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Graduate Study in Music

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Link to:

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Society for Music Theory
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General Program Information

The Graduate Program of the Department of Music offers advanced training in historical musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, and composition, leading to the degree of PhD in Music. There is no admission to an AM program separate from these PhD programs. In unusual cases, students who cannot successfully complete the General Examination may be given the option of completing the requirements for a terminal AM degree.

At any given time, there are 55-60 graduate students in residence, and 6-10 new graduate students enter each year. The Music Building contains a concert hall (the John Knowles Paine Concert Hall), classrooms, faculty and graduate offices, a superb research library (the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library), a microfilm library of primary source materials (the Isham Memorial Library), an archive of world music recordings, listening facilities, a high-quality electronic music studio (HUSEAC: Harvard University Studio for Electroacoustic Composition), an ethnomusicology lab, a collection of early instruments, chamber music rehearsal rooms, and individual piano practice rooms. Other facilities throughout Harvard University include the vast resources of Widener Library, the Houghton Library (which contains rare music prints and manuscripts, and autographs of major composers), Lamont Media, and the libraries and practice rooms of the Dudley House (the center of graduate student activities). In addition, a wealth of musical opportunities is readily available to students at Harvard and at the many neighboring universities (e.g., Boston University,Berklee, Brandeis University, M.I.T, , and New England Conservatory) and civic and professional institutions (e.g., Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Public Library, and Museum of Fine Arts with the Mason Collection of Musical Instruments).

Since teaching is an integral part of graduate training, most graduate students are teaching fellows during part of the time they are at Harvard. Teaching fellows are also eligible to apply for a resident or nonresident tutorship in one of the 12 undergraduate houses, or the graduate center, Dudley House. In addition to financial benefits, teaching fellowships and tutorships provide excellent professional experience.

In recent years virtually every graduate student has received one or more of the fellowships and grants awarded by the University and the music department. Awards given by the department each year include several prizes in composition, the John Knowles Paine Traveling Fellowship, the Oscar S. Schafer Fellowship, the Richard F. French Fellowship, the Ferdinand Gordon & Elizabeth Hunter Morrill Fellowship, and the Nino Pirrotta Research Grant. Graduate students are awarded six years guaranteed funding (including living expenses) when accepted to a PhD program.

More info


Admission Requirements

All applicants are required to take the GRE General Examination and must submit, along with their applications, samples of their previous scholarly work in musicology (for the Musicology PhD), ethnomusicology (for Ethnomusicology PhD), or theory (for the Theory PhD). The online application will allow you to upload up to 20 pages of material.

Applicants to the Composition PhD program must submit three to four compositions (scores and recordings where available) along with your application materials. Printed scores and CDs are accepted; links to samples and downloads are not. Samples of work must be sent with a self-addressed, stamped envelope if they are to be returned to the student.

Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences handles the admissions materials. All questions about the admissions process, as well as all application supplementary materials, should be sent to them by December 31 for candidates who seek entrance inthe following fall term:
Admissions and Financial Aid
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Harvard University
1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Holyoke Center 350
Cambridge, MA 02138-3654

Download an application electronically:
You are required to upload all supporting documents (transcripts, writing samples, recommendations, etc) to the online application.

GSAS deadlines are listed here:

If you have questions about your application, call 617-496-6100 (2-5pm EST) or write

For financial aid questions call 6170495-5396 or email

You may visit the department to learn more about the PhD program, but please know that faculty are not available to meet with prospective students. An interview or visit is not required for admission. For more information about visiting the Department of Music, see Visit.

NOTE: Please do not call the Music Department about the status of your application or the return of your materials. Application materials only come to the Music Department at the very last stages of the process, and are held here in complete confidentiality until admissions recommendations are made.

The Program in Musicology and Ethnomusicology

At Harvard, musicology is broadly defined as the disciplined study of music and includes the historical, comparative, and systematic aspects of the field. The program incorporates two tracks: historical musicology, with an emphasis on the history, theory, and literature of Western music in its contexts from antiquity to the present; and ethnomusicology, which concentrates on the ethnographic study of any musical tradition in relationship to its cultural setting. Most graduate courses in historical musicology and ethnomusicology are research seminars; many treat specific topics, periods, and regions, while others deal with current problems and methods. On the completion of preparatory training and the passing of the General Examinations, PhD dissertations may be written in either field. MORE INFO

Go to Admissions requirements

The Program in Theory

The PhD in music theory is characterized both by a deep involvement in the inner workings of music and by an engagement with the wider philosophical, cultural and psychological questions surrounding music. The program reflects this interdisciplinary interest of our students, and seeks to explore the links of music theory to other areas of critical engagement, while providing our theorists with the specialized skills they require.

The teaching in the program emphasizes analytical techniques--all students take courses on Schenkerian theory and on a range of tonal and post-tonal analytical practices, as well as an introductory course to explore current issues in the field. At the same time, the program also encourages students to build a framework in which to place these techniques and to reflect on the underpinnings of music theory. Regular courses on questions in psychology, temporality, history of music theory, and aesthetics round off our course offerings and often take music theory into interdisciplinary territory. Graduate courses on challenging repertoires--e.g. modal theory, non-Western music, or very recent composition--frequently round off our offerings.

The dissertation projects our theory graduates work on reflect this unique combination of interests. Recent and current PhD topics include feminist approaches to performance analysis, microtonality and tone imaginations, multi-modal analysis of boy-band videos, Athanasius Kircher's Musurgia universalis (1650), and neuro-scientific imaging of perceptual parameters.

Our theory faculty is enhanced on a regular basis by exciting visiting faculty, which complement our existing research and teaching strengths in interesting new ways. Recent visitors have included Allan Keiler (Brandeis), Fred Lerdahl (Columbia), Allen Forte (Yale), Ellie Hisama (Columbia), and Martin Scherzinger (NYU), as well as Brian Ferneyhough (Stanford), Helmut Lachenmann (Stuttgart) and Harrison Birtwistle (London). MORE INFO

Go to Admissions requirements

The Program in Composition

Harvard's program in composition is designed to give students the time and opportunity to develop as composers by offering general musical guidance as well as specific individual criticism of their works. The program is centered around the students' achieving clarity of expression through developing their command of compositional technique. In addition, acquaintance with the literature of the past and present through analysis and performance is considered indispensable. Most courses are seminars and deal with specific topics or student works.

The student typically spends the first two years in the department on coursework. The third and fourth years are devoted to work on the dissertation and teaching, as well as active participation in composition colloquia and Harvard Group for New Music concerts. Composers may spend one term during their 4th year at another art institution or university if a particular research project or artistic residency can be obtained.

On the completion of preparatory training and the passing of the General Examinations (during the summer before the third year), PhD dissertations comprising a substantial portfolio of between five and seven pieces of varied scoring and length may be submitted. MORE INFO

Go to Admissions requirements

Secondary Field in Musicology/Ethnomusicology

To complete a secondary PhD field in Musicology, a graduate student will take a minimum of four courses, at least two of which will be graduate courses (200 level) and no more than two of which are at the level of Music 150 or above, and receive honors grades of at least B+. Neither Pass/Fail nor audited courses will count towards a secondary PhD field. Contact the advisor in Ethnomusicology or in Musicology in the Department of Music for additional information on a secondary PhD field.


