The Music Department houses a number of rich resources for student performers and scholars. There are piano practice rooms, a concert hall, electroacoustic composition studios, a sound studies lab, ethnomusicology lab, and collection of historical instruments. The Music Building also houses the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, the primary repository of musical materials at Harvard.

Paine Hall | Music Library | HUSEAC | HGNM | Graduate Music Forum | Labs & Studios | Collection of Instruments | Fromm Foundation | Department Archive




The Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library

The Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library is the primary repository of musical materials at Harvard. The library's general collections include about 91,000 books, 143,000 scores, 83,000 sound recordings and video formats, and nearly 1,080 periodical titles that support research in a wide variety of musical disciplines including historical musicology, music theory, ethnomusicology, composition, and historically informed performance practice. In addition, the Isham Memorial Library houses a collection of 8,250 rare books and scores and 31,200 microforms.

Other music collections at Harvard include those of the Houghton Library (antiquarian materials); the Harvard Theatre Collection (documents and artifacts for the study of theatre, dance, and opera); Lamont Media in the Lamont Library (circulating recordings and undergraduate materials); the Andover-Harvard Theological Library (hymns and hymnology); Widener Library (materials related to A.B. Lord's folklore studies); and The Hiphop Archive at Harvard University (part of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research).

Go to Loeb Music Library WEBSITE



John Knowles Paine Concert Hall (Music Building)

The 437-seat Paine Concert Hall is at the heart of the Music Department's performance activities. The Hall houses student class recitals and concerts by the Blodgett Artists-in-Residence, the Harvard Group for New Music, the Bach and Mozart Society Orchestras, and chamber ensembles. Hydra electroacoustic concerts, solo recitals, world music and jazz performances take place there, as do lectures, conferences, and special events. The Hall, built in 1914, is an historic structure that has recently been refurbished. The acoustician Wallace Sabine, who designed Boston's Symphony Hall, oversaw Its acoustic design.

Go to Paine Hall WEBSITE



Collection of Musical Instruments

The Harvard University Collection of Instruments began with the donation of the Isham viols in 1949. It comprises 165 objects including both Western and non-Western instruments, the Isham and Hewitt Collections, and a small group of musical miscellany. A growing number represent the cultures and traditions of many parts of the world including Europe, North America, the British Isles, and the mid- and far-east, especially China. The objects range from rare 17th-century lutes to Japanese kotos. Here you'll find a piano made by Streicher & Sons of Vienna in 1869; the piano Brahms would have played. The collection also features reproductions of the fortepianos of the likes of Mozart and Beethoven, a William Dowd harpsichord, and a Dolmetsch clavichord once played by virtuoso Gustav Leonhardt.

Go to Collection of Instruments WEBSITE

Concert Venues

Harvard has three primary concert halls that are available to students and the general public. John Knowles Paine Hall is located on the second floor of the music building, and is a concert hall that seats 437. Other performance venues include the beautiful, 1166-seat Sanders Theatre and Lowell Hall (seats around 200), which is frequently used for jazz. Several of the Harvard houses also offer opportunities for musical performance. For instance, Dudley House hosts several graduate student music groups including a chorus, orchestra, jazz band, and traditional music ensemble.

Many of the Harvard houses also have common rooms that can be used for music performance, and multi-purpose areas such as University Hall's Faculty Room, the Barker Center Thompson Room, the Arts at 29 Garden, and the courtyard of the Harvard Arts Museums are used for concerts as well.

Office for the Arts

The Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA) is a central resource for arts information, opportunities, programs, and support at Harvard University. The OFA runs co-curricular arts courses such as Skills for Singing (for students who would like to improve their fundamental skills for choral singing). Learning From Performers is a visiting artist program that gives students opportunities to interact with professionals in workshops, master classes, informal discussions and other educational forums. The OFA also produces an annual, campus-wide arts festival.

Grants for artistic projects, fellowships for emerging undergraduate artists, music lesson subsidies (for students studying privately with a teacher off-campus), a jazz master residency program, and venue management and ticketing services/Harvard Box Office are some of the other initiatives sponsored by the OFA.

Go to the Office for the Arts WEBSITE



Sound Labs and Studios

The Sound Studies Lab

The Sound Studies Lab (SLab) gives students access to cutting edge tools for composition, audio capture and recording, digital media and video editing, as well as audio mixing, mastering, and restoration. It consists of four industry grade Digital Audio Workstations and four modular Solid State Field Production Toolkits. Students will have access to professional field recording equipment by SoundDevices, Rode, Shure, Earthworks, Sennheisser, Sony, and AudioTechnica. Workstations located in the Loeb Library Listening room will house licenses of digital production software including Avid's ProTools and Sibelius, Apple's Final Cut Pro X and LogicPro, Adobe's Photoshop, Roxio's Toast, and Izotope's RX, Alloy 2, and Ozone 5 Mastering Suite.

