Music Composition, M.M.
BOYER COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND DANCE
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Fall: January 15
Spring: October 15
Decisions regarding admission are rendered after the admissions application is complete and after all required credentials have been submitted.
APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.
Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2
From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from individuals who can speak toward the applicant's ability to undertake graduate-level work in music and who can comment on the applicant's character as a potential graduate student.
Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:
The equivalent of the appropriate Bachelor of Music degree at Temple University, which is based on a curriculum of 124 to 135 hours.
Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:
A degree in music is expected.
Statement of Goals:
The Statement of Goals should include special interests within the discipline and expectations for the program.
Standardized Test Scores:
Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted:
550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.
The composition portfolio should demonstrate the student's skills in music composition.
A resume is required.
Students who wish to transfer credit should speak with their academic advisor and obtain a transfer of credit form, available at www.temple.edu/grad/forms/documents/Transfer_Grad_Credit_05.pdf Transfer credits must be approved by the Advisor, the Department Chair, and the Associate Dean. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.
Due to the large number of applications for admission and the competitive nature of its music programs, the College admits only a portion of its applicants. In addition to the general admissions credentials required of all Temple University graduate applicants, Boyer College of Music specialized admission criteria (i.e., auditions, portfolios, interviews, recommendations, departmental term papers, and standardized examinations) are very heavily weighted in Boyer College of Music admission decisions. Applicants may be rejected for admission for failing to obtain the required level of proficiency in any one area of the specialized admission criteria regardless of the level of success in meeting the Temple University general admission criteria. In addition to the level of success demonstrated in the above-mentioned criteria, a final admission factor is the College's Optimum Enrollment Policy. This Policy may preclude the admission of any student who meets the minimum requirements.
General Program Requirements:
Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30
Required Courses (24 s.h.):
Music Studies 8740: Composition Seminar (12)
Music Studies 8742-8746: Seminar in Theoretical or Stylistic Analysis (9)
Music Studies: Digital Synthesis (3)
Electives (6) selected from Music, Music Education, Music Studies, or other graduate departments.
Recommended courses include:
Music Studies 8701: Research in Music
Music Studies 8713: Canon and Fugue
Music Studies 8747: Aesthetics in Music
All elective courses must be approved by advisor.
View all COURSE OFFERINGS in Music, Music Education, and Music Studies.
Internship: No internship is required.
Language Examination: A language examination is required. Reading knowledge of a foreign language is expected. If a deficiency exists, students may be required to take up to two semesters of a foreign language.
Independent Study Courses:
Independent study courses provide a special opportunity for graduate students to work in a highly individualized setting with one or more faculty members. All such study must receive the approval of the faculty member providing the instruction, the students' major adviser, and the Associate Dean. Approval will be granted only after the student has presented a detailed description of the intended independent study project. Approval of independent study projects will be granted only for students whose academic and musical record provides substantial support for the benefits of this type of study. In no case may more than 20% of a graduate student's curriculum be taken as independent study. Private lessons beyond those required in the curriculum are not an appropriate form of independent study.
Except as noted, all degree credits are to be earned at Temple University.
All incomplete grades and keyboard proficiencies must be completed by the 1st day of the month in which the student expects to graduate.
With special permission, graduate students for whom there is no ensemble requirement, or where previous ensemble credits exceed the graduation requirement, may participate in choral and instrumental ensembles without cost, with prior permission from the ensemble director, the department chair, and the Associate Dean.
All entering Master of Music students are required to take Diagnostic Examinations in Harmony, Counterpoint, Aural Skills, and Music History prior to the first semester of graduate study. The purpose of these examinations is to determine weaknesses in undergraduate preparation.
Depending on the examination results, students may be required to take one or more remedial courses. In these instances, the remedial courses will be graded on a "Credit / No Credit" basis and the official university transcript will indicate "CR" (for "Credit", meaning that the deficiency has been satisfied) or "NC" (for "No Credit", meaning that the deficiency has not been satisfied). Students must have a "B-" or better average in any remedial course or section thereof to earn the grade of "Credit" and to satisfy the requirement. Students who earn a grade of "NC" (that is, having a class average below "B-") must retake that course or section until an average of "B-" or higher is achieved and a grade of "CR" is recorded on the official university transcript. Remedial courses are offered for undergraduate credit only, and may not count toward graduate degree requirements.
1. All entering MM students must take the harmony, counterpoint, and aural skills examination prior to the first semester of graduate study unless conditions for exemption have been met (see below). Students may take the test only once, and if they do not pass the test or any portion thereof, they must enroll in the remedial course(s) during their first semester of study.
Depending on which section(s) of the examination are failed, the examiners will stipulate which sections of remedial coursework the student must take. The courses are "Diatonic Harmony Review" (Music Studies 5001), "Chromatic Harmony Review" (Music Studies 5002), "Counterpoint Review" (Music Studies 5003), and "Graduate Aural Theory Review " (Music Studies 5004.
