Musicology

Academic Year 2022 – 2023

General Information

Address
Woolworth Center
Phone

Program Offerings:

  • Ph.D.

Department for program:

Director of Graduate Studies:

Elizabeth Margulis (Musicology)

Graduate Program Administrator:

Overview

With a long tradition of excellence and innovation, the musicology program at Princeton University encompasses historical, theoretical, cognitive, and ethnographic approaches. Graduate students, who are fully funded for five years, become part of a vibrant scholarly and artistic community. In addition to working closely with our renowned musicology faculty as seminar leaders and advisers, musicology students can explore Princeton’s rich offerings in the humanities, have access to the superb Mendel Music Library, and—with subsidized private studio instruction and the opportunity to participate in the Music Department’s superb ensembles—are encouraged to make performance an integral part of their lives.  With Sō Percussion in residence, the Princeton University Concerts series, Princeton Sound Kitchen, and the many performances by our many ensembles, musicology students can partake of a rich and eclectic concert life.  

Apply

Application deadline
January 3, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (This deadline is for applications for enrollment beginning in fall 2023)
Program length
5 years
Fee
$75
GRE
General Test not accepted

Additional departmental requirements

Sample of written work.

Program Offerings

Courses

Seminar offerings focus on the musicology faculty’s current research, introducing students to  a wide variety of repertories, sub-disciplines,  and methodologies.  Students take twelve graduate seminars during their first two years, normally graded P/F, and design their program in consultation and with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The typical course load is three seminars per semester. Students can also take advantage of course offerings in the Music Composition Program, and may also wish to explore interdisciplinary studies through Princeton’s rich offerings across the humanities and the social sciences. Students also have the possibility of taking courses through neighboring universities through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium. 

Language(s)

A reading knowledge of two languages is required. The language requirement is normally satisfied by examinations administered by the appropriate language department or, if necessary, the musicology faculty. Both requirements must have been passed before a student can be admitted to the general examination. Students are urged to satisfy at least one of the language requirements during the first year of graduate study. Students may wish to avail themselves of the reading courses in French, German, and Latin offered at Princeton during the summer.

Additional pre-generals requirements

First-year students are required to take a diagnostic theory exam early in their first semester, and to submit, on the first day of classes during the second semester, a written paper based on work done in one of the fall term courses.

General exam

The general examination for students of musicology (whether concentrating in history, theory, or ethnomusicology), normally taken in May of the second year, is in six general fields, chosen during the first three terms in consultation with and with the approval of the faculty. Fields are chosen to present a broad range chronologically, methodologically, and theoretically; it is expected that some fields will expand and complement work done in seminars, while others will cover areas studied independently. A student whose general record and performance on the general examination are satisfactory is admitted to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Qualifying for the M.A.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is normally an incidental degree on the way to full Ph.D. candidacy and is earned after a student successfully completes the general exam.  If may also be warded to students who, for various reasons, leave the Ph.D. program, provided that the following requirements are successfully completed: all required course work (with no incompletes), the first-year paper, the language requirements, and at least half of the general examination.  

Dissertation and FPO

Students normally complete a draft of their dissertation proposal during the fall semester of their third year. Students are expected to defend their dissertation proposal during the second semester of their third year. Readmission to the fourth year of study is contingent upon approval of the dissertation proposal.

Dissertations are directed by a supervisor and also are read and must be approved by a second reader. Under special circumstances, outside readers may be brought in to provide expertise in areas not covered by the current musicology faculty.

Ideally, the doctoral dissertation is written during the student’s official last year in residence to ensure full and frequent consultation with the supervisor and other faculty members. When the dissertation has been completed, reviewed by two readers, seen by the entire department, and accepted, a final public oral examination is scheduled; upon its successful conclusion, the student is recommended for the Ph.D.

