University of Chicago Department of Music

Graduate Curriculum

Academic Year 2022–23

Overview

General

Degree Programs

Graduate students in the Department of Music are admitted in one of three Ph.D. programs: Composition, Ethnomusicology, or History & Theory. Students who complete a sufficient subset of the requirements for the Ph.D., as itemized below for each degree program, are eligible to apply for the M.A. degree

NB: All students receive their official degrees in “Music,” not in the name of their specific subdiscipline. For example, ethnomusicology concentrators will receive a diploma—Ph.D. or M.A.—in “Music,” not “Ethnomusicology.” This both accords with Divisional policy and reflects the Music Department’s commitment to interdisciplinary inquiry across all of our subfields.

Overview of Requirements

Each of the three Ph.D. programs requires successful completion of courses, language examinations, musicianship, comprehensive examinations, pedagogical training, a dissertation, and a final examination on (“defense of”) the dissertation. In addition, the program in Composition requires approval of the Minor Field Plan, defense of the Minor Field Paper, and approval of the Composition Prospectus; the program in Ethnomusicology requires a Special Field Examination; and the program in History & Theory requires a Defense of the Dissertation Proposal.

General information on requirements that span the subdisciplines is given in this opening section of the curriculum. Requirements for specific degree programs are accessible here:

Residency Status

The University mandates that all full-time students begin their studies with four years of Scholastic Residence (SR) during which they normally complete their course work and most of their degree requirements. Following Scholastic Residence, all full-time students progress to Advanced Residence (AR), the final stage in which students complete their degree requirements. Students who have not completed their Ph.D.s after twelve years of study will no longer be allowed to register in their degree programs. Those who complete the dissertation after twelve years will nevertheless be allowed to petition the Music Department to defend and submit their dissertation. For more information, refer to Academic Policies for the University.

M.A. Degree en Route

Students may apply for an M.A. degree from the University of Chicago once they have fulfilled the necessary requirements for their area of study as specified in the sections below on each program. Students entering with an M.A. in Music from a different institution may earn a second M.A. from the University of Chicago only if they follow Track 2 as described below.

Satisfactory Progress

Students are expected to maintain Satisfactory Progress in their degree studies on a year-by-year basis. The requirements for Satisfactory Progress, per year and per degree program, are described under specific degree requirements.

By April 1 of each year, all students must complete Satisfactory Progress forms and submit them to the Director of Graduate Studies. Students must demonstrate that they have completed all requirements for the previous year and that they are on schedule to complete requirements for the current year. Students who wish to extend the time limit on any of the requirements for satisfactory progress must file a petition by April 1 stating clear reasons for the extension.

Inability to comply with Satisfactory Progress requirements may result in one of the following actions: (1) the student may be placed on probation for one year and reviewed at the end of that year; (2) the student may be asked to take a Leave of Absence until the outstanding work is satisfactorily completed; (3) the student may be given an “unsatisfactory progress” rating, with the consequence that outstanding federally supported educational loans come due immediately and the University discontinues financial aid; (4) the department may recommend that the student be withdrawn from the program.

Candidacy

Candidacy is attained when all requirements for the Ph.D. have been met except completion of the dissertation. Candidacy status is known informally as ABD (“all but dissertation”); students will normally achieve ABD status by the end of their third year (for ethnomusicology and history/theory) or by the end of their fourth (for composition). For more information, see the Satisfactory Progress Requirements for each degree program below.

ABD students are expected to meet with their dissertation committees at least once each academic year to discuss progress on the dissertation. Such meetings should take place before the end of March. If not all members of the committee are able to attend, the meeting should include—at minimum—the primary dissertation advisor and one secondary reader. Students can meet virtually with their committee if desired. After this meeting the advisor will submit a brief e-mail to the Chair and the Director of Graduate Studies summarizing the student’s progress and the committee’s recommendations.

At least nine months (three quarters) must elapse between admission to candidacy and defense of the dissertation.

Courses

Course Requirements

Students in History/Theory and Ethnomusicology will normally take a total of seventeen required courses of 30000- to 40000-level instruction during Scholastic Residence. Composition students will normally take nine quarters of Music 34000 (Composition Lessons), twelve quarters of Music 34100 (Composition Seminar) and twelve required courses of 30000- or 40000-level instruction.

Tracks 1 and 2

Students who enter the program with an M.A. in Music (or equivalent degree) from a different institution may, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, opt for one of two tracks. Under Track 1, the standard number of required courses will be reduced as outlined in each program description below, and the Comprehensive Examinations will be taken in the summer after the first year. Under Track 2, students will complete the standard two-year curriculum for their area of study and take the Comprehensive Examinations in the summer after the second year.

Seminars

Seminars include all academic courses numbered above 40000, not including the Graduate Colloquium and Graduate Teaching Forum in Music. Students are encouraged to take seminars that offer a wide variety of approaches and subjects. Faculty mentors and the DGS will advise students on the balance between disciplinary and extra-disciplinary training; music students are typically expected enroll in several of the available music seminars, while also taking some courses outside the department. Reading courses, whether topic-based or directed, may not be substituted for a seminar.