Gamelan Studio

Gamelan Si Betty, built in 1979 by Lou Harrison and William Colvig, was named for its benefactor, Betty Freeman. It is modeled on the court gamelan of Central Java, in particular, the Central Javanese Gamelan Kyai Udan Mas at U.C. Berkeley. Si Betty is perhaps the largest American-built gamelan in terms of numbers of instruments, able to accommodate over 30 instrumental players, as well as vocalists.

Gamelan Si Betty came to Harvard in the Fall of 2007. The instruments were left to Jody Diamond, who had worked with Harrison for over 20 years. As an Artist in Residence in the Harvard Music Department, Ms. Diamond directs a community ensemble; the gamelan is also serves as a performance lab for courses in the music department. Ms. Diamond has facilitated the use of the gamelan in other projects, and is available as an artistic and educational resource to all departments for collaborative work.


Ethnomusicology Lab

The Ethnomusicology Laboratory [the "Ethnolab"] was created to provide technical resources to aid the ethnomusicological research of Harvard University students and faculty. It includes field equipment which can be checked out for fieldwork projects as well as audio and video editing suites for transcribing, analyzing and publishing materials collected in the field.

The laboratory has been used for transcription of music and interviews, dubbing of analog audio and video in a variety of formats, digitizing analog audio and video, editing audio and video and transfer of audio and video materials to CD and DVD for archival purposes. Field recording has included audio and video documentation of performances, interviews, and events as well as the recording of music for which there are no published recordings available.

The EthnoLab equipment includes:
Audio Editing
Pro Tools 10: Lynda
Twisted Wave
Toast Titanium
Video Editing
Final Cut Pro 10: Lynda
*Compressor 4: Lynda
*Motion 5: Lynda
Graphic Design
Photoshop CS6: Lynda
Word Processing
Microsoft Office 11: Word, Excel, Powerpoint
iWork 09: Lynda

Access to the Ethnolab is open to current graduate students in ethnomusicology, undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in ethnomusicology courses who require the resources of the Ethnolab for course projects, and individual students with the consent of a faculty member and upon application to the Department Administrator, subject to availability




Harvard University Studio for Electroacoustic Composition (HUSEAC)

Harvard's electroacoustic music resources are concentrated in the Harvard University Studio for Electroacoustic Composition (HUSEAC) located in Paine Hall Rooms 22, 31, 32, and 33, with an office in Room 21.

Each Mac-based workstation has four or eight channel spatialization capability. Room 33 adds 7.1 Surround Sound, DV and HDV video editing with a DVD mastering suite. All workstations run Pro Tools, Nuendo, Max/MSP+Jitter, the IRCAM Forum suite, Csound, and much more. Our vintage Serge and Buchla analog modular synthesizers, as well as a variety of classic outboard signal processors, are housed in Room 22. The HUSEAC facilities are open to graduate composition students and those enrolled in electroacoustic music seminars.


Studio 33 in the Harvard Studio for Electroacoustic Composition

The Hydra loudspeaker orchestra (pictured above, set up in Paine Hall) is a sound projection system designed for the performance of electroacoustic music with or without the participation of instrumentalists. A loudspeaker orchestra consists of loudspeakers distributed throughout a performance space used for the spatial diffusion of an electroacoustic work.





Harvard Group for New Music

Established in 1984, Harvard Group for New Music brings together the community of graduate composers at Harvard University. Weekly colloquia provide a platform for critical discussion with presentations from current students as well as guest speakers. Concerts by some of the world’s best musicians showcase members’ newest music throughout the year.

Go to HGNM



Graduate Music Forum

The Graduate Music Forum provides an informal setting for graduate students in the music department to discuss ideas and concerns regarding curricula, teaching, facilities, and social life.

Go to GMF



The Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard

The Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard was founded by the late Paul Fromm in 1952. Since 1972, it has been located at Harvard University where it has operated in partnership with the Harvard University Music Department. Over the course of its existence, the Fromm Foundation has commissioned over 400 new compositions and their performances. The Fromm Foundation has also sponsored hundreds of new music concerts and concert series, among them Tanglewood's Festival of Contemporary Music, American Composers Orchestra, and the Fromm Concert Series at Harvard University. The foundation has also supported a Fromm Visiting Professorship for established composers in the Department of Music, and the Paul Fromm Composer-in-Residence program at the American Academy in Rome.