University of North Texas

College of Music | Graduate Studies

Musicology Handbook

A. General Information

B. MA with a Concentration in Musicology

C. MA with a Concentration in Musicology and Emphasis in Early Music Performance

D. PhD in Music with a Concentration in Musicology

(Revised May 2017)


A. General Information

1. Admissions

Students must fulfill all admission requirements specified on the UNT College of Music Admissions Website.

2. Entrance Exams and Transcript Evaluations

All incoming graduate students must take the Graduate Placement Examinations in Music History and Music Theory during orientation week of their first semester. Certain exceptions apply. Click here for more information.

Transcript evaluations are conducted by the area coordinator of Music History, who evaluates applicant’s prior college transcripts; the assignment of leveling courses based on the transcript evaluation will be communicated to the applicant through email. Students must enroll in review courses assigned on the basis of the GPE and leveling courses assigned on the basis of the transcript evaluation in the first semester in which these courses are available.

Neither review nor leveling courses may be counted toward the degree plan.

3. Assistantships, Fellowships, and Other Financial Aid Opportunities

Teaching assistantships and fellowships in music history are awarded according to the policies and procedures outlined in the UNT College of Music Faculty Handbook, section 5.6 (click here). Teaching assistantships are normally offered at the time of admission. Prospective or current students interested in applying for an assistantship should contact the music history coordinator. Teaching fellowships are offered only to doctoral students who have completed coursework and passed their qualifying exams (major and related-field). Assuming they perform satisfactorily as TAs and make progress toward their degrees, master's students can expect two years of funding and doctoral students may expect three years. Appointments may exceed these time limits if there is a demonstrated instructional need or there are extenuating circumstances in a particular student's academic status.

Academic Achievement Scholarships

Academic Achievement Scholarships (from the Toulouse Graduate School) provide $ 1,000 scholarships to newly admitted doctoral students and allow recipients to be eligible for in-state tuition. Click here for more information.

4. Faculty Mentor and Degree Plan

The music history coordinator will assign a faculty mentor to each student admitted to the graduate programs in the area. This mentor will assist the student in choosing courses and in planning a concrete way to fulfill degree requirements.

Students should consult with their faculty mentor as they prepare a tentative plan to meet the degree requirements. The student must submit this degree plan, approved by the faculty mentor, to the College of Music Graduate Studies Office by the completion of twelve hours of study (usually at the end of the student’s first year). (Click here for the MA Degree Plan and here for the PhD Degree Plan.) All changes to the degree plan must be submitted in writing on the Graduate Degree Plan Change Form approved by the faculty mentor or major professor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Degree requirements are determined by the Graduate Catalog in force at the time the degree plan is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. Degree plans may not be filed in the term/semester a student plans to graduate.

5. Additional Information

Music History, Theory, and Ethnomusicology Lecture Series

Students must attend all lectures presented in the Music History, Theory, and Ethnomusicology Lecture Series during each long semester of full-time enrollment (9 hours).

Evidence of Satisfactory Progress

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and must have no grade lower than B in courses in the major field. Students not meeting this standard will be placed on probation. Students not fulfilling the conditions of probation may be dismissed from the program.

GAMuT: The Graduate Association of Musicologists and Theorists

Students are encouraged to attend regularly scheduled meetings and events of GAMuT, the Graduate Association of Musicologists and Theorists. These events are open to the public.

6. Important Contacts

Dr. Margaret Notley, Music History Coordinator, 565-3751

Dr. Frank Heidlberger, Chair, Division of Music History, Theory, and Ethnomusicology, 565-8724

Mr. Sebastian Zaberca, Administrative Assistant, Division of Music History,Theory, and Ethnomusicology, 565-8724

Dr. Benjamin Brand, Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Colleen Conlon, Graduate Academic Advisor, 565-2930

Ms. Devyn Dougherty, Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies, 565-3721


B. MA with a Concentration in Musicology

[Pending approval by the College of Music Graduate Council and University Graduate Council.]

