Music History at Kenyon
As with music theory, music history at Kenyon is taught not only for its own sake, but also for its connections with the liberal arts in general. Constant comparisons are made with other disciplines, and non-musical historical/political/social phenomena are also discussed in order to place composers and their music in proper perspective.
Music history at Kenyon is available for any student. Music 102 (Introduction to Music History) assumes no previous music history knowledge, and is considered the best introduction for a student who has never taken a music history course. It serves as a necessary prerequisite for the music history survey sequence (Music 202-205), which offers four full semesters of in-depth coverage of the traditional historical style periods. These courses require active listening, concert attendance, score reading, written reports, and major research/analysis papers. They also contain continuing training in bibliographic skills. Non-majors with the prerequisite courses may also enroll in these courses. Two of these four courses are required for the major. We strongly encourage majors, through our academic advising, to take all four history survey courses, especially those students who wish to pursue graduate studies in music.
A variety of other music history seminars and survey courses are available to majors and non-majors who have satisfied the Music 101-102 requirement. Each course goes beyond the musical topic being explored to emphasize music in the context of the liberal arts. Since many students enrolled in these courses are non-majors, students are encouraged to bridge disciplines. For instance, an economics major in a course on Court Musical Patronage might write a research paper on the fiscal policies of the Hapsburg court in its support of music during the Renaissance and the Baroque.