.B. from Harvard with a concentration in Music?
Graduates in Music go on to a variety of careers. We've had graduates who have become lawyers, congressional aides, software developers, sound technicians, arts administrators, and speech pathologists, as well conductors, performers, and professors. The A.B. degree from Harvard with a concentration in Music is a liberal arts degree, and our students pursue careers in professions similar to anyone with liberal arts training. They also pursue careers as professional musicians, and many continue their studies and go on to become scholars. Click on the alumni profiles to the left to read more about recent graduates who concentrated in Music.
Frequently Asked Questions
What degrees does Harvard's Music Department offer?
You can earn an A.B. from Harvard College with a concentration (or joint concentration, or secondary field [minor]) in Music. We also have a graduate program that offers the PhD in musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, or composition, and a small AM program in Performance Practice, meant for mid-career performers or scholars.
In addition, Harvard and New England Conservatory offer a five-year, dual degree program where students can earn a A.B. from Harvard College and an M.M. from NEC. Click here for details.
Does Harvard offer a music performance degree?
Harvard has an academic music department, not a conservatory program, and does not have performance faculty or offer lessons. Also, we don't currently offer Music Education, Music Therapy, Vocal Performance, or Music/Sound Engineering degrees. That said, the music scene at Harvard is an especially vibrant one, and there are many experienced and talented musicians who chose Harvard for its strong liberal arts education and continue their music studies at a level equal to or greater than noted conservatories. The difference is that students must take the initiative to audition for the performance groups that interest them, and arrange lessons with Boston area tutors outside their work at Harvard.
If you are a serious musician, you will find dozens of musicians who work and perform at a Conservatory level. If you are someone who enjoys performing for pleasure, you will likely be able to find your place within a large community of performers and a wide range of opportunities.
Does Harvard require an audition for admission?
No. Harvard does not hold auditions of any kind during the admissions process. If music is important to you, you are welcome (not required) to send in a CD of your performance as an "Arts Supplement" to your Common Application.
What performance opportunities are there at Harvard?
The majority of Harvard students come to college with some musical background. There are no less than 45 student music organizations on campus ranging from Mariachi to gamelan, Chinese chorus to jazz bands to several orchestras, choral groups, a capella groups, world music groups, bands, and percussion ensembles. Each operates independently with their own schedule of rehearsals and concerts, and most audition for new members each fall. Musical activities are considered extra-curricular (with some exceptions, such as the performance classes run by the department for credit). For information on music performance both in the Music Department and elsewhere on campus, click here. For information about Harvard's new A.B./M.M. dual degree performance program with New England Conservatory, click here.
The Music Department offers a few performance courses for credit each term; examples from recent years include choral conducting, chamber music, jazz improvisation, orchestration, and performance/analysis. It also offers a full composition program.
Is it possible to study an instrument with music department faculty?
Music faculty do not give instrument or vocal lessons. Students who wish to pursue lessons are encouraged to find a music tutor in the Boston area. For more information on finding a tutor, go to Performance.
Does Harvard have a choral music program?
There are numerous choral music opportunities at Harvard, including the Choral Fellows Program and the University Choir. However, the Music Department offers no degree program in choral music. The Director of Choral Activities at Harvard is Andrew Clark; for information about Professor Clark and many of the choral groups on campus, click here.
What do students do with a AB in Music?
Students who graduate with an AB with a concentration in Music go on to as many different fields as any student with a liberal arts degree. Many are successful going on to Conservatory after Harvard, and music concentrators have recently gone on to study at USC, NEC, or Juilliard. Some pursue a performance career. Others go to Law School, get a business degree, or go to graduate school in a number of fields, including historical musicology.
How big is the Department of Music?
The Music Department ordinarily has around 18 permanent faculty, around 6 visiting faculty, and 40 undergraduate concentrators, 70 graduate students, 10 staff, and 10-15 associates. At Harvard, it is a mid-sized department.
