Sample main image

""Music Research and Writing strengthened my writing, communication and public speaking skills, all of which are paramount to the jobs I have had." —Milly Barizo (Music, '14), arts manager

Student teaching a music history class

Diverse and Rigorous Training

Through our core curriculum, you will gain a thorough understanding of music-making strategies over time. In electives, you can build on this to explore specific genres, styles and more.

All musicians – especially those pursuing this area – need to talk and write about music effectively! You will be given guidance and numerous opportunities to practice these skills, thanks to Cal Poly's small class sizes. Additionally, you’ll receive training in research and writing most often found at the graduate level.



Senior lecture-recital about the hurdy gurdy

An Individual Capstone Project

You and your department faculty will craft an individual capstone project that reflects your area of interest. Projects can take many forms, from research papers to lecture-recitals. Recent topics include “The Hurdy-gurdy: From Pageantry to Peasantry,” “Sam Plays it Again: The Film Music Functions of Casablanca” and more.

Learn more




A Career in Music History

Our graduates are equipped to succeed in graduate programs and in teaching and research careers. They are professors, write books and speak regularly at conferences.

Jessica Getman (Music, '02)

Assistant Professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology
California State University, San Bernardino


Kevin Kishimoto (Music, '96)

Head of Music Metadata, Stanford University Libraries


Profile Image

Scott Dirkse

(Music, '05)

Professor of Music, Band and Orchestra Director Bakersfield College


Byron Sartain (Music, '04)

Project Manager, WestEd


Keith Wyffels (Music, '98)

Associate Vice President of Education, The Music Center (Los Angeles)