Many innovative research areas are not classifiable along traditional lines but rather borrow from a variety of different approaches and methods. This includes projects that integrate creative components or performance into academic work. Candidates interested in the cross-disciplinary category should clearly lay out their academic interests and musical experience. They should present a clear rationale for the cross-disciplinary nature of their interests. Where appropriate, candidates are encouraged to include performance materials in their application. (Candidates admitted through the cross-disciplinary category will declare one of the departmental programs, will take generals and pursue dissertation work in that program, with modifications as appropriate.)

Music as a Secondary Field

A student enrolled in a PhD program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University may achieve formal recognition for completing a secondary field in Music. The following requirements must be met to complete this secondary field.

Completion of a minimum of four half-courses courses.
One of these courses must be an introductory course: Music 201a: Introduction to Historical Musicology, Music 201b: Introduction to Ethnomusicology, or Music 221: Current Issues in Theory.
The remaining three courses may be chosen from other graduate courses (200 level: “Primarily for Graduates”) or intermediate courses (150 level or above: “For Undergraduates and Graduates”). (No more than two courses may be chosen from the 150 or above level.)
Neither Pass/Fail nor audited courses will count towards a secondary Ph.D. field in this department.

Students interested in declaring a secondary field in music should submit the “GSAS Secondary Field Application” to the Director of Graduate Studies as evidence of their successful participation in four appropriate courses in the Music Department.  Once they obtain the approval of the DGS they and the registrar will receive certification of successful completion of secondary field requirements.

For further information contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Harvard University Department of Music, Music Building, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138 617-495-2791

For additional information




To apply to the PhD program in musicology, ethnomusicology, theory, and composition, you must make an application to the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. All applications are online, and may be found (along with all the requirements, fee information, and procedures) at

All recipients of a four-year college degree or its international equivalent may apply (students with and without master's degrees may apply). If you are unsure whether you are eligible, please read the GSAS guidelines.

Admissions decisions are made by Music Department faculty, who weigh a combination of factors such as GRE scores, past academic record, strength of scholarly (or compositional) work, and recommendations. The TOEFL test may be required if English is not your first language (required minimum score is 80). Detailed information pertaining to requirements for admission are on the GSAS site listed above.

For information about visiting the department and admissions requirements please go to

Admission to the PhD Program: Frequently Asked Questions

Are GRE scores required?
GREs are required of all students applying to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS); scores are valid for five years. You do not need to take the Music GRE test. Only the general GRE (math/language) is required.

How important are GRE scores?
We take GRE scores into consideration along with the entire dossier, not as a single factor that determines the outcome of an application.

When is the deadline for application to Harvard?
The annual deadline is usually around January 2 for entrance the following fall term. Check the GSAS website for each year's deadline.

Does Harvard offers scholarships or financial aid?
Yes. If you are accepted into our PhD program, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will offer you a financial package that guarantees funding for six years, and includes both tuition and living expenses. Teaching stipends may make up part of the package from the student's third year on.

There are also opportunities for additional funding. The Department (and GSAS) awards prizes, fellowships, stipends, and grants each year to graduate students for language study, dissertation completion, research assistance, and travel, among other pursuits.

Do I need to submit samples of my work?
Yes. You need to support your application with samples of your work, be it scholarly (musicology/ethnomusicology/theory) or creative (composition).
Specifics are available here.

Does Harvard accept international students?

Are foreign students required to take the TOEFL exam?
Students whose native language is not English or who have not graduated from an English speaking university are required to take and pass the TOEFL exam. The recommended passing score is 80.

I don’t have an undergraduate degree in music. Am I still eligible for admission?
While many of our entering students do have degrees in music, backgrounds and degrees vary widely. We look at all around preparation of our applicants and their overall excellence. As a Music Department, we do look for training and expertise in one or more music traditions and an ability to deal successfully with a curriculum that has requirements across the music subdisciplines as well as interdisciplinary studies.

Can I apply for a Master’s Degree?
The Harvard graduate program in Music is a doctoral program. The subdisciplines of musicology, ethnomusicology, composition, and music theory do not admit candidates for the Master's Degree only. There is a small program (1-2 students per year) in Performance Practice that requires a thesis and terminates in an A.M. degree.

I have received a Master’s Degree and wonder if I can transfer credit for courses taken?
We permit transfer of credit for no more than two courses. Students are allowed to request transfer credit if they are in good standing after the first year of coursework and on submission of details about the course for which credit is requested. Graduate courses taken as an undergraduate student may not be presented for credit if those courses counted toward the undergraduate degree.

I am interested in taking courses in other Music subfields. Is this possible at Harvard?
Our programs both require and encourage coursework in other sub-disciplines of music.

I am interested in more than one sub-discipline in music. Which graduate program should I apply for?
We have graduate programs in historical musicology, ethnomusicology, theory and composition. Our programs are small, so it is important that you apply to the program closest to your major interests.

Can I take courses outside the Music Department?
Harvard has extraordinary course offerings across the disciplines and we encourage our graduate students to take courses that will enhance their knowledge.

Do foreign language courses count toward degree credit?
You can enroll in language courses to meet the language requirements of our programs, but these courses do not count toward credit for the Ph.D.

What are the possibilities for financial support for graduate studies at Harvard?
The Graduate School at Harvard typically offers admitted Music students six years of full funding, in the form of stipends, teaching fellowships and finishing grants (this amount covers living expenses as well as tuition). Departmental resources include special funds for summer research and some additional fellowships.

I am a performer and wonder if the Music Department gives credit for performance activities to graduate students? What opportunities are there for performance at Harvard?
Although we encourage performance, our graduate program is an academic one and performance activities do not count towards a degree. As a Department of Music which does not have a performance faculty, we are not able to provide vocal or instrumental lessons. There is a lively musical scene on campus and graduate students are welcome to join many University ensembles, including those sponsored by Dudley House or Gamelan Si Betty. Graduate student musicians sometimes perform on the special noontime University Hall Recital Series. The Harvard Group for New Music performs student compositions. Boston is home to a lively musical world and many students participate as performers in music traditions ranging from early music to jazz.

Will interviewing with the Music Department aid my chances of acceptance to Harvard?
No. Unfortunately, faculty are not usually available to meet with prospective students.

If I want to talk to a member of the music department about the program, how do I go about it?

Prospective graduate students can call the Department receptionist (617-495-2791) during November, December, and January to schedule a visit to the department. You may be able to talk with other students, sit in on a class, or attend a concert or lecture. Please go to for more information.

Visiting the Department

You are welcome to visit the Department at any time, although we in no way require or expect you to make the trip. You should know that we do invite the students we admit to our program to come to Cambridge as part of our admissions process. At that time, admitted students meet with faculty, get to know our current students, and are introduced to other students who have also been admitted.

We regret that we are not able to make appointments with individual faculty members during a pre-admissions visit.

If you do decide to make a visit prior to the admissions deadline there are optimum times to visit, such as between October and our December holiday break. If you visit at another time of the year, check the academic schedule to avoid reading/exam periods and semester breaks. It is not necessary to visit, nor should you see it as a way to improve your chances of admission.

