The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University is an internationally acclaimed music conservatory. The Peabody campus, located at historic Mount Vernon Place, is on the university shuttle bus route between Homewood campus and the medical institutions in East Baltimore. Faculty of the Peabody Institute offer classes on the Homewood campus that are open to all undergraduates.

Qualified Hopkins undergraduates may, for no extra charge, register for classes in music history, music theory, music education, recording techniques, and computer music offered on the Peabody campus. There are also limited opportunities to take private lessons and participate in ensembles.


Homewood students are welcome to attend Peabody’s many concerts and are entitled to one complimentary ticket per concert, excluding opera and dance productions. Multiple performances of the same program do not count as separate concerts. Students can order tickets or e-tickets through University Tickets, accessible through the Peabody website ( To pick up will-call tickets, students need to show their Hopkins ID at the Peabody Box Office, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, or during the hour before the concert. The Box Office is in the lower level of the Grand Arcade in the Conservatory building; call (667) 208-6620.​​

Private Lessons

Private lessons are available to students at varying levels of accomplishment on a musical instrument.

  • Half-hour or hour lessons are offered for credit in the Peabody Conservatory for the intermediate to advanced musician.
  • Non-credit lessons are available in the Peabody Preparatory, space permitting.

The annual registration fee will be waived for all JHU students. School of Arts and Sciences and Engineering students are eligible to receive a cross-registration discount of 25 percent for Preparatory private lessons by obtaining a cross-registration form from their division each semester.  There is a lesson fee for KSAS and WSE undergradaute students for lessons at the Conservatory and students may check with the Registrar's Office for the current fee. 

Students wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should consult the Peabody Conservatory and/or Preparatory catalogs for more information.

Auditions for lesson assignments at the intermediate or advanced level take place at the beginning of each term. Students wishing to audition should contact the Peabody Registrar’s Office, (667) 208-6580, for information.

Students can sign up for Mattin Center instrumental practice facilities by bringing their Jcard to the office of Student Leadership & Involvement, also located in the Mattin Center.

Ensemble Membership

Membership in the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, the Johns Hopkins University Band, and the Hopkins Glee Club, all of which rehearse and perform on the Homewood campus, is open to all university students. Membership in the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra is by audition on a space-available basis. Seating is limited, especially in the winds. Contact the HSO Office in Shriver Hall at 410-516-6542 for audition information, which can also be found online at _info.html.

Participation in the Peabody-Hopkins Chorus and Peabody Singers is open to all university students upon completion of a satisfactory audition. Please contact Ensemble Coordinator Ryan Tani at if you wish to schedule an audition or would like additional information.

Advanced instrumentalists who wish to be considered for membership in Peabody’s large instrumental ensembles—the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, Peabody Concert Orchestra, Peabody Wind Ensemble, Peabody Camerata (contemporary music), Peabody Improvisation and Multimedia Ensemble, and Peabody Jazz Orchestra—are welcome to take part in the placement audition process which takes place each fall during the week prior to Peabody’s registration process. In order to be given an audition slot, instrumentalists must be taking private minor lessons with a Peabody instructor, and that instructor must inform the Peabody Ensemble Office that they’ve evaluated the player’s ability to be on par with that of the student’s peers at Peabody. Occasional exceptions to this policy have been made for players of instruments which are uncommon or currently under-represented at Peabody. Due to the fact that each of the instrumental ensembles can accommodate only a certain number of players of each instrument, placement into these ensembles is made on a space-available basis, with priority given to Peabody instrumental majors for whom participation in large ensembles is a degree requirement.

Please direct any questions regarding participation in Peabody’s large ensemble program to Ensemble Coordinator Ryan Tani at

Minor in Music

The School of Arts and Sciences offers a music minor to students majoring in other fields. The minor is intended for students who have some training and background in music and wish to pursue their interest in a systematic way without getting their degree in the field. It consists of a selection of music courses, including music history, music theory, ensembles, and/or lessons at Peabody.  Students must earn a grade of C- or better in all courses applied towards the minor and courses can not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.