Colloquium

The Colloquium is a series of lectures followed by discussion and normally given by speakers from other institutions who are specially invited by the Music Department to share their recent research or compositions with students and faculty. Attendance at a total of six quarters of colloquium is required, and students may register for colloquium in any quarter. Students must attend at least half of the lectures in a given term to fulfill the colloquium requirement for that term.

Musicianship

The Department of Music values the practical knowledge of music-making in addition to the scholarly study of music. We seek to cultivate an active community of musician-scholars, while also allowing for a range of expressions. Students in all subfields will complete two different activities before attaining candidacy (inc. playing in two different ensembles). We encourage students to be capacious and thoughtful about their career trajectories, and to use this opportunity to expand their musical expression and skills in support of their desired futures.

Possible musicianship activities include:

  • Participate in a University-sponsored ensemble for a year
  • Play a solo recital
  • Play a chamber recital
  • Play a piece on a solo or chamber recital (s/a Tea Time concerts)
  • Take regular lessons on your instrument for one year (proof of instruction required)
  • Record and produce an album of your original works
  • Transcribe a substantial amount of music from an oral/improvised tradition (beyond coursework requirements, with the guidance of a faculty member)
  • Take three exams in musicianship skills of your choosing (e.g., chromatic sight-singing, harmonic dictation, and open score reading, with the guidance of a faculty member)

The DGS will consider students’ petitions for substitutions and alternative activities.

Incompletes and Quality Grades

Students are expected to complete work for a specific course during the quarter in which the course is taken. Students unable to complete the requirements for a departmental course by the end of that quarter will not receive a letter grade (known as a “quality grade”) and will instead see a “blank,” an “I” (incomplete) or an “NGR” (no grade recorded) on their transcript. These placeholders will be replaced by a quality grade when all requirements for that course have been fulfilled and evaluated.

All outstanding coursework for blank/I/NGRs must be completed and submitted by September 1 before the beginning of the following academic year. If coursework is not completed by this date, the incomplete grade will automatically be changed to a “UW” (unofficial withdrawl). The UW can be changed to a quality grade for eight quarters if/when the student remedies the incomplete. Alternatively, the student can elect to take a new course to fulfill the requirement.

Students are expected to take required academic courses for quality grades (letter grades); a petition to change to P/F grading will be considered only in exceptional circumstances. If a student changes their enrollment in an academic course to P/F, they typically forfeit counting that course toward their required program of study. There are several courses for which P/F grading is the norm, including Colloquium, Dissertation Development Seminars (DPPS, DPS, DCS), and Graduate Teaching Forum in Music (GTFM).

Academic Integrity

All work submitted by a student must be his or her own. All work copied, translated, or paraphrased from the writings of others must be accompanied by appropriate citations, following guidelines from the Chicago Manual of Style or an equivalent reference work. Failure to cite work appropriately constitutes plagiarism, an offense punishable under the University disciplinary system. Students with questions about the application of these criteria to individual cases should consult with the instructor.

Exams

Language Examinations

Language exams are administered by the Language Center. Students will typically take the ARCA reading comprehension exam (except in the case of translation-only historical languages of Biblical Hebrew, Classical Chinese, Greek, and Latin).

Students may alternately satisfy language requirements by taking the first quarter of 2nd-year undergraduate instruction (e.g. French 201) for a grade and receiving an “A” in the course.

In the case of language courses and exams not offered by the Language Center (and only in such cases), the Department will support the student in arranging for outside study and/or a written translation exam. Students are given two hours to translate a 350-400 word passage with the aid of a dictionary; the quality as well as the completeness and accuracy of the translation will be judged.

There is no limit to the number of times that a student may retake a language examination. Any request for a departure from the languages or procedures used to fulfill degree requirements may be addressed in the form of a petition to the Graduate Curriculum Committee, including petitions for examinations in languages not regularly tested. Such petitions must demonstrate specific and direct relevance to the student’s research or compositional work. Petitions should be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies, and must be submitted at least two months before the student would take the intended course or the exam.

Comprehensive Examinations

Schedule
Comprehensive Examinations are given annually: students take analysis exams in mid-June, “sitting” or essay exams in mid-September, and repertory exams in mid-September or early October. Most exams are self-proctored via Canvas, with timestamps and clear directions for academic integrity.

Analysis exams are 72–hour long exams; the working periods are student-chosen within an established seven day window in June. Most sitting exams are 8–hour long exams (with the exception of the 72–hour long composition exam); the working periods are student-chosen within an established fourteen day window in September. Repertory exams are oral exams given in Week 1 of Autumn quarter (in the case of ethnomusicology and composition), or 48–hour long written exams given during the sitting exam period in September (in the case of history/theory). Repertoire study lists and specific guidance is provided to students in all subfields in Week 1 of Spring quarter. Sitting exam topic study areas are provided in Week 8 of Spring quarter.

