The graduate program in music at Penn affords students the opportunity to focus their studies within four sub-fields, including composition, music theory, musicology, and ethnomusicology. And yet, the goal of the program is not to entrench these disciplinary distinctions, but rather to seek out productive and innovative means of placing them in dialogue with each other, and this both in terms of theory and methodology and also in the everyday conversations and programming that create and project the intellectual shape of the department.
This orientation toward deliberately holding all of the sub-disciplines in view is reflected in the graduate curriculum as well as in the multiple colloquium series that animate departmental life. As such, the curriculum is designed with flexibility in mind—designed specifically to offer students the freedom to craft a curriculum that best addresses the research needs and methodological concerns of their particular dissertation projects. Combining the wide range of courses offered by the world-class faculty in the music department with the possibility of enrolling in seminars in other Penn departments and taking classes at consortium schools such as Princeton, Yale, and Columbia, the curriculum strives to minimize sub-disciplinary requirements in favor of a broad approach to music studies. Our colloquium series offer another means of engaging in this conversation. Several series provide a wide range of perspectives on musical practice and scholarship, focusing variously on public lives in music, current research, craft and compositional issues, and interdisciplinary working papers by graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty. Click here for list of upcoming lectures.