Requirements for the Music Minor

AS.376.231Western Classical Music3
AS.376.211Music Theory I3
AS.376.221Musicianship I2
AS.376.212Music Theory II3
AS.376.222Musicianship II2
One music history course at any level3
One 300- or 400-level music history course3
Applied music experience (lessons/ensembles) *0-2
Total Credits19-21

        * Two semesters of lessons or ensembles with the approval of minor advisor.

Applied Music Experience

Since the study of music should always take place in the context of practical music making, students completing the minor in music must participate in an applied music experience for at least two semesters. Students must select an applied music experience in consultation with their advisor, who will approve the applied music experience. These experiences are not required to be for academic credit. Most students will select either private instrument lessons at Peabody or participation in an ensemble at Peabody or on the Homewood campus.

For current course information and registration go to


AS.376.111. Rudiments of Music Theory and Musicianship. 3.0 Credits.

This course introduces written and aural music fundamentals including notation, scales, intervals, chords, rhythm, meter and sight-singing. Students will compose melodies and short pieces and complete listening projects. Course does not count towards the completion of the minor.
Instructor(s): J. Crouch; M. Rickelton; P. Maust.

AS.376.211. Music Theory I. 3.0 Credits.

Introduction to basic principles of tonal music through listening, analysis and music making. Students study melody, harmony, voice leading, figured bass and dissonance treatment, and will also undertake short composition projects. Must have taken the qualifying examination or AS.376.111. Recommended to be taken concurrently with AS.376.221.
Instructor(s): F. Chiao; L. Perry; M. Rickelton
Area: Humanities.

AS.376.212. Music Theory II. 3.0 Credits.

This course continues the aural and written work of the previous course, but focuses on chromatic harmony while continuing the study of melody, counterpoint, and figured bass. Prerequisite: Music Theory I.
Prerequisites: AS.376.211
Instructor(s): S. Stone
Area: Humanities.

AS.376.214. Music Theory III - Formal Analysis. 3.0 Credits.

An examination of the musical forms of the Common Practice Period and the logic of their structures. Forms studied will include variation, binary, rounded binary, ternary, rondo, sonata-allegro, and sonata-rondo. Recommended Course Background: AS.376.212
Instructor(s): J. Fishbein.

AS.376.215. Theory III - 20th Century. 3.0 Credits.

This course teaches compositional approaches to and analytical techniques for twentieth-century music, including modes, synthetic and exotic scales, set theory, serial theory, and geometric proportionality.
Prerequisites: AS.376.212
Instructor(s): T. Hardaway.

AS.376.216. Theory III - Counterpoint. 3.0 Credits.

A study of contrapuntal music, emphasizing composition in both the sixteenth- and eighteenth-century styles as epitomized by Palestrina and Bach.
Instructor(s): T. Hardaway.

AS.376.217. Music Theory III - Song. 3.0 Credits.

An examination of text-setting and song-writing in a variety of eras and styles. Topics will include art song, lieder, jazz standards, and pop tunes.
Instructor(s): M. Rickelton.

AS.376.221. Musicianship I. 2.0 Credits.

An introduction to basic musicianship skills. The course is divided into performance skills (sight singing, rhythm reading, basic piano, and improvisation) and aural skills (recognition of pitch, chords, rhythms, melodies, and other musical structures). Topics include major and minor keys and simple time signatures. Emphasis is placed on developing effective practice techniques. Pre-requisite: AS.376.111 (Rudiments of Music Theory and Musicianship) or placement exam.
Instructor(s): K. Wile.

AS.376.222. Musicianship II. 2.0 Credits.

A continuation of the skills developed Musicianship I. The course is divided into performance skills (sight singing, rhythm reading, basic piano, and improvisation) and aural skills (recognition of pitch, chords, rhythms, melodies, and other musical structures). Topics include minor keys, chromatic melody and harmony, compound time signatures, and syncopation). As in Musicianship I, emphasis is placed on developing effective practice techniques. Pre-requisite: AS.376.221 (Musicianship I) or placement exam.
Instructor(s): K. Wile.