The Concentration in Music
The concentration in Music provides an understanding of music in diverse cultural and historical contexts as well as a solid foundation in composition, theory, analysis, and criticism. While the Department of Music is not in itself a school of music with a performance department, we strongly encourage performance activities. The program is not directed primarily toward students planning careers in performance fields, but serves such students by deepening their intellectual involvement with the music they are to play.
The Department focuses on study in composition, theory, and musicology, including ethnomusicology. The Music Department at Harvard is an academic department. All applications for admission are handled by Harvard College Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.
Students begin the concentration in Music with two foundational pillars: Music 97a, 97b, and 97c provide extensive knowledge of the history and literature of Western music as well as the principles of ethnomusicology and world music repertories; Music 51a, 51b, 150a, and 150b teach skills important in musicianship, theory and analysis. Students who enter with a significant background in theory may bypass portions of the theory sequence through the placement exam at the beginning of the semester. While it is possible to complete the concentration requirements within five semesters, we encourage potential concentrators to enroll in Music 51 as early as possible to allow for the greatest possible flexibility in the path through the concentration.
Students are then offered a wide range of advanced, specialized electives that build on the foundations laid in Music 97 and Music 51/150. A variety of courses in music theory, composition, musicology, ethnomusicology, and performance-related areas allow students to engage with musical questions at a deep 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 advanced 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, historical performance practice, and conducting.
Students are welcome to take a term of Supervised Reading and Research (Music 91) as an elective. This consists of individual work with a faculty member of the student’s choice. A term of Music 91 is especially encouraged for juniors intending on pursuing a senior thesis. For those writing senior theses, a year of senior tutorial (Music 99) is required. Options for senior theses include research papers, original compositions, or senior recitals. There are no General Examinations for undergraduates.
The department welcomes joint concentrations with other departments that allow them. Joint concentrators need to fulfill a reduced number of course requirements, as outlined below. A senior thesis is required on a topic in which both fields are represented.
For students who wish to pursue a program with more emphasis on performance, the department offers the Five-Year 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. [Harvard's Five-Year Program is NOT the same as the Harvard/NEC Dual Degree program, which is also a five-year performance program where students earn a A.B from Harvard and an M.M. from New England Conservatory. For information on the Harvard/NEC program go to mmperformance.html
Requirements for the Concentration in Music
Basic Requirements: 13 half courses
1. Required courses:
A. Music 51a and 51b: Theory I.
B. Music 150a and 150b: Theory II.
C. Music 97a and 97b: Western Music History and Repertory; and Music 97c: World Music History and Repertory.
2. Required categories:
a. Topics in musicology. Any two courses chosen from Music 190r through Music 194r, Music 182 or Music 183r.
b. Advanced theory. Any two courses chosen from Music 151 through Music 159.
c. Electives. Any two from the following:
- Composition: Music 160r through Music 167r.
- An additional half-course from those listed in 2a above.
- An additional half-course from those listed in 2b above.
- Music 180r.
- Music 91r.
- Conducting or Orchestration: Music 121a through Music 125b.
3. Tutorial: Music 97: See item 1c.
4. Examination: None.
5. Other information:
- Students interested in the music concentration are encouraged to take Music 51a as early as possible.
- A theory placement examination is given at the beginning of the fall term.
- Courses counting for concentration credit may not be taken Pass/Fail, except that one Freshman Seminar may be counted for concentration credit with departmental approval.
- 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.
Requirement for Honors Eligibility: 15 half-courses
1. Required courses: Same as Basic Requirements, plus two terms of Music 99r, senior tutorial (see item 2)
2. Thesis: Required of all honors candidates. May be an original composition, a senior recital, or a written thesis. Plan or subject to be approved by the department at the end of the junior year. Early in the second term of the junior year, students wishing to submit a composition as their thesis are required to submit a portfolio of work for consideration by the composition faculty, and students wishing to pursue a recital must submit a representative recording for consideration by the performance committee. Any change of plan must be resubmitted to the department.
3. Other information: Same as Basic Requirements
Joint Concentration Requirements: 8 half-courses
- Required courses: Music 51a and 51b, Music 150a and 150b, and any two semesters of Music 97 (a, b, and/or c).
