|We offer both an undergraduate and a graduate program. Undergraduates earn an A.B. with a concentration in music. Graduate students complete a PhD program in musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, composition, or Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry. Harvard College also offers two dual degree programs: one with New England Conservatory where students earn an A.B. from Harvard and a M.M. from NEC over the course of five years. The other is with Berklee College of Music, where students earn an A.B. from Harvard and an M.M. or M.A. from Berklee, also over five years.|
Although we do not offer a vocal or instrumental performance degree (such as a B.M., M.M., or D.M.A.), performance is very much a part of music department coursework, and students are welcome to join any of the many extracurricular music performance groups on campus.
|Harvard/NEC Dual Degree Program||The Harvard/NEC program is a five-year program leading to a Bachelor of Arts (AB) at Harvard College and a Master of Music (MM) at New England Conservatory. The program benefits musically and intellectually talented students who wish to pursue both a professional music education at NEC and a rigorous liberal arts education at Harvard. During the first four years of the program, students pursue the AB curriculum in the concentration of their choice at Harvard and take studio instruction at NEC. Ensemble participation at either institution is encouraged, and a specific range of music courses is suggested as prerequisites to the NEC portion of the degree. NEC requires students to complete a promotional jury each year to make sure that they are on track with NEC requirements. The promotional at the end of the third year is meant to confirm students’ level of preparedness to begin their graduate studies at NEC. Students will graduate from Harvard in four years. Students will receive the MM degree from New England Conservatory after successful completion of the fifth year of study (entirely at NEC).|
|Harvard/Berklee Dual Degree Program||The Berklee College of Music/Harvard program is a dual degree five-year program of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts (AB) at Harvard College and a Master of Music (MM) or a Master of Arts (MA) at Berklee College of Music. The program will benefit musically and intellectually talented students who wish to pursue a contemporary music education at Berklee and a rigorous liberal arts education at Harvard. During the first three years of the program, students will pursue the AB curriculum in the concentration of their choice at Harvard and take private instruction at Berklee. Ensemble participation at either institution is strongly recommended. Students must pass the appropriate instrumental proficiency at Berklee at the end of each semester to determine continued progress in their musical study. The proficiency at the end of the third year also serves as an audition and interview confirming the student’s readiness to begin the Master of Music or Master of Arts program at Berklee. |
In the fourth year, students will complete all requirements for the AB degree at Harvard. All additional preparatory requirements for the MA or MM degree at Berklee, taken throughout the student’s academic career, will also be completed by the fourth year. Additionally, during the summers throughout their first three years, appropriate coursework to prepare for Berklee’s MA or MM programs may be completed at any of Berklee’s campuses—Boston,Valencia or online. At the end of their fourth year, students will receive the AB degree at Harvard. At the end of their fifth year, students will receive the MM or MA degree from Berklee.
|Musicology||Musicology at Harvard offers intensive training in historical and cultural approaches to the study of music. While our program has an emphasis on Western music, students increasingly explore wide-ranging geographies and subjects. We take an expansive view of the field and encourage our students to do the same. Most graduate courses in musicology are research seminars; many treat specific topics and theoretical approaches, while others deal with methodology and recent trends in the field. The musicology faculty also offer proseminars that are open to both graduate and undergraduate students. At the end of two years of study, graduate students take a General Examination. In year three, having passed the General Exam, students begin to teach and craft a Ph.D. dissertation proposal; subsequent years are devoted to teaching, research, writing, and professional development.|
|Ethnomusicology||Ethnomusicology at Harvard offers intensive training in ethnographic method as well as study of theories, problems, and approaches relevant to the study of any living musical tradition in its cultural setting. By the end of the second year of study, students select primary and secondary fields of specialization, which may be defined by region (for example, Turkish or West African music); by musical styles (such as jazz or popular music); or by topic or theoretical approach (organology or aesthetics). The Harvard program has particular strengths in regions stretching from the Mediterranean to India, in Africa and African diasporas, and in urban America. There are excellent resources both in the music department and across the disciplines at Harvard in critical theory. Collaborations are encouraged among ethnomusicology and other music department programs in historical musicology, music theory, composition, and creative practice and critical inquiry.|
|Theory||The PhD in music theory is characterized both by a deep involvement in the inner workings of music and by an engagement with the wider philosophical, cultural, and psychological questions surrounding music. The program reflects this interdisciplinary interest of our students, and its structure is designed to explore the links of music theory to other areas of critical engagement. The graduate curriculum in music theory was fundamentally revised in 2018 with the view to the specific needs of professional music theorists in the twenty-first century.|
|Composition||Harvard’s program in composition is designed to give students the time and opportunity to develop as composers by offering general musical guidance as well as specific individual criticism of their works. The program is centered around the students’ achieving clarity of expression through developing their command of compositional technique. In addition, acquaintance with the literature of the past and present through analysis and performance is considered indispensable. Most courses are seminars and deal with specific topics or student works.|
|Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry||The program in Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry is designed as a special opportunity for exceptional, engaged artist-scholars. Such individuals might frame themselves as composer-performers whose work is driven by a research sensibility, or as committed scholars whose concurrent active involvement in music-making informs and propels their intellectual projects. Candidates interested in this category should clearly lay out their academic interests and musical experience, including research goals and a portfolio of creative work. They should present a clear rationale for the integrated, cross-disciplinary nature of their work.|
|AM programs||The A.M. Degree in Music with a specialty in Performance Practice is designed to provide intellectual and scholarly background to finished musicians who are preparing or engaged in careers as performers and teachers. The emphasis is on preparing students to work with sources, editions, theoretical writings, organology and other matters of importance to performance styles as related to repertories. Additional areas such as differences in the meaning of terminology and notation from composer to composer or from era to era; ornamentatio, liberties of tempo and declamation, and improvisation will be addressed. It is a two-year program in which students take a selection of departmental courses focused on this specialty, and write an A.M. thesis.|
|Non-degree programs for visiting scholars||Individuals with academic or professional reasons for pursuing graduate-level study without entering a degree program may apply for special student status and engage in coursework or a combination of coursework and research for academic credit, for one term or one year only. While they are not candidates for any degree, special students are much like first-year graduate students; they participate in coursework and may request an official Harvard transcript of courses and grades received.|