Professor Michael Beckerman
Professor Suzanne Cusick
Assistant Professor Brigid Cohen (on leave Spring 2016)
The Musicology specialization at New York University is one of the three areas of study in the department - alongside Ethnomusicology, and Composition and Theory. We do not regard these areas as mutually exclusive, but rather expect all students in any one to explore the concepts and course offerings of the other two. This seems particularly important for students in musicology, for this field is in the process of a major creative cycle, rethinking its premises and processes. This has come about largely as a result of the strong influence of the ideas and practices of the other fields: all three are now increasingly concerned with sociological issues, the place of cultural policy, or relationships between composers, performers and public -- in the past as much as in the present. New thinking in all of these areas is now influencing historians of music in very fruitful ways.
Musicological study in this department therefore involves not only training in the traditional skills, of source study, archival or bibliographical research, institutional history, or performance practice (among others): it also requires consideration of more recent concerns -- among them gender and music, critical theory, perception and reception, or concepts of authenticity, of embodiment, and of cultural interaction. Students are encouraged to take at least one course offered for each of the other areas of study, and are encouraged to maintain contacts with all of the faculty of the department, through courses or independent study. Many students also take courses in other departments or in the Consortium of local colleges - among them CUNY, Columbia University, and the New School University. By this means, students have the opportunity to learn from specialist scholars in different fields, to grapple with a wide range of concepts and issues, and then to apply the results in their own research and publications.
There is no performance program in the department: nonetheless, students are encouraged to join one of the available ensembles: the Collegium Musicum has an extensive collection of instruments, and the Ethnomusicology faculty sponsor performing ensembles, focusing on the music (with its cultural background) from different parts of the world. Students in the composition area receive professional performances of their works: they also arrange for performances of new works, through a graduate composers' organization. For skilled performers, there are also, of course, opportunities for music-making throughout the city.
All graduate students receive tuition remission and MacCracken Fellowships, which include provision for teaching undergraduates over either two or three years. Within musicology, we maintain a small and close-knit program, with only two or three students admitted each year. As a result, we can offer individual teaching and advising, with detailed help in career placement, and in the preparation of publications or conference papers.
For further information on the graduate program, please contact Elizabeth Hoffman; for information on admissions and financial aid, or for applications, please visit please visit the Graduate School of Arts and Science web site.
American Institute for Verdi Studies
Center for Early Music