Department of Music

  • Chair

    Wendy Heller

  • Departmental Representative

    Jamie Reuland

  • Director of Graduate Studies

    Simon Morrison (Musicology)

    Steven Mackey (Composition)


  • Professor

    V. Kofi Agawu

    Wendy Heller

    Steven Mackey

    Simon A. Morrison

    Daniel L. Trueman

    Dmitri Tymoczko

    Barbara A. White

  • Associate Professor

    Donnacha M. Dennehy

    Rob C. Wegman

  • Assistant Professor

    Jamie Reuland

    Juri Seo

    Gavin Steingo

  • Senior Lecturer

    Gabriel Crouch, University Glee Club, Chamber Choir

    Rudresh Mahanthappa, University Jazz Ensembles

    Michael J. Pratt, University Orchestra, University Opera Theater

    Jeffrey O. Snyder

Information and Departmental Plan of Study

The Department of Music encourages students to explore music according to their individual needs, interests, and aspirations. Students may pursue work in composition, music history, theory, analysis and interpretation, non-Western music, music technology, performance, and improvisation. Courses offered through the department cover this wide range of activities. Many courses are geared not only to majors but also to a variety of students involved with music and music making.

Advanced Placement

The Department of Music does not grant advanced placement exam credit. Freshmen who wish to enroll in a course where "any music course" is listed as a prerequisite must obtain the permission of the departmental representative or the course instructor.


Students are expected to attain a certain competence in music theory before entering the department. This general prerequisite may be satisfied by the completion of 105, 106 or of 205, 206. Because certain upper-level courses have as a prerequisite a year of music theory, students who are considering majoring in music are advised to take 105, 106 in their freshman year.

Early Concentration

Qualified students who have completed the departmental prerequisites early may be allowed to begin departmental concentration in the sophomore year.

Program of Study

Students majoring in music design their program in close consultation with the departmental representative. In addition to the two prerequisite courses (105, 106 or 205, 206), music majors are required to take a minimum of nine additional courses.

A second year of theory, 205, 206, is required. (In cases where 205, 206 has already been taken as a prerequisite, majors are expected to take two additional electives.) Also required are three courses chosen from those listed below under Group I (Western music history sequence), one course from Group II (non-Western and non-canonical music), and three additional electives at the 300 level or higher (with a strong recommendation that one of these be another theory course). Music majors in the performance program may use 213, 214, or 215 as a departmental course.

Group I (Western music history): 230, 232, 234, 236, 238, 240, 242

Group II (non-Western and noncanonical music): 250, 251, 254, 255, 257, 258, 259, 260, 262, 264, 265


Students planning graduate study in music should achieve reading and speaking proficiency in at least one foreign language. German, French, and Italian are most germane to the study of Western music. Some experience with composition software may also be of use.

Independent Work

Junior Independent Work. Juniors participate in a junior seminar their first semester. This weekly seminar is led by the departmental representative. Students in the seminar are responsible for various writing assignments, including one substantial paper. In the second semester, students either (1) write a research paper that allows them to explore the theoretical, historical, and analytical literature on music as well as develop their own ideas; or (2) write a substantial musical composition.

Senior Independent Work. The senior thesis may range from an extended essay on a musicology topic to a project in composition. The specific topic or project of the thesis is agreed upon in discussions with a faculty adviser.

Senior Departmental Examination

Departmental examinations are held after the submission of senior theses. The examination is broad in scope and covers a wide range of musical knowledge.

Study Abroad

Beginning in 2007, Princeton began a unique collaboration with the Royal College of Music in London, in which students have the opportunity to participate in a five-year double-degree program (A.B. and M.M.). Students spend the fall semester of the junior year in London. Interested current and prospective music majors should email the director of the Certificate Program in Musical Performance for further details.

Musicianship. Some training in musicianship is a component in the undergraduate theory courses, but it is expected that students will also work on aural and practical skills on their own. At least a minimal competence at the keyboard is expected of all music concentrators as well.

Other Academic Preparation:  Students planning graduate study in musicology or theory should achieve reading and speaking proficiency in at least one foreign language, depending upon their areas of interest.  Students with interests in composition may want preparation in engineering and computer science.  Majors should discuss this with the departmental representative

Instrumental and Vocal Lessons. The Department of Music has highly qualified professionals on the performance faculty who provide co-curricular instruction for a fee that is billed directly to the student's University account.  Lesson costs are covered for students receiving University Financial Aid.  For further information on Financial Aid contact Elizabeth Badger. Music majors and students in the Certificate Program in Music Performance also have the option of receiving academic credit for lessons by registering for Music 298-299.  For details, see the Program in Music Performance.  For further information, please contact Gregory Smith.

Performance for Departmental Concentrators. Serious students of music, whatever their particular interests or eventual orientation, typically have at least some experience in performing music. Music concentrators are expected to pursue some performance study by taking vocal or instrumental lessons. It is recommended that prospective concentrators without at least minimal keyboard skills study piano. Concentrators are also urged to participate in the ensembles conducted by department staff.

Technical, Electroacoustic, and Computer Facilities. The music department is equipped with complete facilities for recording, editing, creating, and processing sound. There are three studios: a central studio equipped with an SSL Nucleus control surface, a Macintosh computer, Pro Tools, Logic and Abelton Live software with a large supply of plug-ins, Max/MSP, most standard software packages, and surround-sound capabilities; two other studios have similar setups, with specialized video-editing equipment, and other specialized software. There is also a room dedicated to hardware construction with soldering stations and electronic components.