AS.376.231. Western Classical Music. 3.0 Credits.

This course is an introduction to the rich tradition of Western "Classical" music. We will examine this music from a variety of perspectives, including: 1) its historical, intellectual, and cultural background; 2) the biographical background of its composers; 3) its stylistic context; and 4) analysis of the music itself. We will approach these perspectives through a variety of activities, such as lectures, readings, writing, exams and in-class discussion.
Instructor(s): R. Giarusso
Area: Humanities.

AS.376.242. Introduction to Popular Music. 3.0 Credits.

A survey of the stylistic features and social contexts of American popular music since the 1950s.
Instructor(s): D. Smooke; P. Mathews
Area: Humanities.

AS.376.244. Electronic Music Production. 3.0 Credits.

Students will be introduced to electronic music production techniques and software, and how both can be used to produce a wide range of genre specific results. Skills such as beat matching, intricate use of quantization, virtual instrument editing, automation, sampling, mixing, mastering, effect usage and use of plugins will be explored.
Instructor(s): K. Gift.

AS.376.245. Introduction to Sound, Audio, and Recording Arts. 3.0 Credits.

In this course we will undertake a comprehensive survey of sound, audio and the related technology. While covering sound recording from an historical perspective, we'll touch on related material in physics, music, psychology and acoustics. In lab exercises and assignments, students will have the opportunity to learn in a hands-on environment as practical applications of the lecture material are explored. Assignments will include critical listening, in addition to basic recording, editing and mixing of audio. The course will culminate in a comprehensive final project.
Instructor(s): A. Stella
Area: Humanities.

AS.376.250. Introduction to Computer Music. 3.0 Credits.

Introduction to Computer Music is an opportunity for people with no specialized training in music to explore electronic art music as a long-standing, if obscure, body of art, then to participate in creative work in the style. Participants will gain a heuristic understanding of forms of musical composition that operate outside the conventions of regular rhythm and harmony as they record and manipulate sound to sculpt it into original musical works. The lecture portion combines an historical overview of electronic music, rudiments of acoustics and musical perception, and instruction in compositional techniques and in using computers as creative musical tools. The laboratory portion, given at the Digital Media Center, serves as a workshop for creative exploration and for the completion of assigned creative projects including original works of digital sound art.
Instructor(s): S. Burt
Area: Humanities.

AS.376.252. Jazz History. 3.0 Credits.

Survey, investigation, and study of Jazz music and how it shaped American history from it's origins to current times.
Instructor(s): I. Sims
Area: Humanities.

AS.376.258. Jazz Improvisation and Theory. 3.0 Credits.

Study of the theory and practice of Jazz Improvisation. Must have taken the qualifying examination or AS.376.111.
Instructor(s): I. Sims
Area: Humanities.

AS.376.280. Creative Musical Improvisation. 3.0 Credits.

A musical performance class and workshop in which we will explore many different aspects of and approaches to creative musical improvisation through readings, lectures, recordings, videos, and personal experience. The emphasis will be placed on free improvisation, without pre-set song forms, chord progressions or other pre-determined structures. Most improvising will be done in small sub-groupings of anywhere from 2 to 5 students who will take turns performing short improvised pieces for the rest of the class and will be followed up with open discussions about the effectiveness of musical choices made by the participants. Ear training exercises and game pieces, such as John Zorn’s Cobra will be used to help students gain experience and build confidence improvising in this way. This course is open to any University student who plays an instrument or sings, and is interested in gaining experience with and knowledge about free improvisation.
Instructor(s): M. Formanek
Area: Humanities.

AS.376.303. Musical Theater from Aristophanes to Leonard Bernstein. 3.0 Credits.

