[ non-degree study ]

Music History & Theory

Music is the product of people, their eras, the places in which they lived and worked. Understanding the history and theory of music helps us to be better musicians.

The Yale School of Music’s offerings in history and theory challenge students’ intellect and expand their base of knowledge. The program instills research, writing, and analytical tools that support students in their areas of specialization as well as in their roles as future cultural and educational leaders.

Every student must take at least one academic course each semester. Course offerings extend from modal analysis through MIDI-based synthesis, including advanced hearing and analysis; an inter-disciplinary seminar on rhythm; and studies of medieval hymns and Renaissance motets, through the Baroque, Classic, and Romantic repertories, to today’s newest and most challenging compositions and ideas. Students can also enroll in classes in the Department of Music.

The history and theory offerings, together with the vast resources of the Yale University Libraries, the Institute of Sacred Music, the Collection of Musical Instruments, and the faculties of the School and Department of Music, the history and theory offerings provide a strong and solid foundation of musical understanding.