- Electives: Two additional upper-level courses (taken from item 2 under Basic Requirements). The remaining semester of Music 97 may also count as one of these electives.
- Tutorial: Students should enroll in two terms of 99r in their primary department. A faculty adviser in Music will be provided in any case. Will not count towards music concentration credit.
- Thesis: Required. Plan or subject to be approved by both departments by the end of the junior year.
- Examination: None.
Concentrators Planning a Senior Honors Recital
Beginning in 2010-2011, junior music concentrators (excluding joint concentrators) may subsitute a senior recital (with a substantial research component) for the senior honors thesis.
Honors recitals are normally given in the second semester of the senior year, either in Paine Hall or in another space provided by the Music Department; alternative arrangements are considered on an individual basis.
Preliminary approval for a recital must be obtained in the junior year. Students wishing to present a recital as a thesis project should submit the following for consideration by the performance committee no later than the date specified by the Music Department (please see Mary Gerbi for deadline dates):
a. A résumé of training and performance history (including music coursework)
b. An audition video of at least 15 minutes with three contrasting pieces
c. A letter from the principal teacher recommending that the student be permitted to give a thesis recital.
Repertoire for the recital should be submitted to the adviser and to the undergraduate coordinator by November 15 of the senior year.
The program copy, including program notes suitable for distribution to the audience, should be submitted for the adviser’s approval and possible revision one month before the date of the recital.
If preliminary approval is obtained (normally by mid March), the student identifies a thesis adviser from among the Music faculty and submits a thesis proposal (according to distributed departmental guidelines) for consideration at the Department’s April meeting. All honors recitals include a substantial research component formulated in collaboration with the adviser, and subject to departmental approval.
Click to read more details.
Concentrators and Joint Concentrators Planning to Write Honors Theses
If you are a candidate for honors, please note that a plan or subject for your thesis is to be approved by the department at the end of your junior year. Confer with your music faculty advisor(s), write up a brief and succint description of the proposed project, have your advisor sign the proposal and submit to Mary Gerbi in the Music Department. There is usually a March deadline for this; please confirm the exact deadline with Mary (gerbi@fas).
Sample proposals might be:
a. “I plan to study the economic structure of concert series in American cities of medium population, focusing on two to four such cities.” (Joint concentration in music and economics, signed by you and your music adviser. Be sure it’s OK with Econ!)
b. “I plan to study the reception of John Cage and his music in Germany during the 1950s, under the supervision on Prof. X.” (Signed by you and Prof. X.)
c. “I plan to write a string quartet, under the supervision of Prof. X.” (Signed by you and Prof. X.) *See note below
d. “I plan to perform a piano recital, under the supervision of Prof. Y.” (Signed by you and Prof. Y.) **See note below
The thesis is to be “either an original composition,” a “verbal (written) thesis,” or a “performance thesis.”
It’s OK to change your thesis topic next semester – in a reasonably timely fashion – if it begins veering substantially from what you propose now. However, you must resubmit a revised, signed proposal in order to change your thesis topic.
*Students wishing to submit a musical composition as a thesis project should submit a portfolio of recent work for consideration by the composition faculty. The faculty will evaluate this work to determine whether you are prepared to pursue a thesis in composition. Please check with Mary for this deadline.
Deadlines and requirements for your senior thesis.
There are four deadlines, valid for all types of theses. All deadlines are effective at 4:00 pm that day.
Material for deadlines nos. 1, 2, and 3 should be submitted to:
a) the advisor, in electronic or paper format;
b) the Assistant to the Head Tutor, Mary Gerbi. The material should be in electronic format (sent to email@example.com), although those submitting compositions have the option of doing so in hard copy. The material will be stored and will be made available to both the student and music department faculty other than the Advisor, for consultation.