Students typically take the sitting exams in the summer after their second year, though all students are encouraged to take an analysis exam after their first year of coursework. Students entering with an M.A. and pursuing Track 1 take the comprehensive exams in the summer after their first year.

Results
Students can expect one of three results: pass, call-back, or fail. In the case of a pass, the student’s exam as written/performed shows sufficient mastery. Students are still encouraged to seek feedback from faculty elaborating the strengths and weaknesses of their exam. In the case of a call-back, students are asked to return for oral discussion of a written exam with a few faculty members. Faculty graders typically give specific guidance as to the topics in need of elaboration or clarification. Students can bring notes into the call-back meeting, if desired. Call-backs are scheduled in the week following the close of the exam period. Students will have at least 24 hours to prepare between notification of a call-back and the meeting with faculty members. Final results (pass, fail) will be communicated to all students at the end of the call-back window.

In the event that a student fails a portion of the comprehensive exams, the student will receive feedback from faculty as to the weaknesses that need remedy. Students may, in consultation with the DGS, petition to retake the exams during the upcoming winter or spring, prior to their being offered in the summer of the following year. Should a student fail an exam retake, further retakes will be allowed only upon successful petition to the department. Copies of examinations from previous years are on file in the departmental office for consultation. Please consult with the DGS and faculty mentors for information regarding the content of these exams.

Pedagogical Training

PTP (Pedagogical Training Plan)

Starting in year two or three graduate students in music accumulate seven units of teaching experience through a combination of Course Assistantships (one unit each) and Lectureships (two units each). NB: Students who began teaching before Autumn 2022 may choose whether they will complete six (as in the previous iteration of the PTP) or seven units. No students (except TAPS and dual-degree students) may teach more than seven units.

CA-ships typically precede Lectureships, though their sequence and combination is flexible. Teaching assignments will be informed by students’ requested teaching experience, their areas of specialization, whether they are enrolled in Track 1 or Track 2, and their research commitments away from campus including fieldwork and archival study.

In consultation with the DGS and DPD (Director of Professional Development), students may fulfill some of the seven units with teaching opportunities outside of the Department, such as writing internships, studio assistantships, teaching fellowships for stand-alone 200-level courses, and courses offered in other departments, centers, and programs.

Dual-Degree Students

Students in TAPS or those pursuing a dual degree will determine their teaching units in consultation with the DGSs from both programs. TAPS currently requires that students will satisfy the PTP of their home department (here, Music) and engage in two quarters of teaching related to TAPS. It may be possible (desired) to satisfy both Music and TAPS teaching inside of the seven units; it is also permissible for TAPS students to teach up to two additional classes. Thus, Music-TAPS students will teach seven, eight, or nine units.

Graduate Teaching Forum in Music (GTFM)

The Graduate Teaching Forum in Music (GTFM) is a series of workshops (typically three to four per quarter) that aim to develop pedagogical skill in young teachers. Faculty mentors offer workshops on topics such as course design and logistics; teaching methods; preparation and design of individual classes; creation of assignments, exams, and paper prompts; grading of and feedback on written work; presentation strategies; and opportunities for peer review of teaching materials and methods.

Students must attend the GTFM for at least two quarters, first in the quarter when they are a Course Assistant (CA), and second when they are a lecturer (LEC). Enrollment is tracked with “P” and “UW” grading as in colloquium. The P grade will result from attendance and active participation.

Students are additionally encouraged to take advantage of the resources, workshops, structured observations, and certificate programs offered through the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Dissertation Development Seminars

The completion of a dissertation (for composers, a minor field paper) is one of the hallmarks of PhD study. When completed expeditiously, a student’s original scholarly project prepares the first years of their professional career and makes a timely and memorable contribution to a field(s). The faculty recognizes, however, that scholarly writing poses challenges, and so have developed a sequence of seminars to support students in the preparation, proposal, and completion of the dissertation/minor field paper.

Dissertation Pre-Proposal Seminar (DPPS, Y2) is offered to acquaint students with the methodology and goals of writing original scholarship (PhD dissertations, minor field papers). This seminar is particularly important for students preparing for dissertations in musicology, music theory, and ethnomusicology; composers preparing for their minor field papers are welcome. The seminar meets over the course of an academic year, three or four times per quarter. Enrollment is tracked with “P” and “UW” grading as in colloquium. The P grade will result from active participation (attending, submitting exercises as assigned, reading others’ work, etc.). Students normally enroll in their second year.

