Conservatory of Music

From Bach to Broadway
Music Theory and Music History & Literature
Beth Hiser, Department Chair
Kulas Musical Arts Building

BW and Beyond

Music Theory and Music History & Literature are ideal as single majors or as a companion for a double major. Our program offers ideal preparation for graduate studies. Graduates have pursued master's and doctoral degrees at schools including:

  • The University of Rochester – Eastman School of Music
  • The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
  • Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University
  • Yale University School of Music
  • Brandeis University
  • The University of Michigan School of Music
  • Westminster Choir College
  • The University of Colorado at Boulder College of Music

Music Theory and Music History & Literature

Through our varied course offerings, the Music Theory and History faculty seek to create a deeper understanding of how and why music can so powerfully connect with a listener; to establish the historical and stylistic context in which students hear, understand, and appreciate the music they perform; and to provide the reading and hearing skills needed by competent and competitive professional musicians.

Impressive Faculty

Our faculty boasts published authors, established musicians, highly successful composers and researchers with interests in Renaissance music, world music, film music, post-tonal theory, pedagogy of music theory, harmonic function, to name a few. You'll likely find that your research interests will align with those of our outstanding faculty members.


In addition to our diverse teaching staff, students have access to the Riemenschneider Bach Institute, a renown research center dedicated to J.S. Bach. The Institute houses rare items related to J. S. Bach and his circle as well as historical reference materials, scores, and a collection of classic recordings relevant to the work of our students.


Many Music Theory and Music History & Literature students go on to pursue graduate degrees. Our faculty prepares students for successful graduate careers by requiring that all students complete research, a presentation and a practicum prior to graduation from BW. The practicum offers students a chance to work with Conservatory professors and students as research or teaching assistants. As a result, our students are successful; they are accepted to prestigious graduate programs and are awarded teaching assistantships.

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