Stoeckel Hall, 203.432.2986
M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.

James Hepokoski

Director of Graduate Studies
Richard Cohn (Stoeckel, 203.432.2986,

Professors Ardis Butterfield, Richard Cohn, Michael Friedmann (Adjunct), Daniel Harrison, James Hepokoski, Richard Lalli (Adjunct), Patrick McCreless, Ian Quinn, Gary Tomlinson, Michael Veal

Associate Professors Robert Holzer (Adjunct), Brian Kane, Gundula Kreuzer, Markus Rathey (Adjunct), Anna Zayaruznaya

Assistant Professor Henry Parkes

Fields of Study

Fields include music history, music theory, and ethnomusicology. (Students interested in degrees in performance, conducting, or composition should apply to the Yale School of Music.)

Special Admissions Requirements

Previous training in music theory or music history is required. Samples of the applicant’s previous work such as extended papers, advanced exercises, and analyses must be submitted. The GRE General Test is required by the Graduate School. Applicants whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Special Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

Two years of course work, comprising a minimum of fourteen courses. All students must take the proseminars in ethnomusicology, music history, and music theory. In addition, students in the theory program must take both of the history of theory seminars; students in the music history program must take one history of theory seminar; and students in the ethnomusicology program must take at least two but no more than five graduate seminars or non-introductory undergraduate courses in other departments or schools within the University. In consultation with the DGS, history and theory students may elect to take up to two graduate seminars or non-introductory undergraduate courses outside the department. Consult the Music Graduate Student Handbook for further details specific to each program.

A student must receive at least four Honors grades in departmental seminars in order to proceed to the qualifying examination, administered in August following the second year. Reading proficiency in two languages—for historians and theorists, German and usually either French or Italian; for ethnomusicologists, two languages relevant to their research, one of which must be a European language—is demonstrated by examinations (with dictionary access) offered once per term. A style and repertory examination must be taken upon entering in August, and retaken every term until passed before the end of the third year. Third-year students attend a weekly prospectus/dissertation colloquium. Approval of the dissertation prospectus admits a student to candidacy, provided that all other requirements are met. Only students admitted to candidacy can continue into the fourth year of study. Fourth- and fifth-year students attend the dissertation colloquium in the spring terms.

The faculty considers teaching to be essential to the professional preparation of graduate students in Music. Students in Music participate in the Teaching Fellows Program in their third and fourth years.

Combined Ph.D. Program: Music and Renaissance Studies

The Department of Music offers, in conjunction with the Renaissance Studies Program, a combined Ph.D. in Music and Renaissance Studies. For further details, see Renaissance Studies.

Master’s Degrees

M.Phil. See Degree Requirements under Policies and Regulations.

M.A. (en route to the Ph.D.) Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program qualify for the M.A. degree upon the successful completion of seven courses, at least six of which are seminars given in the department, along with the passing of the style and repertory examination and an examination in one foreign language. Of the six departmental seminars, at least two grades must be Honors; the remaining five grades must average High Pass.

Terminal Master’s Degree Program The department offers admission to a small number of students in a terminal M.A. program. Candidates must pass seven term courses achieving an average of High Pass and at least one Honors, complete a special project, and pass an examination in one foreign language.


MUSI 623b, Song as Artifact: From Chansonniers to Song BooksJane Alden

This seminar explores the connectedness of the visual and the textual to reach a broader understanding of the aesthetic goals that can motivate notational decisions. A historical thread is traced from medieval through contemporary graphic scores. We explore how and why sounds came to be written down and the spread of musical literacy; and we analyze the circumstances in which the visual presentation of music takes on its own distinct meaning. Parallels are drawn between the notational innovations of the late medieval and late modern periods—eras in which composers questioned the descriptive, prescriptive, and creative potential of musical inscriptions. To understand historical texts in their original milieu, we study the ways in which medieval chansonniers were created, read, revised, and safeguarded. The composers at the heart of our study include Baude Cordier, Senleches, Guillaume Du Fay, Binchois, Johannes Ockeghem, Antoine Busnoys, Caron, and Hayne van Ghizeghem. In a 1964 Darmstadt lecture, Earle Brown described “a curious feeling of returning to a musical condition which prevailed in times past.” John Cage and Cornelius Cardew were among those who shared Brown’s view that notation could be understood as “vocabulary and punctuation in an abstract language whose syntax is potentially infinite.” In the final weeks of the seminar, we consider Brown’s Folio, Cage’s Song Books, and Cardew’s Treatise as representative exemplars of the continuation of a long notational journey. Earlier detours may be taken into works by Hildegard of Bingen, Guillaume de Machaut, Louis Couperin, and Jean-Philippe Rameau; extra-musical sources include Books of Hours, concrete poetry, and experimental theater.
T 9:25am-11:15am