1. Prospectus. For composition theses it should lay out the scope of the proposed project, including performance forces, approximate duration, and text to be set (if any). For ethnomusicology, theory, and music history theses, it should consist of an outline and a bibliography (approximately 4-5 pages total). Deadline: October 9, 2012
2. Completion of a minimum of 50% of the work. For ethno, theory, and history theses this corresponds, for example, to two out of four chapters--the draft should include footnotes as well. Deadline: December 10, 2012
3. First complete draft of work: Deadline: February 18, 2013
4. The final copies of the thesis should be given to the Assistant to the Head Tutor in Room 101S, Music Building (total of 2 or 3, additional Reader(s); see format requirments below).
FINAL DEADLINE (no exceptions): March 11, 2013
A bound copy of the final thesis is required for submission to the Music Library. If you are awarded summa cum laude or magna cum laude for your thesis, you will also be responsible for submitting an unbound copy for the University Archives. This is a requirement for receiving the final award on the thesis. The Library and/or archive copies must be submitted to the Assistant to the Head Tutor by April 2, 2013.
NOTE: After the due date, no revisions are accepted, except those mandated by the Thesis Advisor (copy editing will be allowed for library and archival copies).
An explanation of the required format for your thesis is on the following page. Please see your Advisor or the Head Tutor if you have any questions.
Important note for joint concentrators: Deadlines for other departments may be different. If the Department of Music deadline happens to be earlier, you must submit your complete, final thesis by our deadline. Likewise it is required that you follow our preliminary deadlines. This rule applies whether you are a primary or secondary concentrator in Music. If your other department’s deadlines are earlier, you must verify with them whether they will follow our deadlines or theirs.
Undergraduate Thesis Format Requirements
• All copies should be submitted to the Assistant to the Head Tutor by the stated deadlines.
• Deadline for the final version of thesis to the readers and the Department is March 5, 2012.
• The final readers’ copies of the thesis (usually a total of two for joint concentrators and three for honors concentrators) should be bound and fully formatted (i.e., footnotes, appendices, bibliography, etc.). Either single- or double-sided copies are acceptable. Three-ring binders are acceptable.
• The Assistant to the Head Tutor should be provided one single-sided, bound copy on acid-free paper, for cataloging in the Music Library, by April 23rd.
• The Music Library prefers undergraduate theses bound with ACCO press binders or glued binders like the Sourcebook. The binding must stand upright on the shelf (for example, spiral plastic binding, which tends to slump and fall apart in a short time, is not acceptable).
• Students receiving summa or magna honors for their theses (notification late April) should also submit one single-sided, unbound copy on acid-free paper directly to the Assistant to the Head Tutor by April 23rd. This copy will be cataloged in the University Archives.
• Format for title page is illustrated by attached Sample.
• Format of the body of the document: 1” margins top and bottom, and 1.5” on left and right; single-sided pages.
• For theses submitted by joint concentrators, the second department usually defers to the first department with regard to format requirements. The student should confer with the second department to confirm this.
• For compositions, it is not recommended that you submit a thesis in pencil. If a software program is not feasible, then a high-quality photocopy of a penciled work should be submitted. Please confer with your advisor to determine the best format.
All students are required to confer with the Head Tutor or the Assistant Head Tutor 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 officials at the start of each term. For the 2011-2012 academic year, Professor Thomas Kelly is the Head Tutor, and Professor Sindumatha Revuluri is the Assistant Head Tiutor.
For up-to-date information on advising in Music, please see the Advising Programs Office website: www.fas.harvard.edu/~advising/concentrations/Music.html.
The Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library offers an outstanding collection of books and scores, as well as listening equipment for its extensive recording collection. An electronic music studio is available. Instrumentalists have access to the practice rooms, all of which have pianos, and a limited number of instrument lockers are provided. 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 Memorial Church 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 (by audition), as well as information on private teachers in the area who may be available for lessons.
Music as a Secondary Field
The Department of Music offers one secondary field designed to be flexible enough to accommodate a broad range of interests in this field. Students are free to explore the field by selecting a variety of courses, or they may focus on any aspect of the larger field.
