Master of Music (MM) in Musicology

General MM Degree Requirements

The MM 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 and Doctor of Musical Arts students are required to take the Proficiency Examination in Music Theory and the Proficiency Examination in Musicology. These examinations are given before the start of classes. Accepted students are notified of the exam dates 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. Detailed descriptions of these exams are supplied to accepted students. Students in composition, music theory, and musicology will also be examined in fugue; historical performance students will be examined in counterpoint.

Students with insufficient background in music theory may be required to take MU 400 Graduate Theory Review, which may be used as elective credit. The course is a seven-week, online course given three times per year in the second half of Fall, Spring, and Summer Terms.

Program of Study

Musicology students should take the Pro-Seminar in Historical Musicology and Ethnomusicology (CFA MU 828) 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 (CFA MU 921).

Ethnomusicology students should take the Pro-Seminar in Historical Musicology and Ethnomusicology (CFA MU 828) in their first semester. Other requirements are as follows:

  1. 13 credits in ethnomusicology and musicology seminars, including MU 829, MU 830, and MU 739;
  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 (CFA MU 921).

Additional requirements:

  1. At least two semesters of World Music Ensemble (CFA MU 567), either as instructor or participant (worth 0 to 1 credit); and
  2. Knowledge of the undergraduate survey course Musical Cultures of the World (MU 340/350), 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 (CFA MU 921). The candidate submits two copies of the final draft to the chair of the department.