Common Core (15 hours) MUMH 5010 - Introduction to Research in Music
  MUGC 5950 - Master's Thesis (6 hours)
3 hours selected from:
MUTH 5355 - Analytical Techniques I (Ars Antiqua–1700)
MUTH 5360 - Analytical Techniques II (1700–1900)
MUTH 5370 - Analytical Techniques III (Post 1900)
  MUMH 5711 - Seminar in Musicology
Concentration in Musicology (15 hours)
MUMH 5020 - Introduction to Musicology
6 hours selected from:
MUMH 5110 - History of Opera
MUMH 5331 - Western Music History, 750–1400
MUMH 5332 - Western Music History, 1400–1600
MUMH 5333 - Western Music History, 1600–1700
MUMH 5341 - Western Music History, 1700–1800
MUMH 5342 - Western Music History, 1800–1900
MUMH 5343 - Western Music History, 1900 to the Present
MUMH 5430 - Music in Latin America
MUMH 5440 - Music in the United States
MUMH 5711 - Seminar in Musicology
and others with the permission of the music history coordinator
6 hours of electives in music (non-MUMH)  

Additional Requirements

Review Courses

The assignment of review courses for master's students will not exceed 6 hours of music history and 2 hours of music theory. A grade of B or better must be earned in each course assigned as a review course.

Language Requirement

Before applying for graduation in this degree, the student must pass an examination testing reading knowledge of one major Western European language other than English. This test is administered by the musicology faculty once every semester. In order to take this test, students should contact the music history coordinator.

Thesis Phase

The length and scope of the thesis will vary depending on the chosen topic and the professional goals of the student. The thesis must comprise a minimum of 7,500 words (excluding front matter, bibliography, footnotes, and appendices).

Around the finalization of course work, the student will officially request a member from the musicology area to serve as major professor, register for thesis hours with that professor, and put together an advisory committee. The student must submit the Committee Designation Form with the appropriate signatures to the Graduate Studies Office. This committee will oversee the writing of the student’s thesis. This committee comprises a minimum of three faculty members including the major professor. The composition of the committee can be revised at any time by means of the same form.

In communication with the major professor and the advisory committee, the student will select a thesis topic, and write a thesis proposal. After the proposal has been approved by the major professor and advisory committee, the student must submit the proposal with the Application for the Approval of the Master's Thesis Proposal Form to the music history coordinator for approval by the faculty of the Music History Area. Specific guidelines for proposals appear here.

Before the degree is granted, the candidate must pass an oral defense of the thesis conducted by the advisory committee. The oral defense may be scheduled no sooner than one month after a complete draft of the thesis has been submitted to the major professor. It may occur only if the major professor has approved the draft. The examination may be taken no more than three times. Following the approval of the thesis by the entire committee at the defense, the thesis must be submitted to the College of Music Graduate Studies Office no less than two weeks prior to the Toulouse Graduate School submission deadline.


C. MA with a Concentration in Musicology and Emphasis in Early Music Performance

Applicants to this program must both turn in all of the requirements for the MA with a Concentration in Musicology and schedule an audition at the level of a senior recital of the Bachelor in Music.

The MA with a concentration in musicology and emphasis in early music performance is a 37-hour degree with thesis, including the common core (15 hours, listed above), plus the following additional requirements:

MUMH 5020 - Introduction to Musicology (3 hours)

MUMH 5610 - Ornamentation and Improvisation, 1500-1800 (3 hours)

MUEN 5530 - Early Music Ensembles (2 hours)

MUAC 5332 - Early Instruments (4 hours, 2 semesters at concentration level)

MUAG 5701 - Master's Recital (1 hour)

9 hours selected from

MUMH 5331 - Western Music History, 750–1400 (3 hours)

MUMH 5332 - Western Music History, 1400–1600 (3 hours)

MUMH 5333 - Western Music History, 1600–1700 (3 hours)

MUMH 5341 - Western Music History, 1700–1800 (3 hours)

MUMH 5342 - Western Music History, 1800–1900 (3 hours)

MUMH 5343 - Western Music History, 1900 to the Present (3 hours)

MUMH 5430 - Music in Latin America (3 hours)

MUMH 5440 - Music in the United States (3 hours)

and others with permission of the coordinator for the music history area

Additional Requirements

The language requirement is the same as for the MA in musicology stated above.

The thesis project (see above for general requirements) includes a required recital, organized around a topic, and a related research paper.


D. PhD in Music with a Concentration in Musicology.

The Doctor of Philosophy Degree with a Major in Music and Concentration in Musicology requires a minimum of 90 semester hours beyond the bachelor's degree. Of these 90 hours, at least 60 must be taken at UNT. Thirty hours may be transferred from other institutions with the approval of the coordinator of music history. A master's degree from an accredited institution usually is accepted in lieu of the first 30 hours.