Dissertation Proposal Seminar (DPS, Y3) is offered as a credit-granting registration elective equivalent to a 40000-level seminar in the Department of Music. The year-long course assists students in crafting a dissertation proposal, gaining critical feedback from peers, and honing compelling research projects. Participants may include ethnomusicologists, musicologists, and theorists who are writing dissertation proposals, as well as composers working on minor field papers. The seminar meets over the course of an academic year, three or four times per quarter, with credit awarded in Spring. Though this is a credit-bearing elective, P/F grading is the norm. The “P” grade will result from active participation (attending, submitting exercises as assigned, reading others’ work, etc.). It is expected that most students will enroll in the DPS during Year 3, so that they will be able to defend their dissertation proposal or minor field paper by the end of Spring term. 

Dissertation Chapter Seminar (DCS, Y4–6) is offered to support students in the drafting and completion of dissertation chapters or minor field papers. A range of writing strategies will be discussed, and participants will share, discuss, and critique chapter drafts and other writing related to the dissertation/minor field paper. The seminar meets over the course of an academic year, three to five times per quarter. Enrollment is tracked with “P” and “UW” grading as in colloquium. The P grade will result from active participation (attending, submitting exercises as assigned, reading others’ work, etc.). Students normally enroll during their fifth and sixth years, although they may choose to participate in their fourth year. Students are encouraged to schedule enrollment flexibly around field work, and to participate for three or more quarters.

Ph.D. Program in Composition

Courses

Students in the first three years of the program will normally take nine quarters of Music 34000 (Composition Lessons) and twelve quarters of Music 34100 (Composition Seminar). Starting in year 4, students work with one dissertation adviser by appointment. Students also complete twelve courses of 30000- or 40000-level instruction, including the following:

  • MUSI 31100: Analysis of Tonal Music I
  • MUSI 31300: Analysis of Twentieth-Century Music
  • MUSI 32800: Music since 1900
  • A 30000-level course in ethnomusicology; students are strongly encouraged to take either MUSI 33500 (Introduction to World Music) or an area-studies course focused on non-Western music.
  • A course in Advanced Orchestration, either in traditional orchestration/instrumentation (34600), or a Special Topic (s/a 36715, Composing for Orchestra in the 21st Century).
  • At least two quarters of Computer Music. If the student is already coming in with a more advanced background, these courses can be taken in outside departments such as Computer Science, DoVA, etc. Courses which fulfill the requirement are agreed upon in consultation with the Director of the Computer Music Studio and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • MUSI 38000: Score-reading and Conducting (a one-year course for one course credit)
  • Four electives, of which three will be used to fulfill Minor Field requirements. These electives will be chosen in consultation with the faculty mentor or DGS to meet individual objectives and with a view toward expanding, rather than simply reinforcing, the student’s base of knowledge.

Entering with an M.A. in Music

Students entering with an M.A. (or equivalent degree) in Music and pursuing Track 1 will normally complete nine quarters each of Music 34000 and 34100 (Composition Lessons and Composition Seminar) and nine courses of 30000- or 40000-level instruction, including the following:

  • MUSI 31300: Analysis of Twentieth-Century Music
  • A 30000-level course in ethnomusicology; students are strongly encouraged to take either MUSI 33500 (Introduction to World Music) or an area-studies course focused on non-Western music.
  • A course in Advanced Orchestration, either in traditional orchestration/instrumentation (34600), or a Special Topic (36715, Composing for Orchestra in the 21st Century).
  • At least two quarters of Computer Music. If the student is already coming in with a more advanced background, these courses can be taken in outside departments such as Computer Science, DoVA, etc. Courses which fulfill the requirement are agreed upon in consultation with the Director of the Computer Music Studio and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • Four electives, of which three will be used to fulfill Minor Field requirements. These electives will be chosen in consultation with the faculty mentor or DGS to meet individual objectives and with a view toward expanding, rather than simply reinforcing, the student’s base of knowledge.

Colloquium

All students must enroll in six quarters of Colloquium (MUSI 41000). Students may register for Colloquium in any quarter.

Musicianship

The successful completion of two different musicianship activities that expand the student’s skills and professional horizons.

Exams

Languages

A reading knowledge of one foreign language, normally chosen from German, French, and Italian. Another language may be substituted upon approval of petition. The student’s language of origin (parent tongue) may not be used to fulfill this requirement. See Language Examinations for further details.

Comprehensive Examinations

A three-part examination consisting of

  • an analysis examination of either tonal or post-tonal materials, to be fulfilled over a 72–hour period in June
  • a written composition examination, to be fulfilled over a 72–hour period in September
  • a two-hour oral examination on musical repertory, focusing on six compositions. A list of works with guidelines will be made available to the students in Week 1 of Spring quarter.

See the general discussion of comprehensive exams for more details.

Minor Field

The minor field consists of three courses that will prepare the student to write the Minor Field Paper. The department approves four minor fields for composers: Ethnomusicology, Musicology, Theory and Analysis, and Research in Computer Music.

