ABSTRACT

The survey of Western classical music has a long history of its own. Most musicologists and performers have taken this class themselves in college, and the traditional approach to the course has been enshrined in textbooks that have been through many editions. Changing a course with such an entrenched history is difficult, both conceptually and practically. Some teachers have the luxury of time and institutional support to completely remake their course curriculums to align with the most recent scholarship and progressive pedagogical agendas. In order to truly diversify or even decolonize the curriculum, we must create a critical apparatus that leads us to include the music and activities of excluded communities and marginalized points of view while also leaving room for canonical works and composers. Music history survey courses are traditionally taught as a history of musical style that follows a seemingly inexorable chronology of one composition’s influence on the next until we reach the present.