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

(970) 491-5533

Dan Obluda

  • Instructor of Music
  • Music History and Theory

G. Murray Oliver

  • Instructor of Music
  • Director of Graduate Studies
  • Music Minor Advisor

(970) 491-5193

Abigail Shupe

  • Assistant Professor of Music
  • Music Theory

John Pippen

  • Assistant Professor of Music
  • Ethnomusicology

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.