The minor field in ETHNOMUSICOLOGY consists of

  • MUSI 33000 or MUSI 33500
  • One other course numbered between MUSI 33100 and 33700
  • A seminar on an ethnomusicological topic (to be determined in consultation with the faculty mentor or DGS)

The minor in MUSICOLOGY consists of

  • one course numbered either MUSI 32500 or 32600
  • MUSI 32700
  • one seminar on a musicological topic (to be determined in consultation with the faculty mentor or DGS) 

The minor in THEORY AND ANALYSIS consists of

  • two courses from among the following: MUSI 31200; 31400; 31500; 37100; 37200
  • one seminar on an analytic or theoretical topic (to be determined in consultation with the faculty mentor or DGS)

The minor in RESEARCH IN COMPUTER MUSIC consists of

  • MUSI 266: Composing with Sound
  • MUSI 267: Advanced Topics
  • MUSI 268: Introduction to Computer Music
  • Alternatively, students who have already taken one or more courses equivalent to the above may substitute a course in Computer Science, DoVA, Cinema and Media Studies, etc., on the approval of the faculty mentor and/or DGS. Multiple courses outside the department can fulfill this requirement. In any event, students must still take a total of three courses toward their computer music minor field.

Minor Field Paper

A paper, normally 30-50 pages in length, presented to and approved by a committee of two or three faculty members, including one member of the Composition faculty. The completed paper will normally emerge from coursework done in pursuit of the minor field, typically in one of the four following fields outlined above (Computer Music, Ethnomusicology, Music History, Music Theory). Students wanting to work between fields or carry out a minor field in another area should consult with the DGS.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the Dissertation Development Seminars that can help in the preparation and drafting of the minor field paper. 

Plan for the Minor Field

The student must submit to the Director of Graduate Studies a plan, consisting of 1) a list of the courses that will complete the course requirements for the student’s minor field, 2) a one-page proposal for the minor field paper, and 3) the names of the faculty members who have agreed to advise the project and serve on the committee. Once approved by the DGS, the plan will be filed in the student’s dossier in the Department of Music. After drafting the paper, the student will defend it before the two- or three-person committee. The drafted Minor Field paper must be submitted to the Committee no later than two weeks before its defense.

Timing

Students are strongly encouraged to outline, write, and defend the Minor Field Paper during year 3. The Minor Field Paper should in any case be completed by the end of Scholastic Residence (the end of year 4). Candidacy/ABD status cannot be attained without successful defense of the Minor Field Paper, which must therefore commence in all cases no later than nine months prior to defense of the dissertation.

Dissertation

The Dissertation Composition Prospectus

Students shall draft a one-page document describing the dissertation composition in as much detail as possible, specifying the instruments, personnel, hardware, and software to be used, as well as setting out any other parameters that might affect the final realization of the composition. Students shall present the Composition Prospectus to the faculty adviser and the intended dissertation committee members for discussion. The defense of the Composition Prospectus should not be scheduled until all parts of the Comprehensive Examination have been successfully completed. Following approval of the Prospectus, the document will be filed in the student’s dossier in the Department of Music. Substantive changes in the proposed composition should be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for faculty approval.

Admission to Candidacy

Following the completion of all of the above requirements, including the submission of the composition prospectus, the student will be recommended by the Department of Music to the Dean of Students for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.

Dissertation

A substantial work with score (and a full set of parts where relevant), accompanied by a program note and a set of instructions for the performers (where relevant). If the composition exists solely in an electronic format (as a compact disc, videotape, or both), it must be submitted together with a description of the hardware and software used and a time line that describes graphically or verbally the relationship between raw musical material (acoustic or electronic), electronic processing, and final acoustic event. The composition should be completed within three years after admission to candidacy. Extensions, however, may be granted under special circumstances.

Defense of the Dissertation

A final oral examination in defense of the dissertation composition. The three-to-five person faculty committee must include at least two members of the Composition faculty. At least nine months (three quarters) must normally elapse between admission to candidacy and the dissertation defense. All other requirements must be completed before the defense is scheduled.

N.B.: Students may not apply for the Ph.D. degree until all degree requirements have been met.

Satisfactory Progress Requirements

The following specific requirements for the program in Composition should be read in the context of the general comments on satisfactory progress provided above. The following requirements are a minimal lower limit; students are encouraged to exceed these requirements at whatever rate suits them.

During year 1 students should complete at least eight courses, one musicianship activity, and/or one language.

  • Students with an M.A. degree in Music pursuing Track 1 should complete the following requirements by the end of year 1: nine courses plus either two musicianship activities or one language and one musicianship activity.

By the end of year 2 students should have completed all courses (with the exception of composition lessons and the composers’ seminar) plus the language examination and one or two musicianship activities.

By the end of year 3 students should have completed all of their musicianship activities and language examinations, and passed all sections of the Comprehensive Examinations.

By the end of year 4 students should have completed and defended their minor field paper and dissertation composition prospectus.

Year 5 should be dedicated to composing the dissertation piece.