The minimum residence requirement for the doctoral program consists of two consecutive long semesters (fall and the following spring, or spring and the following fall) with a minimum load of 9 hours during each term. Students are expected to achieve candidacy (i.e. complete all requirements besides the dissertation proposal and dissertation) by the end of their sixth long semester. Students are expected to graduate by the end of their tenth long semester.

It should be understood that the Doctor of Philosophy degree cannot be earned by routine work alone, regardless of accuracy or amount. The degree will be conferred on the basis of mastery of the field of music as a whole and of proven ability to plan and carry out an original investigation with distinction.

Common Core (36 hours) 3 hours of MUMH 6XXX
  3 hours of MUET 6XXX
  Electives (3 hours)
  MUMH 5711 - Seminar in Musicology
  MUGC 6950 - Doctoral Dissertation (12 hours)
  Related / Minor Field (12 hours)
  Must also have completed Master’s core requirement (15 hours)
Concentration in Musicology (24 hours) MUMH 5711 - Seminar in Musicology
18 hours selected from:
MUMH 6000 - Notation of Polyphonic Music, 1200–1500
MUMH 6720 - Medieval Music
MUMH 6730 - Renaissance Music
MUMH 6740 - Baroque Music
MUMH 6750 - Classical Music
MUMH 6760 - Music of the Romantic Era
MUMH 6770 - Music of the Twentieth Century
MUMH 6080 - Chamber Music
MUMH 6160 - Major Composers
MUTH 6660 - History of Music Theory I
MUTH 6670 - History of Music Theory II
MUTH 6700 - Analytical Systems I (1700–1900)
MUTH 6710 - Analytical Systems II (Post 1900)
  MUEN 5XXX (3 hours)

Additional Requirements

Review Courses

The assignment of review courses for doctoral students will not exceed 6 hours of music history and 2 hours of music theory. A grade of B or better must be earned in each course assigned as a review course.

Introduction to research

Entering PhD students must have passed an introductory course to music research at the master's level equivalent to MUMH 5010 (Introduction to Research in Music). Otherwise, the student will be required to take this class no later than the second semester of graduate work. Hours earned do not count toward the degree.

Qualifying examinations

Students must fulfill all leveling- and review-course assignments before attempting the qualifying exams.

Timing: Exams will be administered once a year, during the week that precedes the beginning of classes in the fall; the area coordinator will announce the exact dates by no later than 1 August.

Format: The written components will consist of a two-hour score-identification exam and three two-hour essays, thus eight hours of written exams altogether. All exams must be handwritten; accommodation will be made for special needs. A ninety-minute oral exam administered by the full area faculty will follow several days later.

Score Identification: Students will be asked to discuss in detail features of style, form, and genre in six out of ten musical examples and identify the likely time of composition as precisely as possible. Five of the ten examples will be from before and the other five from after 1750. Students must choose three from before and three from after 1750 to identify and discuss.

Essay Questions: In the spring before they are to take the exams, students, in consultation with area faculty members, will select three topics to study over the summer and will compile a bibliography for each. Each topic must concern a body of musical works from a different period of music history: pre-1600, 1600–1800, and 1800–present. After consulting with musicology faculty members, students are to submit their topics to the area by no later than 1 April. Each of the proposed topics must consist of a title, a repertory list, and a bibliography. Topics must be approved by the end of the spring semester.

One purpose of this structure is to focus students’ preparation for the exams; another is to allow them to continue the kind of work that they should already have begun in their seminars and thus to further their development as professionals. Preparing for these exams models the way that musicologists work: this is how we develop projects that turn into articles and books. Of the three questions on the exam, one is likely to require working with one or more scores; another is likely to be a question concerning methodology raised by one of the topics. All three questions will require close engagement with ideas expressed in items on the bibliographies. The musicology faculty as a whole must approve all exam questions. Do not assume that a particular faculty member will write a question because of the courses that he or she teaches.

Oral Examination: The oral exam centers on the student’s essays. Students should consider the oral exam an opportunity not only to expand upon, clarify, or revise their written responses but also to demonstrate their intellectual flexibility, familiarity with the topics and bibliographies, and potential as a teacher and participant in scholarly conversation. Like the written exams, the oral exam should continue a process that has already begun in the seminars.

Grading: Area faculty will grade each of the four components on a pass/fail basis. The written and oral portions of each essay question will be graded together; thus a student cannot pass the written essay question but fail the oral defense of that question, or vice-versa. Students who fail one of the four components of the qualifying exams must re-take and pass it by the end of the fall semester. For the score identification portion, the re-take consists of a new set of scores. For any of the essay portions, the re-take consists of another two-hour exam on a new essay question regarding the same topic—approved by the area faculty—and a half-hour oral exam administered by at least three musicology professors. A student who fails two or more components must retake those parts of the exam the following fall. Students who fail any part of the exams twice will be subject to dismissal from the program.

