Dec 02, 2023  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog


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Mark Burford
Music history, African American music, popular music, nineteenth-century music.

Shohei Kobayashi
Director of choral activities, conducting, voice, lyric diction, musicianship. On sabbatical spring 2024.

Morgan James Luker
Ethnomusicology, music of Latin America, cultural politics, sound and media studies.

Bora Yoon
Music composition, multimedia performance, electroacoustic music, songwriting, sound studies, interdisciplinary and time-based art.


At Reed College, we believe that music enriches the life of the mind, body, and soul. We seek to build an inclusive learning community in which students may explore their musical interests, gain knowledge, improve skills, and express themselves. Whether students are continuing their musical journey or just beginning, the music department offers a variety of opportunities for engagement through scholarship, performance, composition, and collaboration. We believe that all music is valuable and that every voice counts. Our diverse curriculum prepares music majors, music minors, and other students wishing to engage with music for a variety of careers after graduation.

Pursuit of the music major prepares students for a senior thesis in music history or analysis, ethnomusicological research, or composition. Majors should complete two units of music theory (MUS 210  and MUS 310 ), two units of music history (MUS 221  and MUS 222 ), one unit of ethnomusicology (MUS 150 ), and one unit of musicianship (MUS 205 ) before beginning the second semester of their junior year, and take the junior seminar.

Majors are expected to participate in performance activities; therefore, fees for private instruction in one instrument or voice are waived for junior and senior music majors.

Independent study courses (MUS 481 ) in subjects not offered in the regular curriculum are available for junior and senior music majors.

Senior Thesis

Before beginning their senior year, students planning to do a thesis in music must demonstrate their competence in the particular area in which they wish to work. That is, they may not use the thesis as an occasion to explore an entirely new area. The thesis may be an extended historical, ethnomusicological, or analytical project, which may include a performance; or a creative thesis in music, which must include a printed score, a recording of a performance, and an analytical essay. At the beginning of the senior year, students prepare short written proposals describing the nature of their theses for discussion with the entire music department prior to submitting proposals to the Division of the Arts for approval.


Music department facilities include Kaul Auditorium, where the orchestra, Collegium, and chorus perform; the Reed chapel, which is used for Friday at Four concerts and other chamber music; the instructional media center (IMC), where students can borrow audio and other media equipment; and the Performing Arts Building, which houses the performing arts resource center (PARC), teaching studios, practice rooms, and a large rehearsal hall for Collegium, chorus, jazz, and chamber ensembles. The PARC has a library of scores, recordings, and videos; workrooms; and a computer lab. Practice rooms are available 24 hours a day to students enrolled in music courses.

Performing Opportunities

Many Reed students participate in performance activities sponsored by the department as solo players or singers, in chamber music ensembles, or in the ensembles conducted by faculty and staff members. The orchestra, chorus, and Collegium perform concerts in Kaul Auditorium each semester. Registration procedures for lessons and ensembles are explained in the schedule of classes and also on the music department web page at The Friday at Four series, consisting of approximately eight concerts each year, features performances by students, faculty, and guest artists.

The department also helps organize and coach chamber and jazz ensembles, which are available by audition for students interested in playing together in small groups. In addition, coaching sessions with members of the music performance staff can sometimes be substituted for private lessons.

Private Instruction

Reed offers individual instruction in piano, organ, harpsichord, voice, guitar, and all orchestral instruments, as well as jazz and a variety of nonorchestral instruments. Our teachers, all of whom are accomplished performers, are selected from the best available in the Portland community. Some are members of the Oregon Symphony, the Portland Opera Orchestra, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and various chamber, jazz, and popular ensembles in the area, and have appeared as solo artists with these groups. Instructors are added to the staff as need arises. Please visit the music department website,, for a detailed listing of private music instructors.


Fees for private instruction (MUS 101 ) are for twelve 45-minute lessons per instrument or voice; some scholarship aid is available. Private instruction fees are waived in one instrument or voice for junior and senior music majors, who are expected to enroll in private instruction for at least two of their final four semesters. Please see the Costs  section for fee amount.

Academic Credit for Music Performance

All students participating in music performance courses (MUS 101 MUS 104 MUS 105 MUS 106 MUS 107 MUS 108 , and MUS 109 ) must be registered. Private instruction (MUS 101 ) can either be taken for one-half unit, graded with a letter grade (which counts towards Group I distribution requirements and a student’s overall GPA), or for zero credit (which does not count towards the overall degree but is acknowledged in a student’s transcript). All other performance courses can be taken either for one-half unit on a credit/no credit basis (which counts towards the degree but not towards distribution requirements or GPA) or for zero credit. No more than one credit may be earned in music performance courses per semester. No more than three units of credit in music performance may be used toward the quantity requirement of 30 units for graduation.




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