M.A. Degree en Route in Composition

Students may apply to receive the Master of Arts upon completion of the following requirements:

  • 12 courses in the Department of Music, including 6 courses in Composition, and including at least 4 other required non-elective courses
  • 1 language exam
  • 1 musicianship activity
  • An M.A. composition written in residence. Normally the composition will be more than 8 minutes in duration. The composition should be submitted to the Department in final form at least one month before Convocation. A bound, legibly written copy of the composition is to be deposited in the Department of Music.

Students who enter with a Master’s in music may only receive the Masters en route if they are pursuing Track 2.

Ph.D. Program in Ethnomusicology

Courses

Students will normally complete seventeen courses of 30000- to 40000-level instruction, including the following:

  • MUSI 33000: Proseminar in Ethnomusicology
  • MUSI 33500: Introduction to World Music
  • MUSI 33800: Ethnographic Methods
  • MUSI 33900: Music Anthropology
  • MUSI 31500: Modal Analysis
  • Three Topics and Area Studies courses (MUSI 33100–33700). A relevant course in another department may be substituted upon approval by the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • One course focused on the analysis of Western art music (e.g., MUSI 31100, 31200, or 31300)
  • Two Proseminars in Music History (MUSI 32500–32800)
  • Six electives relevant to the student’s research interests and objectives.
    • At least three of these will normally be 40000-level seminars in the Department of Music
    • Dissertation Proposal Seminar (MUSI 41500) counts as a for-credit elective.

Entering with an M.A. in Music

Students entering with an M.A.  in Music and pursuing Track 1 will normally complete the following twelve courses:

  • MUSI 33000 (Proseminar in Ethnomusicology)
  • One Area Studies course (MUSI 33100–33700)
  • One course focused on the analysis of Western art music (e.g., MUSI 31100, 31200, or 31300)
  • One further course in Music Analysis (MUSI 31100–31600)
  • One course in Music History (MUSI 32500–32800)
  • Seven electives relevant to the student’s research interests and objectives.
    • At least five of these will normally be 40000-level seminars in the Department of Music.
    • Dissertation Proposal Seminar (MUSI 41500) counts as a for-credit elective.

Programs of study will be worked out in consultation with the faculty mentor and/or the DGS to meet individual needs and objectives.

Colloquium

All students must enroll in six quarters of Colloquium (MUSI 41000). Students may register for Colloquium during any quarter.

Musicianship

The successful completion of two different musicianship activities that expand the student’s skills and professional horizons.

Exams

Languages

Students must pass exams demonstrating a reading knowledge of three languages. In consultation with faculty, students will select languages that fulfill the following functions:

  1. Field language (a language necessary for field research)
  2. Classical language (a world language with a literary tradition)
  3. Scholarly language (a language important for broader research in ethnomusicology)

See Language Examinations for further details.

Comprehensive Examinations

A five-part examination consisting of:

  1. Ethnomusicology Analysis: a 72–hour long exam in June, consisting of a close analysis of a musical work selected by faculty prior to administration of the examination from three options:
    1. An ethnomusicological example (which may involve transcription from a recording, analysis of a previous transcription, or some combination of these)
    2. A tonal Western example
    3. An atonal Western example
  2. Conceptual Foundations: an 8–hour long essay exam in September, covering broad issues of theoretical importance to ethnomusicology and musicology. Topic study areas are provided in Week 8 of Spring quarter.
  3. Two Cultural Areas: two 8–hour long essay exams in September, demonstrating knowledge of two world musical cultural areas. For each area, there will be a long essay chosen from two options, followed by two short essays, to be chosen from four options. Topic study areas are provided in Week 8 of Spring quarter.
  4. An Oral Repertory Exam: students will be given a list of 16 items (10 recorded, 6 printed/notated) in Week 1 of Spring quarter. In Week 1 of Autumn quarter, students meet with faculty graders for a half-hour long oral exam that draws upon four items from the list.

See the general discussion of comprehensive exams for more details.

Dissertation

Special Field Examination and Defense of the Dissertation Proposal

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the Dissertation Development Seminars that aid in the crafting of a dissertation topic, proposal, and document.

The Special Field is an oral examination in two parts. The first part tests a student’s knowledge of a specialized area which may provide a broader context for the dissertation. (The delimitation of the special field is determined through consultation with the student’s dissertation committee when a date for the examination is chosen.)

The second part is a defense of the dissertation proposal. The proposal, which must be submitted to the faculty no later than two weeks before the examination, should demonstrate the propriety and feasibility of the topic and the student’s knowledge of the existing literature about it. A complete bibliography for the topic area should be included with the proposal.

The Special Field examination should not be scheduled until all parts of the Comprehensive Examination have been successfully completed. Following a successful Special Field examination, the proposal will be filed in the student’s dossier in the Department of Music. Substantive changes to the topic must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for faculty approval.

