The Case Western Reserve University musicology program, one of the most well regarded of its kind in the USA, offers rigorous academic study and professional training to the next generation of leaders in the field of musicology. CWRU musicology courses form a central part of the undergraduate and graduate curricula at both CWRU and the Cleveland Institute of Music, our partner institution within the Joint Music Program. At the graduate level, we offer a PhD in Historical Musicology as well as a PhD in Musicology with a concentration in Historical Performance Practice. CWRU graduate students have won all the major national and international awards for graduate students in musicology and the humanities, as well as the major university-wide awards for graduate students (see List of Musicology Graduate Student Awards and Accomplishments).


Areas of Specialty

We provide in-depth coverage of fields from the Middle Ages to the present, including particular specialties in Medieval and Renaissance Music, Music and Gender, French Music 1550-1900, and American Popular Music, all within a broad interdisciplinary context. Courses in medieval, Renaissance, and 17th- to 19th-century music are coordinated with the CWRU program in Historical Performance Practice, giving students the opportunity to enhance their academic studies with the experience of a vibrant, living historical repertoire. The CWRU Center for Popular Music Studies provides opportunities for attending and participating in conferences, lectures, and hands-on archival research in conjunction with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum.


Our weekly Friday afternoon colloquia showcase current research by distinguished visiting scholars as well as our own faculty and graduate students. Receptions following each talk offer the opportunity to socialize and promote a deep-seated sense of community, camaraderie, and mutual support.

Graduate Fellowships and Teaching Opportunities

Each graduate student is supported through a fellowship carrying a generous stipend and tuition waiver and entailing service of approximately ten hours per week. Graduate assistantships include teaching assistantships, research assistantships, work with departmental publicity and marketing, and internships with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, including its Library and Archives. Students well advanced in the degree program also have the opportunity to become independent Instructors of Record for undergraduate courses, acquiring invaluable experience in the classroom. The Department of Music and the Center for Popular Music Studies also sponsor an annual summer research fellowship program at the Library of Congress.

Ensembles and Applied Study

Musicology students, who pursue academic classes with the musicology faculty listed above, may participate in our numerous early-music ensembles (Baroque OrchestraBaroque Chamber EnsemblesEarly Music SingersCollegium MusicumBaroque Dance Ensemble) (some by audition only). They also have the option of taking applied lessons with the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music through the Joint Music Program. Additional performance opportunities abound in University Circle and the surrounding community.


View the links below for various resources related to Musicology at CWRU.