Rather, a visit is simply a good way to learn about our Department's intellectual environment and infrastructure. We urge you to consult the course schedule so that you can plan to sit in on one or more graduate seminars (please ask permission of the instructing professor first: music professors can be reached via email at This is the best way to get to know the professors and students.

You may also want to attend any colloquia, lectures, or faculty seminars that coincide with your visit (check our calendar at, or to tour the Music Library (contact Liza Vick to make an appointment at and other Harvard libraries. It may also be possible to chat informally with some of our current graduate students, who are apt to be working in the department and library during the academic year.

Our receptionists can tell you more about the schedule of events (call 617-495-2791). You can also reach them through email: Kaye Denny ( and Charles Stillman (

Tours of the Harvard campus are available twice daily Monday through Friday (and some on weekends), and originate from the Holyoke Information Center in the Holyoke Center Arcade, right in the middle of Harvard Square.

Graduate Advisors: 2013-2014

For more general questions, contact the Director of Graduate Studies (Kay Kaufman Shelemay). For questions specific to each discipline, the faculty advisors this year are:

Historical Musicology: Sindhumathi Revuluri
Ethnomusicology: Ingrid Monson
Theory: Christopher Hasty
Composition: Hans Tutschku

All Professors can be reached via email at: Type the professor's name in the subject line of your email letter (for example, Subject: for Prof. Kelly).





Information for Currently Enrolled Graduate Students

PhD Degree Program

The first two years: coursework
Language study
General Examinations
Third year requirements
Dissertation Information
Final Requirements for Graduation

The first two years: Coursework, Language Study


Sixteen half-courses are required to receive the PhD. Fourteen courses are usually taken during the first two years. Historical musicology students must take two half-courses in ethnomusicology and two half-courses in either theory or composition. No more than one seminar in Medieval theory will count toward the theory requirement; no more than one analysis course can be counted towards the theory requirement. Ethnomusicology students are required to take at least two half-courses each in historical musicology and in offerings outside the department. Ethnomusicology students must also take at least two half-courses in music theory. It is recommended that at least one theory seminar be in cross-cultural music theory. Theory and composition students do not have a set curriculum and should plan their course of study with their advisor.

Students may be allowed academic credit (normally no more than two half-courses) for work done in other graduate schools in the United States or abroad, subject to the evaluation by the department and acceptance by the Graduate School. Petitions may be submitted after the completion of one full year of graduate work in the department.

In general, for all students, 100-level courses should be taken as supplemental to the graduate program, and should not be the major portion of the student's coursework. In order to receive graduate credit, permission to take any half-courses at the 100 level must be granted by the graduate advisor before taking the course.

Competence and fluency in traditional harmony, counterpoint, strict composition, and analysis (including analysis of 20th-century music), are prerequisites for taking the general examination. Entering students will be given a placement test to assess skills. Music B will address these musicianship skills but does not count as one of the required 16 courses. Work must be undertaken in the first year of study.

Note: Graduate students who have one or more incompletes will not be considered for department summer grants.

Language Exams and Requirements (to be completed before General Examination)

Written language exams are given at specified times throughout the year. Reading knowledge of the following languages must be proved before taking the general examination:

Historical musicology--German and French or Italian. Alternative language choices should be discussed with the musicology advisor.

Ethnomusicology—Two research languages, to be determined in consultation with the Ethnomusicology advisor.

Theory—German plus one other language (French, Italian, Latin).

Composition—German, Italian or French unless an alternative language is approved in writing by the graduate advisor.

Historical musicology
and ethnomusicology students must additionally pass a third language appropriate to the field of specialization after completing the general examinations and within one year of the approval of a dissertation proposal.

Requirements for languages not tested regularly within the department may be satisfied through special examination, or through presentation of other documentation at the discretion of the graduate advisor.

Language Exam Exemptions
If your native language is a research language and your spoken and written English skills are proficient, you may be exempted from taking a language exam in your native language. At most one language exam may be passed by exemption, and at least one foreign language exam must be taken. (In other words, in programs that only require one language exam, a different foreign language may have to be chosen.) Exemptions are determined on a case-by-case basis by the program advisor and need to be approved by the department.

Language Exam Guidelines

Note: No exceptions will be made regarding the schedule or requirements for notification. Sample practice exams are downloadable, below. If you need to take an exam other than in French, German, or Italian, please request your exam from Assistant to the Chair well in advance..

1) Departmental language examinations are given three times during the academic year, in late October/early November, mid-February, and April; students will be notified at the beginning of each academic year as to the precise dates. Students should sign up for an examination with the Director of Administration at least three weeks before the desired examination date. If requested, one sample of each language exam will be provided to the student when they sign up for an examination.

2) A graduate student may retake an examination but only within the regular cycle and in accordance with the guidelines of his or her particular graduate program.

3) Language examinations in German, French, Italian, Latin, and Spanish will be administered by Music Department faculty members. Special arrangements for tests in other languages must be made no later than six weeks before the examination date.

4) Students should consult with the graduate advisors of their respective programs about language requirements at the beginning of their first semester on campus. At that time, they should agree upon a tentative schedule by which they will satisfy the language requirement.

5) Students anticipating any special language need should raise this issue with the Graduate Advisor at the earliest moment to allow adequate consultation and planning. Under specific conditions, students whose native language is not English may, upon approval of the graduate advisor, satisfy one language examination by taking a special English examination, to be administered by the Department, involving translation of a text from their native language to English.

6) The student and the Director of Graduate Studies will be notified in writing of the outcome of an examination by the faculty member who administers it.

7) Language exams can be taken on a computer but the computer must be "offline." Students are permitted to use a word-processing computer program only for the purposes of typing out their translation. Students may use up to two hard-copy dictionaries to aid translation, for example, an abridged volume for fast access and a complete one for greater detail. Students are not permitted to use any other translation resources, such as online dictionaries, online translation programs or any other electronic programs or translation facilitators, and must sign a pledge attesting to their compliance with these rules.

Sample language exams

Advising: Pre- and Post Generals
Advising in the department during the pre-generals period is primarily handled by the appropriate graduate advisors and faculty members in the various programs, with the director of graduate studies available for further advice. After successful completion of the general examination, students consult with individual faculty members on their proposed fields of concentration, and when a dissertation proposal has been completed it is presented to the faculty in that field of study. When the dissertation proposal has been approved by the faculty in the program, it is brought to the entire department for final approval, and a dissertation committee is set up for each student. The dissertation committee consists of an advisor and two readers. Any questions or concerns about advising in the department can be brought to the attention of the Director of Graduate Studies or the Chair.

The progress of all graduate students is reviewed at the end of each year. In addition to adequate course work, there are special requirements for first- and second-year students. Every student must submit at least one paper written for a graduate course as part of the first-year review. In Musicology, every first- and second-year student must write a least one seminar paper per term.


