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date: 04 June 2020

Princeton Universitylocked

  • Nina Davis-Millis
  • , revised by David G. Tovey


Private university in Princeton, New Jersey, the fourth oldest university in the United States (chartered as the College of New Jersey in 1746). Although informal music-making was a part of campus activity as early as the 1760s, music entered the undergraduate curriculum only in 1934 with the appointment of Roy Dickinson Welch to the faculty. Student response to Welch’s two initial courses was so strong that the number increased to seven only three years later. By 1937, 10% of all undergraduates were registering for at least one music course, and a BA degree in music was instituted. The MFA degree in music was announced in 1940, and the first PhD was awarded in 1950. In addition to his work in building Princeton’s first music curriculum, Welch is remembered for attracting outstanding musical minds to Princeton’s faculty including Roger Sessions, Milton Babbitt, Edward Cone, and Oliver Strunk.

Currently, study in applied music, while encouraged, does not carry academic credit, although a Certificate in Musical Performance requiring a combination of course work and solo/ensemble study can be earned. Doctoral programs in composition and musicology/ethnomusicology are highly respected, while the Firestone Library’s music collection is a major repository for researchers....

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