This course examines the birth of musical theatre from Greek tragedy through the liturgical and secular plays of the middle ages and Renaissance, to the classical and romantic singspiels, operettas, and zarzuelas of the modern era, by such figures as Aristophanes, Adam de la Halle, Hildegard of Bingen, Angelo Poliziano, Juan del Encina, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gilbert and Sullivan, Ernesto Lecuona, Igor Stravinsky, and Kurt Weill. These will serve as a backdrop for a closer examination of the musicals of Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, Frank Loesser, Leonard Bernstein and others. In addition to studying and placing the works of these Broadway giants into a social, political, and economic context, we will study and perform from representative musicals and attend a performance at the Lyric Theatre. Student will be expected to write a capstone project.
Instructor(s): S. Weiss
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.376.304. Voice and Contest: Historical Approaches to Singing Competitions. 3.0 Credits.

This course examines voice contests across time. While contests such as American Idol have received widespread attention, these competitions must be understood in terms of a much broader trend towards the proliferation of music prizes, both within and outside the so-called classical music tradition. Our course examines the deep history of the current obsession with voice contests, with examples drawn from the medieval period to the current day.
Instructor(s): L. Protano Biggs
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.376.305. Operatic Technologies. 3.0 Credits.

Operatic Technologies offers an introduction to opera via a series of case studies about the materials used to produce it. With a particular focus on the Italian case, we will trace issues such as how auditoriums have historically been illuminated; orchestras directed; machines used to create and sustain illusion and operas simulcast. Students will leave this course with a clear sense of how the look and feel of the operatic experience has changed over time; how technological practices established in the past continue to determine productions now, and how the cinema can be considered an extension of opera. Our course includes a visit to the cinema to see a Metropolitan Opera simulcast. Ability to read music is not required.
Instructor(s): L. Protano Biggs
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.376.308. Meet the Musician: Today's Classical Musician. 3.0 Credits.

"Classical music in America is dead,” Slate Magazine declared online in January 2014. In this seminar, students will learn that this art form is indeed alive and well. Peabody graduate students will perform solo and small ensemble works, present original research, and participate in open discussions about musical research, performance, professional challenges, and more. Homewood students will read articles on a weekly basis prior to the lecture-recitals. In response to each lecture-recital, students will write weekly reaction papers and prepare questions for the group discussion.
Instructor(s): M. Wertheimer
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.376.309. Exploring American Music Through a Culture Lens. 3.0 Credits.

This course explores the richness of our American musical heritage through a cultural lens. A wide breadth of musical genres will be discussed such as jazz, r&b, rock, rap, pop, country, spirituals, gospel, polka, folk, and classical, as well as the role of music in mass socio-political movements. A spotlight will be given to artists who have successfully crossed genres in their careers such as Winton Marsallis, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, William Grant Still, Scott Joplin, and Gunther Schuller, among others.
Instructor(s): L. Kafka
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.376.325. Music and Migration. 3.0 Credits.

In this seminar, we will explore a wide variety of musics (art, folk, world, and popular) and how they record the movement of human communities. Students will gain an understanding of how music gives expression to both belonging to a place and to the experience of dis-placement arising from social, economic, geo-political, and environmental push factors. No prior musical experience necessary.
Instructor(s): E. Usner
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.376.371. Introduction to Music Cognition. 3.0 Credits.

What underlies our aesthetic response to music? How and why are we able to identify certain sounds as music? To what extent are music and natural language similar? What is it about music that evokes such powerful emotions such as happiness and sadness? What is unique to musical creativity? Examining such questions from cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophical perspectives, this course explores relevant research and theory in the emerging domain of music perception and cognition. Students will complete a final research paper on the topic of their choice that integrates the course material.
Instructor(s): M. Lopez-Gonzalez
Area: Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.376.372. Topics in Music Cognition. 3.0 Credits.

This course explores the similarities and differences between music and language, the effects of musical training on cognitive development, and the expressive power of music, with an introduction to music and its role in film. We will read relevant research and theory on these topics from cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, musicology, and philosophical perspectives.
Instructor(s): M. Lopez-Gonzalez
Area: Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.376.404. History of Musical Instruments. 3.0 Credits.

The history, technology, and performance of Western European musical instruments, their precursors, and their non-western counterparts, addressed by experts and explored on visits to historic collections. Recommended prerequisite: AS.376.231 "Western Classical Music"
Instructor(s): S. Weiss
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.376.407. Music and Evolution. 3.0 Credits.

