Music study at Marlboro can be either practical and performance-based, or historical and theoretical.

Music courses at Marlboro are designed for liberal arts students. We offer courses for experienced musicians and those who are absolute newcomers, honing both practical and performance-based skills, and those that emphasize historical and theoretical enquiry. Music courses often complement Plan work in other fields. The music area gives students both a comprehensive background in traditional Western theory and practice and an opportunity to explore other fields, like music improvisation and electronic music.

The three main fields of study within music – practice, history, and composition/theory – often intertwine in various courses: they blend in different ways in courses such as Music Fundamentals, Electronic Music Methods, Cultures and Materials, or Vocal Music Composition Workshop. Our history and music-culture courses span a great variety of topics and are geared towards musicians and interested non-musicians alike. They often complement particularly well studies in history, philosophy, or cultural history. More skills-specific theory courses are designed for students who want to learn the nuts and bolts of music, its grammar, materials and normative formations.

We also offer performance-based ensembles experiences, which can be taken in courses such as Madrigal Choir, Chamber Music, or Jazz Workshop, or through student initiative and interest as group tutorials.