Music

Degree Types: PhD

Students admitted to the PhD Program in Music pursue academic coursework and write a dissertation in one of four specializations:

  • Composition & Music Technology
  • Music Education
  • Musicology
  • Music Theory & Cognition

Students in this program work closely with faculty to develop a course of study incorporating their individual interests within the context of a broad-based approach to contemporary musical research and practice. The curriculum of each specialization is structured to take full advantage of the many and varied academic opportunities available within the Bienen School of Music and The Graduate School.

A distinctive aspect of this program is the requirement of a cognate area of study in a non-music field within The Graduate School. Students also gain teaching experience at diverse levels. Through participation in program colloquia, students engage with current disciplinary issues and external scholars. 

Students entering the program with a master's degree in their area of specialization normally require two years of full-time study to complete coursework. Students entering with a bachelor's degree require three.

Additional resources:


Students interested in the Doctor of Musical Arts or the Master of Music Degree should refer to the Bienen School of Music website.

Degrees Offered

Music Courses

MUSIC 540-0 Doctoral Music Research (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 313-0 World Music Cultures (1 Unit)  

Introduction to both the world's musical variety and common issues related to music cultures worldwide.

MUSICOL 323-0 Topics in Ethnomusicology (1 Unit)  

Ethnomusicology history, bibliographical resources, methods, and theories.

Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

MUSICOL 326-0 Topics in World Music: Asia (1 Unit)  

The musical traditions of South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Topics include characteristics of instruments and instrumental ensembles, sound structures, theatrical traditions, and vocal performance.

MUSICOL 327-0 Topics in World Music: Africa (1 Unit)  

Introduction to Africa's diverse musics through the multidisciplinary lens of ethnomusicology. Topics include music learning and transmission, aesthetics, musical styles and structures, performance practice, compositional process, musical change, and the role of music in society.

MUSICOL 328-0 Topics in World Music: The Americas (1 Unit)  

An ethnomusicological perspective on music of the Americas as influenced by European, African, Hispanic, and native American cultures. The socioeconomic impact of jazz, rock, gospel, and popular music; the role of music in the spiritual and social life of the Americas' diverse peoples.

MUSICOL 329-0 Topics in Middle Eastern Music (1 Unit)  

History, basic tenets, and aesthetic of Islam; the musics of Islamic cultures from North Africa, Spain, the Middle East, central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Methods of contextualizing musical cultures and critical methodology related to gender, postcolonial theory, and religion.

Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

MUSICOL 330-0 Russian Fairy Tale and Opera (1 Unit)  

Russian cultural and national identity studied through folk tales and their musical counterparts in Russian opera. Current critical theory, the portrayal of women, the interplay of nationalism and gender, and the East-West dichotomy.

Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

MUSICOL 331-0 Orientalism and Music (1 Unit)  

The imagery of the East in the music of the West expressed in musical genres of various historical periods; focus on romantic opera and contemporary musical culture. Orientalism as formulated by Edward Said, developed by John MacKenzie, and clarified through references in literature and the visual arts.

Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

MUSICOL 332-0 Music and Gypsies (1 Unit)  

Romany music from Hungary, Spain, the Balkans, Turkey, the Middle East, and India; Andalucian flamenco; 19thcentury opera and operetta (Bizet's Carmen , Verdi's La Traviata ); instrumental works by Haydn, Liszt, Brahms, and others; and more recent "world" music phenomena.

MUSICOL 333-0 Topics in Popular Music (1 Unit)  

Topics vary; announced before registration. May be repeated.

MUSICOL 335-0 Selected Topics (1 Unit)  

Topics vary; announced before registration. May be repeated.

Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

MUSICOL 338-0 Expressionism (1 Unit)  

The interaction of music (Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Weill, Hindemith, et al.) with painting (Kandinsky et al.), poetry (Stefan George et al.), theater (Wedekind, Brecht, et al.), and dance (Kurt Jooss et al.) in early-20thcentury Germany and Austria.

MUSICOL 339-0 Music and Gender (1 Unit)  

The many intersections between music and ideas of gender; focus on composition, characterization, patronage, and performance. Elite and popular Western musical forms from the Middle Ages to 2000 in relation to gender issues in other cultures' musics.

Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

MUSICOL 341-0 Music and the Visual Arts (1 Unit)  

The many ways in which the senses of sight and hearing interact in Western images of music and music making as well as in select musical works inspired by concurrent ideas or movements in the visual arts.

MUSICOL 342-0 Authenticity (1 Unit)  

Authenticity in music at the turn of the 21st century, focusing on three music genres most closely associated with that idea's cultural and philosophical considerations: early music, country music, and world or ethnic music.

Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

MUSICOL 343-0 Music and Shakespeare (1 Unit)  

An exploration of some of the many intersections between Shakespearean drama and music from the late 16th through early 21st centuries, including study of plays, opera, ballet, film, musical theater, art song, popular music, and the symphony.

MUSICOL 344-0 Music and Film (1 Unit)  

Theory and practice of music as a part of the processes of making and viewing films, from the beginning of the sound era to the present. Topic varies but typically focuses on a specific film genre's musical traditions, techniques, personalities, and problems.

MUSICOL 345-0 From Literature to Opera to Film (1 Unit)  

Selected operas, based on literary or theatrical works, that in turn inspired films. Examination of the literary or theatrical inspiration, the opera as written for stage, and film and video adaptations.

MUSICOL 346-0 Composer Topics (1 Unit)  

Topics vary; announced before registration. May be repeated.

MUSICOL 347-0 The Lied (1 Unit)  

Survey of voice-piano settings of German poems, from Mozart through Richard Strauss.

MUSICOL 348-0 Bel Canto Opera (1 Unit)  

Italian opera in the early-to- mid-19th century. The relations of Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini to the operatic culture of their time.

MUSICOL 350-0 Topics in Medieval Music (1 Unit)  

Gregorian and medieval chant, secular monophony, and the development of polyphony from the earliest records through the music of Ockeghem and Busnois.

Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

MUSICOL 351-0 Topics in 16th Century Music (1 Unit)  

Middle and late renaissance and early manifestations of the baroque, from Josquin through the Gabrielis.

Literature Fine Arts Distro Area

MUSICOL 352-0 Topics in 17th Century Music (1 Unit)  

The baroque from Monteverdi through Bach and Handel.

MUSICOL 353-0 Topics in 18th Century Music (1 Unit)  

Representative works and critical studies of European art music from the Arcadian reform of opera through the Napoleonic era.

MUSICOL 354-0 Topics in 19th Century Music (1 Unit)  

Representative works and critical studies of European art music from the Congress of Vienna to the death of Mahler.

MUSICOL 355-0 Topics in 20th Century Music (1 Unit)  

Representative works and critical studies of art music from Debussy to the late 20th century.

MUSICOL 400-0 Graduate Review of Music History (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 423-0 Seminar in Ethnomusicology (1 Unit)  

Selected topics; application of ethnomusicological techniques to research projects.

Prerequisite: MUSICOL 323-0 or consent of instructor.

MUSICOL 424-0 Fieldwork Methods (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 429-0 Topics in Middle Eastern Music (1 Unit)  

Topics vary by quarter.

MUSICOL 430-0 Russian Fairy Tale and Opera (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 433-0 Topics in Popular Music (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 435-0 Selected Topics (1 Unit)  

Topics vary. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

MUSICOL 439-0 Seminar in Music and Gender (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 441-0 Seminar in Music and Visual Arts (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 442-0 Authenticity (1 Unit)  

Focus on authenticity in music at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century by examining the three music genres most closely associated with the cultural and philosophical considerations of the idea: early music, country music, and "world" or "ethnic" music.

MUSICOL 443-0 Seminar in Music and Shakespeare (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 444-0 Seminar in Music and Film (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 445-0 From Literature to Opera to Film (1 Unit)  

Selected operas, based on literary or theatrical works, that in turn inspired films. Examination of the literary or theatrical inspiration, the opera as written for stage, and film and video adaptations.

MUSICOL 448-0 Seminar in Wagner (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 450-0 Seminar in Medieval Music (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 451-0 Seminar in Early Modern Music (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 452-0 Seminar in 17th Century Music (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 453-0 Seminar in 18th Century Music (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 454-0 Seminar in 19th Century Music (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 455-0 Seminar in 20th Century Music (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 457-0 Seminar in Opera (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 458-0 Seminar in Art Song (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 459-0 Seminar in Sacred Music (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 460-0 Notation and Editing (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 461-0 Epistemologies of Music (1 Unit)  

MUSICOL 490-0 Musicology Colloquium (0 Unit)  

MUSICOL 499-0 Independent Study (1 Unit)  

SEE DEPT FOR SECTION AND PERMISSION NUMBERS.