This course will examine the bio-cultural evolution of music in light of recent interdisciplinary research on the social bases of human cognitive evolution, and explore its implications for current debates in musicology, ethno- musicology, psychology of music, and human cognitive evolution.
Instructor(s): E. Tolbert
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.376.428. 6 Mozart Operas. 3.0 Credits.

Lotharios and lovers, Turkish pashas and harem girls, churlish masters and wily servants, enraged women, bird-catchers, Italian soldiers disguised as Albanians, a Cretan King, and the Queen of the Night. These characters and many others occupy the worlds created in the operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This course focuses on six of Mozart’s most enduring operatic works: Idomeneo, The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte. It explores the origins of the stories and characters of these operas, and the musical structures Mozart developed to convey these narratives in music, in the genres of opera seria, Singspiel, and opera buffa. In examining these operas, students will investigate Mozart’s collaborations with librettists, the singers and theatrical venues for which he composed, and the patrons and audiences he hoped to appeal to with these works. Discussions of each opera will also turn to their performance, considering documentation of their premieres and nineteenth-century revivals, and more recent stage and cinematic productions available on DVD and online by directors including Joseph Losey, Ingmar Bergman, Peter Sellars, Jonathan Miller, Robert Wilson, and Julie Taymor, as well as in the movie Amadeus, to compare how interpretations of the opera have differed over time and between directors.
Instructor(s): J. Walden
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.376.502. Independent Study. 0.0 - 3.0 Credits.

Instructor(s): S. Weiss.

AS.376.505. Music Internship. 1.0 Credit.

Instructor(s): S. Stone.

Cross Listed Courses


AS.100.257. From Voice to Parchment: Media and Communication before the Printing Press, 800-1440. 3.0 Credits.

Epic traditions, call to Crusade, public curses, music of the troubadours: this course examines oral tradition and music—the "viral media" of pre-modern Europe—while tracing the impact of new recording technologies: early musical notation, manuscripts, and book production.
Instructor(s): J. Phillips
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.100.341. Historical Performance in the Age of the Troubadours and Trouvères. 3.0 Credits.

This seminar examines the practices of musical and theatrical performance in the era of the trouvères and troubadours, “the long thirteenth century.” We look at the context in which trouvère song was composed, performed, and transmitted in manuscript form. Students will also sing trouvère music, and while a knowledge of musical notation is not strictly necessary, it is helpful. The culmination of the course will be a concert and recording session. A final paper based on primary sources about an aspect of medieval performance is required.
Instructor(s): J. Phillips
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

German & Romance Languages & Literatures

AS.211.364. Drama Queens: Opera, Gender, and the Poetics of Excess. 3.0 Credits.

What is a drama queen? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a drama queen is “a person who is prone to exaggeratedly dramatic behaviour” and “a person who thrives on being the centre of attention.” While drama queens exist among us, the world of opera is certainly one of their ideal environments. Echoing back to their tragic fates, the powerful voices of Dido, Medea, Violetta, and Tosca never ceased to affect their empathetic public. In fact, excess and overreactions are two main features of the operatic experience both on stage and in the audience. By focusing on the ways in which operatic characters are brought to life, the course explores the social, political, and gender dynamics that inform the melodramatic imagination. Students will have the opportunity to attend live HD broadcasts of Verdi’s La Traviata and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin from the Metropolitan Opera. No musical skills required.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.211.400. Topics in Romance Literatures. 3.0 Credits.

This year’s “Topics in Romance Literatures” course is entitled “Voicing the Body: Sex and Desire in Medieval Poetry.” If you think that medieval poetry is all about idealized love and spiritual sublimation, then this course will make you change your mind. We will explore works and authors from all across Europe, from the erotic “Carmina burana” to the voluptuous poetry of French troubadours and trouvères, from German love poetry to the sensual songs of Spain and the passionate verses of Italian poets such as Dante and Petrarch. The course will explore the ways in which medieval poets sing about bodily passions and voice the lovers’ desire, with a special focus on the ways in which poetry interacted with music and was transmitted through music. The class is taught in English and all readings will be available in English. Students in Romance Languages (Italian, French, Spanish), depending on their language skills, will have the opportunity to work on the originals. A special reading list will be set up for graduate students who will take the course.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.211.472. Barbers and countesses: conflict and change in the Figaro trilogy from the age of Mozart to the 20th century. 3.0 Credits.

