Areas of Study

Within the Music department there are several disciplines of study in which students may choose to focus: Composition, Ethnomusicology, Musicology, Performance, Technology, and Theory. The following lists give an idea of the variety of ways to study music and the range of research areas in which our faculty specialize, and in which you may also choose to pursue your studies.


Our faculty teach and compose in a variety of media and styles, including contemporary art music, multimedia and film scoring, jazz and popular music, and non-Western influenced fusion. Learn more about our Composition faculty: John McDonaldKareem RoustomJoel LaRue Smith.


Current faculty specializations include music and culture from West Africa, North Africa, the Arab world, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, North India, Japan, and Jewish traditions. Our performance courses use authentic musical instruments from these regions. Learn more about our Ethnomusicology faculty: Barry DrummondRich JankowskyStéphanie KhouryDavid LockeMichael McLaughlinAttah Poku, Layth Sidiq, Jeffrey Summit, Warren Senders, and Cathleen Read. Learn more about our Instrument Collection.

Musicology & History

Musicologists in our department specialize in the analysis of music, history, culture, and media, especially Western art music, African-American music, film music, digital technology, and opera. Learn more about our Musicology and History faculty: Joseph AunerAlessandra CampanaMelinda LatourStephan Pennington, and Michael Ullman.


The Music department offers twenty ensemble courses in a variety of classical, jazz, and world music styles, as well as private instruction in voice and instruments. These opportunities are open to all Tufts students, regardless of school, degree, or major. Learn more about our faculty.


Students have access to courses and resources in music engineering, AV recording and production, multimedia and film scoring, and electronic instrument design. Under supervision of professional audio engineers, student employees are also responsible for recording all events produced in the Granoff Music Center, including the acoustically brilliant Distler Performance Hall. Learn more about our Technology faculty: Joseph AunerPaul Lehrman, and Kareem Roustom.


The Music department's theory program is distinctive in its inclusion of Western and non-Western music. The diverse range of theory courses include African music systems, Arab music systems, film and video game music, jazz theory and improvisation, popular music and songwriting, musicianship skills, and Western tonal theory. Learn more about our Theory faculty: Rich JankowskyJamie KirschFrank LehmanDavid LockeJohn McDonaldMichael McLaughlinJohn McCannKareem Roustom, and Joel LaRue Smith.