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Music History and Literature

SIU Music History  Classroom

The School of Music offers a Master of Music in music history and literature for the advanced study of music throughout history and the cultural traditions of musical periods beginning in the 18th century and beyond. This broad course of study encourages research of the history of music along with literature related to musical eras of the past.

You will study and research musical instruments and styles throughout history, as well as the development of music theory throughout time. Our music history and literature program uniquely prepares you for careers teaching musical traditions from across the world and throughout human existence. Our curriculum will also provide the foundation necessary to move on to doctoral studies in music history and literature.

Master of Music (History and Literature )

  • Total Degree Requirements: 36 credit hours
  • Music Bibliography and Research: 3 credit hours
  • Analytic Techniques A/B: 4 credit hours
  • Thesis: 6 credit hours
  • History-Literature Courses: 9 credit hours
  • Required Ensemble Participation: 4 credit hours
  • Non-music History Graduate Music Electives: 6 credit hours
  • Graduate Music History Electives: 4 credit hours

Compass Icon The graduate major can be accomplished by fulfilling the requirements for the Master of Music (M.M.) degree. View all related graduate courses.

SIU School of Music Student plays the Violin


Music majors are required to participate in major musical ensembles throughout the academic year, such as SIU's Concert Choir, Marching Salukis, Southern Illinois Symphony or Wind Ensemble. Additionally, The Outside the Box music festival is produced each year, providing opportunities for composition students to attend master classes, seminars, workshops and to perform in the Emerging Composers recital during the event.

Visit the School of Music for a full list of participation opportunities.


The SIU School of Music has more than 30 scholarships available. A large variety of criteria exist for these awards and are listed below outlining the eligibility requirements.

Graduate Admissions and Auditions

To apply to the SIU graduate music program, prospective students are required to submit both a University application as well as a School of Music application. In addition to these applications, you will be required to complete an in-person audition at Altgeld Hall on campus, or a live online audition if traveling is not possible. As a graduate student you will work with a faculty member on the specific needs and requirements for your auditions. Our Admissions and Auditions page will give you the necessary details to get you started on preparation for your applications and an audition.


At SIU, rehearsals and performances take place in the oldest currently occupied building on campus, Altgeld Hall. With state of the art spaces for choral performers and musicians of every kind, this majestic building is a second home to many students of the music program and a place to enhance their experience as a burgeoning artist.

SIU Music Student works with professor

Contact Information

Karen Wolf
Academic Advisor
Faner 1229
1100 Lincoln Dr.
Carbondale, IL 62901

Jessica Butler
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Altgeld 22
1000 S Normal Ave
Carbondale, IL 62901