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Music History & Ethnomusicology

Photo credit: Veronica Marian

Stanford’s courses in music history and ethnomusicology help students appreciate, critique, and write about many musics, craft ethnographies of musicians and music-making, and understand the roles of music in culture. A three-quarter historical survey forms part of the Music Major’s core. Other courses for a mix of majors and non-majors delve into Women Making Music, opera, the symphony, composers like Josquin, Handel, Haydn, and Mahler, musics of Black Americans, the sounds of Islam, musical theater, and Western art music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Our multidisciplinary courses put music into relation with anime, critical race theory, film, healing practices, literature, late-medieval feasting, philosophy, and the influence of Southeast Asian cultures on the modern West.


Composition • Improvisation • Music History • Popular Music
Karol Berger photo
Music History • German Studies • Opera
Denise Gill photo
Ethnomusicology • Islamic Studies • Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity
Tom Grey photo
Music History • Opera • German Studies • Musical Theater
Heather Hadlock photo
Music History • Feminist Studies • Opera
Stephen Hinton photo
Music History • German Studies
Hans Kretz photo
New Music Ensemble • Music History
Charles Kronengold
Music History • Popular Music • Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity • Media Theory
William Mahrt photo
Music History • Early Music • Vocal Studies
Paul Phillips photo
Conducting • Orchestras • Music History
Jesse Rodin photo
Music History • Early Music • Vocal Studies
Choral Ensembles • Conducting • Taiko • Asian American Studies
Linda Uyechi photo
Taiko • Asian American Studies


Music 1: Musical Genius: Exemplars in the History of Organized Sound
Music 2A: The Symphony
Music 2C: An Introduction to Opera
Music 7B: Musical Cultures of the World
Music 4SI: Interactive Introduction to North American Taiko
Music 8A: Rock, Sex, and Rebellion
Music 11N: Harmonic Convergence: Music's Intersections with Science, Mathematics, History, and Literature
Music 13: Music and Politics
Music 13N: Music and Politics: From Mozart to Miranda
Music 14N: Women Making Music
Music 16Q: Listening to Climate Change
Music 18A: Jazz History: Ragtime to Bebop, 1900-1940
Music 18B: Jazz History: Bebop to Present, 1940-Present
Music 25: Decoding Anime
Music 27N: The British Invasion
Music 31N: Behind the Big Drums: Exploring Taiko
Music 33N: Beethoven
Music 34N: Performing America: The Broadway Musical
Music 36H: Dangerous Ideas
Music 37N: Ki ho'alu: The New Renaissance of a Hawaiian Musical Tradition
Music 39B: Music and Healing
Music 40: Music History to 1600
Music 41: Music History 1600-1830
Music 42: Music History Since 1830
Music 70: Stories and Music of Refugees
Music 80: Russian Modernists: Stravinsky & Shostakovich
Music 102: The Art of Music Video: Practice and Analysis
Music 118: Musics and Appropriation Throughout the World
Music 133/333: Food, Text, Music: A Multidisciplinary Lab on the Art of Feasting
Music 142/242K: Studies in Music of the Baroque: Handel the Cosmopolitan
Music 143J: Studies in Music of the Classical Period: Franz Joseph Haydn
Music 143J: Studies in Music of the Classical Period: Haydn and Mozart: Music in the Age of Enlightenment
Music 144M: Robert Schumann and the Interpretation of Musical Romanticism
Music 145K/245K: Studies in Western Art Music Since 1900: Concepts of New Music
Music 146N: Transcultural Perspectives of South-East Asian Music and Arts
Music 147J/247J: Studies in Music, Media, and Popular Culture: The Soul Tradition in African American Music
Music 147K: Studies in Music, Media, and Popular Culture: Music and Urban Film
Music 149J: Music, Interpretation, Meaning
Music 152B: Black Music Revealed: Black composers, performers, and themes from the 18th century to the present
Music 159K: Stanford Facsimile Singers
Music 159J: Performance as Analysis: Late-Medieval Music in Action
Music 186B: American Song in the 20th Century and after
Music 186E: Sounds of Islam
Music 187: Spiritual Sound of Central Asia: Introduction to the Music of Central Asia
Music 200A: Proseminar in Musicology and Music Bibliography
Music 200B: Proseminar in Ethnomusicology
Music 253: Symbolic Musical Information
Music 300A: Medieval Notation
Music 300B: Renaissance Notation
Music 300C: Medieval Methodologies
Music 302. Research in Musicology
Music 300E: Analysis and Repertoire: Medieval and Renaissance
Music 300F: Analysis and Repertoire: Baroque to Early Romantic
Music 300G: Analysis and Repertoire: Late-Romantic to Contemporary
Music 310: Research Seminar in Musicology
Music 300H: Aesthetics and Criticism of Music, Ancients and Moderns: Plato to Nietzsche
Music 300I: Aesthetics and Criticism of Music, Contemporaries: Heidegger to Today
Music 330: Musicology Dissertation Colloquium
Music 332: Philosophy, Literature, and the Arts Core Seminar

Courses in the Spotlight

MUSIC 7B. Musical Cultures of the World

This course is about the myriad ways through which music makes us human. Musical meanings and practices in selected regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas will be studied. This course aims to create an awareness for musical diversity and the social implications of music making.

MUSIC 147J/247J: Studies in Music, Media, and Popular Culture: The Soul Tradition in African American Music

A study of African American tradition of soul music from its origins in blues, gospel, and jazz to its influence on today's R&B, hip hop, and dance music. Styles such as rhythm and blues, Motown, Southern soul, funk, Philadelphia soul, disco, Chicago house, Detroit techno, trip hop, and neo-soul will be explored. Soul's cultural influence and global reach, its interaction with politics, gender, place, technology and economy.


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