Brief Description of Concentration

musicThe concentration in Music exposes students to a wide variety of musical styles, sounds, and musical traditions in order to develop their critical understanding of music in diverse cultural and historical contexts. The concentration also provides a solid foundation in theory, analysis, composition, and criticism, while developing critical listening skills, which are a pivotal contribution that engagement with music makes to the humanities. Although the Department of Music is not in itself a school of music with a performance department, all of our courses support the intellectual development of musicians, and several of our courses incorporate or focus on performance.

Learning Objectives

These required courses, taught by different faculty on a rotating basis, provide listening and analytical skills as well as a familiarity with a wide range of methodologies in music studies.

Gateway Courses

Foundation for Music Concentration 

  • Music 97L: Critical Listening
  • Music 97T: Thinking about Music
  • Music 98: Advanced Tutorial

Introductory Courses 

  • Music 1: Intro to Western Art Music: Bach to Beyonce 
  • Music 2: Foundations of Tonal Music I
  • Music 4: Introduction to Composition
  • Music 20: Opera


  • Music 10 Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra 
  • Music 14  Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum 
  • Music 15 Harvard Glee Club 
  • Music 16 Radcliffe Choral Society 
  • Music 18 Harvard Jazz Band 
  • Music 189r Chamber Music Performance 

Gen Ed 

  • Gen. Ed 1006 Music from Earth 
  • Freshman Seminars 
  • Fr. Sem. 63O Community Building and Social Justice through Music 
  • Fr. Sem. 63C The Symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich.