Master of Arts (M.A.)

Both the thesis-based and course-based MA programs strive to produce outstanding scholars and teachers who deal both critically and respectfully with a variety of musical traditions while engaging in scholarly conversation beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Students encounter a broad spectrum of approaches to music. Members of the faculty have published on topics ranging from medieval Islamic musical iconography to the history of the concerto; from studies of oral transmission of music among Canadian ethnic groups to explorations of the class and gender issues that shaped the reception of music in eighteenth and nineteenth century Germany.

Variety permits a wide range of thesis and dissertation topics, from style-historical, analytical or local history studies to investigations of the social construction of music and musical activity.

In music theory courses, students participate in focused investigations of music in the classical, popular and other traditions. The theory faculty also presents topical seminars which may range from African-American musics to post-structuralist approaches, to Schenkerian Analysis. The theory faculty encourages students to develop a well informed, critical approach to musical theory and its practices.

The Department's offerings in ethnomusicology address the issues of music as performance, music and power, and the meaning of music and musical activity. Study cross-cultural and socially grounded musical processes through courses in the theory and methodology of the field, area studies and work in anthropology. Regional strengths include Southeast Asia, South Asia, Islamic areas, Middle East, and West Africa.

M.A. (Thesis)

A minimum of 24 credits (or eight half-course equivalents), comprising:
Three required courses (9 credits):
MUSIC 614 Proseminar in Musicology
MUSIC 650 Proseminar in Music Theory
MUSIC 665 Issues in Ethnomusicology
Five graduate-level options (15 credits)
Completed thesis


M.A. (Coursework)

A minimum of nine graduate-level half-courses (27 credits):
Three required courses (9 credits):
MUSIC 614 Proseminar in Musicology
MUSIC 650 Proseminar in Music Theory
MUSIC 665 Issues in Ethnomusicology
Six options (18 credits)
An oral research presentation from one of:
MUSIC 903/906/909 Directed Research Project


Additional Requirements

Bibliography and Methods of Research (MUSIC 505) may be required of entering students in both program routes if they have not demonstrated competency in these skills.
Before beginning their thesis or final research presentation, students must demonstrate proficiency in an approved language other than English appropriate to the area of research and approved by the student's supervisor. Coursework undertaken to satisfy this requirement will not be credited toward the program. For more information on Language Requirements at the graduate level, please see here.



Prospective M.A. students should hold an B.A. Honours in Music or B.Mus. degree, or a recognized equivalent. However, students who do not hold an Honours B.A. or B.Mus. degree are still encouraged to apply. Applicants must have a strong academic record and demonstrate that they are capable of undertaking advanced studies in music.
Please consult the Application Checklist for complete details. For more information on the M.A. program, please consult the Department of Music Graduate Program Manual.