historical instruments
Instruments from the Roderic C. Knight Musical Instrument Collection, which features roughly 300 instruments acquired from Africa, India, China, and North America. Photo credit: Dale Preston ’83
Program Overview


Program Type: Major, Minor
  • Bachelor of Music (BM)
Division: Musicology

The study of musicology draws on historical investigation and various methods of criticism and analysis in the thoughtful consideration of music as both a liberal and a performance art. Coursework includes exploration and analysis of western and world music, coupled with guest lectures, demonstrations, concerts, and workshops.

performance group
Student ensembles, small and large, are essential to the conservatory’s music scene. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni

Performance Ensembles

Oberlin sponsors approximately 500 concerts on campus each year, including recitals and concerts by the more than 25 student ensembles. From jazz to contemporary guitar, classical to popular, computer-generated to acoustic, and from time-tested compositions to newer works, the college and conservatory present performances to satisfy any musical interest.

Upcoming Musicology Events

Sample Courses

  • MHST 101 - Introduction to the History and Literature of Music 4 credits
  • MHST 245 - Music in the Classic Era 4 credits
  • MHST 301 - Introduction to Music Research and Writing 4 credits

Musicology News

text overlaid next to a sculpture of Beethoven's head

Writing to Be Read

June 8, 2020
An Oberlin collaboration with a Cleveland nonprofit helps students explore long-form writing—and expand their audience.
WWI combat promoting "Creative Arts & Music in the Shadow of War" event

Beauty Amid the Brutality

August 31, 2018
Cross-campus collaboration celebrates artistic master works and hidden gems made in the shadow of WWI.