Doctor of Musical Arts - Diagnostic Examinations

The doctoral examinations in Music History and Music Theory are administered in conjunction with auditions, and serve as both admissions criteria and a diagnostic tool to evaluate whether an admitted applicant will need to take remedial courses. Decisions on admission and scholarships will not be made on any applicant until the tests are completed. While the audition is the most important factor, the graduate admission committee also gives careful consideration to the transcripts, letters of recommendation and the exams of each applicant. A poor showing on the exams impacts scholarship and may result in elimination from admission consideration.

Each doctoral exam is three hours in length and are completely written; no recordings are used. Both exams will include term definitions and score identification questions from printed excerpts. Specific to the history exam are questions on each historical period (Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century). Specific to the theory exam are part writing, short definitions of theoretical terms and both tonal and post-tonal analysis. These exams are not given a letter grade. However, based on how well an applicant does, faculty evaluators will indicate what remedial courses will be required. It is important to note that the addition of these courses could adversely affect the doctoral course of study making it difficult to complete the requisite coursework in the allotted time.

Recommended Study Materials:

  1. A History of Western Music by Grout and Palisca
  2. Graduate Review of Tonal Theory by Laitz and Bartlette
  3. Introduction to Post-Tonal Theory by Strauss
  4. Music of the 20th Century by Simms