Master of Music (MM) in Musicology

General Requirements

The MM in Musicology 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 32 semester credits with grades no lower than B– in graduate-level coursework. All degree requirements must be completed within five years of the date of matriculation.

Proficiency Examinations

All entering Master of Music students are required to take proficiency examinations in music theory and music history. These examinations are given online before the start of classes. Accepted students are notified of the exam dates and contents in advance and are responsible for taking them. Exam results are used for 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 the appropriate review courses, which may earn elective credit. Descriptions of these courses appear in the School of Music Graduate Handbook.

Program of Study

Musicology students should take the Proseminar in Historical Musicology and Ethnomusicology in their first semester. There are no further specific course requirements for the MM in Musicology, but students should customize their program in consultation with their advisors according to the following distribution: (1) 21 credits from among 700- and 800-level courses in musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory; (2) 4 credits in approved non-music electives; and (3) 4 credits in Research and Directed Study.

Ethnomusicology students should take the Proseminar in Historical Musicology and Ethnomusicology in their first semester. Other requirements are as follows:

  1. 13 credits in ethnomusicology and musicology seminars;
  2. 12 credits of music and non-music electives (these courses can come from areas such as anthropology, musicology, music education, special topics in ethnomusicology, history, or specific area studies courses from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Boston University, or BU Consortium courses)
  3. 4 credits in Research and Directed Study.

Additional requirements:

  1. At least two semesters of World Music Ensemble, either as instructor or participant (worth 0 to 1 credit); and
  2. Knowledge of the undergraduate survey course Musical Cultures of the World, either as a teaching assistant or by auditing the course.

Language Requirement

German and one other foreign language are required for historical musicology candidates. One foreign language is required for ethnomusicology candidates.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination in historical musicology or ethnomusicology consists of a one-hour oral examination administered by the department.

Terminal Project

Historical musicology and ethnomusicology majors must write a thesis. The student will first submit to the chair of the department a proposal of approximately ten pages in length, consisting of: (1) a description of the subject to be addressed and the methods of research involved, (2) a chapter outline, and (3) a bibliography. After the proposal has been approved, the candidate enrolls in Research and Directed Study. The candidate submits two copies of the final draft to the chair of the department.