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Anna Gawboy, area head

Ryan Skinner, area coordinator

Faculty list

Musicology at Ohio State

Musicology at Ohio State pursues interdisciplinary inquiry into music in its social and historical contexts, integrating perspectives from ethnomusicology, critical and cultural theory, historical musicology, media, folklore, music theory and beyond. As a part of, and portal to, one of the largest educational institutions in the US, our program provides an almost infinite variety of music-related humanistic opportunities, with an array of degree options and graduate minors.

At the same time we are a holistic enterprise, with faculty and students continually learning from one another: a group of scholars and performers persistently reconsidering a field that is always relevant and perpetually unfolding.

As an academic unit within the Ohio State School of Music, with its focus on musical practices and pedagogies, the Musicology area aims to expand common ideas of musicality and performance; help musicians in advocating social justice causes; set repertory in stimulating cultural, political and historical contexts; and diversify the repertories themselves.


The Musicology faculty hold internationally-recognized expertise in US and global popular music, queer studies, urban African and Afro-diasporic music cultures, music of the Renaissance in Europe, migration and mobility studies, European repertories of the 19th and 20th centuries, film and multimedia, and indigenous and ethnic studies. Closely affiliated faculty in the Theory area offer complementary courses and research expertise in music theory pedagogy, computational musicology, mathematical music theory, music cognition, music visualization, and esotericism. Additional opportunities are provided by musicologically-oriented faculty in Folklore, African and African American Studies, Comparative Studies (including Sound Studies), Spanish and Portuguese, and Dance.

Graduate Studies

Ohio State Musicology program curricula introduce graduate students to current conversations in the discipline and help them become fluent with critical research methods. All students in our program develop proficiencies in ethnographic and historical research methods, written and oral communication, and teaching. From the time students enter our program, all are supported in defining their own areas of interest as well as in planning for careers inside and outside the academy.

Undergraduate Musicology Major

The undergraduate Musicology curriculum [pdf] is flexible, allowing students to choose upper-division courses according to their interests, and even to participate in graduate classes. All undergraduate majors in the School of Music take a set of core courses that acquaint them with (a) the history of European and European-derived art music, (b) African American music, (c) global music histories, and (d) musical citizenship and politics. Musicology majors go on to General Education courses and electives on a large variety of topics — for instance, music in the United States, the history of rock ’n’ roll, the Beatles in musical context, and introduction to opera. Musicology majors conclude their program with a senior thesis, written in close collaboration with a faculty member of their choice.

Musicology Lecture Series

Lectures in Musicology is a forum for scholars from the university and from the region to speak on musical-cultural topics; musical practices, communities, ecologies and repertories; and historical issues. Series organizers aim to give equal opportunity to students and faculty in Musicology and Music Theory, to faculty and students in other departments, to local scholars, and to an array of distinguished invited guest speakers. The series takes place at 4 p.m. on selected Monday afternoons in the 18th Avenue Library (second floor, room 205) at 175 West 18th Avenue, unless otherwise noted. The lectures in this series are free and open to the public. The semester schedule is available at Musicology Events and the details for each event will be posted on the School of Music calendar.


Contact Professor Ryan Skinner, Musicology area coordinator (skinner.176@osu.edu).