Department of Music (GRAD)

Department of Music

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David Garcia, Chair

Tim Carter, Associate Chair for Academic Studies

Mark Katz, Director of Graduate Studies

The department offers the degrees of master of arts (M.A.) in musicology and the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in musicology, construing "musicology" in its broad sense to encompass the interrelated disciplines of music history, music theory, ethnomusicology, and studies of popular culture.

Special Facilities

Central to the departmental resources is the Music Library, which ranks high among the nation's music libraries for its scholarly editions, periodicals, early source materials, iconographic aids, microfilms, folk-music collections, and recordings as well as access to major music research databases and thousands of streamed audio and video recordings. In addition, the Southern Folklife Collection (SFC) is one of the nation's foremost archival resources for the study of American folk music and popular culture. SFC holdings extensively document all forms of southern musical and oral traditions across the entire spectrum of individual and community expressive arts, as well as mainstream media production.

Prerequisites for Degree Programs

The usual prerequisite for admission to graduate work leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees is a bachelor of arts degree with a major in music, or a bachelor of music degree, comparable to those given at this university. All applicants for graduate study in music are required to take the verbal and quantitative aptitude tests of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE should be taken early enough for the scores to be submitted with the application for admission, preferably in the summer or fall preceding application for admission. Applicants for the graduate program must also submit with their application samples of their recent writing on musical subjects. The graduate program is an integrated M.A.–Ph.D. program, constructed on the assumption that students will pursue the M.A. and Ph.D. in one continuous sequence: the M.A. is one of the required steps in earning the Ph.D.

Fellowships, Assistantships, and Other Student Aid

In addition to campus-wide grants, assistantships and special grants are available to selected graduate students in music. The deadline for all graduate applications is in December; a separate application for aid is not necessary but may be indicated on the general application form for admission to The Graduate School. Selected applicants are nominated for University-wide awards that range from $16,000 to $22,000. Teaching assistantships may be awarded by the department; these awards average $18,000 and usually include tuition remission for out-of-state students, payment of in-state tuition, and other benefits. For a full listing of the program's financial aid opportunities, please see the Department of Music's Graduate Handbook.

For the M.A. degree, students must demonstrate reading proficiency in one language other than English judged suitable to the scheme of study by the written consent of the director of graduate studies. Students may demonstrate proficiency in one of three ways:

  1. By achieving a grade of B or better in a UNC–Chapel Hill fourth-semester (204) language course
  2. By placing out of the fourth-semester language course through the placement examination given by the appropriate foreign language department
  3. By passing the appropriate Foreign Language Proficiency Assessment offered through The Graduate School

For the M.A. degree, students must also fulfill departmental theory proficiency requirements by examination or by completing a specified undergraduate course in the department with a grade of B or better. Students entering the Ph.D. program with a completed M.A. from another institution must also meet these theory requirements as early in their course of study in the department as possible and, in any event, before they can advance to candidacy for the Ph.D.

MUSC 750, Resources and Methods in Musicology, is required of all students in their first semester. Other courses are drawn from a range of offerings consisting of proseminars (repertory-, method-, or issue-based studies) and seminars (on more precise topics normally requiring significant research on primary sources). Graduate students have the option to include courses from other departments that may be organized as a formal minor (nine hours for the M.A., 15 for the Ph.D.) or as a supporting program. Courses taken outside the department must be approved in advance by the director of graduate studies in music and by the departments concerned as directly relevant to a proposed course of study.

For the M.A. degree, students take courses totaling 30 credit hours and write a thesis that is a revision and expansion of a paper prepared for a graduate seminar taken in the Department of Music. Students write the M.A. thesis in the fourth semester, registering concurrently for MUSC 993, Master's Research and Thesis. All students pursuing a master's degree take a written comprehensive examination; a final oral examination is not given.

At the beginning of each spring semester a written examination is given to satisfy the requirements for the M.A. degree and to qualify students to continue toward the Ph.D. Students already in the department's M.A. program take the examination in the second year. Those who received the M.A. degree at another institution and had the requirements of the M.A. waived must take the examination in the spring of their first year of study.

Following the completion of an additional 12 hours of seminars beyond the 30 hours required for the M.A. degree, students formulate a dissertation topic, to be determined through consultation with the faculty and director of graduate studies in music. By the end of the sixth semester of study (fourth semester for those with the M.A. requirements waived), students must take an oral examination on a proposed dissertation topic. They then register for at least two semesters of MUSC 994, Doctoral Dissertation, and MUSC 994's corequisite, MUSC 991, Dissertation Colloquium; complete the dissertation; and undergo a second oral examination in its defense.