General Examinations (taken at the start of the third year)

The General Examination consists of two parts: written and oral. The orals are taken within one or two weeks of passing the written portions. The exams differ by program but are usually taken between May and August of the student’s second year of study. Both the written and the oral parts can be repeated, but not more than once. The format, which is significantly different for each program, is as follows:

Historical Musicology
For historical musicologists, the general test will have three main parts: written, analysis, and oral. The written exam consists of essays and short answer questions related to six of eight topics chosen by the student. The two prepared topics not selected for the written exam will be presented in the oral exam. The open-book analysis exam will be given in the summer, around mid-July. This will be a take-home exam, distributed on a Friday, and returned on Monday, mid-afternoon. It consists of two pieces of music chosen from 1) before 1700, 2) 18th or 19th century, or 3) 20th century. Students will choose one topic on which they will make a ten-minute presentation in the oral examination. Students will choose a second topic on which they will prepare a syllabus for a 13-week graduate seminar on the subject. This syllabus will be presented in written form, and may be the subject of discussion in the oral examination.

The written exam consists of an analysis test and a general test. The analysis test includes two musical examples, one chosen from the student's primary world music area and the second drawn from a contrasting musical tradition agreed on in advance in consultation with the ethnomusicology faculty. The general test is divided into four sections: one on ethnomusicological theory and method; a second on world music; a third on interdisciplinary problems; and a fourth on the intellectual history of ethnomusicology. By request of the student and in consultation with the ethnomusicology faculty, another subject area may be substituted as the focus of the fourth section of the test.

In ethnomusicology, the oral examination begins with discussion of the primary world music area chosen by the student. The remainder of the examination includes questions about general ethnomusicology not necessarily related to topics covered in seminars, and further discussion of questions posed in the written examination.

The examination consists of four different parts:
1. A preliminary oral examination on repertoire and analysis ("single sheets"), lasting 30 minutes, with 30 minutes preparation time, usually taken at the beginning of the summer.
2. Four written exams of 3 hours each: (a) systematic theories, (b) history of music theory, (c + d) two examinations in special fields relevant to dissertation research.
3. Analytical essays on two musical works from different periods (take-home paper over 4 days).
4. A two-hour oral examination will allow discussion on the written work and may broaden to engage a variety of related issues in music theory.

Part 1 is an oral exam with one hour preparation time. At the beginning of the preparation time, 10 score excerpts are handed out, broadly taken from canonical works (substitutions can be arranged). The student is asked to identify, contextualize, or classify all of them, and to make more detailed analytical observations on three of them. The oral exam during which the findings are discussed doubles as a "dress rehearsal" for the more substantial oral that concludes the general examinations later during the summer.

Part 2 includes four written exams. They are held in four three-hour exams over the course of several days. Each exam requires students to choose two questions from a larger selection, and to write an essay on each. The exams are in the following subjects:

(1) Theoretical Systems
This paper consists of three sections (Schenker, Neo-Riemannian Theory, Pitch-Class Set Theor;: with permission from the Theory Adviser one section may be substituted for an equivalent alternative). The two essays must be from different sections. The questions tend to offer an opportunity for critique and analysis in a given theoretical tradition.

(2) History of Music Theory
This paper consists of three periods (Early Modern, 18th Century, 19th Century; with permission from the Theory Adviser, one section may be substituted for a different period). In the past, some questions have required detailed knowledge of specific theories or theorists, while others have aimed at sketching a broader historical perspective of developments in the History of Music Theory.

(3+4) Special Topics I and II
Both Special Topics are arranged and prepared with the Theory Faculty. The topics should prepare the student for their likely field of dissertation work and help them survey and critique the existing literature. Each of the two exams consists of three questions, of which two must be answered.

Part 3 is a take-home exam in musical analysis. Four pieces are handed out: 2 tonal, 2 post-tonal; substitutions of repertoire are possible with permission of Theory Adviser. One piece from each section must be selected. The student writes substantial analytical essays--with graphs, sketches, written descriptions--on the two selected pieces. The pieces are handed out Fri at 9am, the essays are due the following Mon at 3pm.

Part 4 consists of an oral exam. This typically last 2 hours, and follows the successful completion of the written exams, usually within one to two weeks. The oral examination follows up the work on the written examination and may broaden to engage any related issues in Western music and Music Theory, without restriction as to historical field.

For composers, a written analysis is to be completed in three days at the end of the spring term of the second year of graduate study. It consists of a piece or set of pieces that should be analyzed by the student in the allotted time period. Students are also required to write an original composition of 7-10 minutes length with an imposed instrumentation, to be submitted by mid-August. The oral examination is based on an in-depth discussion of three major works that are assigned in the late spring of the second year of graduate study, plus an analytical presentation of the student's original composition.


Master's Degree (non-terminal, on the way to PhD)

This non-terminal degree may be obtained after successfully completing the following:

-Eight courses
-Two languages (one, in the case of composition students)
-Music B
-Written portion of the general examinations

The degree application dates are the same as the Ph.D. dates. Please see the Director of Administration for more information.

Third Year Requirements

The third year is primarily devoted to developing a dissertation proposal and the beginning of work on the dissertation. All students will complete their required courses; in most cases, that will mean two half-courses. Musicology students will begin their third language (to be completed within one year of the approval of a dissertation proposal). Music 250hf, "Colloquium on Teaching Pedagogy", is required.


Beginning in the third year, graduate students in good standing are eligible for teaching fellowships. Most teaching fellows devote two-fifths TIME to teaching. Following successful completion of the general exam, students are required to take M250ht (Teaching Practicum). This course does not count towards the 16 courses required for the Ph.D.

Dissertation Information

Within the academic year in which the general examination is passed, the PhD candidate is expected to develop a proposal for a dissertation, which should be a major original contribution to the field. The proposal must be submitted for approval to the department, which is responsible for assigning the student a committee consisting of a dissertation advisor and two other faculty members. Normally, the complete dissertation must be submitted within five years after passing the general examination, and satisfactory progress must be demonstrated every year in order that the student remains in good standing. If the dissertation is submitted thereafter the department is not obligated to accept it. The formal requirements for the dissertation are set forth in The Form of the PhD Dissertation, provided by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The department requires one bound copy for the Music Library, in addition to the two copies (one bound, one digital) required for the Registrar.

Doctoral Colloquium/Conference

All departmental doctoral candidates (including composers) who are about to submit or have submitted their dissertation are required to make a final presentation of their work. A dissertation workshop (Doctoral Conference) is required of all dissertation-writing students in historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and theory.

Final Steps in the Dissertation Process

The procedure for completing the dissertation is as follows:

1. The full text must be submitted to the members of the Dissertation Committee for suggestions, corrections, changes, etc. Candidates are encouraged to discuss drafts of individual chapters with all members of the Dissertation Committee.

2. The candidate should check with the Director of Administration to be sure that all degree requirements have been met.

3. The application for the degree must be submitted to the Registrar by the date published in The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Handbook for the November, March or June degrees.

4. After the committee has approved the dissertation in its final form, an unbound copy must be submitted to the department at least four weeks before the Registrar's deadline. During this period the members of the department are free to examine the completed thesis.

5. For all students, a public colloquium on the dissertation is required shortly before or after it has been approved.

6. Copies: The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) requires both one bound paper copy and one digital copy, submitted electronically through ProQuest, at an online submission site located here: In addition, one copy bound for the Music Library must be submitted to the department office at the same time the Registrar copy is submitted. University microfilms and RILM forms must be completed at this time as well..


