PhD Music Theory and History

The following music theory and history requirements must be completed before the student is admitted to candidacy. Note that these are courses beyond the bachelor's degree. Similar graduate courses taken at another accredited institution may fulfill some of these requirements if the student is able to demonstrate knowledge or skill approximately equivalent to that expected of students who have completed the corresponding courses below:

Before being admitted into this program, the student is expected to demonstrate, through testing and interviews with members of the faculty, a level of competence equivalent to undergraduate coursework in the following areas:

  1. The principal periods of Western music history, including important composers and other historical figures, the history and development of standard musical genres, and representative musical works.
  2. Musical performance (on the student's principal instrument or voice).
  3. Harmony and voice leading; conventions of part writing and figured bass.
  4. Aural skills, including sight singing; keyboard facility.
  5. Sixteenth- and eighteenth-century counterpoint.
  6. Standard formal designs of the common practice period.
  7. Twentieth-century music literature and compositional techniques.
  8. Basic principles of score reading, instrumentation and orchestration.
  9. Research and bibliographic skills sufficient for effective writing in the discipline.

A student with a limited background in one or more of these areas may be admitted to the program with the understanding that appropriate undergraduate course work will be completed as soon as possible.

Please see the Curricular Outlines for the Doctor of Philosophy in Music Theory and History.