2. Music History
All entering MM students are required to take Diagnostic Examinations in Music History prior to registering for their first semester of graduate student, unless conditions for exemption have been met (see below). If the student is unsuccessful in passing any portion of the Music History examination, the student may select one of two options.
(Option A): Register to take Music History Review (Music Studies 5005 for 1 to 5 undergraduate credits, with 1 credit assigned to each of the following five periods: Renaissance, Baroque, Classic, Romantic, and Twentieth Century. Students may register for a maximum of 3 credits of Music History Review in any semester; thus, it is possible to extend the remediation over two semesters.
(Option B): Students may study independently and retake the failed sections of the examination at the end of the first semester of study. Students may retake the examination only once, and if any section is failed a second time, they must take the assigned remedial sections in their second semester of study.
3. Conditions for Exemption
The requirement to take the Examination in any of these areas is waived only for graduates of the Boyer College of Music who:
a. matriculate and enroll in the semester immediately following completion of all undergraduate degree requirements, and
b. received grades of "B-" or better in every undergraduate course taken in each individual examination area to be waived.
Professional Development Policy:
All students in the Boyer College of Music, in addition to the required subjects toward their degrees, are obliged to serve in a number of capacities in order to enrich their academic and musical expertise. The Boyer College believes that such experiences give impetus to successful professional careers. Among the duties that may be required are conducting laboratory classes, tutoring, teaching private lessons, coaching, participating in the distribution and inventory control of University-owned musical instruments and instructional materials, participating in ensembles, accompanying, performing at admissions and open house events, supervising performance classes, and other academically related activities.
As an additional part of the entrance Diagnostic Examinations, Composition majors also must pass a functional piano proficiency encompassing the following points:
1. Score Reading: To be prepared in advance of the examination.
2. The exposition of the first movement of a symphony by Haydn or Mozart. Suggested scores are the 12 "London" symphonies by Haydn or one of the last six symphonies by Mozart. If the student wishes, s/he may play a more difficult score by a later composer.
3. Sight Reading: A Bach chorale; realization of a figured bass.
All students, including those for whom English is not the native language, are expected to present all written work in acceptable English. No double standard exists to differentiate students on the basis of proficiency in the use of the English language. Students are also responsible for becoming familiar with the College's statement on plagiarism and academic honesty.
Upon the imminent completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate study and with the approval of the major adviser, the candidate may request permission of the Associate Dean of the Boyer College of Music to take the written qualifying examination. This request must be made in writing at least one month before the scheduled date of the examination. If s/he wishes to do so, the candidate may take this examination during the final semester of graduate study. The master's qualifying examinations will be given once each term.
The Music Composition Division requires a five-hour written examination that includes the composition of a fugal exposition on a subject provided, the composition of a figured bass, the reduction, analysis and identification of a passage from an orchestral work (provided) and two essays about the history and practice of composition. In addition, the division administers a one-hour oral examination consisting of discussion and identification of various orchestral scores. Scheduled by Assistant Dean David Brown, graded by two members of the department’s graduate faculty. Students should contact the Associate Dean at least one month prior to the requested administration date.
Students are also required to submit a portfolio of their work completed during the time they participated in the Master of Music program.
Upon the imminent completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate study and with the approval of the major adviser.
Program Contact Information:
Dept. of Music Composition
Boyer College of Music
2001 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Professor Maurice Wright
Professor Michael Klein
Professor Michael Klein
About the Program
The Master of Music in Composition is a regimen of professional training spanning the gamut of traditional academic studies such as counterpoint to experimental studies in subjects such as software synthesis. The Master's program encourages the composer of demonstrated accomplishment to develop a personal voice through private study with at least two members of the composition faculty.
Time Limit for Degree Completion: 6 years
Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).
Dept. of Music Composition
Boyer College of Music and Dance
2001 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Boyer College has been ranked
among the top 30 music schools in the country
by U.S. News & World Report.
This degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Areas of Specialization:
The program prepares students for various careers related to music, and for further academic and musical training at the doctoral level.
Non-Degree Student Policy:
With permission from the Dean's Office, students may be granted permission to enter the College as a non-matriculated student, taking up to 9 graduate credits (excluding private lessons) before applying for admission to a program.
Boyer College offers a number of assistantships and academic internships to matriculated graduate students. Full awards carry a cash stipend plus full tuition remission for the fall and spring semesters. Partial awards also are available in values of 1/4 or 1/2 of a full award. Duties for assistantships and internships vary, but typically include teaching, tutoring, classroom assistance, research, artistic performance, and/or direct service related to academic programs. Applicants must submit an assistantship/internship application by March 1 to obtain priority consideration for an award.
Applications are available online at the Graduate Financial Aid page of Boyer's website. Typically these awards are made only in the fall semester for up to two semesters, fall and spring. Awards may be renewed on an annual basis (typically up to one additional year for Master's students and up to three years for Doctoral students) based upon departmental needs as well as satisfactory academic and musical progress by the recipient.