Admission to Candidacy

Following the completion of all the above requirements, the student will be recommended by the Department of Music to the Dean of Students for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. At least nine months (three quarters) must normally elapse between admission to candidacy and the dissertation defense.

Dissertation

A piece of original scholarship that makes a contribution to knowledge. The dissertation must be approved by at least three faculty members who can verify that it meets the necessary requirements. Ethnomusicology committees are likely to include at least one member from another Department. A copy of the dissertation manuscript and an abstract must be submitted to the committee members no later than four weeks before the defense. The dissertation normally should be completed within three years after the Special Field Examination. However, the student may petition to the Department for yearly extensions.

Defense

A final oral examination in defense of the Dissertation. At least nine months (three quarters) must normally elapse between admission to candidacy and the final examination. All other requirements must be completed before the defense is scheduled.

N.B. Students may not apply for the Ph.D. degree until all degree requirements have been met.

Satisfactory Progress Requirements

The following specific requirements for the program in ethnomusicology should be read in the context of the general requirements for satisfactory progress. The following requirements are a lower limit; students are encouraged to exceed these requirements at whatever rate suits them.

During year 1 students should complete at least eight courses, one language, and at least one musicianship activity.

By the end of year 2 students should have completed all course requirements (with the exception of the Dissertation Proposal Seminar, typically taken in year 3); two languages; and two musicianship activities.

By the end of year 3 students should have completed all languages and musicianship activities, passed all five Comprehensive Examinations, drafted a dissertation proposal, and passed the Special Field examination.

Years 4 and 5 should be devoted to fieldwork and dissertation writing.

M.A. Degree en Route in Ethnomusicology

Students may apply to receive the Master of Arts upon completion of the following requirements:

  • 12 courses in the Department of Music, excluding the free electives
  • 1 language exam
  • 1 musicianship activity
  • Two seminar papers demonstrating scholarly competence. These papers are to be submitted for faculty approval by the beginning of the quarter in which the degree is to be received.

Students who enter with a Master’s in music may only receive the Masters en route if they are pursuing Track 2.

Ph.D. Program in History and Theory of Music

Courses

Students will normally take seventeen courses of 30000- or 40000 level instruction, including the following:

  • MUSI 31100: Analysis of Tonal Music I
  • One further course in Music Analysis (MUSI 31200–31900)
  • Three of the four proseminars in Music History (MUSI 32500, 32600, 32700, and 32800)
  • Two ethnomusicology courses. These should include MUSI 33000 or 33500 and a further ethnomusicology course at the 30000 level.
  • Ten elective courses at the 30000 or 40000 level. These courses should be relevant to the student’s research objectives and be taken in consultation with the faculty mentor or Director of Graduate Studies.
    • At least six of these electives will normally be 40000-level seminars in the Department of Music.
    • Students preparing for a career oriented toward musicology should take the remaining Music History Proseminar.
    • Students preparing for a career oriented toward theory and analysis should take MUSI 37100 (History of Music Theory I) and 37200 (History of Music Theory II).
    • Dissertation Proposal Seminar (MUSI 41500) counts as a for-credit elective.

Minor in Composition

History and Theory students pursuing a minor in composition will normally complete six quarters of MUSI 34000/341000 (Composition/Composer’s Seminar) and thirteen courses of 30000- or 40000-level instruction, including the following:

  • Three courses in Music Analysis (MUSI 31100 through 31900)
  • One proseminar in Music History (MUSI 32500 through 32800)
  • Two ethnomusicology courses. These should include MUSI 33000: Proseminar in Ethnomusicology or 33500: Introduction to World Music and a further ethnomusicology course at the 30000 level.
  • Seven elective courses at the 30000 or 40000 level. These courses should be relevant to the student’s research objectives and be taken in consultation with the faculty mentor or Director of Graduate Studies.
    • At least four of these electives will normally be 40000-level seminars in the Department of Music.
    • Students preparing for a career oriented toward theory and analysis should take MUSI 37100 (History of Music Theory I) and 37200 (History of Music Theory II).
    • Dissertation Proposal Seminar (MUSI 41500) counts as a for-credit elective.

Entering with an M.A. in Music

Students entering with an M.A. in Music and pursuing Track 1 will normally complete the following twelve courses:

  • MUSI 32500 (Proseminar in Western Music to 1500)
  • One Proseminar in Music since 1500 (MUSI 32600–32800)
  • One course in Music Analysis (MUSI 31100–31900)
  • MUSI 33000: Proseminar in Ethnomusicology or MUSI 33500: Introduction to World Music (with strong encouragement to take both if possible)
  • Eight elective courses at the 30000 or 40000 level. These courses should be relevant to the student’s research objectives and be taken in consultation with the faculty mentor or Director of Graduate Studies.
    • At least three of these electives will normally be 40000-level seminars in the Department of Music.
    • Dissertation Proposal Seminar (MUSI 41500) counts as a for-credit elective.

Colloquium

All students must enroll in six quarters of Colloquium (MUSI 41000). Students may register for Colloquium in any quarter.