Satisfactory Progress

A student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences must be making satisfactory progress in order to be eligible for any type of financial aid. The following nine items provide a general definition of satisfactory progress that has been adopted for this purpose by the Music Department. It is hoped that this requirement will have a healthy effect on students' academic progress, and that it will enable us to preserve resources for those most deserving of financial assistance.

1. During the first two years of graduate study any student who is permitted to register is considered to be making satisfactory progress.
2. A prospective third-year student must have achieved the minimum grade-point average required by this faculty (B).
3. A prospective third-year student must have passed general examinations.

4. A prospective fourth-year student must have obtained approval of a dissertation prospectus.
5. A prospective sixth-year, or more advanced, student must have produced at least one acceptable chapter of the dissertation or its equivalent for each year beginning with the fifth.
6. Requirements 2 - 5 shall be cumulative.
7. A student who fails to meet a requirement may, upon the department's recommendation, be considered to be an "exception"--and remain eligible for financial assistance--for a grace period of up to one year. At the close of the grace period, in order to be considered to be making satisfactory progress, the student must have met both the requirement missed earlier and the requirement that would normally be imposed at that time.
8. No student may have more than one such year of grace during his or her study.
9. In addition, the requirements of this calendar may be deferred by a department during one year of departmental approved Leave. A department may, if it wishes, defer requirements for a more extended period of approved leave in order to facilitate a student's obtaining a professional degree.



Final Requirements for the PhD Degree/Graduation

Application for the Degree

Degree applications are available from academic departments, the Registrar's Office (20 Garden Street) , and the Dean's Office (University Hall). They must be completed by the student, signed by the Department Chair and filed with the Registrar's Office by the appropriate due date. In unusual circumstances late applications may be accepted for the next two weeks only; there is a penalty fee for late applications.

There are deadlines for filing the application for your degree. Dates change slightly each year. Doctoral candidates should work closely with their advisors to insure that their committee members receive near final drafts of the work at least one month prior to the degree application deadline.

*Note: It's always best to check with the Registrar for final dates; the following dates are quidelines only.

For Degrees Awarded in November:


Draft due


Application due


Dissertation certificate due/dissertation submitted electronically (see below)

 For Degrees Awarded in March:


Draft due


Application due


Dissertation certificate due/dissertation submitted electronically (see below)

 For Degrees Awarded in June:


Draft due


Application due


Dissertation certificate due/dissertation submitted electronically (see below)


If a student does not receive the degree on the date it was applied for, the student must reactivate the degree application for conferral at a later date. Reactivation forms are available at the above offices; they also need the signature of the Department Chair, and must be filed by the appropriate due date for degree applications: Students may reactivate a degree application once without a fee; for any subsequent reactivation there is a fee.

Requirements When Submitting the Doctoral Thesis

When PhD applicants obtain a degree application or reactivation form, they should also receive two questionnaires: The Survey of Earned Doctorates, which is conducted by the National Research Council, and a combined Student Exit Interview from the GSAS Dean's Office and Survey of Postgraduate Plans from the Office of Career Services. Student must complete both forms and return them to the Registrar's Office (20 Garden Street in advance of turning in their thesis.

The Doctoral Thesis

Detailed information about the preparation, submission, and microfilming of the thesis is contained in the booklet The Form of the Doctoral Thesis, which is available from the Department Administrator, at the Dean's Office, and at the Registrar's Office. Music Department students should plan on submitting a bound copy to Isham, a bound copy for the University Archives, and an online submission to UMI/Proquest through the registrar's portal.

Requirements for Submitting the Dissertation:

1. By 5 pm on the day of the deadline, students must have submitted the ORIGINAL Dissertation Acceptance Certificate, Degree Application (usually due earlier), and three exit surveys (or proof of completion, depending) to the registrar.

2. By 11:59 on that day, the dissertation must have been submitted (via a link available on the registrar's website) to UMI/Proquest. This digital copy must have a scanned copy of the Dissertation Acceptance Certificate as the first page and conform to the guidelines available in the "Form of the Dissertation" document, available (and constantly revised) at the Registrar's Office. When candidates file this document they are required to order a bound copy for the University Archives. But Music Department students should be advised to order (at least) a second hard copy, bound, for Isham. This is NOT pre-set in the submission form. Note: It takes UMI 6-8 (probably more) weeks to process this.

3. Students should be alerted to the TWO phases of online distribution to which they can assent or dissent: the first is ProQuest's online database, the second is Harvard University's DASH.

4. Permissions. With the student's digital dissertation, he or she is required to submit a file of permissions letters when uploading the dissertation. This is also the point at which one can submit video/audio materials.Students are encouraged to go to an online submission workshop to clarify what is necessary and when.

Registration and Tuition Requirements

All degree candidates must register continuously until completion of the requirements for the degree. PhD candidates must have paid two years of full tuition and two years of reduced tuition before receipt of the degree, unless they have completed the PhD in less than four years from initial registration. All PhD candidates must pay the facilities fee in their last term of registration (unless a higher tuition has been paid). Resident students automatically will have paid at least the facilities fee for the term. Non-resident students who paid the active file fee for the term will be charged the facilities fee and given credit for the active file fee already charged. This final charge for the Ph.D. is billed when a student applies for the degree; it is cancelled if the degree is not received at that time.

For students receiving degrees in November, the last term of registration is the previous spring term; for degrees in March the last term is the previous fall; and for degrees in June the last term is the spring term. Students who are uncertain whether they will finish in time for degrees in November or March are encouraged to register for the fall or spring terms respectively, either in residence or on leave of absence, to avoid late registration fees if they miss the degree deadlines. If they then do finish in time, their registration for the term will be cancelled. Students should see the GSAS Handbook section on Medical Fees regarding health fees coverage.


Diplomas may be obtained with identification at the Registrar's Office, 20 Garden Street. Students may also indicate a mailing address on the degree application; the mailing fee is payable when the application is filed. Diplomas are sent by certified mail; there is a small fee for mailing in the United States, Canada, and Mexico; and a slightly higher fee for mailing abroad.

Once the thesis, thesis acceptance certificate and departmental recommendation for the degree are on file in the Registrar's Office, a student may request, in person or in writing, certification of the expected degree. Requests should be addressed to the GSAS Degree Office, 20 Garden St. The first three certifications are free; there is a nominal charge for each additional certification.


All students who receive degrees in November, March and June of a given academic year may participate in the Commencement celebration held in June. In April, the Dean's Office (495-1816) sends information about the Commencement Day schedule, tickets, and academic regalia to all recipients of November and March degrees and all applicants for June degrees.


Resources for Graduate Study


The Collection of Musical Instruments

[click here for detailed information and collection lists]

The Collection includes a number of instruments, including a German double harpsichord made by William Dowd and the historic Dolmetsch double harpsichord and clavichord. The room contains a piano built by Johann Baptist Streicher in 1869 from the private collection of Professor Robert Levin which has been made available to students and faculty of the department. The EIR also contains two pianos ordered for the department by Professor Levin since his arrival: (1) a copy by Paul McNulty, Prague, Czech Republic, after Anton Walter & Sohn, ca. 1805, 5 1/2 octaves (FF-c"") with moderator and true una corda, delivered in February 1998; (2) a copy by Rodney Regier, Freeport, ME, after Conrad Graf, ca. 1824 6 1/2 octave (CC-g""). Taking the harpsichord and three pianos as a whole, the EIR has instruments that take users straight through organologically from the high Baroque to the advent of the modern piano in the later 1880s. In addition, the department owns two Furth harpsichords, a number of renaissance and Baroque stringed instruments, and a small collection of historical instruments. Organs at Harvard include the four-manual C.B. Fisk instrument in the Memorial Church and the three-manual Flentrop in Adolphus Busch Hall.


