Music History


The School of Music offers the Bachelor of Music and the Masters of Music degrees in Music History. Applications for both the BM and MM degree programs are welcome.

The music history faculty at the University of Louisville represent a wide range of teaching specialties, research achievements, and performance expertise. The Music History division has two full-time faculty who specialize in historical research in music. Dr. Ashworth specializes in performance practice in early music and especially the Baroque period, Dr. Ong is a scholar of late 18th- and 19th-century music, including Beethoven source studies. Part-time faculty, Sean Mulhall, John Kays, Michael Ramach, Steve Noble, and Michael Sprowles, bring expertise in cognate areas, such as ethno-musicology and music of the theater. The division also sponsors several concerts of the Early Music Ensemble (EME) and a series of programs of world music and dance. The endowed Gerhard Herz Visiting Professor of Bach Studies provides opportunities for students to learn from guest scholars. The first Gerhard Herz Visiting Professor of Bach Studies, Dr. Anne Leahy, of Dublin, Ireland, was a member of the faculty in the Fall semester of 2003. The first Gerhard Herz Visiting Professor of Bach Studies, of Dublin, Ireland, was a member of the faculty in the Fall semester of 2003.

Along with the School of Music Theory and Composition division, the Music History division is particularly committed to studying the constantly-developing history of new music as it continues to be composed every day. Past graduates in music history from the University of Louisville have made careers as musicologists, music librarians, arts administrators, and music critics.

Students enrolled in the program complete the four-semester music history sequence required of all music majors and also take 18 hours of courses, among which are four music history courses on varying topics, two hours of tutorials intended to enhance the four-semester core sequence required of all music majors, and a senior research project carrying four hours of credit. Music history majors complete this senior project under the direction of one of the division’s faculty members and conclude the project with the valuable experience of a formal discussion with the faculty. Recent senior theses in Music History at the University of Louisville have included studies of John Adams’s Harmonielehre, the history of jazz in Louisville, rhetoric in Chopin’s F-major Ballade, Opus 38, and Simon Bainbridge’s Ad ora incerta.

Among the ensembles popular with music history majors are the Early Music Ensemble (EME) and the University Orchestra; students participating in these ensembles gain experience playing a wide range of repertoire. In the EME, a “performing laboratory,” students deepen their understanding of historical performance practice and participate in performance decisions concerning such aspects of early music as musica ficta and text underlay.

The University of Louisville Music Library holds unique resources for original research in music history, including the Grawemeyer Collection of Contemporary Music, which comprises over 2,500 items by major composers submitted to the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition from 1985 to the present. The library also houses an extensive collection of journals, complete editions, medieval fascimilies, and the Ricasoli manuscripts of 18th- and 19th-century Tuscan music.

For more information:

Division Head, Music History
School of Music
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
Phone: (502) 852-6907
Fax: (502) 852-0520