For nearly 90 years, the University of Chicago Department of Music has been a leader in the study and creation of music, both historical and contemporary. With leading scholars in their fields, the department offers graduate degrees in composition, ethnomusicology, and music history and theory, as well as an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in music.
The trajectory of music studies at UChicago, shaped by distinguished past professors including Leonard Meyer, Howard Mayer Brown, Philip Gossett, and Ralph Shapey, has developed in tandem with, and often urged, the evolution of the discipline at large. Situated in the University’s Division of the Humanities, the Department of Music places special emphasis on interdisciplinary study, both with other disciplines in the humanities and with the social and physical sciences. In the 1980s, ethnomusicology and music theory were welcomed to the department as official subdisciplines (theory in a joint program with history), and interdisciplinary research has only expanded since, now encompassing cognitive science, psychology and psychoanalysis, physics and sound production, philosophy, theology, race and gender studies, and more.
Beyond the classroom, the Music Department hosts a thriving extra-curricular Performance Program encompassing four choirs, two orchestras, two jazz ensembles, a South Asian instrumental and vocal ensemble, a Middle East music ensemble, an early music ensemble, a wind ensemble, and programs in chamber music, piano and voice. Open to all undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students at the University, the performance program offers an exceptional environment for artistic inspiration and musical growth, and for students in the department, it serves as a complement to their academic studies.
The Department is also home to a world-class concert series – UChicago Presents, welcoming internationally acclaimed performers of classical, early and world music, and jazz – and the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition – Chicago’s home for the creation, performance, and study of contemporary classical music.