Music

Master of Music (M.Mus.)

The Department of Music has developed the Master of Music (M.Mus.) degree in three distinct fields: Choral Conducting, Composition, and Performance. The Performance concentration includes studies in piano, voice, strings and selected other instruments, as well as routes in piano pedagogy and wind band conducting.

Focusing on the practical study of music performance, conducting or composition, our three M.Mus. programs allow students to delve into the concentration of their choice. Interested applicants will be highly qualified performers and/or composers who have demonstrated a high level of achievement in their fields. 

Please see below for more information on our various M.Mus. programs:

  • Choral Conducting

    M.Mus. (Choral Conducting)

    The Department offers one of the few active graduate programs in choral conducting in Canada. The program emphasizes practical experience in conducting and rehearsal technique, knowledge of repertoire, and development of research skills. The Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers provide opportunities to participate both as a singer and as a choral assistant. Both choirs maintain active concert and touring schedules and have appeared with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and are featured on CBC regional and national broadcasts.

    Program

    A minimum of 24 credits (or four full-course equivalents), comprising:

    Six required courses (21 credits):
    MUSIC 505 Bibliography and Methods of Research (3)
    MUSIC 630 Choral Conducting (6)
    MUSIC 633 Seminar in Choral Literature I (3)
    MUSIC 634 Seminar in Choral Literature II (3)
    MUSIC 638 Choral Conducting (3)
    MUSIC 640 Choral Ensemble (3)

    One graduate-level option (3 credits)

    *Students must also demonstrate proficiency in an approved language other than English.

    *A juried recital and an essay on some aspect of choral literature, conducting or pedagogy will be considered the equivalent of the thesis and final oral examination.

    Application

    We welcome applicants from any musical specialization. Although an Honours B.A. or B.Mus. is generally required, a concentration in choral music or voice performance is not necessary.

    Please consult the Application Checklist for complete details.

    For more information on the M.Mus in Choral Conducting program, please consult the Department of Music Graduate Program Manual.

  • Composition

    M.Mus. (Composition)

    The University of Alberta offers the M.Mus. degree with a specialization in Composition, and the D. Mus degree with composition as an area of concentration. Students work closely with faculty members who specialize in modern composition for acoustic media, electroacoustic or electronic media, computer music programming, hardware and software experimentation, and improvisation. Normally, students receive regularly scheduled professional, public performances of their works, and have access to technological resources for a variety of modes of electroacoustic composition and performance; included here are resources for live electronics performance, field recording, multichannel diffusion, hardware prototyping for circuit bending, and human interface design (HCI).

    In addition to the above, graduate students in composition are encouraged to explore alternative performance opportunities, with possibilities here including: the University Symphony Orchestra, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Contempo New Music Ensemble, as well as non-Western ensembles and the XiME Experimental Improvisation Ensemble. The Department also includes opportunities for composers to interface with graduate and faculty scholars in the areas of musicology, theory, and ethnomusicology. Students are also encouraged to seek collaborative opportunities with students in Art & Design, Drama, Humanities Computing, Industrial Design and the many other Departments on the University's large and diverse campus.

    Progressive, non-standard approaches to the sonic arts are encouraged. Graduate students in composition are encouraged to engage in a diverse and inclusive approach to contemporary musical creation and performance. It is expected that the student develop both a compositional 'voice' and mature artistic practice, and gain proficiency with various advanced techniques relating directly to both acoustic and electronic media.

    Program

    A minimum of 24 credits (or four full-course equivalents), comprising:

    Five required courses (18 credits):

    MUSIC 545 Seminar in Computer Applications to Music (3)
    MUSIC 581 Advanced Studies in Avant Garde (3)
    MUSIC 651 Seminar in Music Analysis (3)
    MUSIC 660 Advanced Composition I (6)
    MUSIC 661 Advanced Composition II (3)

    Two graduate-level options (6 credits)

    *Students who have not taken at least 3 credits in electronic music in their undergraduate training must enrol in MUSIC 445 Electroacoustic Music outside of the program requirements; students who have not taken a bibliography and research methods course (or equivalent) will be required to take MUSIC 505 Bibliography and Methods of Research as a program requirement. A portfolio of works composed and performed during the program of study must be presented to a jury and will be considered the equivalent of a thesis. The portfolio normally consists of three or four works for different ensembles or media (acoustic, electronic, or both), and has an overall duration of approximately 60 minutes.

    Application

    Applicants should hold a B.Mus. in Composition or a recognized equivalent. A statement of intent outlining their goals and qualifications for graduate study, and a minimum of three scores and recordings must be submitted in addition to the materials required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

    Please consult the Application Checklist for complete details.

    For more information on the M.Mus in Composition program, please consult the Department of Music Graduate Program Manual.

  • Performance, Piano Pedagogy & Wind Band Conducting

    M.Mus. (Performance)

    The University of Alberta offers performance studies in piano, voice, strings and selected other instruments, as well as routes in piano pedagogy and wind band conducting.

    Program

    A minimum of 24 credits (or four full-course equivalents), comprising:

    Three required courses (12 credits):
    MUSIC 505 Bibliography and Methods of Research (3)
    MUSIC 621 Applied Music or MUSIC 632 Wind Band Conducting (6)
    MUSIC 639 Chamber Music (3)

    Four graduate-level options (12 credits), one of which must require a major research paper

    *All M.Mus. students in organ may complete 3 credits in an approved music option in lieu of MUSIC 639.

    *Of the option courses, up to 6 credits may be taken in a department other than Music, subject to approval by the student's supervisor.

    *A juried recital will be considered the equivalent of the final oral examination.

    *Students in band/orchestral instruments must participate for one year in a large ensemble (MUSIC 641).

    Application

    Prospective students should hold an Honours B.A. or B.Mus., or a recognized equivalent. In addition to materials requested by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, students wishing to enter the program in Performance are required to submit a statement of intent outlining their goals and qualifications for graduate study.

    Please consult the Application Checklist for complete details.

    Auditions

    Applicants are expected to audition in person. If you are not an Alberta resident, you are welcome to provide a recorded audition (high-quality CD or DVD only). Both in-person and recorded auditions must be accompanied by the Application to Audition. Where relevant, applicants must provide their own accompanists.

    Please consult the Audition Information for complete details.

    For more information on the M.Mus in Performance program, please consult the Department of Music Graduate Program Manual.