The Penn Music Department offers an innovative program for undergraduate studies in music, providing opportunities for students to pursue their passions and to develop expertise in a wide range of musical traditions. Penn Music fosters many approaches to the study and making of music. Performance, listening, academic investigation, and composition are all supported, as is the notion that building connections between approaches can lead to rich outcomes.

Academics: Intro Courses, the Major, two Minors
  • Introductory courses are offered in Music Theory and Musicianship, Music History, World Music, Electronic Music, Jazz, and Popular Music.
  • Freshman seminars are taught regularly on a wide range of topics.
  • The Department supports two minors: the Flexible Music Minor and the Jazz and Popular Music Minor.
  • The Music Major is built on a balance of requirements and electives, equipping students with fundamental tools and contexts for thinking about music, while at the same time offering them options to customize their course of study according to their own particular interests.
  • Many music courses fulfill General Education requirements in Sector III, Arts and Letters, and in Formal Reasoning (MUSC1700 [formerly MUSC070]; MUSC2700 [formerly 170]).
Performance: A Wide Range of Opportunities
  • Students may participate in one of the many performance ensembles on campus (MUSC 0070-formerly 007). 
  • Students may also pursue instrumental lessons through the College House Music Program, which matches interested students with Philadelphia area instructors, many of whom are Fellows in the College Houses (MUSC 0050-formerly 005). 
  • A special program of instruction in vocal and instrumental performance, made possible through an endowment by Marian Anderson, is also available for music majors and minors. The Marian Anderson Solo Performance Program (MUSC0100, formerly 010) and the Marian Anderson Group Performance Program (MUSC0110, formerly 011), both open to predominantly music majors and minors, offer students the possibility of up to two years of private music instruction at an intermediate level. 
  • The popular Chamber Music program (MUSC 0070, formerly 007) may also be taken for performance credit.

    MUSC 0050 and 0070 are semester-long courses that count for half a credit. MUSC 0100 and 0110 are two-semester programs, for a total of one credit. MUSC3660 [formerly 236] is a semester-long course for one credit.
Performance and Academics at Penn: A Unique Mix

Penn Music offers unique opportunities for the integration of performance and scholarship, supporting the notion of a “thinking musician” who benefits from the synergies of the pragmatic and the intellectual. Performance opportunities may involve academic study, while academic courses may involve performance.

For example:

  • meetings of traditional ensembles (MUSC0070, formerly 007), although mostly devoted to performing, incorporate academic components such as theoretical and historical units regarding the repertoire; 
  • MUSC0100 [formerly 010] (Marian Anderson Solo Performance Program) and MUSC0110 [formerly 011] (its ensemble music version) develop excellence in performance skills at a pre-professional level, and also including formal oral presentations and other scholarly activities; 
  • MUSC3660 [formerly 236] ("Performance, Analysis, History") balances the two components in equal parts, through papers, quizzes, and presentations, in addition to regular coachings by distinguished performers, and a final recital;
  • the wide offer of courses in our two Music Minors (which can also be combined) articulate the two components in different ways, see Flexible Music Minor and Jazz and Popular Music minor;
  • finally, intermediate and advanced academic courses for Majors (at the two- and three-hundred levels) incorporate, when suitable, visits of artists (such as our distinguished Resident Artists) and collaborations with ensembles.