Music History and Music Theory


Although not a degree area at CSU, Music History and Music Theory are an integral component of every music student's program of study. The School of Music Theatre and Dance offers intense training in specialized music disciplines, combined with a balance of core music courses in music history and theory.

Study With

Joel Bacon

  • Full Professor of Music
  • Keyboard Area Coordinator
  • Organ
  • Stewart and Sheron Golden Chair in Organ and Liturgical Studies

Copper Ferreira

  • Senior Instructor
  • Music Theory
  • Ensemble Coordinator

(970) 491-1584

K. Dawn Grapes

  • Associate Professor of Music
  • Music History

(970) 491-4134

Forest Greenough

  • Associate Professor of Music
  • Double Bass, Music Theory

Paul Metz

  • Instructor of Music
  • Music Theory
  • Emeritus Associate Professor

Dan Obluda

  • Instructor of Music
  • Music History and Theory

G. Murray Oliver

  • Instructor of Music
  • Director of Graduate Studies

(970) 491-5193

Abigail Shupe

  • Associate Professor of Music
  • Music Theory

John Pippen

  • Assistant Professor of Music
  • Ethnomusicology

Music History and Music Theory News

George Crumb

Music Professor Abigail Shupe’s new book explores collective memory through the music of George Crumb


CSU music professor Dr. Abigail Shupe’s newest publication, War and Death in the Music of George Crumb: A Crisis of Collective Memory, argues that a crisis of collective memory persists among Americans, especially in terms of American war. Dr. Shuppe analyzes this in terms of two pieces by George Crumb, “Winds of Destiny” (2004) and “Black […]

TEDxCSU Paul Rose Promotional Photo

CSU Music Student, Paul Rose, Inspires Others to Retrace and Create a Diverse Canon with his TEDx Talk


On Saturday, March 5, 2022, senior music student Paul Rose delivered his TEDxCSU talk, “Music Education: Creating a Canon as Diverse as We Are” at the Colorado State University Lory Student Center. Rose was inspired to create the talk after many conversations on diversifying music in his classrooms at CSU. Rose said, “after many of […]

celebrate promotional banner

2022 Milestone Years of Service


Every year, Colorado State University celebrates employees achieving a decade of service of more. Congratulations to all who have reached a Milestone year of service this academic year, and thank you for your commitment to Colorado State University. 10 years Copper Ferreira, Senior Instructor; Music Theory; Ensemble Coordinator Wesley Ferreira ,Associate Professor of Music; Clarinet […]

Music History

Music history at Colorado State University is grounded in the discipline of musicology, the scholarly study of music. Foundational areas include historical inquiry, research, ethnomusicological fieldwork, music theory, and performance practice. All musicians use musicology in their pursuits, regardless of whether their specialty is performance, education, therapy, or another academic area.

CSU offers courses in musicology to both music majors and non-majors. Classes cover topics such as the history of western art music, the history of jazz, rock and roll, American music, and music in non-western cultures. Emphasis is placed on the exploration of ways that music reflects cultural and societal norms in the time and location in which it was produced. All undergraduate and graduate music majors are required to take music history and research courses.


For more information, contact Dr. Dawn Grapes


Undergraduate Courses

400 level courses may count as graduate electives.


Honors Options

Some courses, such as Music History I and Music History II have an honors option for students enrolled in the honors college. The student conducts a flexible independent research project under the guidance of the professor and then presents it to his or her peers at the end of the semester.


Graduate Courses

500 level courses open to qualified undergraduates.