Music Studies

Lily Burrows, Sophie Lesser, Sofia Hanna, Hannah Preisser, and Ellie Simon

Music studies have been an integral part of the Carleton experience pretty much since the beginning. The music department was established in the 1870s. In fact, Rev. Seccombe’s wife taught music lessons at Carleton before they left. In the early years, students studied voice, piano, and music theory. As the program grew bigger, there was enough interest in music for bands, orchestras, and choirs to be formed. Students also participated in Glee clubs, which were a Northfield favorite.

Prompted by our class research into the Seccombe house and family, we gathered research questions relating to music studies in Seccombe House and beyond. We have created a variety of different projects that attempt to answer some of those questions.

Carleton’s 1910 Orchestra

For information about instrument diversity in the department over the years, check out this awesome essay by Ellie Simon!

If you’re curious about how students interacted with campus and music studies, take a look at this story map made by Lily Burrows.

To learn more about how Carleton music programs interacted with the greater Northfield, Minnesota, and world communities, check out Sofia Hanna’s website and maps.

To understand the evolution of the music department, peruse this essay written by Hannah Preisser.

If you want to explore the gender dynamics of the Carleton music department, read this essay by Sophie Lesser.

And to immerse yourselves in the sounds of music at Carleton in the past, listen to this playlist made by Sofia Hanna:

We would like to say a huge thank you to Carleton archivists Tom Lamb and David Bliss for helping us search the archives, and for all of the work that they put in to maintaining the archived items, and digitizing them so they are easier to access for students like us. We had so much fun digging through all of the scrapbooks, news articles, academic catalogs, and other miscellaneous items. If the archives spark your interest too, we strongly encourage you to take a look at the digital collections that are available through the Gould Library’s website! Archives are so crucial to the work that archaeologists do, and we want to make sure everyone has a chance to appreciate them like we do. If you don’t know what to look for, here are some recommendations from us on where to start, both related and un-related to the Seccombe House.

1908 Glee Club