Historical Musicology at Columbia University


Graduate Studies in Historical Musicology

Historical Musicology Graduate Degree Requirements & Timetable

Courses in Historical Musicology

News and Events from Historical Musicology

Historical Musicology Faculty

Susan L. Boynton
Professor of Music
Chair of the Historical Musicology Area Committee, 2013-14

Walter M. Frisch
H. Harold Gumm/Harry and Albert Von Tilzer Professor of Music
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Giuseppe Gerbino
Associate Professor of Music
Chair, Department of Music
Ellie M. Hisama
Professor of Music
On leave, 2012-13

George E. Lewis
Edwin H. Case Professor of Music
Vice-Chair, Department of Music
Elaine R. Sisman
Anne Parsons Bender Professor of Music
Past President, American Musicological Society
Area Chair for Historical Musicology, 2013-14


Julia Doe
Mellon Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Music

Jessica Schwartz
Mellon Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Music



Online Resources
Music Humanities Online

More information on the Historical Musicology Area is coming soon.


News & Events in Historical Musicology

Music and Politics in Pre-Revolutionary France (MUSI W4150, NEW for Fall 2014!)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Music and Politics in Pre-Revolutionary France
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI W4150
Julia Doe

Fall 2014
Music MUSI W4150

Section 001 Call Number: 27746 Points: 3 
Day/Time: MW 10:10am-11:25am
Location: 701a Dodge Hall
Instructor: Julia Doe (bio)

This course examines the relationship between musical and political institutions in France, from the reign of Louis XIV through the fall of the monarchy. We will 1) survey the development of musical style through listening and analysis; and 2) investigate how representative works reflected broad changes in the production and consumption of music during the grand siecle and age of Enlightenment. Topics will include: systems of court patronage and theatrical privilege; the rise of music criticism in the public sphere; the influence of the philosophes; salon culture; and the role of the arts in the historiography of the Revolution.

20th Century Music (MUSI V3172, Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
20th Century Music
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V3172
Prof. George Lewis

Fall 2014
Music V3172
Section 001
Call Number: 65591 Points: 3 
Day/Time: MW 10:10am-11:25am
Location: To be announced
Instructor: George Lewis (bio)

A multicultural survey of composers, improvisers, sounds, practices and social issues in the music of "the long 20th century." Engages form, technique, genre, style, canon, media reception, constructions of gender and race, cultural nationalisms, and the impact of transnationalism and globalization. Reading knowledge of music is very helpful but not required.

History of Western Music: Middle Ages-Baroque (MUSI V3128 Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
History of Western Music: Middle Ages-Baroque
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V3128
Prof. Susan Boynton

Fall 2014
Music V3128
Section 001
Call Number: 28382 Points: 3 
Day/Time: TR 2:40pm-3:55pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: Susan Boynton  (bio)

Pre- or co requisite:V2318-V2319. Topics in Western music from Antiquity through Bach and Handel, focusing on the development of musical style and thought, and analysis of selected works.


The Music of Russia: A Survey (MUSI V2145, Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Russian Music: A Survey
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V2138
Deborah Bradley-Kramer

Fall 2012 Music V2138
Section 001 Call Number: 63017 Points: 3  
Day/Time: MW 11:40am-12:55pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: Deborah J Bradley-Kramer

This course is detailed survey of Russian national and international composers from Glinka to Shostakovich, and will also address Russian realism, orientalism, the relationship between composers and poets of the Russian Symbolist era, the Ballets Russes, Soviet film music, and musical aesthetics. A knowledge of Russian is not required.  

Collegium Musicum (MUSI V1580, Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Collegium Musicum
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V1580
Anne Levitsky

Fall 2014 Music V1580

Call Number: 78533 Sec. 001 Points: 1
Day & Time: MW 7:30pm-10:00pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: Anne Levitsky (aal2140@columbia.edu)

Performance of vocal and instrumental music from the medieval, Renaissance, and baroque periods. The Collegium usually gives one public concert each term.

May be taken for Pass credit only. Prerequisite: an audition to be held during the registration period. Contact the department for further details (212-854-3825).  Email Anne Levitsky at aal2140@columbia.edu to set up an audition.

Columbia University's esteemed Collegium Musicum incorporates vocal and instrumental performance practice techniques, improvisation, and gesture in bold, imaginative concerts inspired by historical performance practice.

Congratulations to Dr. Harald Kisiedu

The Department congratulates Dr.  Harald Kisiedu, who recently defended his dissertation, "European Echoes: Jazz Experimentalism in Germany, 1965-1974." Dr. Kisiedu's dissertation was sponsored by Prof. George Lewis. 

Dr. Bryan Parkhurst Appointed Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Music!

The Department of Music is delighted to welcome Dr. Bryan Parkhurst as an incoming Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow for 2014-16!