MUSICOL 590-0 Research (1-4 Units)  

Independent investigation of selected problems pertaining to thesis or dissertation. May be repeated for credit. SEE DEPT FOR SECTION AND PERMISSION NUMBERS.

MUSIC_ED 401-0 Music and the Academy (1 Unit)  

MUSIC_ED 420-0 Research Center Seminar (0-1 Unit)  

Ongoing weekly seminar of the Center for the Study of Education and the Musical Experience. Student and faculty discussions, reports, dissertation reviews, guest speakers, and special projects.

MUSIC_ED 422-0 Curriculum Development in Music Education (1 Unit)  

Curriculum foundations of music education. Application of curriculum theories to the problem of musical learning. Development of a music program based on current theories of curriculum.

MUSIC_ED 423-0 Paradigms and Processes of Research in Music Teaching and Learning (1 Unit)  

A study of the positivist-postpositivist debate and its implications for research in education. Research approaches as ideologies. Assumptions inherent in quantitative and qualitative research. Examination of exemplary studies in both ideologies and analysis of strengths and weaknesses of each. Applications to the design of studies in music education.

MUSIC_ED 424-0 Qualitative Research in Music Education (1 Unit)  

Intensive exploration of technique and assumptions related to qualitative designs. Critiques of selected studies. Design and implementation issues as relevant to music education research. Development of a research project related to studies in the Center for the Study of Education and the Musical experience. Presentation of the project to the Center.

MUSIC_ED 425-0 Quantitative Research in Music Education (1 Unit)  

Intensive exploration of technique and assumptions related to quantitative designs. Critiques of selected studies. Design and implementation issues as relevant to music education research. Development of a research project related to studies in the Center for the Study of Education and the Musical Experience. Presentation of the project to the Center.

MUSIC_ED 426-0 World Music Pedagogy (1 Unit)  

Philosophies and practices of music education that either promote or hinder democratic approaches to student learning. 

MUSIC_ED 427-0 Teaching Exceptional Children (1 Unit)  

This course covers U.S. legislation relating to the education of individuals with disabilities, specific disabilities and their impact on student learning, the impact of racial, cultural, socioeconomic, gender, and neurological diversities on student learning, and accommodations, adaptations, and differentiation for the music classroom. Students engage in weekly community engaged service at a local school for children with disabilities.

MUSIC_ED 430-0 Seminar in General Music Education (1 Unit)  

Survey and critical examination of general music courses in elementary, middle, and junior high schools. Emphasis upon the comprehensive musicianship approach in developing criteria and teaching/learning strategies based upon principles of aesthetic education.

MUSIC_ED 432-0 Seminar in Instrumental Music Education (1 Unit)  

Principles of effective instruction in instrumental music classes and rehearsals. Topics include development of presentational skills, criteria for the selection of instructional materials, instrumental performance problems, and the development and implementation of a performance-based instrumental curriculum.

MUSIC_ED 435-0 Selected Topics (1 Unit)  

MUSIC_ED 436-0 Seminar on Music in Higher Education (1 Unit)  

Historical overview of music in higher education; organization, administration, curricula, accreditation; faculty appointment and development; budget, management, accountability; contemporary issues.

MUSIC_ED 437-0 Psychology of Music Teaching & Learning (1 Unit)  

Theories in music psychology. Review of research related to the musical experience with emphasis on musical development, teaching, and learning.

MUSIC_ED 438-0 Creative Thinking in Music (1 Unit)  

Definitions and models of creative thinking in music. Review of important research in music psychology on creative thinking. Application of this information to creative teaching strategies in music.

MUSIC_ED 439-0 Measurement and Evaluation in Music (1 Unit)  

MUSIC_ED 441-0 Professional Practicum (1 Unit)  

Field placement in an appropriate teaching or other professional situation.

