Music Department

At Scripps, we study music as a cultural expression of Europe, the Americas, and other parts of the world, providing students with insights into the aesthetics, history, and social contexts of musical practices among diverse peoples. We view music as an integral part of the liberal arts curriculum and intrinsically part of an interdisciplinary education. Music is a discipline that combines the intellectual and the solidly academic with the sublime and profound personal satisfactions unique to our field. We value both scholarship and performance.

About the Department

Choir practiceThe music program offers students many opportunities to engage with music both intellectually and aesthetically through course work and performance. The department offers courses in music history, music theory, and ethnomusicology, including distinctive courses such as “The Color of Music: Race in Blues and Jazz,” “Women in Music,” “Rhythm and the Latina Body Politic,” “Music in East Asia and its America Diasporas,” and “Stravinsky: His Milieu and Music.” In addition to courses which explore the aesthetic, theoretical, and cultural aspects of music from different times and places, the department offers private lessons in piano, voice, and violin, chamber music classes, and opportunities to perform in student recitals as well as in choral ensembles and orchestral ensembles. Scripps offers an environment stressing personal attention while providing a rigorous and multi-faceted education.

Our music graduates have pursued careers as conductors, composers, performers, and educators. Music majors can also pursue other exciting and enriching opportunities in church music, journalism, music criticism, music therapy, publishing, electronic music, radio/television/film, and the music industry. Training in music scholarship and performance also prepares students well for careers as diverse as business, medicine, law, and the engineering world.

The Joint Music Program

The Department of Music at Scripps College and the Joint Music Program of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges offers many opportunities for music study and performance to music majors and other interested students. The Joint Music Program sponsors three ensembles, the Claremont Concert Orchestra, the Claremont Concert Choir, and the Claremont Chamber Choir. Qualified student members from all of the Claremont Colleges are welcome to join. The liberal arts ideal of music as an integral part of the curriculum is evidenced by students receiving academic credit for participation in large music ensembles as well as for applied lessons. Working in a supportive intimate environment, students find studying music at Scripps a stimulating and productive means of personal and artistic fulfillment.

In addition to large ensemble performance courses, the Joint Music Program offers MUS 81, Introduction to Music, a music appreciation class which focuses on Western musical traditions, and MUS 3, Fundamentals of Music, which covers basic music theory. These courses are taught by Scripps Joint Music professors and associated music faculty, and demonstrate our advocacy of interactive seminar-style teaching.

Music Scholarships

It is the goal of Scripps College to attract the best students, regardless of their financial status. Several Scripps music scholarships (partial) such as the Yuki Aoki Music Scholarship and the Alice Shapiro, Ruth Epstein, Jacqua/Hardin, and Pattison/McDowell/Pruessing Memorial Scholarships are granted to Scripps College music students, generally to upperclass students who have demonstrated excellence in the program.