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The Master of Music in Music History at West Chester University has been designed to serve a diverse student population, from those with specific research interests to those simply seeking greater exposure to music history and literature for educational purposes. Music educators attempting to strengthen their own teaching curricula are especially encouraged to apply, as the program meets state requirements for an advanced degree for school teachers. Any undergraduate music degree (education, theory, history, performance) fulfills the prerequisite for the program.


The M.M. program is now more compact and easier to complete, as the previous 33 credit requirement has been reduced to 30. Degree requirements include:

• 15 credits in Music History (five courses, three from the sequence MHL 610-615)
• 6 Elective credits (two courses, may include Music History)
• 3 credits in Music Theory
• 6 credits directed toward thesis-related research (two courses, MHL 698 and MMU 699)
• Foreign Language requirement
• Thesis Defense

Students may complete the 6 elective credits in subjects of their own choosing, drawn from the full spectrum of offerings across the School of Music and university, including music education, music theory, and performance, and other fields. Students may satisfy the language requirement by exam or by applying elective credits to language study.

Recently the department's core offerings were revised to direct students better toward thesis work. Traditional survey courses have been replaced with "topics" courses in which fewer works are examined in greater depth. The masterworks of the past are studied in their political and cultural contexts to demonstrate the manifold interconnections of music, the other arts, and society. Sample topics (drawn from different courses in the curriculum) include:

"The Palestrina Style and the Counter-Reformation"
"Lully and Music for the Court of the 'Sun King' "
"Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and the Concerto"
"Mozart's Le Nozze de Figaro and the Enlightenment"
"Schubert's Songs and the Romantic Cult of Sensibility"
"The Influence of Ragtime and Jazz on European Art Music in the 1920s and 1930s"
"Music and Minimalism: Riley, Reich, and Glass"

All degree requirements must be completed within six years. A single one-year extension may be granted for cause.

Candidates must demonstrate sufficient pianistic ability, sight singing, and aural perception to meet demands of program.

Further Study and Careers

This degree program is intended for students who (1) wish to continue their formal education working toward a doctoral degree in musicology, (2) desire to prepare themselves for a college-level teaching career in the area of music history and music appreciation, (3) do not necessarily intend to continue graduate work in music history, but desire more exposure to the repertory and literature of music from various historical periods, or (4) intend to pursue careers in closely related musical disciplines such as music editorship and publishing, music librarianship, music journalism and criticism, and music merchandising and marketing.

Visit the M.M. Music History and Literature page on the West Chester University website for more details!




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