17th century sheet music with speech bubble illustrations



The USC Thornton School of Music offers a full range of academic and performance opportunities for aspiring historians, allowing students to study music in an environment where scholarship and performance interact. Students in the USC Thornton Musicology program will benefit from the faculty’s strengths in both post-1900 and early music. The program also benefits from close links to many on-campus partners, including USC’s Early Modern Studies Institute, the Levan Institute for the Humanities and the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

The PhD degree in historical musicology prepares students for careers in musical research, writing, and university teaching. Through seminars and lectures, musicology program students explore the breadth of music ranging from topics in Western art music, popular music, performance practices, criticism, jazz and film, theory and musical analysis and music of the world.

Students are provided the opportunity to present papers at national and international conferences and symposia and to participate in a musicology forum that attracts top scholars in the field. Students may take courses in the arts and letters and participate in performance ensembles at the USC Thornton School of Music, including its renowned early-music ensemble, the USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia.

Doctoral Programs

PhD – Music, Historical Musicology Emphasis

60 units

The PhD with an emphasis in historical musicology requires a minimum of 60 units beyond the bachelor’s degree and consists of course work in music history; electives in history, language, literature or arts other than music; and general electives. After completing an adaptable collection of courses suited to the student’s research interests, the program culminates with a dissertation.

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


Adam Knight Gilbert, chair
Gordon La Cross, coordinator

MUS 317
(213) 740-7418