In 1855, the Yale Corporation appointed Gustave Stoeckel to supervise the College's musical activities; his duties would eventually include directing music in the Yale chapel and teaching non-credit courses. A "Musical Department" was established in 1890 to provide formal academic instruction in music; Stoeckel became its first professor. In 1894, four students received Yale's first Bachelor of Music degrees, and Horatio Parker and Samuel Sanford were appointed to the faculty. That date is traditionally regarded as the founding of the Yale School of Music, although the School's name did not become official until 1914. Parker became the first Dean in 1904, a post he held until his death in 1919. He was succeeded as Dean by David Stanley Smith (1920-1940), Richard Donovan (acting, 1940-1941), Bruce Simonds (1941-1954), Luther Noss (1954-1970), Philip Nelson (1970-1980), Frank Tirro (1980-1989), Ezra Laderman (1989-1995), and Robert Blocker (1995-present). Though it initially concentrated on undergraduate education, the School of Music began offering graduate degrees in 1932, and discontinued the Bachelor of Music degree in 1958. Undergraduate instruction was henceforth provided by a separate Department of Music, established in 1940, which also offered graduate degrees in the history and theory of music.
Further information about the history of the Yale School of Music may be found in Luther Noss, A History of the Yale School of Music, 1855-1970 (New Haven, Yale School of Music, 1984). Scholars interested in the School's history may also wish to examine the Gilmore Library's archival collections relating to individuals who taught or studied at Yale, including Horatio Parker, Charles Ives, David Stanley Smith, Richard Donovan, Marshall Bartholomew, Quincy Porter, Paul Hindemith, David Kraehenbuehl, and Mel Powell.
From the guide to the The Yale School of Music Papers, 1875-1993 (inclusive), (Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University)