Historical Performance

Historical Performance Curriculum

Program Requirements

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Coursework includes applied study on historical instruments, music history, music theory, continuo realization at the keyboard, and courses in performance practice, as well as historical performance ensembles. Students are exposed to the latest thinking in the field and take advantage of Oberlin’s extensive music library to pursue their own research.

The college’s broad range of courses in history, theater, dance, and the visual arts complement and enrich the historical performance program’s offerings.

Private instruction, principal or secondary, is available in harpsichord, fortepiano, clavichord, organ, baroque violin, viola da gamba, baroque cello, historical flutes, recorder, and historical oboes.

Although some students come to Oberlin already specializing in an early instrument, others come with more traditional musical backgrounds and begin their study of an early instrument in the conservatory.

Additional Curricular Offerings

Oberlin’s winter term is traditionally rich in events of interest to early music students. Such events have included an early piano workshop and introductory courses in baroque violin, viola da gamba, recorder, hurdy-gurdy, crumhorn, portative organ, and lute.

Students also participate in off-campus tours, including engagements in New York City, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and at the Boston Early Music Festival.

Early music students may also perform in the Baroque Performance Institute, an intensive two-week program that takes place on campus every summer. The program also invites some of the world’s foremost artists to campus as performers and teachers to augment the resident faculty.

Browse Winter Term Inspiration