MUSIC_ED 445-0 Music in the Interdisciplinary Curriculum (1 Unit)  

MUSIC_ED 458-0 Philosophical Basis of Music Education (1 Unit)  

Aesthetic theories relevant to music education; application of theory to practical problems of the music educator. Topics include art and feeling, the creative process, aesthetic meaning, aesthetic experience, musical meaning, and musical experience.

MUSIC_ED 463-0 Teaching High School Nonperformance Courses (1 Unit)  

MUSIC_ED 499-0 Independent Study (1 Unit)  

SEE DEPT FOR SECTION AND PERMISSION NUMBERS.

MUSIC_ED 590-0 Research (1-4 Units)  

Independent investigation of selected problems pertaining to thesis or dissertation. May be repeated for credit. - SEE DEPT FOR SECTION AND PERMISSION NUMBERS.

MUS_COMP 314-1 Instrumentation (1 Unit)  

Instruments of the orchestra; scoring techniques; analysis of instrumental combinations.

Prerequisite: MUSIC 211-3 or consent of instructor.

MUS_COMP 314-2 Orchestration (1 Unit)  

Stylistic scoring projects; analysis of orchestral and chamber scores.

Prerequisite: MUS_COMP 314-1 or consent of instructor.

MUS_COMP 314-3 Advanced Orchestration (1 Unit)  

Contemporary scoring techniques; creative projects; analysis of orchestral and chamber scores.

Prerequisite: MUS_COMP 314-2, graduate standing, or consent of instructor.

MUS_COMP 340-0 Composition Workshop (1 Unit)  

Topics vary by quarter. Examples include Composer/Performer, Composing for Percussion, Composing for Dance, Composing for Solo Instrument.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

MUS_COMP 399-0 Independent Study (0.5-1 Unit)  

MUS_COMP 435-0 Selected Topics (1 Unit)  

MUS_COMP 436-0 Contemporary Repertoire (1 Unit)  

MUS_COMP 437-0 Topics in Contemporary Repertoire (1 Unit)  

MUS_COMP 438-0 Composer Portraits (1 Unit)  

MUS_COMP 439-0 Compositional Concepts and Techniques (1 Unit)  

MUS_COMP 440-0 Composition Workshop (1 Unit)  

MUS_COMP 490-0 Composition Colloquium (0 Unit)  

MUS_COMP 499-0 Independent Study (1 Unit)  

SEE DEPT FOR SECTION AND PERMISSION NUMBERS.

MUS_COMP 512-0 Applied Composition for Music Majors (1 Unit)  

MUS_COMP 580-0 Doctoral Recital (0 Unit)  

MUS_COMP 585-0 Doctoral Lecture Recital (1 Unit)  

MUS_COMP 590-0 Research (1-4 Units)  

Summer program for first and second year PhD students.

MUS_COMP 595-0 Doctoral Research Document (1 Unit)  

MUS_TECH 300-0 Foundations of Music Tech for Music Majors (1 Unit)  

Introduction of key concepts in acoustics, digital audio theory, production, and postproduction. Through projects and presentations, students will learn to record and edit their work, use notation software, communicate with recording engineers, and prepare and present work online.

MUS_TECH 321-0 Producing in the Virtual Studio (1 Unit)  

Techniques for creating and producing music in the context of a computer-based audio production environment. Topics include MIDI, audio editing, plugins, effects processing, mastering, and basic surround mixing. Assignments include creative projects.

Prerequisite: MUS_TECH 259-0 or equivalent experience and consent of instructor.

MUS_TECH 322-0 Recording Techniques (1 Unit)  

Microphone and placement techniques including stereo and close/distant miking of voices, acoustic instruments, and ensembles. Console design, signal flow, and dynamics processing. Projects include recording assignments.

Prerequisite: MUS_TECH 259-0 or equivalent experience and consent of instructor.

MUS_TECH 335-0 Selected Topics (1 Unit)  

Topics vary; announced before registration. May be repeated with change of topic.

MUS_TECH 345-0 Technology-Based Performance (1 Unit)  

Creation, rehearsal, and performance of technology-based music in a group setting. Topics include real-time interaction, technological performance interfaces, application of algorithmic methods.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

MUS_TECH 350-0 Studio Techniques for Electroacoustic Music (1 Unit)  

Advanced projects in electroacoustic composition, audio programming (Max/MSP), audio engineering, or electronic instrument design; includes a largescale project, typically developed from the student's previous music technology course work.

