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 as or more than any liberal arts subject. 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. Many of our students are performers. We believe that understanding the cultural and historical background of the music we perform will result in a better performance.
The Music Department covers a wide range of styles and genres: the whole gamut of Western music history is represented from medieval chant to contemporary composition, as are large areas of musical traditions from other parts of the world, with a specific emphasis on South Asian and African cultures, jazz, and American music. Popular music has been represented in recent years by classes from California in the 60s to Global pop to the study of activism through music and songwriting. The requirements for a music concentration are very flexible.
Music is offered as both a concentration and a secondary field.