If your passion lies in research the Department provides a fertile and supportive environment to pursue your interests. Our staff features a diverse range of researchers and practitioners who provide expert guidance through our research-focussed courses, including practice-based and practice-led topics.
The MPhil in Music can be taken through three different routes.
MPhil by Thesis
Research topics for MPhil/PhD by thesis may be proposed in any area closely related to the research interests of current members of staff (see staff profiles). Students work independently with regular supervision from their research supervisor, and attend research seminars (normally four each term). Thesis titles from recent years include:
-Music and Language in the Works of Samuel Beckett
-Beyond Simplicity: Approaches to the Analysis of Contemporary Music
-Melodic Oganisation and Improvisation in Thai Music with Special Reference to the Thaang Ranaat Eek
-A Ghanaian Perspective on the Changing Role of Traditional African Music in a Contemporary Society
-Passion and Persuasion: The Art of Rhetoric and the Performance of Early 17th Century Solo Sonatas
-The Community Education Work of Orchestras and Opera Companies: Principles, Practice and Problems
-Gesture and Affekt in the Performance of Baroque Vocal Music
-3 Masses by Frangiskos Leondaritis c1516 - c1572
-Interpreting Music: contemporary performance practice on the violin
MPhil by Performance
Outstanding performers, working in any area supported by the Department of Music, may propose a programme of research leading to the degree of PhD.
The PhD by Performance offers performers an opportunity to develop original, innovative projects in an area of musical practice, in an academic environment in which creativity and scholarship are equally balanced and in which work can be carried out without the constraints often encountered in the professional world.
Submission is by portfolio, which may be variously constituted, depending on the nature of the agreed research programme. The portfolio will contain up to six discrete performance projects, fully documented and supported by appropriate commentary, bibliography and discography. Alternatively, a portfolio may comprise a single extended public or recorded performance, accompanied by a single original thesis of 45,000 words, or by a portfolio of performances (usually five or more substantial submissions).
Candidates for the MPhil may submit a portfolio of up to four performance projects, fully documented and supported by appropriate commentary, bibliography and discography. Alternatively, a portfolio may comprise a single extended public or recorded performance accompanied by a single original thesis of c. 30,000 words, or by a portfolio of performances (usually three or more substantial submissions).
University regulations require all candidates to register for the degree of MPhil in the first instance; transfer to PhD depends on satisfactory progress in the first year. This decision is taken by the advisory panel during the Spring term of the second year.
Applications will be considered from candidates who hold a relevant university degree or approved equivalent qualification, or who can demonstrate sustained professional experience as a performer and an appropriate level of academic competence.
MPhil by Composition
Composers work independently, under the guidance of an academic supervisor. There are currently seven members of staff at York supervising composition. There are weekly Composition seminars (Tuesdays 4.00-5.30pm) throughout the academic year. Some of these are presented by visiting composers, others by staff or postgraduate students of the department.
The student run Chimera Ensemble provides a regular public platform for high quality performance of student compositions, and other performance opportunities are ofen provided by the resident ensembles, University Chamber Orchestra, and professional orchestras and ensembles in the region.