Musicology Concentration

Students focusing their studies in musicology pursue the Ph.D. degree.

Musicology students view the history of music from the widest possible perspective, with the concentration offering students an extremely diverse, general background, as well as depth in an area of specialization. Our faculty and alumni have made major contributions to the field and we have an impressive record of placing our graduates in academic positions.

Director: Anne Stone (AStone@gc.cuny.edu)

In additional to the general program learning goals, students concentrating in musicology should be able to demonstrate:

  1. A sophisticated control of the substance, theory, and criticism of both the major issues in music-historical thought and the repertories of the Western music canon and vernacular musics. (Assessed by First and Second Examinations)
  2. The ability to engage with questions of music theory/analysis and ethnomusicology at a high level. (Assessed by Second Examination)
  3. A scholarly control over a specialized area of research and be able to define an important historical topic within it. (Assessed by Second Examination)
  4. The ability to do research in languages other than English and to write in a literate manner. (Assessed by First and Second Examinations)

Professional development goals for musicology students:

  1. Attend professional development workshops (offered every fall semester)
  2. Attend professional conferences.
  3. Submit proposals and present conference papers at student, regional, and national conferences (always consulting with a sponsoring faculty member). Plan to have read at least three papers at conferences by the time your dissertation is complete.
  4. Turn at least one conference paper or dissertation chapter into an article and get it accepted by a peer-review journal. Ideally you will have two publications, of which at least one is in a peer-review journal.
  5. Apply for grants to fund research trips, dissertation research, and dissertation writing year.

Path to Degree

The timeline below is a guide to expected progress toward the Ph.D. in Musicology. Program policies dictate when certain benchmarks must be achieved for satisfactory progress in the program.

The degree is designed to be completed in 5 years for students entering with a master’s degree, and 6 years for students entering with a bachelor’s degree. 

Academic Year 1

Fall

  • Take three seminars. These should include Introduction to Musicology and an early music course, if offered.
  • Attend the national AMS meeting.
  • Attend Professional Development Workshops on conference papers.
  • Take a language exam, or study a language for the spring language exam.

Spring

  • Take two or three seminars, including Critical Approaches to Musicology and From Paper to Article (if entering with MA and it’s offered).
  • Take the Proseminar in Teaching
  • Attend regional or student conferences.
  • Plan on passing at least one language exam by the summer after your first year.

Summer

  • Write the two-week paper (if entering with MA)

Academic Year 2

Fall

  • Take two or three seminars, including early music if it’s offered
  • Attend the national AMS meeting.
  • Attend Professional Development Workshops on Writing for Publication and Dissertations.
  • Work on your second language exam.
  • After consulting with a faculty member, submit a proposal for a paper to a regional or student conference.
  • January: Write two-week paper (if entering with BA)

Spring

  • Take two or three seminars.
  • Attend regional or student conferences.
  • Present a paper at a regional or student conference.
  • Plan on passing your second language exam by the end of the summer after your second year.

Summer

  • Study for the Second Examination.
  • Study for second language exam
  • Write two-week paper (if entering with BA)

Academic Year 3

Note: Students who enter with a B.A. will likely spend their third year taking courses, passing language exams, doing pre-dissertation independent studies, attending workshops and conferences, and presenting a paper at a conference, as enumerated above.  The third, fourth, and fifth years described below will likely be their fourth, fifth, and sixth years.

Fall

  • Take the Second Examination.
  • Prepare a Dissertation Proposal
  • Attend Professional Development Workshops on Jobs.
  • Attend the national AMS meeting and plan to make contact with people in your chosen field of interest.

Spring

  • Submit the Dissertation Proposal.
  • Work on the dissertation.
  • Present a paper at a conference.

Academic Years 4 and 5

  • Write grants for dissertation research.
  • Complete and defend your dissertation.
  • Present at conferences.
  • Write an article for publication.

*Independent research track: for those students entering with a strong idea of their dissertation area. Those students can be approved for a research-focused track in which some seminar credits are replaced with independent study credit to allow an early start on dissertation-related research.

Curriculum Requirements

A minimum of 60 credits of approved course work is required for the Ph.D. in Musicology. Courses will be credited toward the degree only if they are part of a program approved by the Executive Officer or his/her deputy.

The master’s degree with which the student enters normally counts for 30 credits of the total requirement

For students concentrating in musicology, the first 30 credits should include the following six courses:

  • Introduction to Musicology (Music 70000)
  •  a 70000-level proseminar in theory/analysis
  • a 70000-level proseminar in either Medieval or Renaissance music together with its corequisite “Performance Workshop ” (both are required by the time the student completes 60 credits)
  • two 80000-level seminars in music history.

Students are also required to take the remaining 70000-level proseminar of the Medieval/Renaissance pair, one course in Ethnomusicology, and five 80000-level research seminars.

Browse course offerings »

Ph.D. students must demonstrate a reading and pronunciation knowledge of two languages other than English. Students are encouraged to take one language exam before the end of their first semester in the program, and the second language before the end of their third semester in the program. Students must pass at least one language examination in order to take the First Examination. They must complete all language requirements in order to take the Second Exam.

Learn more about language requirements in the Student Handbook »

FIRST EXAMINATION

The First Examination consists of two parts: part A is a written examination; part B is a two-week paper written on a given topic.

Ph.D. students entering the program with a bachelor's degree are required to take both parts of the exam; students entering with a master's degree will take only part B.

SECOND EXAMINATION

The Second Examination consists of a written examination in four parts (taken over 2 days) and an oral examination.

Learn more about examination requirements in the Student Handbook »

All Ph.D. students are required to complete a dissertation under the guidance of a member of the doctoral faculty and to defend it at an oral examination to the satisfaction of an examining committee.

In the dissertation students should demonstrate:

  • Mastery of the scholarly literature relevant to their topic.
  • The ability to conduct original research incorporating where appropriate current theoretical approaches and research methodologies.
  • The ability to reason and write at a professional level.
  • The ability to conceive, execute, and complete a scholarly monograph of substantial length and significant content.

Learn more about dissertation requirements in the Student Handbook »

Musicology Faculty

GC profile default image

William Bauer

Assistant Professor

  • Music

Assistant Professor

  • Africana Studies
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Royal S. Brown

Professor Emerita

  • French

Professor Emerita

  • Music

Professor Emerita

  • Film Studies
Amy Herzog - Associate Professor -  profile photo

Amy Herzog

Associate Professor

  • Music

Associate Professor

  • Women's and Gender Studies

Associate Professor

  • Film Studies
Dennis Slavin - Associate Professor -  profile photo

Dennis Slavin

Associate Professor

  • Music

Associate Professor

  • Global Early Modern Studies
Anne Stone

Anne Stone

Associate Professor and Head of Musicology

  • Music

Associate Professor

  • Medieval Studies
Jeffrey Taylor - Associate Professor -  profile photo

Jeffrey Taylor

Associate Professor

  • Music

Associate Professor

  • American Studies
Emily Wilbourne - Associate Professor -  profile photo

Emily Wilbourne

Associate Professor

  • Music

Associate Professor

  • Global Early Modern Studies