Ph.D. in Historical Musicology and Music Theory

 

The following is the approved normal course of study for students in the Ph.D. program in Historical Musicology and Music Theory. It is recognized that some requirements may have been completed while earning a Master's Degree in Music History or Music Theory.

In all cases a student's particular program should be determined in consultation with his or her academic advisor. Customized tracks, including substitutions for required and elective courses, are encouraged but must be planned in advance with the advisor and will require the approval of the Music Department Graduate Committee.

 

I. Course Requirements (Core)

Required for all Ph.D. students:

Credits
605 History of Music Theory I 4
606 History of Music Theory II 4
618 Bibliography 4

Additional requirements:

Foreign Languages [see III below]  
Cognate or Elective Courses [see IV below] 6-8
Comprehensive Examinations [see V below]  
M.A. Thesis or the equivalent [see VI below] 8
Dissertation [see VI below] 1-14
Total Core Requirements 40

 

II. Course Requirements (Tracks)

For the Historical Musicology Track :

515/517; 525-530 Seminars in Musicology (6 courses) 24
625 Notation 4
554/613/614
621/629
Seminars in Music Theory (1 course) 4

For the Music Theory track:

613/614 Seminars in Music Theory (2 courses) 8
621 Schenker Studies I 4
622 Schenker Studies II 4
629 Pitch Structures I 4
630 Pitch Structures II 4
515/517 Seminars in Musicology (2 courses) 8
Total Track Requirements (either track) 32
Total Ph.D. Credits (either track) 72

 

III. Foreign Language Requirement

For the Historical Musicology track: Two foreign languages, one of which must be German. The second is usually French or Italian, although a language specifically appropriate to the student's proposed dissertation topic can be substituted upon petition.

For the Music Theory track: Two foreign languages, one of which must be German. The other language is often French, although a different language can be substituted upon petition.

Language requirements should be completed as soon as possible, since many graduate courses require research in languages other than English

 

IV. Cognate or Elective Courses

For the Historical Musicology track: Students need not declare a formal cognate area, although they may elect to take both of their required non-Musicology electives in a single discipline.

Examples of disciplines in which elective courses might be taken include Music Theory, Composition, Comparative Literature, Computer Science, History, Media Study, and Arts administration. (This list is by no means exhaustive.)

For the Music Theory track: Two or more graduate courses in the same area (either within or outside of Music), related to Music Theory. Normally a student's cognate courses will contribute to or support the research to be done for the dissertation. Examples of possible cognate areas are Music Performance, Music Composition, Philosophy, Mathematics, Art History, Literary Criticism, and Acoustics. (This list is by no means exhaustive.)

 

V.  Comprehensive Examinations

For the Historical Musicology track: four separate examinations are taken after completion of all course work and language requirements.

  • Two 5-hour examinations in Musicology, each in an area outside the area of the proposed Ph.D. dissertation. "Area" is usually defined chronologically (e.g., a hundred-year historical period), but might, with the approval of the Musicology faculty, be defined topically or methodologically.
  • One 8-hour examination in Musicology in the area of the proposed Ph.D. dissertation.
  • Each of the three written examinations includes one substantial essay on an analytical/theoretical topic (usually a score analysis).
  • An oral examination in Music Theory and Musicology, including follow-up questions on the other portions of the examination.

For the Music Theory track: four separate examinations are taken after completion of all course work and language requirements.

  • A 4-hour examination in Music Theory, including exercises in harmony or counterpoint, short analysis questions, problems in mathematical theory, and essay questions on recent theoretical literature.
  • Two 8-hour projects in analysis, addressing two substantial passages or pieces, one of which is in common-practice tonal style, the other from the 20th century. These projects are designed to test skills in orthodox modes of analysis (Schenker, set theory), as well as the ability to devise analytical strategies appropriate to the special features of a particular musical work. The student may use the research facilities of the University (libraries computer resources, etc.) in accomplishing these projects.
  • A 3-hour examination in Music History and the History of Music Theory.
  • An oral examination in Music Theory and Music History, including follow-up questions on the other portions of the examination.

 

VI.  Thesis/Dissertation

Students who do not already have a Masters degree must submit a project that demonstrates advanced competence in research and writing. This project may be an M.A. thesis, a series of special papers, or a written work of equivalent scope and depth. The Ph.D. dissertation must be a substantial original contribution to the field of Historical Musicology or Music Theory.

 

VII.  Retention Standards

All degree coursework must be completed with grades of "A," B," or "S.