The Department of Music offers programs leading to the PhD in Musicology, with specialization in either historical musicology or ethnomusicology, or a double-specialization PhD in historical musicology and ethnomusicology—one of the only degrees of its kind in North America. All of the faculty members in the department are also professors in the School of Music in the College of Fine Arts, and many of the seminars are taken by students of both schools. This allows graduate students in historical musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, composition, education, and performance to integrate and share their fields of knowledge. The faculty is dedicated to the idea that the history, theory, and practice of music are complementary components of a single discipline and encourages students to gain expertise in all areas.

The department has disciplinary and interdisciplinary interests in many areas of musicology and ethnomusicology, from period coverage of medieval through 21st-century repertories, to particular strengths in chant and early polyphony, music of the Renaissance, Bach, Mahler, Messiaen, Pärt, the music of Bali, Latin America, and Japan, jazz and popular music, music and media, sound studies, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary topics, and the relationships between music and social justice. These strengths are complemented by a distinguished faculty in music theory, composition, and music education. The Music Library at Boston University’s Mugar Memorial Library and other major research libraries in the area offer resources to support the highest levels of scholarship and research.

The department also has a significant world music instrument collection including Balinese gender, African and East Indian drums, and other instruments that are used in the World Music Ensemble and for study purposes. The department houses two research centers, the Center for Early Music Studies (CEMS) and the Center for Beethoven Research, both of which organize residencies, mini-courses, seminars, conferences, and concerts throughout the year. Recent resident artists to the CEMS have included Andrew Parrott, Emily Van Evera, Benjamin Bagby, Anne Azéma, and Hopkinson Smith.

The Master of Music (MM) and Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degrees are offered through the College of Fine Arts. For further information on these degrees, consult the College of Fine Arts Bulletin or email