Proficiencies

The following proficiencies must be demonstrated before submitting a dissertation proposal: knowledge of two foreign languages, research and writing skills, and adequate mastery of a minor or related field. These proficiencies will not be tested when students are taking the qualifying exams. They should be demonstrated by the end of the sixth semester of study and must be demonstrated before the student submits a dissertation proposal. The student is responsible for documenting the demonstration of the proficiencies on the Final Milestones Form (click here).

Proficiency in two languages, German and a second language subject to the approval of the musicology area is required. Language exams will be prepared and graded by at least two musicology faculty members, and will be administered once every semester as the need arises. Students who desire to be examined in a language during a given semester must inform the area coordinator by midterm of the previous long semester. The examinations in any language will consist of two parts, both of which will require students to work with excerpts from texts that have to do with music. Students must write their answers by hand and may use whatever dictionaries they find appropriate. Part 1 will require students to translate a short excerpt from an older document, possibly from a musical treatise, dictionary, or encyclopedia, and almost certainly printed using archaic fonts. Part 2 will require students to read and understand a longer excerpt from a recent document, most likely a scholarly article; rather than translating the excerpt, students will have to answer questions that test their comprehension of it. Students will receive the documents one at a time and will be allowed one and a half hours to complete each part. Parts 1 and 2 will be graded separately on a pass/fail basis; it is therefore possible to pass one part but fail the other. Students may retake language examinations as many times as desired without penalty. If a student passes one part of the examination in a given language but fails the other part, he or she need only retake the failed part.

To show proficiency in research, the student will submit a revised seminar paper to be read and approved by the area faculty.

To complete a doctorate in musicology, students must demonstrate proficiency in a related or minor field. Requirements for demonstrating proficiency and the administering of any examination will fall under the auspices of the related or minor field area.

Related Field or Minor Field

The related field (within the College of Music) or minor field (a course of study outside the College of Music) must comprise at least 12 credit hours of study. The course of study and method of evaluation for the related or minor field will be determined by the faculty in that area. If degree credit is to be given for applied music, the student must pass the master's-level entrance audition in performance prior to enrollment for these credit hours. The student who does not pass or take the audition may study applied music, but this credit will not count toward the 60 hours required for the degree.

Dissertation Phase

The culmination of the doctoral work is a dissertation of appropriate scope, quality and originality.  After passing the qualifying exams and demonstrating the required proficiencies, students will start working on their dissertation proposals while finishing course work. Once they have finished course work, students will be admitted to candidacy.

The student will officially request a member from the musicology area to serve as major professor, register for one semester of dissertation hours with that professor, and put together a dissertation committee. The student must fill in the Committee Designation Form, seek the appropriate signatures, and file it with the Office of Graduate Studies.  This committee will oversee the writing of the student’s dissertation. This committee is comprised of three to five faculty members, including the major professor, a representative of the student’s minor/related field, and at least one additional member (usually a second music historian).  The composition of the committee can be revised at any time by means of the same form.

In communication with the major professor and the committee, the student will select a dissertation topic, write a dissertation proposal and submit it to the Graduate Academic Degrees Committee (GADCom) for approval. Specific guidelines for this process are available here.

If it is deemed necessary, the student may be required to define a broader area of study that sufficiently contextualizes the topic. In this case, the student will compile a bibliography on the broader area and schedule a one-hour oral exam. The student’s committee will oversee the exam, during which the student will answer questions on the literature in his/her area as represented by the bibliography.

Upon admission to candidacy, the student must maintain continuous dissertation enrollment (MUGC 6950) each long semester until the dissertation has been completed and accepted by the Dean of the Graduate School. Registration in at least one summer session is required if the student is using university facilities and/or faculty time during that summer session.

Before the degree is granted, the candidate must pass an oral defense of the dissertation. The oral defense may be scheduled no sooner than one month after a complete draft of the dissertation has been submitted to the major professor. It may occur only if the major professor has approved the draft. The examination may be taken no more than three times. Following the approval of the dissertation by the entire committee at the defense, the dissertation must be submitted to the College of Music Graduate Studies Office no less than two weeks prior to the Toulouse Graduate School submission deadline.