Graduate Music Forum

Started in spring 1998, the Graduate Music Forum (GMF) aims to provide an opportunity for Harvard Music Department graduate students in all programs to discuss issues of common interest of concern to them. To date, these have ranged from matters of departmental administration and facilities to the structure of degree programs and the inception of new student projects.

Discussion takes place principally in monthly meetings, which are held usually on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon at 5:15. Both notification and minutes are circulated to all graduate students. All are encouraged to attend the meetings: however, those for whom attendance is inconvenient or impossible are urged to participate in the Forum via e-mail or other means.

While the aim has been to keep the GMF fairly informal, the organization does have an official role in selecting and briefing representatives to the Music Department faculty meetings and the Graduate Student Council. These representatives, in addition to a secretary who co-ordinates the meetings and prepares the minutes and correspondence, are the Forum's only "office bearers."


Barwick Colloquium Series, Friday Lunch Talks & Composer's Colloquium

Each year graduate students nominate possible speakers to being to campus, and then vote on who to invite. The committee of rising 3rd year students act as coordinators and hosts for the series. The Department provides the funds that make the colloquium series, now named the Barwick Student Colloquium Series, possible.

This is not the only series of colloquia offered by the Department, but it is the only one which gives graduate students the opportunity to request specific speakers whose work is of particular interest, or in fields which are not necessarily reflected by the day-to-day offerings of the Department.

Friday Lunch Talks are a series of informal colloquia where students are invited to give "works in progress." The Composer's Colloquium is another forum for graduate student colloquia. This is a weekly get-together that meets for two hours every Monday at noon. It brings together composers, theorists and musicologists from both within and outside Harvard for discussion.

Dudley House

Dudley House, located in Lehman Hall on the Yard, houses the GSAS center. There is a host of events, including lectures, concerts, movies, outings, and activities tailored to graduate students. outlines services available. The House sponsors opportunities to share lunch or dinner with faculty, and houses a dining room, computer facilities for graduate students, the office of the Graduate Student Council and the offices of Director of Student Services for GSAS and the office of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.

Ethnomusicology Lab

The Ethnomusicology Laboratory [the "Ethnolab"] was created to provide technical resources to aid the ethnomusicological research of Harvard University students and faculty. It includes field equipment which can be checked out for fieldwork projects as well as audio and video editing suites for transcribing, analyzing and publishing materials collected in the field.

The laboratory has been used for transcription of music and interviews, dubbing of analog audio and video in a variety of formats, digitizing analog audio and video, editing audio and video and transfer of audio and video materials to CD and DVD for archival purposes. Field recording has included audio and video documentation of performances, interviews, and events as well as the recording of music for which there are no published recordings available.

The EthnoLab equipment includes:

Audio Editing

  1. Pro Tools 10: Lynda

  2. Twisted Wave

  3. Toast Titanium

Video Editing

  1. Final Cut Pro 10: Lynda

  2. *Compressor 4: Lynda

  3. *Motion 5: Lynda

Graphic Design

  1. Photoshop CS6: Lynda

Word Processing

  1. Microsoft Office 11: WordExcelPowerpoint
    iWork 09: Lynda


Access to the Ethnolab is open to

  • Current graduate students in ethnomusicology

  • Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in ethnomusicology courses who require the resources of the Ethnolab for course projects

  • Individual students with the consent of a faculty member and upon application to the Department Administrator, subject to availability


Graduate Awards, Fellowships and University Prizes

Kennedy, Knox, Sheldon, Lurcy Traveling Fellowships
Merit, Whiting and Graduate Society Fellowships
Department Summer Fellowships: Paine, Pirrotta, French, Morrill
Wesley Wyman Fund
Music Department Travel Fund
Composition Prizes: Bohemians, Boott, Knight, Sprague, Maccoll, Green

Information on Graduate Fellowships and Awards from GSAS

*****NEW: Students traveling abroad on trips funded or arranged by Harvard or who will receive Harvard credit during their travel are required to record their itineraries in the Harvard Travel Registry.


For more information (e.g. guidelines, applications) on the Kennedy, Knox, Sheldon and Lurcy Travelling Fellowships, please see the Director of Administration (Nancy Shafman) early in the year. Applications with letter of recommendation should be submitted to the Director as well.

Students interested in the Harvard Tower and Ecole Normale Superieure, French Exchange Program, Institut D'Etudes Politiques should also consult with the Director of Administration.

For additional details on these grants please go to



There are several fellowships offered by the Graduate School:
1. Summer grant A: for language study and/or research, pre-dissertation prospectus (G1, G2, or G3)
2. Term time dissertation research award
3. Dissertation completion award** and Eliot* (full year) awards.
* selected from the winning pool

**If you have received a Dissertation Completion Fellowship you are ineligible for summer funding and should not apply

In the past, these fellowships have been awarded to composers, musicologists, and theorists. Please see the Director of Administration (Nancy Shafman) at any time if you have questions or wish to obtain an application for any of these fellowships. Information will also be posted on the graduate board. If you are applying for more than one of these, you will need to include only one copy of your transcript.

You are strongly urged to check with the faculty from whom you are considering asking for recommendations as to their travel plans during late December and the month of January.



Applications for all Summer Fellowships (listed below: Paine, Pirrotta, French, Morrill) should be in letter form addressed to the Department Chair, and should include a description of and budget for the proposed project.

Please see the Director of Administration, Nancy Shafman, if you have any questions.
Note: if you have received a Dissertation Completion Fellowship you are ineligible for summer funding and should not apply

Each spring, the Music Department awards John Knowles Paine Fellowships for travel and study during the following summer and into the academic year. The Fellowships were established in 1912 by Mrs. Paine in memory of her husband. The Music Department grants these Fellowships to graduating senior music concentrators pursuing post-baccalaureate research, and to graduate students writing Ph.D. theses.


The Nino and Lea Pirrotta Graduate Research Fund was established in 1983 in honor of Professor Pirrotta on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Previous grants have ranged from
$400 to $2,000. Each award is given for a research project of well-defined limited scope (e.g. a brief research visit to a domestic or foreign library, archive, or research facility)


Established by Richard F. French, long-time supporter of the Music Department and the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library. The French Fellowship in Music is intended to support the expenses of one or more graduate students in the Department who possess exceptional and distinguished musical and intellectual ability and have been formally accepted as doctoral candidates. Funds are available to support doctoral research in residence or abroad.


The Morrill Fellowship was established in 1992 as a gift of Gordon and Elizabeth Morrill to establish a graduate fellowship for research in Italy on music from the 15th to the 18th centuries, with a special emphasis on vocal music and opera. This award covers travel and living expenses for appropriate periods of research in Italy. It is hoped that while they are in Italy the recipients will avail themselves of the resources of the Gordon and Elizabeth Morrill Music Library at the Villa I Tatti in Florence.


