The Music History degree places musical trends, composers and individual musical works within historical, philosophical and social contexts. This combination both enlivens the understanding of musical works and broadens our values regarding what kinds of music we should listen to, compose, support or perform. You may find a talent in this field if you like to use musical knowledge to awaken an appreciation of music in others, if you enjoy finding out the background or context of a work, or if you are skilled in investigating and communicating. Whether pursuing further study in graduate school or directly entering the world of music, you will feel well prepared for a musical career of your choice. The department offers coursework taken by all conservatory majors and also courses aimed at or available to other university majors.

This program requires an interview with faculty. Interviews are conducted on the same day as the live audition or by telephone if submitting a video-recorded audition.

Pacific faculty Dr. Sarah Waltz
Listen with someone else's ears

"Our students have the rare opportunity to major in Music History with the support of a full liberal arts college on campus. I encourage you to consider how others have thought about music in other times and places because listening with someone else’s ears opens up worlds within the music and yourself."

Dr. Sarah Waltz
Associate Professor and Program Director for Music History,
Program Director for Bachelor of Arts in Music

Program features

  • a rare inter-disciplinary major
  • a rewarding path for academically-focused students who also wish to study music
  • intensive musical training combined with academic work in music and the other humanities

  • foreign language requirement
  • one-on-one advising and career planning
  • student-led research
  • seminars and master classes with accomplished alumni and visiting artists
  • minor open to all music majors
Outstanding Student
Molly Westlake '22

As a recipient of Pacific’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Molly has been researching Black opera in the United States and traveled to New York to see the first-ever fully Black production of Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” at the Metropolitan Opera. Her trip was also partially funded by the Michael J. Hall Scholarship from the Conservatory.

Music History student and professor in the library archives

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Music in Music History
Music History Minor

Contact Us

Conservatory of Music

Conservatory of Music
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211