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

James Hepokoski

Director of Graduate Studies
Richard Cohn (Stoeckel, 203.432.2986,

Professors Kathryn Alexander (Adjunct), Ardis Butterfield, Richard Cohn, Michael Friedmann (Adjunct), Daniel Harrison, Paul Hawkshaw (Adjunct), 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)

Assistant Professors Henry Parkes, Anna Zayaruznaya

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 515b, Schenkerian AnalysisDaniel Harrison

Advanced work in harmony, counterpoint, thoroughbass, structure, and form; Schenkerian analysis of selected compositions from the tonal repertory.
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

MUSI 699a, Proseminar: MusicologyGary Tomlinson

A historiographical survey of major topics, issues, and techniques of musicological research. We consider the position of musicology in the broader context of historical thought and provide a conceptual foundation for further work in the field.
M 2:30pm-4:20pm

MUSI 721b, History of Theory IIIan Quinn

This seminar surveys the history of music theory in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. Readings are drawn from the writings of Rameau, Heinichen, Kirnberger, C.P.E. Bach, Koch, Reicha, A.B. Marx, Fétis, Choron, Förster, Weber, Richter, Sechter, Hauptmann, von Oettingen, Helmholtz, Riemann, Hanslick, Louis and Thuille, Schoenberg, Hindemith, and Schenker. Overarching themes include the relationship between speculative and practical traditions; the institutional sites of music theory; interactions among theory, analysis, and composition pedagogy; the role of oral teaching traditions; the position of music theory in the academy; the scientific status of music theory; and the historiography of music theory.
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

MUSI 801b, Early Modernism: Strauss, Mahler, Nietzsche, 1890sJames Hepokoski

Exploration of the concept of early modernism in Austro-Germanic symphonic music. Issues and conditions confronting the musical “generation of the 1860s,” those composers coming of age in the late 1880s and 1890s. The initial sessions are devoted to considerations of musical, literary, and aesthetic early modernism, including readings from Germanic manifestos of the period along with overviews by Dahlhaus, Calinescu, Gumbrecht, Jameson, Eysteinsson, and others. The second portion of the term is given to close readings/analyses and discussions of two works representing contrasting responses to Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra (1896) and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 (1893–96).
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

MUSI 811b / AFAM 813b / AMST 875b, Critical Approaches to Popular MusicMichael Veal

This seminar applies the different themes and discourses relevant to the study of popular music, including cultural studies, ethnomusicology, media, technology, music theory, gender studies, art history, and music history. The seminar is organized in workshop fashion, with student discussants drawing on the various discourses to contextualize specific album-length recordings assigned each week. The seminar is designed to help students master the variety of theoretical approaches that render popular music comprehensible.
T 7pm-8:50pm

MUSI 812a or b, Directed Studies: EthnomusicologyStaff


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

By arrangement with faculty.

MUSI 817a / FILM 788a, Music, Radio, and MediationBrian Kane

This seminar focuses on the heyday of radio—its so-called Golden Age—and considers the medium from a variety of perspectives: media theory, auditory culture, musicology, and sociology, among others. The goal is to understand how radio functioned not only as a mass medium but also as a form of mediation. Special attention is given to the role of music on the radio and to the ways that radio altered the nature of musical works. Readings include classic texts on radio (Arnheim, Adorno, Merton, Lazarsfeld, Fanon, McLuhan) as well as more recent writing in cultural history (Douglas, Hilmes), sound studies (Mowitt, Bijsterveld), and media archaeology (Ernst). Special attention is given to the nature of the radio archive and its problems, with sessions devoted to working with source materials.
T 9:25am-11:15am

MUSI 826b, Perspectives on the Cantus Firmus MassAnna Zayaruznaya

This seminar surveys the rich repertory of fifteenth-century settings of the Mass Ordinary whose movements are united by a shared cantus firmus—a melody borrowed from plainchant or popular song and placed in one voice, usually the tenor. In addition to developing an understanding of the musical transformations to which preexisting material is subject in its new polyphonic context and of how the newly written voices are affected by the resulting compositional process, we address a series of cultural themes raised in recent musicological work, including emulative acts between the composers writing masses (Gallagher, Rodin), the eschatological and liturgical significance of the repertory (Kirkman), and the notational innovations involved in tenor transformations (Schiltz, Zazulia).
T 9:25am-11:15am

MUSI 857a, Music in Nazi GermanyGundula Kreuzer

An exploration of musical life under a totalitarian regime. The quest for “Germanness” in music and the Nazis’ ill-fated attempts at policing musical aesthetics and compositional styles. Ideological, political, and administrative dimensions of these attempts; their influences on such composers as Egk, Hartmann, Hindemith, and Orff, as well as on jazz and “entertainment music”; the reception of canonic masters; and consequences for performance and scholarship at large, during the Third Reich and after.
W 2:30pm-4:20pm

MUSI 904a, The Beach Boys in American Culture and CountercultureDaniel Harrison

A research seminar using the fifty-year career of the Beach Boys as an armature to study a variety of topics of interest to music theorists and analysts, historical musicologists, American cultural historians, and students of media. The group’s musical production is notably large and stylistically varied, its complex history (and mythology) is well documented in print and on film, and recent scholarship about the group is sophisticated and suggestive. Starting with close listening of a large set of songs, readings from both academic and popular sources, and discussions with expert guests in cultural studies, rock journalism, biography, and music analysis, students identify and work on an original research project related to the group, broadly conceived.
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

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

By arrangement with faculty.

MUSI 925a, ParsifalRichard Cohn

A study of Wagner’s final opera, applying recent approaches to late-nineteenth-century harmony, with particular attention to the relationship between diatonic and chromatic systems of pitch organization.
F 9:25am-11:15am

MUSI 950a, ShostakovichPatrick McCreless

The course aims to develop a rich understanding of Shostakovich's musical oeuvre, focusing on a number of central works. We try to achieve a balance between critical and analytical approaches, between consideration of the composer's whole output and detailed consideration of individual pieces, and between a study of the music's Russian and Soviet context and a study of the music itself.
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

MUSI 998a, Prospectus WorkshopGundula Kreuzer

F 9:25am-11:15am

MUSI 999b, Dissertation ColloquiumGundula Kreuzer

F 9:25am-11:15am