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Music History and Literature

The Department of Music History and Literature, along with Music Theory, forms the academic backbone for all music degrees at UNC. All music students benefit from our inclusive curriculum comprising historical musical repertoire, evolving musical styles, and performance practices.

The area of Music History and Literature offers the Master of Music and Doctor of Arts degrees, both of which emphasize research. The degree program is designed to be completed in two years, and in addition to coursework includes pedagogical mentoring and a research-based thesis.

Students often use our program to prepare for Ph.D. programs in Musicology at research universities, and our graduates have gone on to fully funded graduate positions at such institutions as Washington University of St. Louis, Eastman School of Music/University of Rochester, Cincinnati College-Conservatory/University of Cincinnati, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. This degree prepares students for both doctoral assistantships and positions in secondary education.


Our philosophy stresses individual mentoring enabled by a favorable student-to-faculty ratio. Graduate courses emphasize independent research mentored by our exceptional faculty, and many of our students have placed their work in peer-reviewed publications and performance venues.


Musicology Research and Publications

Our students frequently present their research at meetings of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Musicological Society, gaining valuable professional experience within the discipline. Their work has appeared in such national and international peer-reviewed publications as Early Music, Pendragon Review, The Journal of Musicological Research, The Choral Journal, Perspectives of New Music, The ITA Journal, and A-R Editions. Those holding the Graduate Assistantship work with Deborah Kauffman, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Musicological Research, learning the protocols and procedures of scholarly publishing through practical involvement with the process.

Success Stories

"Deciding to enroll in the M.M. in Music History and Literature degree program at the University of Northern Colorado was one of the best decisions I made for my future. The intensive classes, opportunities as a master’s student to interact personally with distinguished faculty, and excellent research facilities pushed me to grow both personally and professionally. As both a musician and a scholar, the flexibility of the program offered me countless opportunities to develop my talents. The program at UNC not only gave me an astounding breadth and depth of knowledge about music, it also prepared me for advanced doctoral work in musicology."

Michelle Lawton (M.M. 2013)
Doctoral Student in Musicology, Cincinnati
College-Conservatory of Music

Faculty & Staff

Jonathan Bellman, School of Music Faculty


Head, Academic Studies Area
Professor of Music
Frasier 123A
(970) 351-2151

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Janice Dickensheets, School of Music Faculty


Music History
Associate Professor of Music
Frasier 122 F
(970) 351-2017

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Paul Elwood, School of Music Faculty


Music Composition
Associate Professor of Music
Frasier 104
(970) 351-2919

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Deborah Kauffman, School of Music Faculty


Music History & Literature
Professor of Music
Frasier 122B
(970) 351-2319

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Heeseung Lee, School of Music Faculty


Music History & Music Theory
Assistant Professor of Music
Frasier 20

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Michael Oravitz, School of Music Faculty


Music History and Theory
Associate Professor of Music
Frasier 119C
(970) 351-1941

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Brian Casey, School of Music Faculty


Jazz Academics
Associate Professor of Music

Frasier 122C
(970) 351-3189