Master of Music (MM) in Historical Performance

The Master of Music in Historical Performance program at Boston University provides a training ground for students pursuing performance and teaching careers either as instrumentalists on period instruments or as singers specializing in music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Through performance practice seminars, instruction in period performance and thoroughbass realization, coached chamber music ensemble participation, and various performance opportunities both within and outside of the School, students develop a sensibility and repertoire of techniques that enable them to marry historical information with musical intuition. The city of Boston, long a world center for early music performance, serves as a supportive backdrop in developing student careers. Boston University’s resources—its libraries, facilities, and faculty—offer students rich support in the pursuit of their studies. Additionally, MM candidates enjoy professional-level performance opportunities in many local groups as well as mounting their own public performance projects.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Music degree is granted upon successful completion of a program of study, a comprehensive review, 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 a proficiency examination in the area of music theory. The examination is administered online before the start of classes. Incoming students are notified of the exam dates and contents in advance and are responsible for taking it by the specified deadline. Exam results are used for purposes of advisement and may establish prerequisite or required coursework. Material covered in this examination is commonly presented in most undergraduate degree programs in music.

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

Historical Performance Program Outline

MH 611 Music Research Techniques 2 cr
ML 503–06, 545–50, 555–58, 591–92 Applied Music 12 cr
MP 781–82 Performance Practice Seminar 4 cr
MP 581–82 Continuo for Keyboard or 4 cr
MP 581–82 Continuo for Non-Keyboard 2 cr
MP 609 Studio in Historical Performance (ensemble performance) 4 cr
Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
Graduate Music Electives (non-keyboard) 2 cr
Total 32 cr

Terminal Projects

Two recitals are required, each containing a minimum of 60 minutes of music.

Master of Music Comprehensive Reviews

A satisfactory comprehensive review or examination is required for graduation. The faculty in each major area determines standards for this review and its format, and conducts the evaluation. In each case, the comprehensive review concentrates on the major area and other related fields. Unsatisfactory performance on this review may require remedial work and/or a repetition of the review after counseling with the student’s advisor.