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Department of Music
Writing about Music
When we write for music classes—whether for ethnomusicology, historical musicology, or music theory—we face issues unique to music while still following the priorities of writing in other disciplines. Papers must develop a clear, if not challenging thesis that establishes a perspective we have tested through compelling arguments supported by data. At its conclusion, our papers should have proven our thesis and/or brought us to a better understanding of our subject.
Music presents special problems for writers in that our art exists primarily in time. We contextualize music historically and culturally, we examine its structure and performance practice, and we illuminate for others the aspects of music that excite us. In all of this, we create narratives that lead readers logically through our thinking and bring them to satisfying solutions. If, as Walter Pater stated, all art aspires to the condition of music, we need to learn the vocabularies of our subject and apply them effectively to convey our privileged perspectives.

Grading Guidelines Ethnomusicology Music History and Theory
  Music Department