Reflecting the faculty’s scholarly work, graduate seminars in Historical Musicology and Music Theory focus on specific historical repertories and methodologies that approach the study of music from diverse theoretical perspectives. Our faculty members have expertise in a wide range of music, and have been published in many of the leading English-language journals, including The Journal of the American Musicological Society, Early Music History, The Musical Quarterly, Music and Letters, Popular Music, Nineteenth-Century Music Review, Women and Music and The Journal of Musicological Research, as well as in numerous collections. As a result, graduate students have the opportunity to encounter the following repertories in depth: the music of the Viennese Classics (up to and including late Beethoven), music of the Romantic era, the Second Viennese School, avant-garde music since 1945, American music, popular music’s, particularly country music, film music and postmodern musical practices.
Additionally, graduate seminars offer training and exposure to more traditional modes of archival research, historical methodology, notation and bibliography alongside theoretical issues. Students will be exposed to and educated in critical theory concentrating on Adorno and feminist criticism, cultural studies that consider the representations of gender, race, and class in music and the relationship between music and the body, media studies, aesthetics and politics, as well as a wide range of philosophical issues, particularly those of the continental tradition. In this vein, our students benefit from the remarkable UB Music Library, with its excellent collection of scores and recordings, housed in Baird Hall.
Such a variety of offerings is unprecedented from a faculty of modest proportions. Moreover, since graduate enrollment remains relatively select, the department is equipped to offer personalized attention impossible to find in larger programs. As befits the pioneering history of the department, this field of study is perfect for students with an interest in developing unique approaches to music that simultaneously engage with, and contribute to, the field of musicology.
The following is the approved normal course of study for students pursuing a PhD in Historical Musicology and Music Theory. In all cases, a student's particular program should be determined in consultation with his/her academic advisor. Customized tracks, involving substitutions for required and elective courses, are encouraged. These must be planned in advance with the advisor and will require the approval of the Music Department Graduate Committee.
|MUS 605 History of Music Theory I
|MUS 606 History of Music Theory II
|MUS 618 Bibliography
|Foreign Languages (See below)
|6-8 Credits in the following:
|Cognate of Elective Courses (See below)
|Comprehensive Examinations (see below)
|MS Thesis or Equivalent
|Total Core Requirements
|MUS 515/517; 525-530 Seminars in Musicology (6 courses)
|MUS 625 Notation
|MUS 554/613/614/621/629 Seminars in Music Theory (1 course)
|MUS 613/614 Seminars in Music Theory (2 courses)
|MUS 621 Schenker Studies I
|MUS 622 Schenker Studies II
|MUS 629 Pitch Structures I
|MUS 630 Pitch Structures II
|MUS 515/517 Seminars in Musicology (2 courses)
|Total Track Requirements (either track)
|Total PhD Credits (either track)
Historical Musicology Track: Two foreign languages, one of which must be German. The second is usually French or Italian, although a language specifically appropriate to the student's proposed dissertation topic can be substituted upon petition.
Music Theory Track: Two foreign languages, one of which must be German. The other language is often French, although a different language can be substituted upon petition.
We advise students to complete the language requirement as early as possible, as many graduate courses require research in a foreign language.
Historical Musicology Track: Students need not declare a formal cognate area, though they may elect to take both of their required non-Musicology electives in a single discipline. Examples of disciplines in which elective courses might be taken include Music Theory, Composition, Comparative Literature, Computer Science, History, Media Study, and Arts administration.
Music Theory Track: Two or more graduate courses in the same area (either within or outside of Music), related to Music Theory. Normally a student's cognate courses will contribute to or support the research to be done for the dissertation. Examples of possible cognate areas are Music Performance, Music Composition, Philosophy, Mathematics, Art History, Literary Criticism, and Acoustics.
Historical Musicology Track: four separate examinations are taken after completion of all course work and language requirements.
Music Theory Track: four separate examinations are taken after completion of all course work and language requirements.
Students who do not already have a Masters degree must submit a project that demonstrates advanced competence in research and writing. This project may be an MA thesis, a series of special papers, or a written work of equivalent scope and depth. The PhD dissertation must be a substantial original contribution to the field of Historical Musicology or Music Theory.
All degree coursework must be completed with grades of "A," B," or "S."
Contact professor James Currie, Musicology Area Coordinator