The Wesley Weyman Fund accepts applications from graduate students in the Department of Music for financial assistance with travel and other expenses related to participation in conferences or other professional meetings or events. Subsidies are generally modest, and cover only a part of actual expenses, and vary based on the state of the fund.

Applications can be made before the scheduled professional event by submitting a brief letter addressed to The Weyman Fund, Harvard University Department of Music. Please put them in Eva Kim's mailbox. The letter should include a line or two about your participation in the conference or other event and a list of anticipated expenses (e.g. air and ground travel, lodgings, conference fees, meals, other incidental costs). Applications made after the event should list actual expenses, but need not include receipts. Please be sure to indicate if you are presenting a paper or having a composition performed.

Since relatively small sums are available, it may be necessary at times to take into consideration whether or how often a given applicant has previously been awarded assistance from the Weyman Fund.

For deadline information or questions about the application procedure write



The Department Travel fund is available to graduate students three times (provided funding is available) during their tenure. It can be used to support travel to attend a conference, give a paper or have a composition performed by a professional organization.

The Scholarship Committee has set the following guidelines:

- Funding from a third party is not available (e.g. already received or applied to Graduate Council and Weyman Fund);
- One of the three trips must to be used to present a paper or the equivalent, not just to attend a conference;
- Funding will not exceed $600 per trip; receipts required

The award will be based on current availability of funds. Requests should be submitted in writing to the Manager of Administration and Finances.


DEADLINE: April 6, 2015
Compositions should be submitted to the Assistant to the Chair.

The Blodgett Composition Competition is separate entity but due the same day (also submitted to Chair's assistant). This is a string quartet competition for a piece to be performed by the Parker String Quartet in 2014-2015.


By the gift of two thousand dollars from "The Bohemians" (New York Musicians Club) there has been established in the Department of Music a prize in original musical composition. The competition is open to undergraduates or the members of any graduate school of the University. The interest of the bequest will be awarded for an original composition for one or two instruments.

From the income of the bequest of Francis Boott, of the Class of 1831, a prize has been established for the writer of the best composition in concerted vocal music. The competition is open to undergraduates or to members of any graduate school of the University. The prize is offered for the best composition for chorus of not less than three nor more than eight parts, either a capella or with accompaniment for piano, organ, or small instrumental ensemble, requiring not more than ten minutes for performance. The choice of text, which may be either sacred or secular, Latin or English, original or selected, is left to the contestant. Every effort will be made to arrange a performance of the winning composition before the end of the academic year, provided the composition falls within the scope of the available performing forces.

In 1909 the University received from William H. Knight, of the Class of 1903, a fund for the establishment of a prize in memory of his brother, George Arthur Knight, late of the Class of 1907. On this foundation the George Arthur Knight Prize is offered for the best composition in instrumental music, "preference to be given to compositions for string quartets or trios, though works with piano accompaniment may compete." The competition is open to undergraduates and degree candidates in any graduate school in the University.

From the income of the Adelbert W. Sprague fund established in 1968 for the Department of Music, a prize is offered to graduate students in a competition in orchestral composition.

Bequest of Hugh F. MacColl, 1907, this prize was established in 1954. The income from the fund is "to be applied from time to time . . . to the awarding of prizes" in a competition for students in Harvard College "for original musical compositions."

The Fund was established by friends and family of the late John Green '28 in support of excellence in musical composition. It is made annually to an undergraduate or graduate student composer.



Graduate Students of the Department of Music 2014-15

  • Trevor Bača Composition
    came to Harvard from Austin. Trevor's interests as a composer center around magic and magic things. Lost and secret texts. Broken and dismembered systems. Sorcery and divination. And the beauty of brightly flashing and dimly glowing light.

  • Charrise Barron Ethnomusicology/AAAS

  • Matthew Blackmar Historical Musicology
    studied at California State University, Long Beach and Pitzer College.

  • James Blasina Historical Musicology
    holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in History, and a Bachelor of Music from Dalhousie University. His research interests include medieval music, Canadian music, and popular music in the former Yugoslavia. He is also pursuing a secondary field in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality.

  • Katherine Callam Historical Musicology

  • Ann Cleare Composition

  • Sivan Cohen-Elias Composition

  • Grace Edgar Historical Musicology
    studied at University of Minnesota.

  • Hayley Fenn Historical Musicology
    has focused on the operatic genre in its various guises from the 19th and 20th centuries; her Masters dissertation, entitled "The Meaning of Muteness," considers the relationship between mute characters and music in Auber’s La Muette de Portici and a selection of films. Since graduating in 2010, Hayley has pursued a fruitful career as a secondary school music teacher and recently organised "Zeemon Fest" – a music festival raising money for Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund. As she embarks upon postgraduate study at Harvard, Hayley is keen to explore new areas whilst continuing to pursue her love of opera: her research interests include sound studies, 20th-century American music, lieder, music in film, the Third Reich and Turkish music. Hayley is a keen runner and triathlete and loves eating out!

  •  Joseph Fort Theory

  • John Gabriel Historical Musicology
    completed his BA in Music at the University of Chicago in 2006 and his MA in Musikwissenschaft at the Freie UniversitŠt Berlin in 2009. He is particularly interested in the relationship between music and politics and has worked previously on topics including Gustav Mahler, military music, Italian futurism, and music in the Third Reich. His dissertation examines the fate of contemporary opera at the end of the Weimar Republic.

  • Marta Gentilucci Composition

  • Sarah Hankins Ethnomusicology

  • Matthew Henseler Historical Musicology
    graduated from University of Minnesota.

    Monica Hershberger

  • Justin Hoke Composition

  • Pei Ling Huang Ethnomusicology
    studied at the National Cheng Kung University and National Taiwan University.

  • Ruijing Huang

  • Clara Ianotta Composition
    Studied at Milan Conservatory and the National Paris Conservatory

  • Krystal Klingenberg Ethnomusicology
    is interested in the music of Uganda, black musics generally, global pop, diaspora, transnationalism, and digital media. She received her BA from Princeton University.

  • Paul Koenig Theory
    studied at Pomona College.

  • Michael Kushell Ethnomusicology

  • Panayotis (Paddy) League Ethnomusicology
    Paddy's research focuses on the transnational adventures of the diatonic button accordion; music, dance, and memory in the Greek diaspora; and the intersections between embodiment, imagination, and material culture in Northeast Brazil and the Greek Aegean. He holds a BA in Classics and Modern Greek Studies from Hellenic College and an MA in Ethnomusicology from Boston University.

  • Matthew Leslie Santana Ethnomusicology
    Studied at the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

  • Thomas Lin Historical Musicology
    received a combined BA/MA in Musicology from Queens College, NY, and is transferring from the CUNY Graduate Center. Holds a previous BE in Chemical Engineering from Cooper Union, NY. His interests include the Renaissance madrigal, the development of tonality in Italy, Enlightenment aesthetics, 19th-Century Italian opera, and Gilbert & Sullivan; his dissertation will focus on Francesco Cavalli and musical dramaturgy in 17th-century Venetian opera. He also trains Capoeira Regional, and enjoys cooking and massages that don't tickle.