MUSI 628a, Early Song Tradition in the Habsburg-Spanish EmpireIreri Chavez Barcenas

This seminar explores the song tradition in the Hispanic world from the succession of the Catholic Monarchs through the reign of Charles II, the last Habsburg ruler of Spain—from approximately 1469 to 1700. Attention is given to manifestations of musical globalization and sources that reveal the circulation and transmission of Iberian musico-literary genres in the vast Spanish empire, including Portugal, Europe, the New World, and Asia. The course provides an introduction to the literary and musical sources of the Iberian song: from early poetic anthologies and songbooks, to villancicos’ manuscripts, chapbooks, printed vihuela and guitar tutor books, Iberian songs in manuscripts and printed collections of neighboring countries, early anthologies, catalogs and library collections, music and poetic treatises, and songs in dramas, novels, and other literary genres by authors such as Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, or Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. We also explore complex representations of Indians, African slaves, and Jewish conversos in relation to literary conventions and early modern ideas about religious devotion and racial difference. We approach these topics through a close engagement with materials in special collections and archives.
W 9:25am-11:15am

MUSI 697a, Proseminar: EthnomusicologyMichael Veal

A survey of the major works, topics, issues, and techniques of ethnomusicological research as it has developed over the past century. We consider the position of the field within the broader contexts of society and the academy and provide a bibliographic foundation for further work in the field.
T 7pm-8:50pm

MUSI 698b, Proseminar: Music TheoryDaniel Harrison

A survey of the major works, topics, questions, and techniques of research in the field of music theory as it has developed over the past half-century. We consider the position of the field within the broader contexts of the academy and provide a bibliographic foundation for further work in the field.
F 9:25am-11:15am

MUSI 720a, History of Theory IIan Quinn

A survey of the history of music theory from Greek antiquity to the Renaissance. Readings are drawn from Aristoxenos, the Sectio canonis, Ptolemy, Boethius, the Musica enchiriadis, Guido of Arezzo, John of Garland, Franco of Cologne, Jehan de Murs, Marchetto of Padua, Philippe de Vitry, Tinctoris, Glarean, Gaffurius, and Zarlino. Topics include systems and scales, tuning, transmission, institutional sites, speculative and practical traditions, methodology, and the scientific status of music theory.
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

MUSI 812a or b, Directed Studies: EthnomusicologyStaff


MUSI 814a or b, Directed Studies: History of MusicStaff

By arrangement with faculty.

MUSI 837a / FILM 804a, Opera: Explorations of a Technical MediumGundula Kreuzer

Opera has been assigned—and might yet assume—various roles in genealogies of technical media. This seminar explores both what media archaeology and other recent approaches in media studies and science and technology studies hold for an understanding of the nature of opera, and what opera might in turn contribute to a historically expanded perspective on modern and digital multimedia. In addition to such theoretical topics as the role of architecture, strategies of acoustic immersion, the development of illusionist devices, the orchestra as technology, and Wagner’s theories, we examine the medial configurations in select operatic scenes and their renditions, from the illusionist picture-frame stage to present-day mobile or site-specific conceptions. Projects are tailored to students’ interests and disciplines. Reading knowledge of Western musical notation is helpful but not required of students from outside the Music department.
Th 9:25am-11:15am

MUSI 903b, The VoiceBrian Kane

The seminar is intended as a general introduction to the emerging field of voice studies. Students develop an overview of the field and acquire familiarity with the central topics, problems, and thinkers about the voice, both historical and contemporary. In addition to weekly readings, writing assignments, and presentations, students are involved in the selection of topics and texts, depending on their interests. Special emphasis is placed on the interaction of voice studies with music, philosophy, and media studies.
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

MUSI 914a or b, Directed Studies: Theory of MusicStaff

By arrangement with faculty.

MUSI 952b, Musical MeterRichard Cohn

Describing and representing musical meters and their relations; interpreting metric syntaxes in terms of musical “form.” Nineteenth-century central-European concert music (Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Dvořák); West African drumming; American minimalism, jazz, and EDM; if sufficient time, musics of south Asia and/or southeastern Europe.
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

MUSI 998a, Prospectus WorkshopIan Quinn

F 9:25am-11:15am

MUSI 999b, Dissertation ColloquiumIan Quinn

F 9:25am-11:15am