Graduate Thesis Options
The master’s thesis is a brief work of original scholarship, possibly expanding upon a paper written for a previous seminar. The thesis should be similar in scope to a publishable article in a scholarly journal. Areas with the M.A. thesis requirement include Composition, Music Education (thesis option only), Musicology, and Theory. Consult with your area head for specific requirements.
The essay is of a lesser scope and of a content that may not be of general scholarly interest because it relies on discoveries and interpretations of others already published. Possibilities include comparisons of editions of major works, performance editions, program notes based on an acceptable level of scholarly research, and discussion of performance problems. This listing does not preclude using some of these subjects for the thesis if the research is sufficient in scope and depth. The term Essay must be used on title pages.
The thesis is a research-oriented study of sufficient scope and depth to be of interest to scholars generally. It should present original discoveries and/or interpretations that should be recognized as new by other specialists in the field at the time the thesis is submitted. The subject matter need not be related to the material used in the recitals. The term Thesis must be used on title pages.
D.M.A. Recording Project:
The recording option is a studio quality audio recording of significant repertoire and an accompanying essay. Both the recording and essay will be fully researched, vetted by a committee, then prepared, recorded, and produced by the candidate, and finally evaluated by a committee. The recording project consists of two parts:
- An in-depth proposal in which the candidate describes the project, provides a review of extant recordings, details the significance of the project, and outlines the recording process including preparation of material and proposed schedule for recording, editing, and mastering;
- Presentation of the finished product, including deposit of a 55-75 minute master recording and the accompanying essay consisting of substantive program/liner notes, and formal and public abstracts.
The dissertation makes an original contribution to the knowledge of the discipline. It demonstrates the student’s ability to engage in historical, ethnographic, quantitative, or other critical research as an independent scholar.