Musicology

Degrees Offered:

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Historical Musicology

Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process

  • Writing sample(s): Musicology candidates will submit one or more substantial papers on historical or theoretical topics.
  • GRE scores: There is no minimum score for admission, but your GRE scores will be assessed holistically as a basic component of your application file. Please send your GRE scores to UW-Madison via ETS (school code 1846).

Funding
M.A. students are eligible for Teaching Assistantships in the Musicology area (teaching sections of the undergraduate curriculum) as well as the Leland Coon Musicology Fellowship. There are generally 3-4 positions open for incoming students each year. In order to increase your chances of being offered a T.A. position, please describe your teaching qualifications in your Statement of Purpose.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. program in historical musicology encourages graduate students to gain a broad background in musical repertories and musicological methods. Beyond a full complement of courses surveying particular periods of European music history, we offer courses in American music, popular musics, African-American music, gender studies, and performance practice. Students at the master’s level are also encouraged to broaden their backgrounds in music theory and interdisciplinary options outside of the School of Music. The two-year program culminates in a thesis, usually an expansion of work begun as a seminar paper, as well as a comprehensive examination covering all periods of music history. A reading knowledge of German is required for the M.A. degree.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Historical Musicology

Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process

  • Writing sample(s): Musicology candidates will submit one or more substantial papers on historical or theoretical topics.
  • GRE scores: There is no minimum score for admission, but your GRE scores will be assessed holistically as a basic component of your application file. Please send your GRE scores to UW-Madison via ETS (school code 1846).

Funding
Ph.D. students are eligible for Teaching Assistantships in the Musicology area (teaching sections of the undergraduate curriculum) as well as the Leland Coon Musicology Fellowship. There are generally 3-4 positions open for incoming students each year. In order to increase your chances of being offered a T.A. position, please describe your teaching qualifications in your Statement of Purpose.

Degree Requirements

In the Ph.D. program, doctoral students immerse themselves within the various critical methodologies of the discipline, choose an area of research specialization, and pursue intensive studies in a related minor area. Recent seminars have addressed The Earliest Motets, The Tams-Whitmark Collection, Rousseau musicien, the Concerti of J.S. Bach, Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, and Stravinsky’s Ballets. After two years of coursework, doctoral students write the preliminary examination, demonstrating detailed knowledge of a 200-year period of music history and scholarship surrounding the student’s area of specialization. A reading knowledge of German and one other foreign language is required for the Ph.D. degree. We regard teaching experience as a vital part of graduate training, and many of our students serve as Teaching Assistants at some point during their studies.

Doctoral Minor – Required for all Doctoral programs

The purpose of the doctoral minor is to add breadth and depth to the D.M.A or Ph.D degree. To insure coherence a minor program must be approved by the appropriate department, a student’s advisor, or the Director of Graduate Studies, and must include courses at the 300-level or above. Typically, a minor requires 12 credits of work.

Students have a variety of options, including completing an internal minor within the School of Music (e.g., Ph.D. in music theory who minors in clarinet performance), completing a minor in a department outside the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. in horn performance who minors in Women’s Studies or a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology who minors in East Asian studies).

Students may, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, devise a distributed minor that brings together courses from a variety of departments around a particular topic or area of interest. For example, a D.M.A. student in voice devises a minor in vocal health that includes courses in communicative disorders, or a Ph.D. student in musicology devises a minor in Medieval History that includes courses in art history, history, and languages.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Diversity of approach and breadth of expertise distinguish graduate study in musicology (music history) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Our small and flexible program provides a supportive environment within which to pursue imaginative research grounded in close interaction and cooperation among graduate students and their faculty colleagues. Our commitment to interdisciplinary research encourages students to develop original approaches that draw on recent work in history, anthropology, and cultural theory.

The curriculum is innovative and wide-ranging, with course offerings in archival and source studies, notation, the construction of music theories, genre, influence and reception, performance practice, race and gender, music criticism, music as intellectual history, and music as social practice. Graduate students may complement their music studies with courses in a wide range of related disciplines that at the doctoral level constitute the minor. Within the School of Music, possible minors include performance, composition, and music education. Other possible minors include anthropology, international studies, women’s studies, Afro-American Studies, artificial intelligence and computer science, cognitive psychology, linguistics, curriculum and instruction, philosophy, comparative literature, critical and cultural studies, history, art history, history of science, and theater and drama.

In all cases, our graduate program seeks both to deepen and widen the domain of musical discourse and to encourage students to follow their own intellectual inclinations and to discover their own musical voices. Students are encouraged to become active in their chosen fields at both the regional and national level