2016 marks the bicentennial of Rossini’s irreverent masterwork The Barber of Seville, which premiered in Rome in February 1816. Thirty years earlier, in 1786, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro had opened in Vienna. The two operas, based on the first two plays of Beaumarchais’ controversial “Figaro trilogy”, stage conflicts of class and gender, challenging the assumptions of the aristocracy as well as the ludicrous pretentions of the raising bourgeoisie. The same themes inform the post-modern portrayal of the past in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles (1991), which ideally completes the musical afterlife of the trilogy. By studying how the plays were adapted to the opera stage within their different cultural and historical contexts, the course will explore the representation of the ideological, social, and political turmoil that, eventually, culminated in the French Revolution. The course will also include field trips and screenings of movies such as Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (1975) and Milos Forman’s Amadeus (1984). This course may be used to satisfy major requirements in both the French and Italian majors.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.213.733. Music, Poetry, Voice: Literature and the Pursuit of Transcendence.

This course takes as its point of departure Klopstock’s efforts to model German poetry after music—“the harmony of the spheres”—which served as the impetus for Goethe’s and Schiller’s poetry and Hölderlin’s late hymns. We will examine his experiments with verse form and his notion of interiority as the backdrop for Herder’s theory of the Volkslied as a popular genre that joins word and music and expresses the soul of a nation. Music and poetry will emerge on the one hand as the glue that binds a community and on the other as a disruptive force that isolates its members. Its significance as a figure if not vehicle for transcendence will return again and again in works as varied as Achim von Arnim and Brentano’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Kleist’s “Heilige Cäcilie,” Hölderlin’s poetological writings, Schopenhauer’s Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, and Nietzsche’s Geburt der Tragödie among other texts.
Instructor(s): M. Dornbach; R. Tobias
Area: Humanities.

AS.214.125. Freshman Seminar: Dangerous Liaisons: Words and Music Through the Ages. 3.0 Credits.

How do music and words interact? Do words have a priority on music or vice versa? Does music need words to be understood and interpreted? Are words filled with meaning by music? A variety of readings and musical examples will be discussed, including genres as diverse as medieval songs, madrigals, Romantic Lieder, opera, the American musical, and contemporary pop music. The seminar will include field trips to the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Peabody Institute, and the Evergreen Museum and Library. Students will also have the opportunity to attend a live HD broadcast of Mozart’s Don Giovanni from the Metropolitan Opera. No musical skills required; strong doses of curiosity most welcome.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities.

AS.214.333. Shakespeare on the Opera Stage. 3.0 Credits.

From Rossini’s Otello to Cole Porter’s Kiss me Kate, from Verdi’s Macbeth to Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, the works of William Shakespeare have been an extraordinary source of inspiration for musical theatre. By exploring operatic adaptations of Shakespeare in different periods and contexts, this course will examine the ways in which composers and librettists have interpreted and reshaped the plays. The course, primarily focused on the 19th century Italian reception of Shakespeare and, in particular, on operas by Rossini and Verdi, will also consider the phenomenon within a broad transnational perspective up to include contemporary opera and musical.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.214.377. Gendered Voices. 3.0 Credits.

The course will explore the notion of ‘voice’ in order to show how poetry, literature, philosophy, and music have been dealing with it throughout the ages. In particular, by focusing on classical figures such as the Sirens, Circe and Echo, as well as by considering the seminal discussions of the 'voice' in Plato and Aristotle, the course will address the gendered nature of the voice as a tool to seduce and manipulate the human mind. More specifically, the course will discuss the ways in which male and female voices embody different functions. Examples to be analyzed include texts by Dante, Petrarch, Ariosto, and Tasso. The course will also consider later rewritings of myths concerned with the voice such as Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s The Siren and Italo Calvino's A King Listens.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.214.603. Michelangelo’s Echo: Performing Identities through Poetry and Music.