Prerequisite: MUS_TECH 340-0, MUS_TECH 345-0, or equivalent experience.

MUS_TECH 355-1 History and Analysis of Electroacoustic Music (1 Unit)  

Survey of electronic music repertoire from 1948 through the end of the analog era and the introduction of digital music. Examination of the aesthetic motivations and technical approaches that have shaped electroacoustic music throughout its history, focusing on the interaction between technical innovation and creativity.

MUS_TECH 355-2 History and Analysis of Electroacoustic Music (1 Unit)  

Survey of electronic music repertoire from 1948 through the end of the analog era and the introduction of digital music. Examination of the aesthetic motivations and technical approaches that have shaped electroacoustic music throughout its history, focusing on the interaction between technical innovation and creativity.

MUS_TECH 435-0 Selected Topics (1 Unit)  

Topics vary. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

MUS_TECH 499-0 Independent Study (1 Unit)  

SEE DEPT FOR SECTION AND PERMISSION NUMBERS.

MUS_THRY 316-0 16th Century Counterpoint (1 Unit)  

Contrapuntal textures from two to four voices. Cadence and form, melodic line and motive, rhythm, simple and complex imitation, and treatment of dissonance in the sacred music of Lassus, Josquin, and Palestrina.

MUS_THRY 317-0 Historical Improvisation (1 Unit)  

The study of harmony at the keyboard as learned by musicians since the early 17th century. Figured bass is an essential subject for performers of early music (including Bach and Mozart) and a key to the analysis of most pre-20th century European music.

MUS_THRY 318-0 18th Century Counterpoint (1 Unit)  

Baroque dance suite, chorale prelude, invention, fugue, chiefly involving the music of J. S. Bach. Melodic, harmonic, structural characteristics; contrapuntal techniques.

MUS_THRY 321-0 Classical Form (1 Unit)  

An examination of phrase-construction and punctuation in the musical forms of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The focus will typically be on Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven's skillful use of conventional formal structures to engage creatively with listeners' expectations.

MUS_THRY 331-0 Analytical Studies (1 Unit)  

Extension and refinement of concepts and techniques acquired in first and second year music theory.

MUS_THRY 335-0 Selected Topics in Music Theory (1 Unit)  

Topics vary; announced before registration. May be repeated.

MUS_THRY 336-0 Selected Topics in Music Cognition (1 Unit)  

Topics vary; announced before registration. May be repeated.

MUS_THRY 355-0 Post-Tonal Analysis (1 Unit)  

Techniques for analysis of atonal and nonfunctional tonal music, including serial, set-theoretic, and parametric approaches. Emphasis on music of Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, Stravinsky, and Debussy. Selected readings in analytic literature.

Prerequisite: MUSIC 211-3 or equivalent.

MUS_THRY 400-0 Style Analysis (1 Unit)  

MUS_THRY 405-0 Methods of Music Theory (1 Unit)  

MUS_THRY 410-0 Music Theory Pedagogy (1 Unit)  

Trends in the teaching of music theory. Developing skills through videotaped peer-teaching projects and reviews.

MUS_THRY 420-0 Current Readings in Music Theory & Cognition (1 Unit)  

MUS_THRY 422-0 Rhythm and Meter (1 Unit)  

Close reading and discussion of key canonical texts from the last three decades' rich scholarship in rhythm and meter as well as innovative new work. Each student completes a substantial analytical and/or theoretical paper.

MUS_THRY 431-0 Topics in Advanced Analysis (1 Unit)  

MUS_THRY 435-0 Selected Topics in Music Theory (1 Unit)  

Content varies. May be repeated for credit with change of topic.

MUS_THRY 436-0 Selected Topics in Music Cognition (1 Unit)  

MUS_THRY 450-0 Seminar in Music Theory & Cognition (1 Unit)  

Advanced graduate seminar on a current topic within music theory and/or cognition. Topics will reflect the professor's recent or current research.

MUS_THRY 451-0 Seminar in Music Cognition (1 Unit)  

MUS_THRY 499-0 Independent Study (1 Unit)  

SEE DEPT FOR SECTION AND PERMISSION NUMBERS.

MUS_THRY 590-0 Research (1-4 Units)  

SEE DEPT FOR SECTION AND PERMISSION NUMBERS.