The Department of Music has played a prominent role in the life of Trinity College since its foundation in 1592. The university established a professorship in music in 1764, one of the earliest such appointments in the world. As the Music Department is located in the campus’s 18th-century Front Square, students learn about music of the past surrounded by history; stepping through Front Gate into the city of Dublin, they experience a wealth of musical riches—Renaissance polyphony emanating from various churches and the Cathedrals, orchestral and chamber music performances in the National Concert Hall and other performance venues, popular music concerts in the 3Arena (audience capacity 14,500), and traditional Irish music in a host of convivial settings; with the latest technology available in a number of campus venues, students can analyze and develop the music of the future.
The Department offers a full range of academic degrees from B.A. to Ph.D. Undergraduate students tend to specialise in one of three main areas: composition, musicology and music technology. One of the strengths of the undergraduate programme is its incremental nature, with each successive year building on the previous ones to create a wide range of possible expertise. The course’s in-built flexibility means that composers may also study music technology, and musicologists study composition, and technology as well, as suits. Individual initiative is encouraged; and because of the amount of small-group teaching, students experience high levels of individual attention and support. Staff-led performance modules run alongside student-run ensembles. The relationship with the Royal Irish Academy of Music allows Single Honors students to receive instruction on individual instruments.