Apr 17, 2024  
[PRELIMINARY] Course Catalog 2024-2025 
[PRELIMINARY] Course Catalog 2024-2025

Bachelor of Music combined with Master of Music in Historical Performance

Enrollment in the Bachelor of Music degree program is a corequisite for enrollment in the combined Bachelor of Music/Master of Music in Historical Performance degree program.

Historical performance major concentrations include:

  • baroque cello
  • baroque cello and viola da gamba
  • baroque viola
  • baroque violin
  • fortepiano
  • harpsichord
  • historical flutes
  • historical keyboard instruments
  • historical oboes
  • organ
  • recorder
  • viola da gamba

Course Requirements

For course requirements for the Bachelor of Music combined with Master of Music in Historical Performance, please see the grid .

Historical Performance: General Requirements

Procedures for Admission

The graduate program in Historical Performance can be pursued either as a five-year program in combination with an undergraduate degree in a modern instrument, or by persons who hold a Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin or another institution. Applicants are admitted based on an audition on their major instrument and a review of their academic record.  Students audition for the five-year program during their junior year, and are expected to present a level comparable to any other applicant for the Master’s program.

Once admitted, students in the two-year Master’s program must demonstrate baccalaureate competence in music history and music theory. Deficiencies must be remedied by taking appropriate undergraduate coursework, or in the case of music history, by either coursework or re-examination.

Placement Exams

Two-year Master of Music: Exams in music history and music theory must be taken during orientation.


Completion of the two-year Master of Music degree program will typically require full-time residence for four semesters beyond the Bachelor’s degree.

Program Completion

All requirements for the two-year Master of Music degree must be completed within three years from the date of admission. Students are encouraged to attend the summer Baroque Performance Institute and may use the credits earned there toward the degree.


No credit with a grade lower than B- may be counted toward the requirements of the Master’s Degree.

Degree Requirements

The catalog includes sample grids for the five-year program. For information regarding the curricular requirements for instruments not included in these samples, please contact the Director of the Historical Performance Program.

Conservatory Writing Requirement

The Conservatory Writing Requirement is designed to help students develop the ability to do the following: communicate effectively in writing, understand writing as a process, engage in writing as a form of critical thinking, demonstrate rhetorical flexibility by addressing various audiences and purposes in their writing, and demonstrate awareness of the conventions and forms of writing in particular disciplines.

As noted in the Bachelor of Music Degree Requirements  section of this catalog, the writing requirement is as follows:

Students are required to complete one writing course, either Writing-Intensive (WINT) or Writing-Advanced (WADV). It is strongly advised that students complete this course by the end of the second year of study. The course must be completed at Oberlin, with the exception that transfer students may petition to count a transferred course with a comparable focus on writing toward this requirement. The petition to request transfer of credit toward the writing requirement can be accessed here. Taking a second writing course during studies at Oberlin is strongly recommended.

Courses carrying the Writing-Intensive (WINT) designation involve explicit instruction in writing, are generally limited in size to allow such instruction, and require multiple writing assignments. These courses are designed to help students develop, compose, revise, organize, and edit prose appropriate to the discipline or course. Courses carrying the Writing-Advanced (WADV) designation are associated with the major and aim at helping students develop as writers within a discipline, employing the conventions and styles appropriate to that field and demonstrating the depth and engagement with disciplinary issues and practices typical of knowledgeable practitioners.

Numerous campus resources are available to help students develop their writing skills, including Oberlin’s Writing Associates Program and the Writing Center. Conservatory students are encouraged to work closely with their Conservatory teachers to hone their music-specific writing skills as they progress through their degree requirements, with particular encouragement to engage in writing artistic statements, program notes, and grant proposals. Students enrolled in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) sequence will fulfill the Conservatory Writing Requirement as part of their ESOL coursework, specifically with the successful completion of ESOL 140 .