Queen's has offered a Bachelor of Music program in the Faculty of Arts and Science since 1969, although students have studied music, either formally or informally, since the university was founded. In the 19th century, the main vehicles for students with a musical turn were church choirs and the Queen's Glee Club.
The School of Music itself began as an experiment of Principal Fyfe's, when he invited musician Eduardo Petri to come to Queen's and set up a summer school for music. This "experiment" was funded by the generous benefaction of the Carnegie Corporation and, without that support, it is unlikely that the project would have been possible during those Depression years.
However, formal musical studies only began with the appointment of Frank Harrison as resident musician in 1935. By 1937, the new School of Music had a full credit course offered in the winter session. Harrison-LeCaine Hall opened in 1974 as a home for the music program and is named jointly for Harrison and Hugh LeCaine, a scientist, composer, Queen's graduate, and a major figure in the development of electronic music in Canada.
Special features of the School include its Electroacoustic Music Studios (EMS) which were founded in 1970 by David Keane, who remained Director of the EMS until 1997. Composers from the EMS have played a significant role in developing electronic music in Canada.
Other features are the Computer Laboratory for Applications in Music, the Early Music Collection, and the W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library (within Douglas Library), which provides a wide assortment of music, texts, and theoretical treatises for students.
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