Degree Requirements

Master of Music: Music Theory

Diagnostic Evaluation & Coursework Recommendations

Students must successfully pass the incoming music theory diagnostic exam or pass Music Theory 401 Graduate Review of Music Theory. Coursework recommendations are based on exam results, and prior transcripts, and consider individual background and future goals. The program coordinator meets with students each quarter for academic advising prior to registration.

Program of Study – 18 units, 2 Years

Students should select the highest level for courses that are cross listed.

Analysis of Repertoire – 3 units

Select from the courses below.

MUS THRY 316 16th Century Counterpoint
MUS THRY 318 18th Century Counterpoint
MUS THRY 333 Analysis of Popular Music

MUS THRY 335/435 Selected Topics in Music Theory to include the below topics, or other topics with a repertoire focus.

19th Century Analysis
Mozart’s Operas
Romantic Song
Late Piano Music of Brahms
Brahams and Mahler

Survey of the Field – 9 units

Select from the courses below.

MUS THRY 313/413 Analytical Approaches to World Music
MUS THRY 321/421 Classical Form
MUS THRY 325/425 Style and Phrase
MUS THRY 335/435 Theory of Melody
MUS THRY 340/440 Analysis of Recorded Performance
MUS THRY 345/445 Experimental and Empirical Methods in Music Theory
MUS THRY 348/448 Corpus Studies
MUS THRY 355 Analysis of Post-Tonal Music
MUS THRY 410/510 Music Theory Pedagogy
MUS THRY 422 Rhythm and Meter
MUS THRY 505 Methods of Music Theory
MUS THRY 515 History of Music Theory
MUS THRY 530 Music Semiotics
MUS THRY 550 Seminar in Music Theory and Cognition (up to 3X)
MUS THRY 551 Seminar in Music Cognition

MUS THRY 336/436 Selected Topics in Music Cognition to include:

Music and Emotion
Memory, and Attention
Music, Thought, and Language

General Electives – 4 units

General Electives are courses at the 300 level or above within or outside of the Bienen School of Music.

Master's Project – 2 units

MUS THRY 485 Master’s Project

The terminal requirement is a master’s project – a scholarly paper of moderate length. As with an independent study, the master’s project requires a faculty advisor who is responsible for submitting the grade for the project. All students should select their faculty advisor during the first year of study (February of winter quarter). Students should register for two quarters of MUS THRY 485 in consecutive terms. A public presentation of the student’s thesis work is optional and may be arranged with their advisor to be given as a work-in-progress or summary during the Music Theory and Cognition Colloquium.

Questions?

Contact Graduate Services: 
musicgradservices@northwestern.edu 
847-491-5740