The College of Arts and Architecture


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The Master of Arts in Music offers three tracks: in Musicology (32 credits), Music Theory (32 credits), and Music Theory and History (34 credits). All three tracks provide an interdisciplinary approach to the field of music scholarship, a hallmark of our program, and all tracks require a thesis.

Program Goals

The Master of Arts in Music with track in Music Theory offers preparation in current modes of research and analysis from a music theoretical perspective. The program has the advantage of breadth in preparing the student to teach the two-year course sequence in the undergraduate theory curriculum at community and junior colleges and for community education programs. For the student planning to pursue doctoral studies, this program offers not only the broad base of courses required for admission to most doctoral programs, but also exposure to the in-depth study that is characteristic of seminars and thesis work.

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Music with track in Music Theory requires a minimum of 32 credits of coursework including a 6-credit thesis. At least 18 credits must be at the 500 or 600 level, and at least 24 credits must be taken at University Park. A reading examination in German or another language appropriate to the student’s research, as determined by the student’s thesis advisor, must be passed before thesis credit may be scheduled. Knowledge of the history and theory of Western art music must be demonstrated by satisfactory completion of competency examinations or completion of specified remedial courses in addition to the curricular requirements listed here. An oral examination focusing on the student's thesis research area and coursework must be successfully completed in the final semester.

The 32-credit requirement is as follows:

            Introduction to Music Reference and Research Materials (Music 500)©                      2 credits

            Schenkerian Analysis (Music 532)©                                                                    3

            Pedagogy of Undergraduate Theory and History (Music 533)©                                 2

            Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint (Music 472)                                                        2

            Seminar in Music Theory (Music 574)*©                                                              3

            Music theory electives**                                                                                   5

            Music history elective***                                                                                  3

            Music elective (in consultation with adviser)                                                         3

            Free elective (in consultation with adviser)                                                           3

            Thesis (Music 600)©                                                                                         6    


© In order to maintain satisfactory academic standing, students are expected to receive grades of B or better in these "core" courses. See Expectations for Satisfactory Progress Toward the Degree.

*Special topics, changing from year to year.

**Two courses selected from: Music 431 (Advanced Tonal Analysis), Music 433 (Advanced Analysis of Twentieth-Century Music), Music 435 (Score Reading), Music 438 (Figured Bass), Music 471 (Structural and Sixteenth-Century Counterpoint), Music 531 (Analytical Techniques), Music 573 (Integrative Seminar in Music Theory and History), Music 574 (Seminar in Music Theory).

***One course selected from: Music 461W (Antiquity to 1600), Music 462W (1550-1750), Music 463W (1700-1900), Music 464W (1850-present), Music 572 (Seminar in Musicology), Music 573 (Integrative Seminar in Music Theory and History).

Note: Unsatisfactory performance on the competency examinations in music theory and history taken at the beginning of the program may result in the necessity of additional course work. 

Note: Music 431 and Music 433 are offered for variable credit, 2-3 credits each.  If these courses are selected to satisfy the theory electives requirement, the student is strongly advised to enroll for 3 credits in at least one of the courses to ensure satisfaction of the 5-credit minimum degree requirement.  Alternatively, an additional theory course may be taken.

This page last revised August 2013