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Bachelor of Music — Music History

Music historians — also called “musicologists” and “ethnomusicologists” — study, perform and write about all kinds of music from all historical periods including the present. They study the history of Western art music (“classical music”), popular music, and the music of folk cultures from throughout the world. Their goals include understanding musical styles and their cultural contexts. They study music cultures as diverse as European baroque music, American jazz, Russian folk music and Brazilian popular music.

Pursuing Musicology at Ohio State

Students interested in the musicology major should have a good high school background in writing skills, music performance, sight reading and foreign language. The criteria for admission are the completion of the high school college preparatory program, performance in that program as indicated by class rank and/or grade-point average, a successful audition (including sight reading), the Theory Placement Exam (TPE), and performance on either the ACT or SAT. Through the end of the sophomore year, the musicology program is ordinarily the same as for all music majors: applied music, music theory, music history, and the General Education curriculum. Acceptance in the musicology program is contingent upon the completion of 3 quarters (2 semesters) of applied music at the 401 level (3401 semesters) with acceptance into the 501 (4501 semesters) level and a 3.0 point-hour ratio in the sophomore music history survey MUS 241, 242, 243 (quarters) or MUS 2241 and 2242 (semesters).

Career Prospects in Music History

Music history prepares the student to become a music critic, a music publisher or editor, a radio or television music producer, a music librarian, or a director of a community or government arts agency. Students who want to teach music history should plan to continue their studies as graduate students.

Undergraduate Curriculum information