To study music history is to explore the sheer variety of musical styles and traditions that have been created and sustained globally across time and space. Every culture, past and present, has had musical traditions that reflect the values and social structures of those who produce, perform, and listen to them.

Courses in music history and culture at Drew explore musical traditions in their historical and cultural contexts, drawing on the critical thinking, close reading, research and writing skills that are at the heart of a liberal arts education. The relevance of music history to disciplines outside of music is shown in how many of these courses are cross-listed with other majors and programs at Drew, such as Communication and Media Studies, Theatre & Dance, and Pan-African Studies.

Music majors and minors take music history courses to learn about the contexts of various musical traditions and the skills needed to research, write about, and perform them. Past and present Drew music majors have expanded research projects from their music history classes into senior Capstone projects, specialized honors theses, and successful submissions to the Drew Review, the annual research journal for undergraduates, including:

Courses in Music History at Drew:

MUS 103 – Music in Context

MUS 231 – History of Opera

MUS 232 – Music and the Soundscape of Film

MUS 233 – Music of the Whole Earth

MUS 234 – History of Jazz

MUS 235 – Music of the World’s Religions

MUS 236 – Women and Music

MUS 238 – African American Music History

MUS 240 – Music in the American Century

MUS 301 – Music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Eras

MUS 303 – Music of the Classic and Romantic Eras

MUS 311 – Music of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

MUS 341 – Topics in Music History

For more information about the study of music history at Drew, contact Dr. Leslie Sprout at lsprout@drew.edu.