  • Olivia Lucas Theory

  • Alana Mailes Historical Musicology
    studied at UC Berkeley and Cambridge University

  • Timothy McCormack Composition

  • Peter McMurray Ethnomusicology
    Studied at Harvard and Brandeis before coming to Harvard as an Ethnomusicology student.

  • Manuela Meier Composition

  • Lucille Mok Historical Musicology
    studied at University of Toronto where she wrote a thesis on Latin popular music in Toronto. Her interests include politics of 20th-century performance, Canadian musical identity, sound studies and eco-musicology. Her dissertation is about Glenn Gould and Oscar Peterson.

  • Emerson Morgan Historical Musicology
    studied music at the Oberlin Conservatory, Vassar College, and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. His research interests include medieval Latin chant and polyphony, liturgy, Bach studies, manuscript studies, and musical objects in material culture. His dissertation is a musicological study of Rouen in the late middle ages.

  • Rowland Moseley Theory

  • Warwick Moses AAAS

  • Josiah Oberholtzer Composition
    previously studied at Oberlin.

  • William O'Hara Theory
    holds degrees in choral music from Miami University (Oxford, OH), and in music theory from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research concerns philosophical, psychological, and scientific issues in 19th and 20th century music theory, with an additional interest in the analysis of early music. []

  • Diane Oliva Historical Musicology

  • Samuel Parler Historical Musicology

  • Marek Poliks Composition

  • Sarah Politz Ethnomusicology

  • Kai Johannes Polzhofer Composition
    holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from University Leipzig and a Diploma in composition from Hochschule für Musik und Theater (Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy), Leipzig. Research interests in philosophy of religion, aesthetics, metaphysics and music of the 21st century.

  • Ian Power Composition
    has degrees from Ithaca College and the University of California, San Diego. His website is

  • Stefan Prins Composition
  • Stephanie Probst Theory
    studied at Eastman/University of Vienna.

  • Frederick Reece Theory
    Received a first-class BA in Music from Oxford University and an Associate Diploma in Viola Performance from Trinity College, London. His dissertation research explores analytical epistemologies through the reception of musical forgeries. Other research interests include the history of tonal theory, media-theoretic approaches to musical transcription, and hermeneutic issues in the study of art song and opera.

  • Natasha Roule Historical Musicology
    holds a B.A. in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from Wellesley College. Her research interests include the Boston Early Music Movement and representations of the troubadour figure and his song from the 13th century to the present. As a viola da gambist, Natasha specializes in music of the French Baroque.

  • Caitlin Schmid Historical Musicology
    Studied at University of Wisconsin and Carleton College.

  • Sabrina Schroeder Composition

  • Anne Searcy Historical Musicology
    is writing a dissertation on diplomatic ballet exchange between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War. She has a BA from Swarthmore College in History and Music. Her other research interests include immigration, cultural institutions, tap dance, and reality tv.

  • Tamar Sella Ethnomusicology

  • Adi Snir Composition
    studied at Tel Aviv University.
  • Christopher Swithinbank Composition
    British parents, born in the Netherlands, childhood in Luxembourg, studies in music, composition, and electronics at the University of Manchester (UK) and at IRCAM (Paris). Music and words at

  • Kai Tang  Ethnomusicology
    Her principal interest is southeast Asian music and east Asian music.

  • Michael Uy Historical Musicology

  • Daniel Walden Theory

  • Etha Williams Historical Musicology
    studied at the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota.

  • Jonathan Withers Ethnomusicology

  • Micah Wittmer Historical Musicology
    received a B.A. from The City College of New York, CUNY where she majored in music and discovered her passion for musicology. Prior to that, she majored in violin performance at Juilliard. Her current research interests include the lives and works of African-American classical composers, musical theater, and 20th century American music.

AM Performance Practice Program and Degree Requirements


The A.M. Degree in Music with a specialty in Performance Practice is designed to provide intellectual and scholarly background to finished musicians who are preparing or engaged in careers as performers and teachers. The emphasis is on preparing students to work with sources, editions, theoretical writings, organology and other matters of importance to performance styles as related to repertories.  Additional areas such as differences in the meaning of terminology and notation from composer to composer or from era to era; ornamentatio, liberties of tempo and declamation, and improvisation will be addressed.

The A.M. in Performance Practice is a two-year program in which students take a selection of departmental courses focused on this specialty, and write an A.M. thesis.

The A.M. degree will be awarded on completion with passing grade (B- or above) of at least eight and no more than twelve half-courses. The courses, selected with the approval of the department, are outlined below. The Registrar requires a minimum of four blocks per semester. TIME – C  (course-related work) indicates that students are engaged in full-time study. There is a minimum residence requirement of three semesters. Two years will ordinarily be required to complete the degree.The student's program must be apporved by the department at the time of study card submission.

Typical Program for A.M. in Performance Practice

Year 1 Fall Semester  
Music 201 (Introduction to Musicology) 
Music 18x (Performance Practice)  
Music 2xx (Graduate Seminar) 

Year 1 Spring Semester
Music 201 (Introduction to Musicology)
Music 300 (Reading and Research)
Music 2xx (Graduate Seminar)

Year 2 Fall Semester
Music 18x (Performance Practice) 
Music 2xx (Graduate Seminar) 
Music 299 (Thesis)    

Year 2 Spring Semester
Music 2xx (Graduate Seminar)
Music 299 (Thesis)
Music 299 (Thesis)

Language Requirement
Students in the A.M. program will be expected to demonstrate a reading knowledge of French, German, or Italian.  An examination must be passed before entering the second year of graduate work (by the beginning of the third semester).
Analysis/Tonal Writing
Competence and fluency in traditional harmony, counterpoint, and strict composition, and analysis (including 20th-century analysis) are expected.  Music Bhf must be passed before entering the 2nd year of graduate work.
A thesis proposal (subject and scope to be decided in consultation with the Advisor) should be submitted for department approval by March of the first year of graduate work.
A Masters Committee, comprised of one Advisor and two Readers is approved by the faculty following the acceptance of the proposal.
Theses should be approximately 50 pages in length and submitted to the department no later than May 15 for the June degree and September 1 for the November degree. 
Applications for degree are due to the Registrar’s Office in March (for June degree) and August (for November degree).  Please note that thesis deadlines are updated each year. Student ID cards are valid until the last day before fall registration. Health insurance expires on July 30th. 
Admission and Financial Aid For the A.M. Program
Students interested in pursuing the A.M. degree should submit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admissions Form. Ordinarily, the department expects to enroll one to two A.M. students a year or every two years. No auditions are required. A tape (cassette or compact disc) representing the level and breath of accomplishment should accompany the application form.
Financial Aid for this program is very limited. Students may apply for Paine Traveling Fellowships and/or the Department Travel Fund. All fellowship funding is at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee. Other University funding may be available.
NOTE: Students wishing to continue at Harvard for the PhD will apply in the normal manner and their applications will be considered in the customary way. Students admitted to the PhD program will be granted credit for work done at Harvard or elsehwere according to departmental guidelines, which normally grant credit for two graduate courses taken before entering the PhD program.

c 2014 President and Fellows of Harvard College