Faculty

  • Chair

    • Daniel L. Trueman
  • Director of Graduate Studies

    • Elizabeth H. Margulis
    • Juri Seo
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies

    • Gavin Steingo
  • Professor

    • Donnacha M. Dennehy
    • Wendy Heller
    • Steven Mackey
    • Elizabeth H. Margulis
    • Simon A. Morrison
    • Daniel L. Trueman
    • Dmitri Tymoczko
    • Barbara A. White
  • Associate Professor

    • Juri Seo
    • Gavin Steingo
    • Rob C. Wegman
  • Assistant Professor

    • Tyondai A. Braxton
    • Nathalie Joachim
    • Jamie L. Reuland
  • Professor of the Practice

    • Gabriel Crouch
    • Michael J. Pratt
  • Senior Lecturer

    • Rudresh K. Mahanthappa
    • Ruth A. Ochs
    • Jeffrey O. Snyder
  • Lecturer

    • Darcy James Argue
    • Christopher Arneson
    • Liam N. Boisset
    • Brian E. Brown
    • Geoffrey L. Burleson
    • Ronald M. Cappon
    • Eric B. Cha-Beach
    • Ted Chubb
    • Kevin G. Deas
    • Vincent B. Ector
    • Martha Elliott
    • Rochelle K. Ellis
    • Alan Feinberg
    • John J. Ferrari
    • Nicole Glover
    • Jack D. Hill
    • Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek
    • Margaret A. Kampmeier
    • Francine Kay
    • David S. Kellett
    • Christopher A. Komer
    • Brian Kuszyk
    • Sunghae A. Lim
    • Andrew C. Lovett
    • Matthew Melore
    • David Miller
    • Miles Okazaki
    • Laura Oltman
    • Alberto Parrini
    • Matthew Parrish
    • Sarah C. Pelletier
    • Joshua Quillen
    • Barbara J. Rearick
    • Trineice Robinson-Martin
    • John M. Rozendaal
    • Stacey G. Shames
    • Sarah Shin
    • Adam Sliwinski
    • Jo-Ann Sternberg
    • Olivier P. Tarpaga
    • Jessica L. Thompson
    • Jason Treuting
    • Elio Villafranca-West
    • Robert J. Wagner
    • Nancy J. Wilson
    • Eric Wyrick
  • Visiting Professor

    • John A. Butt
  • Visiting Assistant Professor

    • Tomoko Fujita
  • Visiting Lecturer

    • Christopher T. Hailey

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Permanent Courses

Courses listed below are graduate-level courses that have been approved by the program’s faculty as well as the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School as permanent course offerings. Permanent courses may be offered by the department or program on an ongoing basis, depending on curricular needs, scheduling requirements, and student interest. Not listed below are undergraduate courses and one-time-only graduate courses, which may be found for a specific term through the Registrar’s website. Also not listed are graduate-level independent reading and research courses, which may be approved by the Graduate School for individual students.

GER 523 - Topics in German Media Theory & History (also HUM 523/MOD 524/MUS 530)

Historical and theoretical investigations of media from the advent of writing systems, paper and the construction of single-point perspective to phonography, radio, telephony, and television and up through the critical reflection on cyberspace, rhetorics of PowerPoint, surveillance and data shadows. Issues explored include the relationship between representation and technology, the historicity of perception, transformations of reigning notions of imagination, literacy, communication, reality and truth, and the interplay of aesthetics, technics and politics.

MUS 504 - Medieval Musical Style and Notation (also HLS 540)

Examines musical notation along paleographic, semiotic, and aesthetic lines, and addresses theoretical and practical problems of transcription. Focuses on earliest notations of the Christian east and west and later, the emergence of rhythmic notation.

MUS 510 - Extramural Research Internship

MUS510 is for students in the department who wish to gain experience of central importance to their area of study by working outside of the University capacity. For composition students, this might include working with theater companies, dance troupes, or other relevant organizations. For musicology students this might include archival research or performance. Course objectives and content are determined by student's adviser in consultation with the external institution. Students submit monthly progress reports including goals and progress to date, and any evaluations received from host institution or published reviews of the final product.

MUS 512 - Topics in Medieval Music (also MED 512)

Source-critical, historical, and stylistic studies of one of the late medieval polyphonic repertories are studied.

MUS 513 - Topics in 19th- and Early 20th-Century Music

Text-critical and analytic studies in the works of one or several of the major figures are studied.

MUS 514 - Topics in 19th- and Early 20th-Century Music

Text-critical and analytic studies in the works of one or several of the major figures are studied.

