Musicology 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
  • Stewart and Sheron Golden Chair in Organ and Liturgical Studies

Copper Ferreira

  • Senior Instructor

(970) 491-1584

K. Dawn Grapes

  • Associate Professor of Music
  • Coordinator of Musicology

(970) 491-4134

Paul Metz

  • Instructor of Music
  • 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

John Pippen

  • Assistant Professor of Music

Musicology and Music Theory News

William Byrd

Music Professor Dr. K. Dawn Grapes contributes to new book about composer William Byrd


Dr. K. Dawn Grapes, Colorado State University associate professor of music was recently recognized for her continued research on the Renaissance in Britain.

John Dowland

CSU Musicology professor Dr. K. Dawn Grapes recognized for research on the Renaissance


Dr. K. Dawn Grapes, Colorado State University associate professor of music was recently recognized for her continued research on the Renaissance in Britain.

Dawn Grapes headshot

Dr. K. Dawn Grapes presents at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire


Dr. K. Dawn Grapes, associate professor of Music History in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, was invited to present a paper at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Gordon Jacob’s “William Byrd Suite.” According to, Jacob’s William Byrd Suite is one of 400 pieces completed by the prolific […]


Musicology at Colorado State University encompasses scholarly study within the discipline 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.


Undergraduate Musicology Courses

A broad selection of topics satisfies music history requirements for music majors, with many courses available as electives to non-music majors. 500 level courses are open to qualified undergraduates.

  • MU 100 Music Appreciation
  • MU 131 Introduction to Music History and Literature
  • MU 132 Exploring World Music
  • MU 133 Survey of Jazz History
  • MU 333 History of Rock and Roll
  • MU 232 Soundscapes-Music as Human Practice
  • MU 332 History of Jazz
  • MU 334 Perspectives in Early Music History
  • MU 335 Music of the Common Practice Era
  • MU 338 Opera History and Literature
  • MU 430 20th and 21st Century Music
  • MU 431 American Music
  • MU 432 Hymnology
  • MU 433 Music and Rites of Christian Liturgy
  • MU 434 Psalms in Music and Liturgy
  • MU 435 Contemporary Liturgical Music in America
  • MU 437 History and Structure of the Organ
  • MU 439 Music History Proficiency
  • Contact

    K. Dawn Grapes

    • Associate Professor of Music
    • Coordinator of Musicology

    (970) 491-4134

    Honors Options

    MU334, MU335, MU430, and MU431 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

    Graduate music history courses focus on periods of Western music from the Middle Ages through contemporary music. 400 level courses may count as graduate electives. 

  • MU 530 Music Through the Middle Ages
  • MU 531 Music of the Renaissance
  • MU 532 Music of the Baroque
  • MU 533 Music of the Classical Era
  • MU 534 Music of the Romantic Era
  • MU 535 Music of the Twentieth Century
  • MU 592E Seminar: Music History
  • MU 630 Methods of Music Research
  • Music Theory

    At CSU, music theory focuses on creating musical literacy at a high level. Students learn to analyze, sight-sing, and dictate music from a wide variety of eras, while historically situating music theory as a cultural practice.

    CSU offers a traditional music theory sequence of tonal and post-tonal harmony for music majors and minors. Graduate students also complete courses in tonal and post-tonal analysis, and advanced undergraduates may take these courses with permission.

    Requirements for music theory courses vary based on degree programs. B.A. students may focus on music theory for their capstone project.

    Music Theory Courses

    • MU 111 Music Fundamentals
    • MU 117 Theory I
    • MU 127 Aural Skills I
    • MU 118 Theory II
    • MU 128 Aural Skills II
    • MU 217 Theory III
    • MU 227 Aural Skills III
    • MU 218 Theory IV
    • MU 228 Aural Skills IV
    • MU 318 Orchestration and Arranging
    • MU 417 Counterpoint
    • MU 418 Advanced Orchestration
    • MU 517 Tonal Analytic Techniques for Graduate Students
    • MU 518 Post-Tonal Analytic Techniques for Graduate Students
    • MU 581A2 Multimodal Analysis for Ensemble Repertoire


    Abigail Shupe

    • Associate Professor of Music