Musicianship

The successful completion of two different musicianship activities that expand the student’s skills and professional horizons.

Exams

Languages

Students preparing for a career oriented toward theory and analysis are required to pass two language examinations. Students preparing for a career oriented toward musicology are required to pass three language examinations; German is required for both groups of students. The one or two other language exams are normally chosen from among French, Spanish, Italian, or Latin, or from other languages upon approval of a petition to the DGS.

See Language Examinations for further details.

Comprehensive Examinations

A five-part examination, consisting of the following:

  1. Analysis (one or two): a 72–hour long exam in June, consisting of a close analysis of a single tonal or post-tonal work or movement. History concentrators will likely choose either tonal analysis or post-tonal analysis; theory concentrators will likely choose to take both tonal analysis and post-tonal analysis exams (see below).
  2. History Essays (one or two): 8-hour long exams in September, consisting of long and short essay questions on pre-1800 and post-1800 topics. History concentrators will take both sets of essays, while theory concentrators will choose either pre-1800 or post-1800 essays. Each exam will consist of one long essay, to be chosen from two options, and two short essays, to be chosen from four options. Topic study areas will be provided in Week 8 of Spring quarter. 
  3. Further Choice Essay: an 8-hour long exam in September. Each exam will consist of one long essay, to be chosen from two options, and two short essays, to be chosen from four options. Topic study areas will be provided in Week 8 of Spring quarter. Choose from
  4. Repertory: a 48–hour long written exam in September. Students will write 150–300 words about 12 examples, which are either musical score pages or aural excerpts drawn from a wide, diverse range of musical traditions spanning 9th to the 20th centuries. The exam tests meaning-making skills such as audiating from a score, recognizing by ear, and historically contextualizing repertories. Study modules and guidance are provided in Week 1 of Spring. Students pursuing a minor field in composition may substitute the composers repertory exam, a two-hour oral examination.

Theory Concentrators typically take:
tonal analysis
post-tonal analysis
one history essay (either pre-1800 or post-1800)
history of theory essay
repertory exam

History Concentrators typically take:
one analysis exam (either tonal or post-tonal)
pre-1800 history essay
post-1800 history essay
further choice exam: choose from conceptual foundations, history of theory essay, area studies, or analysis
repertory exam

See the general discussion of comprehensive exams for more details.

Dissertation

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the Dissertation Development Seminars that aid in the crafting of a dissertation topic, proposal, and document.

Defense of the Dissertation Proposal

A two-hour oral examination, based on a proposal which must be approved by the faculty committee for purposes of the defense and submitted in final form to the committee no later than two weeks before the examination. The proposal should demonstrate, and the student will be examined on, the propriety and feasibility of the topic, as well as the student’s broad knowledge of literature and repertory, both directly related to the topic and in areas surrounding the topic, as appropriate. A bibliography, incorporating both directly related writings in music and relevant works in other fields, should be included. The defense should not be scheduled until all parts of the Comprehensive Examination have been successfully completed. Following a successful defense, the proposal will be filed in the student’s dossier in the Department of Music. Substantive changes to the topic must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for faculty approval.

Admission to Candidacy

Following the completion of all the above requirements, the student will be recommended by the Department of Music to the Dean of Students for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.

Dissertation

A Dissertation that makes an original contribution to knowledge. The dissertation must be approved by at least three members of the Department who can verify that it meets the necessary requirements. A copy of the dissertation manuscript and an abstract must be submitted to the committee no later than four weeks before the defense. The dissertation should normally be completed within three years after the special field examination. However, the student may petition the Department for yearly extensions.

Defense

A final oral examination in defense of the Dissertation. At least nine months (three quarters) must normally elapse between admission to candidacy and the final examination. All other requirements must be completed before the defense is scheduled.

N.B. Students may not apply for the Ph.D. degree until all degree requirements have been met.

Satisfactory Progress Requirements

The following specific requirements for the program in History & Theory of Music should be read in the context of the general requirements for satisfactory progress. The following requirements are a lower limit; students are encouraged to exceed these requirements at whatever rate suits them.

During year 1 students should complete at least eight courses, one language, and at least one musicianship activity.

By the end of year 2 students should have completed all course requirements (with the exception of the Dissertation Proposal Seminar, typically taken in year 3); two languages; and two musicianship activities.

By the end of year 3 students should have completed all language requirements and musicianship activities, passed all five sections of the Comprehensive Examinations, and defended their dissertation proposals.

Years 4 and 5 should be devoted to dissertation research and writing.

M.A. Degree en Route in History and Theory

Students may apply to receive the Master of Arts upon completion of the following requirements:

  • 12 courses in the Department of Music, including 10 non-elective courses
  • 1 language exam
  • 1 musicianship activity
  • Two seminar papers demonstrating scholarly competence to be submitted for faculty approval by the beginning of the quarter in which the degree is to be received

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