Musicology and Music History


All undergraduate music majors enrolled in the BM program and graduate students pursuing Masters degrees in Music Theory, Music Education, and Music Performance take music history courses as part of their regular course of study.


For undergraduates, the curriculum includes a two-semester history sequence. In this sequence, students will learn about the types of art music composed and performed throughout the history of written music, since approximately 900 CE. Students will also learn about the role of music in history, as it served as a kind of soundtrack to major cultural, political, and intellectual changes. A special emphasis in the history sequence will be placed on learning how to recognize and describe musical features that characterize different moments in time and different places where music is practiced. Students must successfully complete four semesters of music theory before beginning the music history sequence. (More specific information about the undergraduate majors can be found in the University Catalog.)

University Catalog - Undergraduate


All graduate students take at least one musicology seminar. Seminars are offered every semester; Mr. Sean Morrison’s current seminar (Fall 2019) covers art song across a wide historical period. In Spring 2020, Dr. Sarno will offer a seminar on the Romantic period with a special focus on music’s relationship with the body, mind, and emotions. Additionally, students pursuing a Masters in Music Theory will take a seminar in research methods. (More specific information about Masters program requirements can be found in the University Catalog.)

University Catalog - Graduate
Students at the undergraduate or graduate level may elect to take more music history or musicology courses than the minimum requirement. Moreover, independent studies are also possible: current students are also enrolled in independent research courses with the faculty and serve as undergraduate research partners in association with UGRAP.


Dr. Megan Sarno, Ph.D., Musicology, Princeton University

Department of Music

Assistant Professor

Area: Musicology

Megan Sarno


Phone #: 817-272-2483

Office: FA 304-B

Bio: Megan Sarno is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Texas at Arlington. She was previously Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Carleton and St Olaf Colleges. She earned her PhD at Princeton University in 2016. Her research focuses on the cultural dimensions of early 20th-century French music. Dr. Sarno’s published work includes an article in 19th-Century Music on the music of little-known French composer André Caplet. Focusing on his final work, the song cycle Le Miroir de Jésus, Sarno uses archival materials, as well as literary and music analysis, to explain subtle layers of meaning in Caplet’s songs. Her 2018 article in Journal of Musicological Research investigates the 1911 stage music of composer Claude Debussy. The work, Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien, has been long misunderstood. Using literary and music analysis, Sarno argues that Debussy’s music highlights the Symbolist poetic qualities of Le Martyre. Though her work is focused on French music, Sarno is broadly interested in the social and intellectual function of music—why composers write it and why listeners keep returning to it. Sarno has taught on a wide range of topics, from Baroque and Classical repertory through the music in Disney films. She enjoys teaching music majors and non-majors alike, encouraging students to draw on their own musicality to engage with assignments. Previous courses include American Musical Theater, Songs and Identity, Women and Music, Religion and Music, Disney Movie Musicals, Music of the Cold War, and American Music. Sarno has presented her work on French music and literary culture internationally and in the United States, at the Society for the American Musicological Society, the North American Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, Music and the Moving Image, and special meetings on Fauré, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, French Creative Women, and Musical Life in 20th-Century Paris. She has won numerous grants for pedagogical innovation. In 2016, she was the recipient of a Chateaubriand Fellowship, which funded a semester of archival research in Paris, France.

Sean Morrison, M.M. University of North Texas

Department of Music


Area: Musicology/Music History

Default profile card image


Office: FA 325