The College of Arts and Architecture



Program Goals

The Master of Arts in music theory is designed as a specialized degree in theoretical and analytical approaches to musical styles and works.  The program offers students a thorough and efficient preparation to current modes of research and analysis from a music theoretical perspective.  As a post-baccalaureate degree, it has the advantage of breadth in preparing the student to teach the two-year course sequence in the undergraduate theory curriculum at small liberal arts colleges and at community colleges.  For the scholar who plans to go on to doctoral studies, this program has the advantage of depth (seminars and thesis) as well as a broad base of courses required by most doctoral programs.

Program Description

The Master of Arts in music theory is a 32-credit degree requiring 26 credits of course work and 6 credits of thesis.  At least 18 credits must be at the 500 or 600 level, and at least 26 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 adviser, 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 course work 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                                                                                                                                             

*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.  (See pp. 34-35)

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 2008-2009