REQUIREMENTS: 5 half-courses
Any five half-courses selected from among the courses offered in Music (including Core courses, Gen Ed courses and Freshman Seminars taught by Music Department faculty), with the exceptions noted below:
-No more than one half-course may be selected from Music 1a, Music 1b, Music 2, Music 3, Music 4, Music 5, Music 6, Core Courses, Gen Ed Courses, or Freshman Seminars.
-No more than one half-course may be selected from the Music 120 series (conducting), Music 180r, Music 186r, or Music 187r.
With the permission of the instructor, secondary field students may take some upper-level courses without having taken Music 51 and 150 as prerequisites.
Courses taken abroad, or in the summer school, can be counted in the secondary field only with the permission of the department, normally granted only after the course has been completed.
ADVISING RESOURCES AND EXPECTATIONS
Students pursuing a secondary field are urged to seek out members of the Music Department faculty for advice on their specific course choices. For general information about the department, its faculty, and courses visit the department website.
For more information on the secondary field and for advising, please speak to either the secondary field adviser, Mary Gerbi (617-495-2791; firstname.lastname@example.org), or the head tutor, Thomas Forrest Kelly (617-495-2791).
Five Year Program (not the 5-year dual degree Harvard/NEC program)
For students who wish to pursue a program with more emphasis on performance, the department offers the Five-Year Program. Students approved by the department 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.
This program is designed for music concentrators; thus admission to the five-year program is only granted to students willing to commit to this concentration choice as freshmen.
Permission to follow the five-year program involves a first year of study at the normal rate, and four further years of working and paying at the three-course rate. This means that a student doing the five-year program will pay four years of tuition, but ten terms of fees, room and board.
Students may combine this option with advanced standing to finish degree requirements in four years and remain at Harvard for a fifth year at the reduced rate.
1. In the freshman year, student requests certification from Department. This takes the form of a brief letter to the Head Tutor, outlining the student’s performance background and plans for performance study in the five-year program.
2. The Music Department considers and acts on this request.
3. If the request is approved, the student takes the department’s certification to her/his Resident Dean, and makes a request for permission to remain at Harvard for ten terms, and to work for eight terms at the three-course rate.
4. Resident Dean takes this request to the Administrative Board for permission.
5. Resident Dean notifies the student and the Head Tutor of Music of the Administrative Board’s decision.
More information: Thomas Forrest Kelly, Head Tutor, Music
Composition Prizes and Department Grant Support
The deadline for all fellowships/prizes is Monday, April 8, 0213.
All compositions with pseudonym should be presented to the Music Department staff member Eva Kim.
(New York Musicians Club) Prize
By the gift of two thousand dollars from "The Bohemians" (New York Musicians Club) there has been established in the Department of Music a prize in original musical composition. The competition is open to undergraduates or the members of any graduate school of the University. The interest of the bequest will be awarded for an original composition for one or two instruments.
Francis Boott Prize
From the income of the bequest of Francis Boott, of the Class of 1831, a prize of exactly two hundred and fifty dollars has been established for the writer of the best composition in concerted vocal music. The competition is open to undergraduates or to members of any graduate school of the University.
The prize is offered for the best composition for chorus of not less than three nor more than eight parts, either a capella or with accompaniment for piano, organ, or small instrumental ensemble, requiring not more than ten minutes for performance. The choice of text, which may be either sacred or secular, Latin or English, original or selected, is left to the contestant.
Every effort will be made to arrange a performance of the winning composition before the end of the academic year, provided the composition falls within the scope of the available performing forces.
George Arthur Knight Prize
In 1909 the University received from William H. Knight, of the Class of 1903, a fund for the establishment of a prize in memory of his brother, George Arthur Knight, late of the Class of 1907. On this foundation the George Arthur Knight Prize is offered for the best composition in instrumental music, "preference to be given to compositions for string quartets or trios, though works with piano accompaniment may compete." The competition is open to all members of the University.
Hugh F. MacColl Prize
From the bequest of Hugh F. MacColl of the Class of 1907, this prize was established in 1954, The income from the fund is "to be applied from time to time . . . to the awarding of prizes" in an undergraduate competition "for original musical compositions."
