The Core Curriculum - Masterpieces of Western Music

Through analysis and discussion, Music Humanities introduces students to representative musical works from the Middle Ages to the present. It also actively involves students in the process of critical listening, both in the classroom and at concerts. Though not a survey, this course is taught in a chronological format and includes masterpieces by Josquin des Prez, Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Verdi, Wagner, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington, among others.

What is required?



Before graduation.

Can I test out?

Yes. If you are exceptionally knowledgeable in this subject, you may earn exemption by passing an exam. The exam is offered on the first Friday of the fall semester and may be taken only once, at the beginning of a student's first semester at Columbia.  Consult the Music Humanities Office for more information.

Music Humanities Office
621 Dodge Hall

James H. and Christine Turk Berick Center for Student Advising


403 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-6378

Fax: (212) 854-2458

9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

An Advisor of the Day is available by phone or in person Monday–Friday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.