Stoeckel Hall, 203.432.2986
M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies
Richard Cohn (Stoeckel, 203.432.2986, email@example.com)
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, Henry Parkes, Markus Rathey (Adjunct), 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. 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 director of graduate studies (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. Programs
Music and African American Studies
The Department of Music offers, in conjunction with the Department of African American Studies, a combined Ph.D. degree in Music and African American Studies. For further details, see African American Studies.
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.
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. Applicants must submit scores from the GRE General Test. 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 619a, Medieval Motets Anna Zayaruznaya
This course focuses on the motet in its first two hundred years, from the genre’s emergence in a Parisian orbit around 1200 through the so-called ars subtilior of the early fifteenth century. Motets from France and the French orbit are the primary focal point, though Italian and Insular repertories are referenced for the sake of comparison. The first unit focuses on earlier motets’ relationships with neighboring genres, especially the conductus and clausula, and on the manuscript sources that transmit them. The second unit centers on motets attributed to Guillaume de Machaut, Philippe de Vitry, and their contemporaries, evaluating the various hermeneutic approaches to which these works have been subject in the past thirty years. Participants are assigned a fourteenth-century motet to edit and analyze. Throughout the course we foreground the motet’s relationship to contemporary music theory and the notation of rhythm. We also interrogate the social and poetic functions of the works discussed.
MUSI 622a, In Search of Historical Voice Jessica Peritz
What might the traces of now-lost voices reveal to us about history—musical and otherwise? How can we seek those traces in extant sources, and what are the stakes in “capturing” voice with different media? This interdisciplinary seminar explores a set of histories, aesthetics, and contingencies of voice from the ancient world through the early years of the phonograph. We approach historical voice(s) from several angles: by engaging scholarship on premodern sound alongside modern philosophies of voice, and by delving into studies of specific, culturally contextualized practices and ideologies of voice. Readings in the latter category include: Sarah Nooter on voice as identity in Greek tragedy, Gary Tomlinson on New World song, Martha Feldman on reconstructing castrato voices, and Ana María Ochoa Gautier on (post-)colonial sonic archives. At the same time, we search for traces of voice across a variety of sources, from Charles Burney’s eighteenth-century musical travelogues to the late-nineteenth-century “audio treatises” held in the Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings.
MUSI 627a / MDVL 600a, The Liturgy, Ritual, and Chant of Medieval England (Sarum Use) Bryan Spinks and Henry Parkes
This team-taught interdisciplinary travel seminar focuses on the rites, ceremonies, and music of the Use of Sarum (Salisbury), which was the predominant form of Christian worship in late medieval England. With particular attention to Salisbury Cathedral, as well as to surviving texts and material evidence pertaining to that foundation, it explores how liturgy was cultivated, documented, and experienced in the High Middle Ages. It considers the ritual intersections of community, architectural space, visual decoration, sound, movement, and written text. It also considers the significance of Sarum Use in the formation of the 1549 Book of Common Prayer and, more recently, as a resource for liturgical revival and renewal.
MUSI 699a, Proseminar: Musicology Gary 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.
MUSI 718a, Mathematical Models of Tonal Systems Richard Cohn
Since 1980, theorists have applied techniques of atonal pitch-class theory to traditional chords and scales, seeking to identify properties that afford and underlie complex musical systems of long historical duration. This seminar traces the historical development of this theoretical subfield, including diatonic set theory and transformational theory of the 1980s (Clough & Lewin), neo-Riemannian graphs of the 1990s (Cohn & Douthett), geometric voice-leading models in the 2000s (Callender, Tymoczko), and trigonometric discrete-Fourier models that matured in the 2010s (Quinn, Yust). We conclude by working through a bouquet of state-of-art papers presented at the 2019 MCM Madrid conference. Some exposure to atonal pitch-class theory is desirable. No special background in math is necessary; we will all learn what we need to from each other. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor unless admitted as Ph.D. or M.A. student in the Music department.
MUSI 721b, History of Theory II Staff
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.
MUSI 812a or b, Directed Studies: Ethnomusicology Staff
MUSI 814a or b, Directed Studies: History of Music Staff
By arrangement with faculty.
MUSI 823b, Women and Western Art Music Gundula Kreuzer
An introduction to current debates on women and gender in and around Western art music. Topics include historical case studies of women composers and performers, as well as the question of the archive and other obstacles we face today in researching them; the representation of gender roles in opera and in contemporary productions thereof; processes and agents of (de)canonization; and ongoing curricular shifts. Assignments include both a scholarly paper and the presentation of research for more public-facing forums.
MUSI 909b, Arts of Fugue Daniel Harrison
The seminar examines theoretical and analytical issues associated with fugal procedures, ca. 1650–1950, with special focus on the work of J.S. Bach. Harmonic-contrapuntal (e.g., Schenker) and hermeneutical (e.g., rhetorical) explorations of individual works are examined and tested, supported by readings modeling both approaches. Work consists of background reading in analysis and history, structural analysis of individual works, and, optionally, the composition of a fugue à 3 on a given subject.
MUSI 914a or b, Directed Studies: Theory of Music Staff
By arrangement with faculty.
MUSI 938b, Sound Studies Brian Kane
Sound studies is an interdisciplinary field, situated at the intersection of science and technology studies, film, music, media, anthropology, and cultural studies. Scholars in sound studies analyze both the technologies and cultural techniques involved in the production, reception, and meaning of sound and listening. This seminar is intended as a broad introduction to sound studies. We read major texts and theorists in the field and investigate some of the central topics of concern, such as soundscape (contemporary and historical), acoustic ecology, listening (from philosophical, sociological, and cultural perspectives), electronic music and noise, sound art, histories of audio technologies, and cultural techniques of sound production and reception. Substantial weekly readings and a final research project are required.
MUSI 986a, Corpus Methods in Music Research Ian Quinn
The course covers computer-assisted methods for formulating and investigating empirical research questions at what Meyer called the “interopus” level: i.e., corpora rather than individual works. We also consider the role of empirical research of this type in the field of musicology generally and its relationship to the specific questions of music theory in particular. Students learn to use the music21 software package under development at MIT. A special focus this year is mode.
MUSI 998a, Prospectus Workshop Anna Zayaruznaya
MUSI 999b, Dissertation Colloquium Anna Zayaruznaya