Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Historical Performance

Degree Requirements

The Doctoral of Musical Arts in Historical Performance is granted upon successful completion of a program of study, written and oral qualifying examinations, and terminal projects appropriate to the student’s field of specialization. Students must complete a minimum of 48 semester credits with grades no lower than B- in graduate-level coursework. All degree requirements must be completed within seven years of the date of matriculation.

Proficiency Examinations

All entering Doctor of Musical Arts students are required to take proficiency examinations in the areas of music theory and musicology. These examinations are administered online before the start of classes. Incoming students are notified of the exam dates and contents in advance and are responsible for taking them by the specified deadline. Exam results are used for purposes of advisement and may establish prerequisite or required coursework. Material covered in these examinations is commonly presented in most undergraduate degree programs in music.

Students with insufficient background may be required to take review courses as appropriate.

Language Requirement

Reading proficiency is required in one language, chosen from German, French, and Italian. Students may demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language by passing its corresponding reading course at the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences: GRS LG 621, GRS LF 621, or GRS LI 621. Students may also satisfy the requirement by passing a foreign language examination, administered once each semester by the School of Music.

Program of Study

Students must complete a minimum of 48 graduate credits. Students are expected to declare either Dissertation or Recital Track by the beginning of the second year of study.

DMA Performance Curriculum (Dissertation Track)

Applied Lessons 18 cr
MH 711 Research & Bibliography 3 cr
MT 701 Pro-Seminar 3 cr
Courses in Musicology (MH) 3 cr

Courses in Music Theory (MT)

3 cr
Courses in Music Theory or Musicology 3 cr
MU 995 Dissertation 3 cr
Graduate Music Electives 12 cr
Total 48 cr

Dissertation Track Recital Requirements

Each candidate in Historical Performance must present three public recitals, each consisting of at least one hour of performing time.

DMA Performance Curriculum (Recital Track)

DMA candidates may pursue the recital track following successful completion of one semester of DMA-level coursework and applied lesson study, and upon approval by their major teacher and area head.

Applied Lessons 18 cr
MH 711 Research & Bibliography 3 cr
MT 701 Pro-Seminar 3 cr
Courses in Musicology (MH) 3 cr

Courses in Music Theory (MT)

3 cr
Courses in Music Theory or Musicology 3 cr
MP 705 Writing for DMA Recital Track 1 cr
Graduate Music Electives 14 cr
Total 48 cr

Recital Track Recital Requirements 

Students approved to pursue the DMA Recital Track must present five public recitals: solo recital, concerto recital, chamber music recital, recital prepared without guidance, and lecture recital. Detailed requirements for each recital vary by area, and applicable written and research components require faculty approvals. These five recitals are given in lieu of the dissertation as terminal project.

Qualifying Examinations

In any semester after completing at least 30 credits, students may undertake the doctoral qualifying examinations, written and oral. There are two written examinations: one in the area of music theory, and one in the areas of music history and the major field. Either or both of these examinations may be taken in a given semester.

The student has three opportunities to pass written examinations in each of the three areas. Once a student has passed an individual area exam, he or she need not repeat it even if required to retake another area exam. The student proceeds to the oral examination only after passing all written examinations. Requirements vary by concentration. There are also three opportunities to pass the oral examination.

Dissertation and Lecture Recital

Students pursuing the DMA Dissertation Track must write a substantial document demonstrating the ability to conduct independent research. This document should stress source materials, comparative editions, score analysis, and performance practice. The student must give a lecture-recital based on this document and use the medium of performance to illustrate it. The lecture-recital must be supervised and approved by assigned faculty readers. A copy of the lecture must be included as an appendix in the final copies of the document.