Historical Performance
Primary Contact:
David Breitman

Administrative Assistant:
Jeanne Rosecrans

Division Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8297
Fax: (440) 775-8942

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Historical Performance

Historical Performance

Department Overview

The historical performance program offers degree programs leading to the B.Mus., M.M., or Artist's Diploma in performance on historical instruments. Master's students may elect a program combining the study of several historical keyboard instruments. The degree programs include applied study, music theory, music history, and continuous realization at the keyboard, as well as specific courses in historical performance. Students are exposed to the latest thinking in the field, and take advantage of Oberlin's superb music library to pursue their own research. The College's broad range of courses in history, theatre, dance and the visual arts complement and enrich the historical performance program's offerings.


Curriculum Overview

  • Private instruction (principal or secondary) is available in harpsichord, fortepiano, organ, baroque violin, viola da gamba, baroque cello, baroque flute, recorder, and historical oboes. Although some students come to Oberlin already specialized on an early instrument, others come with more traditional musical backgrounds and begin their study of an early instrument in the Conservatory. 
  • Winter term is traditionally rich in events of interest to early music students. Recently, these have included an early piano workshop, and introductory courses in baroque violin, viola da gamba, hurdy gurdy, krummhorn, portative organ, and lute.
  • Many of the students in Oberlin's historical performance program participate in the Baroque Performance Institute, an intensive two-week summer program. Some of the world's foremost artists are brought to campus as performers and teachers, augmenting the resident faculty.
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