John Green Fellowship
This award was established by friends and family of the late John Green '28 in support of excellence in musical composition. It is made annually to an undergraduate or graduate student composer.
Department Grant Information
John Knowles Paine Traveling Fellowships
Each spring, the Music Department awards John Knowles Paine Fellowships for travel and study during the following academic year. The Fellowships were established in 1912 by Mrs. Paine in memory of her husband and are available to music concentrators in their senior year (for study during the summer following graduation) and graduate students in the Department of Music.
If you are interested in applying, please submit a letter to the Department Chair, detailing your plans of travel or study and proposed budget. If you have any questions, please see the Head Tutor or the Department Administrator.
The Davison Fellowship for Travel in Music, a gift from Alice D. Humez in memory of her husband Archibald "Doc" Davison, provides financial support for students engaged in short projects relating to music that require travel away from Harvard University. Undergraduate and graduate students in good standing are eligible to apply. While the terms of the fellowship are broadly defined, preference will be given to proposals that have an academic component. Economical and resourceful proposals will be favored. Undergraduates engaged in research are particularly encouraged to apply.
Applications consist of a short project description (1-2pp.), a budget, and a confidential letter of recommendation from an academic adviser.These materials should be submitted to the Department of Music (Eva Kim or Nancy Shafman). Applications are due by 5pm Wednesday April 10th, 2013 for projects beginning in the summer or the following academic year. The fellowship selection will be made by a committee in the Department of Music and will be announced in the first week of May.
Visiting the Department
Harvard College Admissions Tours and Information Sessions (highly recommended)
Cambridge Area Accommodations
Visit a Class [Harvard-wide]
[To visit a specific music class, choose one from our courses, then email the professor to ask permission to sit in.]
You are welcome to visit the Music Department anytime during regular office hours, Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. Please know that meeting with music department staff in no way impacts your application; these meetings are informational only. Individual academic departments (such as music) are not involved with the Admissions process at Harvard College.
To make an appointment to visit the Music Department
Call 617-495-2791 or write email@example.com to arrange an appointment with Lesley Bannatyne, Managing Communications Coordinator. Expect your visit to last around 15 minutes.
If you decide to make an application
The Harvard College Office of Admissions and Financial Aid handles the admissions process in its entirety. All questions about the admissions process, as well as all supplementary application materials, should be sent to them:
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
86 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Harvard College Admissions also tracks all applications and is responsible for all materials and submitted information. If you need to know the status of your application, contact them at 617-495-1551. NOTE: Please do not call the Music Department about the status of your application or the return of your materials. We don't have them.
The best times to visit the department are when classes are in session. However, you can come by at any time to see the building and facilities. The Music Department is open 9-5 Monday through Friday except for holidays.
|Information for Current Freshman
Those considering a concentration in Music should consult as soon as possible with the instructor of Music 51. At a convenient time during the first semester, students should also meet with the Head Tutor or Assistant Tutor for the Department.
Students begin the concentration in Music with two foundational pillars: Music 97a, 97b, and 97c provide an extensive knowledge of the history and literature of Western music as well as the principles of ethnomusicology and world music repertories; Music 51a, 51b, 150a, and 150b teach skills important in musicianship, theory, and analysis. While it is possible to complete the concentration requirements within five semesters, we encourage potential concentrators to take Music 51 in their first year at Harvard, or to pass out of it by examination. A placement exam will be offered at the start of each academic year. (Students who enter with a significant background in theory may bypass portions of the theory sequence) More info on Music 51 and the placement exam will be posted on the course website.
Students are then offered a wide range of advanced, specialized electives that build on the foundations laid in Music 97 and Music 51/150.
The Department welcomes joint concentrations with other departments that allow them. Joint concentrators need to fulfill a reduced number of course requirements. A senior thesis is required on a topic in which both fields are represented.
Any students with an interest in music--even if they are not considering the concentration--are encouraged to take Music 1a, Music 1b, Music 2, or Core/GenEd courses in Music.