Music is an essential part of human life. It has been used for millennia to bring people to tears, to laughter, and inspire a sense of solidarity. The Grinnell College Music Department can help you create, perform, understand, and critically examine the music that matters to you and explore communities around the world, past and present.
We offer a flexible curriculum that links creative work with academic inquiry. Courses in solo performance, musical ensembles, electronic media, composition, and improvisation provide hands-on application of ideas gathered in academic work. Our academic courses in music theory, historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and jazz studies further connect that creativity with critical thinking. We provide an interdisciplinary foundation and encourage analysis of the ways in which musical life is embedded within diverse histories of expressivity, social complexity, and systemic inequality. We strive to create a curriculum inclusive of all Grinnell students, regardless of their prior experience in any given musical tradition.