Early Music Performance

Over the past several decades, the performance of early music has undergone a remarkable transformation. What was once a highly specialized activity is now a major facet of professional music making, garnering the attention of an ever-growing, international audience. Specialists in early music are consistently involved in a dynamic range of activities, including solo and ensemble performance, research and writing, program planning, preparation of performing editions and historically-informed arrangements, and ensemble direction and teaching. USC Thornton’s graduate degree programs in Early Music Performance immerse students in all facets of the profession, ensuring that graduates possess ample knowledge and expertise to launch their own careers in early music anywhere in the world. Students in the Early Music program rehearse 6-8 hours per week, perform in 4-6 ensemble programs per year, and collaborate in student recitals. Performers in our program also learn about historical improvisation, notation, and composition through hands-on practice. In addition to the core curriculum, they take courses in performance practice topics and musicology and pursue individual research. They are also encouraged to perform in the professional early music community.

Graduate & Doctoral Programs

Master of Arts

Early Music Performance

2 years | 32 units

The MA in early music is a two-year, 32-unit program consisting of course work in music history, individual instruction on a historical instrument or voice, early music ensemble and collegium workshop, culminating with a thesis.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Doctor of Musical Arts

Early Music Performance

65 units

The DMA in early music requires a minimum of 65 units beyond the bachelor’s degree and consists of the following areas of study: the basic DMA curriculum, course work in the major, an academic field and two elective fields. Four doctoral recitals are required.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Certificate

Early Music Performance

2 years | 16 units

The Graduate Certificate in performance is a two-year, 16-unit program consisting of individual instruction, studio class, and two ensembles, or the equivalent thereof, each semester. This graduate-level program is designed for students who have completed their undergraduate education in music, or its equivalent, and intend to concentrate their energies on the full-time development of their discipline.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Baroque Sinfonia

The USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia (formerly the USC Thornton Early Music Ensemble) is a period-instrument ensemble whose members are among the most gifted instrumentalists at the USC Thornton School. The Baroque Sinfonia is led by Adam Gilbert, the director of the Early Music program.

Contact

Adam Knight Gilbert, Director
Gordon Lacross,
Department Coordinator

Early Music Performance Program
USC Thornton School of Music
Los Angeles, California 90089-0851
(213) 821-6052
earlymusic@usc.edu