More detailed explanation of these requirements appears in the Department of Music's Graduate Handbook.

Following the faculty member's name is a section number that students should use when registering for independent studies, reading, research, and thesis and dissertation courses with that particular professor.


Allen Anderson (4), Music Theory
Mark Evan Bonds (6), Late 18th- and 19th-Century Music, Aesthetics
Tim Carter (3), Late 16th- and 17th-Century Music, Music and Theater, Analysis, American Musical Theater
Annegret Fauser (7), 19th- and 20th-Century Music, France, America, Women's and Gender Studies, Cultural Studies
Mark Katz (11), 20th- and 21st-Century Music, Music Technology, Hip Hop, Diplomacy
Stefan Litwin (9), 20th-Century Music, Performance Practices
John Nádas (57), Late Medieval Music, Italian Opera
Jocelyn Neal (5), 20th-Century Theory, Popular Music

Associate Professors

Andrea Bohlman (14), East Central Europe, Sound Studies, Music Technology, Activism
Anne MacNeil (8), 16th- and 17th-Century Music, Music and Theater, Gender Studies, Historiography

Adjunct Associate Professor

Philip Vandermeer (15), Traditional and American Popular Music

Assistant Professors

Michael A. Figueroa (18), Middle East, Popular Music, Geography, Violence
Aaron Harcus (12), Music Theory,Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, Rhythm and Meter, Popular Music 


Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses

MUSC 471. Instrumental Performance Repertory. 3 Credits.

Advanced study of selected performance issues.
Gen Ed: EE- Performing Arts.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit. 6 total credits. 2 total completions.
Grading status: Letter grade.

MUSC 493. Music Internship. 3 Credits.

Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Internship directly related to the study, practice, or the business of music. Students must complete at least 100 hours and submit a journal and report upon completion of the internship. No more than three credit hours may count toward the requirements of the music major. Excess hours may count as credit hours toward graduation, subject to the overall limit on music hours.
Gen Ed: EE- Performing Arts.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit. 9 total credits. 3 total completions.
Grading status: Pass/Fail.

MUSC 676. Digital Media and Live Performance. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. Intended for students from various majors, this course provides a foundation in the history, theory, and practice of developing live, technologically-intensive, multimedia performance works. The course analyzes new media masterworks, addresses techniques of interdisciplinary collaboration, and offers workshops in specific software/technology applications.
Gen Ed: VP.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: COMM 676.

MUSC 691H. Senior Honors Thesis in Music I. 3 Credits.

Admission by permission of the honors advisor. Independent study by a student who has been designated a candidate for undergraduate honors in music.
Gen Ed: EE- Mentored Research.
Grading status: Letter grade.

MUSC 692H. Senior Honors Thesis in Music II. 3 Credits.

Continuance and completion of an honors thesis in music.
Requisites: Prerequisites, MUSC 691H.
Gen Ed: EE- Mentored Research.
Grading status: Letter grade.

Graduate-level Courses

MUSC 750. Resources and Methods of Musicology I. 3 Credits.

Introduction to the field of musicology, including its scope, methodology, and bibliography. Taught in three-week modules, each directed by a different member of the academic faculty. Individual modules will include music history, music theory, ethnomusicology, music aesthetics, and cultural studies.
Grading status: Letter grade.

MUSC 751. Resources and Methods of Musicology II. 3 Credits.

When offered, continuation of MUSC 750.
Grading status: Letter grade.

MUSC 830. Proseminar in Music Theory. 3 Credits.

MUSC 850. Proseminar in Musicology. 3 Credits.

MUSC 870. Proseminar in Ethnomusicology. 3 Credits.

MUSC 890. Special Studies. 3 Credits.

The faculty assists and advises graduate students in work on particular research projects. Available to musicology graduate students only (M.A.T. students taking special studies must register under MUSC 471).
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics.
Grading status: Letter grade.

MUSC 930. Seminar in Music Theory. 3 Credits.

MUSC 950. Seminar in Musicology. 3 Credits.

MUSC 970. Seminar in Ethnomusicology. 3 Credits.

MUSC 991. Dissertation Colloquium. 1.5 Credit.

Forum for group discussion of on-going dissertation work and professional development.
Requisites: Co-requisite, MUSC 994.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit.
Grading status: Letter grade.

MUSC 993. Master's Research and Thesis. 3 Credits.

MUSC 994. Doctoral Research and Dissertation. 3 Credits.

Requisites: Co-requisite, MUSC 991.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit.