Music: Theory of Music, PhD
Music Theory at Penn focuses on continental philosophy and criticism, listening and ethics, the history of theory in modernity, the anthropology of the senses, aesthetics and politics, sound art, urban sound, sound media and technologies, and technics. The program displaces the typical focus on how music is constituted, whether at the level of universal system or particular work, towards the ways in which listening is constituted in various practices and structures of thought.
The Department of Music at the University of Pennsylvania offers Ph.D. programs in three other fields of study besides Theory: Ethnomusicology, Musicology, and Composition. The goal of the graduate program is not to entrench these disciplinary distinctions, but rather to seek out productive and innovative means of placing them in dialogue with each other. This orientation toward holding all of the sub-disciplines in view is reflected in the graduate curriculum as well as in the multiple colloquium series that animate departmental life. The curriculum is designed with flexibility in mind—designed specifically to offer students the freedom to craft a path of study that best addresses the research needs and methodological concerns of their particular dissertation projects. It combines the wide range of courses offered by the world-class faculty in the music department with the possibility of enrolling in seminars in other Penn departments and taking classes at consortium schools such as Princeton, Yale, and Columbia. Our colloquium series provides another means of engaging in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary conversations. In addition, workshops, public performances, and working papers presented by graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty offer a wide range of perspectives on musical practice and scholarship, focusing variously on public lives in music, current research, craft and compositional issues.
View the University’s Academic Requirements for PhD Degrees.
The total course units required for graduation is 20. A minimum of 12 course units must be taken at the University of Pennsylvania.
|MUSC 620||Creative and Compositional Approaches||1|
|MUSC 621||Analytical Methods: Twentieth-Century Music||1|
|Select two of the following:||2|
|Texts and Material Culture|
|Aesthetics and Criticism|
|Historical and Historiographic Approaches|
|Anthropology of Music|
|The Interpretation of Oral Traditions|
|Analytical and Theoretical Approaches|
|Seminar in Ethnomusicology|
|Studies in Medieval Music|
|Studies in Renaissance Music|
|Studies in Baroque Music|
|Studies in Classical Music|
|Studies in Romantic Music|
|Studies in Twentieth-Century Music|
|Seminar in Afro-American Music|
|MUSC 780||Studies in Music Theory and Analysis||1|
|MUSC 781||Writing Sound--Sounding Literature||1|
|MUSC 801||Teaching Music Theory (or Elective)||1|
|MUSC 508||Advanced Musicianship||1|
|MUSC 799||Guided Reading in Musical Scholarship (or Elective)||1|
|Select three electives 1||3|
|MUSC 999||Independent Study and Research||1|
|MUSC 994||Preparation of Ph.D. Proposal||1|
|Select six electives 1||6|
|Total Course Units||20|
Courses may be within or outside the Music department.
The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2020 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.