Dr. Parkhurst earned his PhD in philosophy and music theory from the University of Michigan, where he was supported by both a Regents Fellowship and a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship.  His dissertation, "Sound's Arguments: Philosophical Encounters with Music Theory," which was written under the supervision of Kendall Walton, Ramon Satyendra, and Kevin Korsyn, engages closely with the thought of such figures as Schenker, Lewin, Kant, Hegel, Hanslick, Schopenhauer, Dewey, and Wittgenstein.   He is currently researching a book about Hegel and Hauptmann.  Additionally, Bryan is interested in Marxist philosophy generally and Marxist aesthetics in particular, as well as in the grand question of whether and how it is possible for music to be philosophy (Marxist or otherwise).  Bryan's recent publications appear in Music Theory Online, The Journal of Aesthetic Education, The Journal of Interdisciplinary Humanities, and elsewhere.  He is a also a harpist and accordionist. 

Graduating Seniors Olivia Munson, Josh Owens, & Alexander Porter Win Departmental Honors!

The Department of Music is pleased to announce that Departmental Honors for 2014 are awarded to the following graduating senior music majors:

Alexander Porter (Columbia College) for his project (advised by Prof. Joseph Dubiel), "Of Diagrammatology in Music and Architecture," which included both an extended essay and two original creative works, a composition called "Diachronism" and a short play called "Broken Images."  All were woven together by Alex's stimulating, imaginative exploration of time, memory, and space across both musical and architectural dimensions. A complete PDF version of Alexander's thesis can be downloaded here.

Olivia Munson (Columbia College) for her essay (advised by Prof. Aaron Fox) "A Space for Musical Therapy: On Nationalism, Modernity, Music, and Medicine in the Transition from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic."  This essay looks at the use of music for medicinal or therapeutic purposes across broad historical span of Turkish history.  Olivia's essay represents an impressive combination of on-the-ground fieldwork and sophisticated theoretical-historical analysis.

Dr. Jessica Schwartz Appointed Assistant Professor of Musicology at UCLA!

The Department of Music warmly congratulates Dr. Jessica Schwartz, currently completing her two year term as a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department, who has been appointed Assistant Professor of Musicology at The University of California, Los Angeles!

Dr. Schwartz holds the PhD in Ethnomusicology from New York University, where she completed a dissertation entitled:  "Resonances of the Atomic Age: Hearing the Nuclear Legacy in the United States and the Marshall Islands, 1945-2010," advised by Prof. Jairo Moreno.  She has published articles in, among other places,  Transactions of the Royal Historical Society,Women and Music, and Music & Politics.  Dr. Schwartz is also the founder of  the Marshallese Educational Initiative, Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding educational opportunities for Marshallese and raising awareness of Marshallese issues.

Congratulations to all our graduates!

Photos: graduates, their families, and their professors at the Commencement reception in Dodge Hall on May 21, 2014.

The Department of Music Congratulates our 2014 Grads!

Columbia College: (CON = "concentrator"/  MAJ = "major")
Agard-Wilson, Chancellor CON
Assor, Isaac  MAJ
Bunch, Isaac  MAJ
Dugan, Anna MAJ
Frech, Robert  MAJ
Garinois, Alessandro  MAJ
Genova, Jerome  MAJ
Harris, Olivia MAJ
Hoffman, Solomon  MAJ
Horstman, Spencer CON
Koski, Gregory  CON
Lagunas, Rudy  MAJ
Kevin  MAJ
Lim, Youngmook CON
Matern, Lukas  MAJ
McCormick, Kyle  MAJ
Munson, Olivia  MAJ
Nez, Ferguson  MAJ
Porter, Alexander MAJ
Rinehart, Amalia  MAJ
Safavi Ardebili, Amir Hossein  MAJ
Sonett, Caroline  MAJ
Street, Lena  MAJ
Sturr, Jonathan  MAJ
Toy, Norman  MAJ
Worthington, Michelle CON 

Columbia School of General Studies:
Bosco, Christopher MAJ  
Cercone, James  MAJ
Owens, Joshua  MAJ
Starcher, Sarah Jane  MAJ

Columbia College Special Major in Ethnomusicology:
Veena Kumar

Barnard Music Majors Graduates:
Kristina Dorsett  (Ethnomusicology)
Catherine Mullen  (Ethnomusicology)
Debra Rosenbaum (Ethnomusicology)
Hana Rosenbaum (Ethnomusicology)
Julia Sayles 

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences  PhD/DMA:
Belkind, Nili (PhD)
Bryan, Courtney (DMA)
Di Castri, Zosha (DMA)
Eggert, Andrew (PhD)
Forshaw, Juliet (PhD)
Heidemann, Katherine (PhD)
Johnson, Aaron (PhD)
King, Jonathan (PhD)
Kisiedu, Harald (PhD)
Morrison, Matthew (PhD)
Nail, Ashley (DMA)
Newland, Marti (PhD)
Schmeder, Maximillian (PhD)
Tallgren, Johan (DMA)

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