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



Sound Labs and Studios

The Sound Studies Lab

The Sound Studies Lab (SLab) gives all Harvard affiliates access to cutting edge tools for audio capture and recording, digital media and video editing, as well as audio mixing, mastering, and restoration. It consists of four Mac-based workstations that run a variety of media production software including Avid's ProTools and Sibelius, Apple's Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro, Ableton Live, and Adobe’s complete Creative Cloud.

The Sound Studies Lab also offers professional field recording equipment by SoundDevices, Rode, Earthworks, Sennheisser, Sony, AudioTechnica, and Zoom. The equipment is available for checkout via the Loeb Music Library with a Harvard ID.

Questions about equipment and access should be directed to Christopher Danforth at slab@fas.harvard.edu.

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 (EthnoLab) was created to provide technical resources to aid the ethnomusicological research of Harvard University students and faculty. It includes various types of field recording equipment, as well as a Mac-based production suite for transcribing, analyzing, editing, and publishing materials collected in the field. The EthnoLab is also equipped with the latest software and hardware for transferring analog media to a variety digital formats for archival purposes.

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.

Questions about equipment and access should be directed to Christopher Danforth at ethnolab@fas.harvard.edu.




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.