MUS 515 - Topics in the History of Opera (also COM 517)

Critical, historical, and analytic studies of music, language, and drama in the European operatic tradition are studied.

MUS 519 - Topics in Music from 1600 to 1800

This seminar explores one or more topics in the history, analysis, and interpretation of music of the seventeenth and/or eighteenth century. Recent seminars have included: Handel in Italy; Gender and Sexuality in the Music of Early Modern Italy; Francesco Cavalli: Sources and Interpretation; J.S. Bach.

MUS 520 - Topics in Music from 1600 to 1800

This seminar explores one or more topics in the history, analysis, and interpretation of music of the seventeenth and/or eighteenth century. Recent seminars have included: Handel in Italy; Gender and Sexuality in the Music of Early Modern Italy; Francesco Cavalli: Sources and Interpretation; J.S. Bach.

MUS 525 - Topics in Music from 1400 to 1600

Studies in one or more of the major vocal or instrumental repertories of the 15th and 16th centuries are explored.

MUS 527 - Seminar in Musicology

Original work in areas of current musicological significance are presented to and reviewed by the seminar as the occasion arises. Emphasis is given to student projects, but work in progress by any member of the seminar may be discussed or a topic of particular controversy examined.

MUS 528 - Seminar in Musicology

Original work in areas of current musicological significance are presented to and reviewed by the seminar as the occasion arises. Emphasis is given to student projects, but work in progress by any member of the seminar may be discussed or a topic of particular controversy examined.

MUS 531 - Composition

Emphasis is placed on the individual student's original work and the study and discussion of pieces pertinent to that work.

MUS 532 - Composition

Emphasis is placed on the individual student's original work and the study and discussion of pieces pertinent to that work.

MUS 534 - Ends and Means: Issues in Composition

A consideration of the more elusive but fundamental aspects of composition: continuity; change (goal-directed, circular, sudden); tempo and texture; rhythms of harmony, contrapuntal interaction, succession of ideas, and surface attack; the "extra-musical;" contextual logic and ad hoc systems; and sonic image, form, and idea.

MUS 537 - Points of Focus in 20th-Century Music

Selected areas in 20th-century music are chosen for detailed examination and study. Representative works are subjected to critical scrutiny, and an attempt may be made to draw conclusions regarding larger theoretical, analytical, and social issues.

MUS 538 - Computer Music: Compositional Applications

The use and design of computer-based synthetic instruments and compositional software is studied. The emphasis is on the construction of computer-musical environments, for the realization of sound as well as for compositional assistance.

MUS 540 - Composing Opera

An introduction to some of the compositional problems pertinent to opera. Musical potentials of language and dramatic structure as well as theatrical potentials of music are explored through experiments in text setting and libretto construction.

MUS 541 - Seminar in Music Composition

A seminar focusing on the relationship (symbiotic or otherwise) between artistic creation and intellectual inquiry in compositional practice. Course will deal with practical concerns by sharing works in progress, recent works, and by hosting performers who are currently collaborating with members of the seminar. Although all composition graduate students are welcome, the seminar is especially geared toward first-and second-year students in composition.

MUS 542 - Instrumentation and Performance

A study of the characteristics of individual instruments, including extended contemporary techniques and writing arrangements for chamber ensemble and for orchestra. Special attention is given to problems of combining voice and instruments. The arrangements written for this class are performed by the Composers' Ensemble at Princeton and the Princeton University Orchestra, and problems of performance involving notation, rehearsal, and conducting are dealt with.

MUS 545 - Contexts of Composition

An examination of the proliferating variety of relations between composers and composition, in film, theater, and dance; technologically based systems and collaborative situations. Extended meanings of composition, including new applications made possible by technology and recording and the exploration of musical extensibility of subjects such as meditation, games, ritual, social action, and cognitive science.

MUS 548 - Creative Practice in Cultural Perspective

A consideration of the cultural context of creative practice, including social, political, and ethical factors. The course explores how creative practice manifests and challenges societal norms and how the role of the artist is situated in culture. Topics include specialization (vis-à-vis the amateur); cultural appropriation and representation; and identity.

MUS 550 - Current Topics in Theory and Analysis

The presentation and examination of an important work of current interest in theory and analysis and original research of faculty members and graduate students are explored.