Music History (MUH)

Subject-area course lists indicate courses currently active for offering at the University of Louisville. Not all courses are scheduled in any given academic term. For class offerings in a specific semester, refer to the Schedule of Classes.

500-level courses generally are included in both the undergraduate- and graduate-level course listings; however, specific course/section offerings may vary between semesters. Students are responsible for ensuring that they enroll in courses that are applicable to their particular academic programs.

Course Fees

Some courses may carry fees beyond the standard tuition costs to cover additional support or materials. Program-, subject- and course-specific fee information can be found on the Office of the Bursar website.


MUH 204. Introduction to Music History - AH3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Description: Introductory course surveying history of Western art music from the Middle Ages to present. Special attention given to social, cultural, and political contexts in which music was created and performed throughout its history.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 205. Music in World Cultures - D2, SB3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Description: General introduction to the world of music covering basic elements of music along with the socio-cultural aspects of music and music-making from an ethnomusicological perspective.

Note: Cross-listed with ANTH 205.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 206. Fundamentals of Song Writing3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Description: For non-music majors, this course focuses on four forms used in popular song writing since 1965, using a combination of analytic study of these forms followed by individual creation of new songs in these styles.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 212. History of Rock and Roll - AH, D13 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Description: Broad overview of historical development of Rock and Roll and its music precedents from mid-twentieth century to the early 1980s. Explores social, cultural, economic, and philosophical aspects of various styles of Rock and Roll music.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 214. African-American Music - D1, AH3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Description: Examines African-American music from a historical perspective, from its origins to the present. It will explore the development of various stylistic trends that characterize African-American music and socio-economic factors and events which have influenced it. There will be discussion on the evolution of and changes in musical style and form. Students will be introduced to innovators via audio and video recordings.

Note: Cross-listed with PAS 214.
Note: Not open to music majors.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 215. Hip-Hop Music and History - AH, D13 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Description: With an emphasis on music, this course will trace the history of Hip-Hop, from the varied influences that gave rise to this cultural phenomenon (such as the musical influences of R&B, Funk, and Jamaican music, and such political/social influences as the Black Power Movement and racial segregation) to the worldwide musical and cultural dominance that the genre holds today.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 217. History of Country Music - AH, D13 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Description: Broad overview of historical development of Country Music and its music precedents from early twentieth century to present. Explores social, cultural, economic, and philosophical aspects of various styles of Country Music.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 218. Survey of American Jazz - D1, AH3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Summer

Description: Non-music majors will have a historical examination of the evolution of jazz music. They will study the development of various stylistic trends that characterize jazz and the socioeconomic factors and events that have influenced it as well as the evolution of its musical style and form. Students will be introduced to innovators through their recordings.

Note: Cross-listed with PAS 218.
Note: Not open to music majors.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 219. Survey of Brazilian Music3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Description: Course will trace evolution of Brazilian music from origins to present and explore development of various stylistic trends. Includes discussion of socio-economic factors and events influencing Brazil's native art music.

Note: Cross-listed with PAS 219.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 220. American Soul Music: History, Style and Influence - D1, AH3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Description: An examination of the history, style and influence of American Soul Music, African American popular music of the 1960's and 70's. Explores development of various stylistic trends that characterize this music style. Socio-economic and political factors and events that influenced diversity of styles will be included.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 230. Dance and Music in Society and Culture - AH, D13 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Description: This course explores music and dance together throughout history and across culture. By examining a wide variety of works from folk dance, social dance, court dance, theatrical dance, ballet, modern and the musics for each, students will form a deeper understanding of the role dance has played in society and culture, with special focus on a diverse array of American dance and music traditions, including Native American and African American dance. While the focus is on sound and movement, students will encounter both the richness and complexity of interdisciplinary study by also exploring race, gender, class, the entertainment industry, performance studies, film, embodiment, fashion, and sport.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 235. Dance Revolution: Disco, EDM, House and Beyond - AH, D13 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Description: Dance Revolution: Disco, EDM, House and Beyond will examine the history of dance club culture and music from the advent of Disco and EDM in the late 1960's through present times. This course will place a special emphasis on exploring the role of drag culture and Queer clubs as not only safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ+ community but also their pivotal role in shaping much of American dance club culture as well as associated musical genres. While exploring the sound, style and pioneers of Disco, this course will address how this genre, and the virulent backlash against it, exposed the social and political fault lines existent within American society of the 1970's. Genres that were heavily influenced by Disco, such as electropop, synth-pop and House, will be studied, with a particular emphasis on the role of dance clubs within marginalized communities, and in particular House and Club Culture in Chicago. The music industry's co-opting of dance music styles and culture and the erasure of its cultural origins in order to meet the demands of the mainstream American music market will also be critically assessed. How the democratization of music creation through the development of new music media and how these technologies enabled the creation of the musical genres under study will be addressed throughout the semester. This course will also provide a musical and cultural exploration of various subgenres of EDM and House, such as Acid House, Detroit House and Crunk.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 301. Fundamentals of Music for Non-Majors3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Not Offered

Description: Historical perspectives of theory and practice of Western music and composition. Introduction to and practical application of notation, harmony, melody, form, media, and compositional techniques.

Note: Not open to music majors.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 303. Music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Not Offered

Prerequisite(s): MUH 204 or faculty consent.

Description: From Gregorian chant through Palestrina and Lasso.

Note: Not open to music majors.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 304. Music of the Baroque3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Not Offered

Prerequisite(s): MUH 204 or faculty consent.

Description: Vocal and instrumental music from Monteverdi through Bach.

Note: Not open to music majors.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 305. Music of the Classical and Early Romantic Periods3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Not Offered

Prerequisite(s): MUH 204 or faculty consent.

Description: Survey of Classical from early Haydn through early Wagner and Verdi.

Note: Not open to music majors.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 306. Music of the Late Romantic and Modern Periods3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Not Offered

Prerequisite(s): MUS 204 or faculty consent.

Description: Survey of late Romantic through Contemporary eras (late Wagner/ Verdi through present day).

Note: Not open to music majors.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 308. Music in America3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Description: A survey of America's concert and popular music from the Pilgrims to the present.

Note: Not open to music majors.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 309. The Broadway Musical - AH3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Description: Overview of the Broadway musical to present. Studies unique symbiotic relationship between two divergent art forms and the new genres this process has created.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 310. History of Jazz3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Description: Introduction to the history of styles and forms in jazz from the late nineteenth century to the present.

Note: Not open to Music majors.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 311. Studies in American Traditional Music3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Description: A survey of folk music from Kentucky and the South: dance tunes, old time, ballads, bluegrass, and shape note music.

Note: Not open to music majors.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 313. Studies in Ethnomusicology - D2, SB3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Description: General introduction to the world of music and field of Ethnomusicology. Students will learn basic elements of music and various socio-cultural aspects of music and music-making from ethnomusicological perspective.

Note: Cross-listed with ANTH 313.
Note: Not open to music majors.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 315. Music and Sound in Film3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Description: Explores the art of music and sound in film from early cinema through today. Students will learn to critically listen to music and sound in film and develop an understanding of the history and broad impact of film and sound technology.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 317. Popular Music in American Culture - AH, D13 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Description: Survey of historical development of American popular music from minstrelsy of mid-nineteenth century to hip-hop of late twentieth century. Explores social, cultural, economic, and philosophical aspects of various styles of American popular music including Ragtime, Tin Pan Alley, Jazz, Country and Western, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, and Rap.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 320. Women in Music: A History - AH, D13 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Description: Addresses the historical and social contexts and social constructions of gender related to women and music, as well as the portrayal of women in musical works. Includes focus on Western art music as well as various genres of popular music.

Note: Cross-listed with WGST 320.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

MUH 401. Senior Thesis - CUE2 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Prerequisite(s): MUS 441.

Description: Thesis course for Music History non-majors.

Note: Not open to Music majors.

Course Attribute(s): CUE - This course fulfills the Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CUE) requirement for certain degree programs. CUE courses are advanced-level courses intended for majors with at least 90 earned credits/senior-level status.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes