Music History

Music History

Musical context

The study of history opens our minds by bringing us into contact with different cultures. It opens our minds to things that we should never encounter if we were cut off from our past. In a reciprocal way, music and culture aid the understanding of each other. Knowing a culture's music helps us to understand the culture; knowing the culture helps us to understand the music.

About the music history program

Do you love music and like to read and do research? Do you have curiosity about different times and places? Do you wonder about where things came from and why they came to be? If you do, you should consider majoring in music with a concentration in music history.

At Calvin we provide a solid foundation for graduate study in musicology. A small but steady stream of Calvin music students have gone on to graduate school and careers in musicology. They have had a remarkable record of success in gaining admission into some of the best graduate schools in the country and then in careers in higher education, library science, journalism, radio, and publishing.

But at Calvin we hope to provide more than a solid foundation for further study and a career. We make a conscious effort to study everything, including music and its history, in the light of God’s Word. We recognize that education needs to go beyond knowledge and skill to critical evaluation. We recognize the need to “test the spirits,” including the spirits behind the music, “whether they are from God” (I John 4:1).

Calvin is a mid-sized liberal arts college with an international reputation for academic excellence. It is large enough to offer you a wide range of educational opportunities and challenges yet small enough so that you will be known and valued as an individual—an individual whose gifts we will seek to cultivate for service to God and neighbor.