Music History Exam
Students in all graduate degree programs in music, with the exception of Music Therapy students, must take MUS:5301 Advanced History and Literature of Music I and MUS:5302 Advanced History and Literature of Music II.
The Graduate Advisory Examination in Music History permits students with excellent knowledge to be exempted from MUS:5301 and/or MUS:5302. Those exempted from both courses must still take two Music History electives for the Masters degree and three electives for the Doctoral degree. Music History electives are listed under “Graduate Programs: Master of Arts” in the University of Iowa General Catalog.
Incoming graduate students who do not complete the advisory examination upon entering the School of Music will forfeit the option to test out of MUS:5301 Advanced History and Literature of Music I and MUS:5302 Advanced History and Literature of Music II. These courses (or exemption from them) are prerequisites for all graduate electives in music history. Students will not be allowed to register for music history electives unless both courses are successfully completed or waived by examination.
What the Exam Covers
The exam is multiple choice and covers all periods of music history (Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century), music bibliography, musical style, composers, and forms.
No preparation is officially required of the student who has satisfactorily completed an undergraduate course in music history. However, students who feel the need to review will benefit from the study of the general music history survey such as Grout and Palisca, A History of Western Music (5th ed.), or Stolba, The Development of Western Music.
What Happens after the Exam
Students with passing scores (above 70%) on the Graduate Advisory Examination in music history are exempted from MUS:5301 and/or MUS:5302. These students should substitute two 3 s.h. music history electives for MUS:5301 and MUS:5302. The M.A. requires 6 s.h. in music history. D.M.A. or Ph.D. students take an additional music history elective (3 s.h.).
Graduate students who do not pass the Advisory Examination in Music History must pass MUS:5301 Advanced History and Literature of Music I and/or MUS:5302 Advanced History and Literature of Music II before registering for graduate music history electives.
Music History electives are listed under “Graduate Programs: Master of Arts” in the University of Iowa General Catalog.