General Examinations

The general examinations cover musical and musicological research methodologies, concepts, skills, and general knowledge. You should enroll in courses to prepare you for the examinations you expect to take, but you should not assume that you will be responsible only for material covered in coursework. You are required to pass three examinations. Part 1 and Part 3 are written, Part 2 is oral. No examination may be taken more than twice. Parts 1 and 2 are given in May, the timing of Part 3 varies by area.

Ethnomusicology

Students will take Parts 1 & 2 no later than the end of the sixth semester, and Part 3 no later than the beginning of the seventh semester; and must have passed all three parts by the end of the seventh semester.

Historical Musicology and Music Theory

Students will take Parts 1 & 2 of the general examinations no later than the end of the fourth semester. Part 3 no later than the beginning of the sixth semester, and must have passed it by the beginning of the seventh semester.

Parts of the General Exam

  1. Identification of Music.
    1. Students in Historical Musicology and Theory:
      • Repertory of Western Art Music
        Brief identification of five recorded and five printed (score) excerpts, 2 hours
    2. Students in Ethnomusicology:
      • Music of All Traditions
        Brief cultural and historical identification of recorded examples of music, 2 hours
  2. Analysis of Music.
    1. Students in Historical Musicology and Theory:
      • Oral Analysis of Western Art Music
        Students choose one of several compositions announced well in advance of the examination: e.g., a pre-tonal work, a tonal work, and a post-tonal work; examination consists of an oral presentation on the piece followed by a period of oral questions and answers; students may bring notes but should not read formal papers, 1 hour
    2. Students in Ethnomusicology:
      • Oral Analysis of Music from a Selected Tradition or Repertory
        Students choose one of several examples announced well in advance of the examination; examination consists of an oral presentation on the music followed by a period of oral questions and answers, 1 hour
  3. Specializations.
    1. Students in Historical Musicology:
      • History of Western Music
        Seven essay questions. Six of the questions cover historical periods of Western music; the seventh, concepts and methods of historical musicology. Subject areas will be announced in the fall. Students must prepare bibliographies on these areas and submit them to the HM advisor by January 15, for approval by February 1. Seven essay questions, 10.5 hours
    2. Students in Theory:
      • Written Analysis of Western Music
        Students answer, in writing, questions on a piece chosen in advance from a list of works normally no longer than those offered for Part 2A. List of works distributed in May at the time of Part 2A. If you selected a pre-tonal or post-tonal work for 2A, you must select a tonal one for 3B. If you selected a tonal work for 2A, you must select either a pre-tonal or post-tonal one for 3B, 4 hours
      • Theoretical Systems, Present and Past
        Three essay questions, 4 hours
    3. Students in Ethnomusicology:
      • Music in Two Cultural Areas
        Three essay questions, 5 hours
      • Theories and Methods of Ethnomusicology in Historical Perspective
        Three essay questions, 5 hours