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Music Theory, History & Composition

Welcome to the Music Theory, History and Composition Department. Our mission is to deepen each student's musical experience by developing new ways of hearing, seeing and understanding music. Departmental offerings include elective courses at the upper-division and graduate levels, as well as required course sequences in music history and theory. Majors available through the department include the Bachelor of Music degree in Musical Studies with specialization in either Composition, History or Theory, the Bachelor of Arts in Music, and the Composition Minor. Students can supplement these degrees with other minors and concentrations.


Visit the Music History page to access Musical Terms, Historical Overview, and the Music History Resource Guide.


A Universe of Sound

Raquel Acevedo Klein ’16, graduate of The Crane School of Music, taps creative wells ranging from the cosmic to the familial to constantly push her creative frontiers, bringing the five senses together in new and compelling works that are catching widespread attention.

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Compositions for Nature

When the Wild Center was looking for a new music installation for their Forest Music Trail, they turned to three students at the Crane School of Music. Katherine McAuliffe ’23, Cole Fortier ’23, and Amanda Rizzo ’22 were commissioned by the center to create unique, original music, which is now being amplified through a series of 24 speakers along the peaceful trail, to enhance the experience of visitors to the Adirondack museum.

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Finding Mentors for Success

Marking the culmination of her success as a musical studies major at Crane, Christina Morris ’21 recently staged A Concert for Equity and Equality at Hosmer Hall. Pouring her heart and soul into the concert, she organized the event, secured a grant to pay her musicians and composers, and then conducted the concert from start to finish. She leaves Crane with unrivaled experiences—working one-on-one with Crane professors, touring Asia with the National Youth Orchestra, and attending Tanglewood’s prestigious conducting program—as she embarks on a career in conducting.

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Michael Wong '26 talks about his time at The Crane School of Music where he's pursuing a double major in musical studies and violin performance with a minor in music business. In addition to his busy schedule at Crane, Wong has taken on a leadership role as a youth programming coordinator for the Community Performance Series.