Bachelor of Arts in Music History

The BA Music History prepares students for graduate work in Musicology or a possible career in arts management, librarianship, or music journalism. Less intensive than the Bachelor of Music (BM), the BA permits students to focus on a more generalized liberal arts education and may facilitate a double major in a subject outside music.

Degree requirements include:

  • Theory (9 credits)
  • Aural Skills (2 credits)
  • Class Piano (2 credits)
  • Music History & Literature (core) (13 credits)
  • Upper-Level Music History Courses (6–8 credits)
  • One History Department Course (3–4 credits)
  • Thesis Course (6 credits)
  • Ensembles (4 credits)

Bachelor of Music in Music History

The BM Music History is a more applied music-intensive track than the BA, and requires a successful audition into an applied studio. This concentration is typically pursued in tandem with another Bachelor of Music concentration, such as Music Education or Performance. Students whose primary focus is Music History are encouraged to pursue the BA rather than the BM.


Master of Music in Music History

The MM Music History focuses on the study of the historical, stylistic, and cultural development of music at an advanced level; a master's thesis is required. Prepares students for PhD programs in Musicology, for teaching and research in music history, or a possible career in arts management, librarianship, or music journalism.




Certificate in Music History Pedagogy

This certificate in available to both:

  • Matriculated students pursuing the MM in another music concentration
  • Non-matriculated students (not current MM students)



This graduate certificate program will prepare students to teach music history in a variety of educational settings.  It is intended primarily for graduate performance majors who might teach this topic at a summer music school, at a college, or as part of their private studio lessons, to give just a few examples. This credential will certify that students have acquired professional teaching skills in theory, making them more competitive on the job market.

Non-matriculating students will usually complete a certificate within one academic year (two semesters). 

Matriculating master's students will usually distribute a certificate's four required courses (12 credits) evenly over two years of study, taking one course per semester.


Certificate Requirements

Prerequisites: Matriculated students must have a baccalaureate degree with a music concentration before beginning coursework. 

GPA Requirement: A grade of B (3.0) or higher in each course counted toward a certificate

Application Process: There is no formal application for this Certificate program, but students must pass an audition to be accepted into an applied studio, if applicable.


Music History Faculty

Professor, Music History; Graduate Program Director

A headshot of Erinn Knyt.
Knyt specializes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century music, aesthetics, music history pedagogy, performance practice issues, and Bach reception, and has written extensively about Ferruccio Busoni. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals, including American Music, Eighteenth Century Music, Journal of Musicology, Journal of Music History Pedagogy, Journal of Musicological Research, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Musicology Australia, Music and Letters, 19th-Century Music, Nineteenth-Century Music Review, and Twentieth Century Music.
A headshot of Erinn Knyt.

Five College Visiting Associate Professor, Music History

Evan MacCarthy in front of foliage and buildings on the distant horizon.
Evan A. MacCarthy is Five College Visiting Associate Professor of music history in the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research focuses on the history of fifteenth-century music and music theory, late medieval chant, German music in the Baroque era, as well as nineteenth-century American music.
Evan MacCarthy in front of foliage and buildings on the distant horizon.

Five College Professor, Ethnomusicology

A headshot of Olabode Omojola with a grassy background.
Omojola’s research focuses on African music, with emphasis on West African, Nigerian, and Yorùbá traditions. His work has explored indigenous and modern musical traditions, and addressed themes including: performance practice; creative ethnomusicology; music, identity, and social dynamics; music and politics; diasporic perspectives; and intercultural aesthetics.
A headshot of Olabode Omojola with a grassy background.

Associate Professor, Music History

Emiliano Ricciardi.
Emiliano Ricciardi is associate professor of music history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His main research area is the late Italian madrigal, with an emphasis on the settings of Torquato Tasso’s poetry. Ricciardi has published articles and reviews in journals such as Early Music, Journal of Musicology, Cambridge Opera Journal, and Renaissance Quarterly.
Emiliano Ricciardi.
Associate Professor, Music History; Music History Area Coordinator
A headshot of Marianna Ritchey.
Marianna Ritchey is Associate Professor of Music History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She spent much of her young adulthood in Portland, Oregon, playing and touring in various indie rock bands, before going to UCLA for a PhD in Musicology. She has written about Berlioz, comedy, the dies irae, the films of Guy Maddin, music history pedagogy, and operatic representations of Steve Jobs.
A headshot of Marianna Ritchey.