The course aims to outline the musical reception of Michelangelo's poems from the 16th to the 21st century. Moving from a critical introduction to Michelangelo's Rime, the course will address Michelangelo's own ideas on music and the few musical settings of his poems by contemporary composers. The course will turn then to the Post-Romantic renaissance of Michelangelo's myth as the context within which the main bulk of musical settings of the artist's poems was produced. What did composers such as Wolf, Britten, Dallapiccola, Shostakovich and Reimann find in Michelangelo's poetry? Through a close reading of the poems chosen by the composers, the course will explore the biographical, philosophical and socio-historical implications suggested by the different musical settings. No training in music performance or theory is required.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.214.639. The Sound of Poetry: Early Modern Approaches to Poetics, Rhetoric, and Music.

Although naturally and historically intertwined, music and poetry tended to be described in the early modern period as competing rather than interacting. By looking at both literary and theoretical texts, the seminar aims to explore the ways in which this controversial relation is revealed by the interplay of poetics, rhetoric, and music theory. Reading materials will include classical sources (e.g. Plato, Aristotle, Ps.-Longinus, Quintilian) and their early modern interpretations. Special attention will be given to Torquato Tasso, Giambattista Marino, and Giambattista Doni, whose works will be also discussed in the light of the contemporary development of musical genres (e.g. madrigals, opera). No musical skills required.
Instructor(s): E. Refini
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.


AS.230.371. Sociology of Rock. 3.0 Credits.

This course examines the history and dynamics of rock music using key concepts and perspectives from sociology. The course is divided into four sections, each of which examines the phenomenon of rock music from a different analytical perspective. The first section on the origins of rock looks at the confluence of developments in post-war America, especially in terms of race, class and generational change, which produced this new musical form. The second section, “Rock as Cultural Production,” looks at all aspects of the rock “field,” not just artists and audiences but record labels, stores, DJ’s and radio stations, the music press and journalists, performance venues. The third section examines rock as a force for social change and protest from the 1960s until present, and the final section examines the performative aspects of rock as a kind of “interaction ritual” with its own microsociological dynamics.
Instructor(s): T. Nelson
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

For current faculty and contact information go to


Peabody Faculty on Homewood Campus

Suhnne Ahn
Director of Peabody at Homewood; Music Minor Advisor

Richard Giarusso
Department of Musicology: 19th- and 20th-century music, German song, Wagner, Mahler, English music, music appreciation.

Sharon Gail Levy
Department of Music Theory: Piano literature 1750–1950, music analysis, baroque counterpoint, music appreciation.

Laura Protano-Biggs
Department of Musicology: opera, operatic technologies.

David Smooke
Department of Music Theory: Song Analysis, Theories of Rhythm, Popular Music.

Stephen Stone
Department of Music Theory: Music Theory I and II

Omar Thomas
Department of Music Theory: Jazz Improvisation and Theory

Elizabeth D. Tolbert
Department of Musicology: expressive culture and intercultural aesthetics, performance, gender, ritual, ethnomusicology, music and language.

Susan Forscher Weiss
Department of Musicology (joint appointment in Romance Languages and Literatures): medieval and Renaissance music, social history, performance practice, history of instruments.

Kip Wile
Department of Music Theory: Musicianship 1 and 2

Peabody Adjunct Faculty

Samuel Burt
Adjunct Computer Music Faculty

Joshua Fishbein
Adjunct Theory Faculty

Kevin Gift (Wendell Patrick)
Adjunct Electronic Music Production Faculty

Travis Hardaway
Adjunct Theory Faculty

Monica Lopez-Gonzalez
Adjunct Music Cognition Faculty

Paula Maust
Adjunct Music Theory Faculty

Lisa Perry
Adjunct Music Theory Faculty

Ian Sims
Adjunct Jazz Faculty

Andrew Stella
Adjunct Recording Arts Faculty