Our vibrant community of artists, scholars, and students, established in 1877, continues to innovate and animate the future of music studies throughout the world.

The tradition of the department is true to the spirit and medium of music itself. It is founded on the artistic, scholarly, and pedagogical pursuit of music and on a belief that these spheres of activity are best practiced together. Penn’s musical traditions thus emphasize and encourage variety – of the musical traditions studied, of approaches applied to their investigation, and of modes of music-making.

The research interests of our faculty cover a wide spectrum of traditions, from opera to Zulu hymns, and from Bahamian junkanoo to medieval song, to name but a few. Some faculty members are themselves distinguished performers and recording artists, and our world-renowned composers actively define the musical traditions of the future.

Through a commitment to collaboration and interaction across the different fields, Penn’s faculty works together to shape an educational environment that fosters a similarly broad-minded view of what it means to study music, and to be a musician today.