Skip to main content
sidebar
The Musicology Colloquium and Composers’ Forum feature talks by distinguished scholars and composers.

The Graduate Program

In 1930 Cornell University appointed Otto Kinkeldey to the first chair in musicology at an American university. Since then, the Department of Music at Cornell has built a tradition of distinguished research and scholarship in music, represented by three graduate programs: musicology (Ph.D.), composition (D.M.A), and performance practice (D.M.A). Although these are separate degree programs, seminar offerings, symposia, and teaching assignments promote an integration and exchange among the students and faculty of all disciplines of music. As a result, the many activities of the Music Department mutually reinforce each other, and graduate students at Cornell enjoy a sense of community among themselves and with the faculty that transcends programmatic divisions.

The curriculum at Cornell is highly flexible. Students develop their own course of study in a close relationship with a Special Committee of three or four faculty members chosen by the student. Students are encouraged to take advantage of all course offerings within the Department of Music as well as explore other disciplinary fields.

All graduate students are required to choose a minor subject of study (the Graduate Minor), represented by a minor member on the Special Committee and course work in that subject area. Students may choose a minor subject within Music (theory, musicology, ethnomusicology, performance, and composition), or from another discipline, such as anthropology, art history, computer science, gender and sexuality studies, history, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, theater arts, and Western and non-Western languages and literatures.

In addition to seminars and performances, the department runs two weekly lecture series, which add to the vibrant exchanges among students and faculty. The Musicology Colloquium and the Composers’ Forum feature talks given by distinguished scholars and composers, as well as members of the Cornell faculty. Graduate students also have many opportunities to present their own work in these lecture series.