MA Examination in Music History
To the student:
The instructions for each section of this page represent the wording of the instructions that will appear on the actual examination. The material contained in a box following each section is explanatory commentary that may help you in preparations for the examination. From each member of the musicology faculty, the examination committee chair will solicit suggestions for topics or questions to be used in sections 1, 2, or 3 of Part II of the examination. The committee will then prepare the six questions--two for each section--to ensure that you are required to demonstrate the ability to create a coherent narrative.
I. Scores/Recordings. Four scores or recordings are attached for your examination, three in group A and one in group B. For the music in group A, respond to the specific questions attached to each excerpt. The music in group B will be provided at least forty-eight hours in advance. The name of the composer will be provided, and you are to discuss the stylistic features of the score or recording, referring to the specific musical traits by measure number or by clock timing (for recordings). (ca. 30 minutes each for group A; ca. 90 minutes for group B)
|The questions asked in group A might be similar to those asked on a styles examination, i.e., questions about genre, compositional technique, features of rhythm and meter, features of instrumentation, comparisons with other compositions of a similar type, and so on. The excerpt in group B should be treated along similar lines, but you will not have specific questions to direct your answers. The excerpts will be chosen to complement part II and to ensure that they do not duplicate material.|
II. Essays: This part is arranged in three sections, (1) concerning material from antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance, (2) the Baroque and Classical eras, and (3) the Romantic and modern eras. Each section contains two questions or topics, and you are to select one from each section. Your treatment should provide sufficient detail (such as references to specific compositions, chronology, and so on) to indicate both your familiarity with the music and with the historical issues of the question or topic. (time: ca. 80 minutes for each section)
|This part is intended to test your ability to develop a music historical narrative.|