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MusicCollege of Arts and Humanities
2411 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7756
Fax: (808) 956-9657
* Graduate faculty
*T. Bingham, MA (Chair)—music education
The Academic Program
The music (MUS) department offers the bachelor of arts in music, bachelor of music, master of arts in music, master of music, and doctor of philosophy in music. In conjunction with the College of Education, the department offers the bachelor of education in elementary education (music) and the bachelor of education in secondary education (music). Information about each of these programs may be found in the Music Department Graduate Bulletin or Music Department Undergraduate Bulletin, available in the department office.
The department is housed in a complex of buildings, including studios, practice and rehearsal facilities, and the Mae Zenke Orvis Auditorium, noted for its fine acoustics. In addition to many offerings in Western classical, vocal, and instrumental music, the department specializes in non-Western music, notably the musics of Asia and the Pacific.
The bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD programs are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Students interested in majoring in music, minoring in music, or participating in various ensembles may obtain information at the department office and arrange to see a music adviser.
An orientation session for new students is held each fall before classes begin. At that time, incoming students take theory and piano placement tests and receive advising and approval for music courses.
Bachelor degree concentrations include performance and composition, music education, and general music studies.
For specific course requirements, see the Music Department Undergraduate Bulletin, available from the department office. All prospective majors and new and transfer students should consult the undergraduate chair when making plans to enter the University.
In addition to the UH System Application form, prospective music majors must submit a Music Department Undergraduate Admission Application and perform an audition. Forms and instructions are available from the department office.
Major requirements include approximately 41 credit hours in various music courses. Bachelor of Arts majors may work with an adviser to emphasize general music, theory, Hawaiian music, musical theater, and musicology.
BMus candidates must complete approximately 80 credit hours in music and major in composition or performance (guitar, piano, voice, and selected orchestral instruments).
Prospective music education majors should see the chair of the music education committee in the Department of Music for information and requirements. This degree program is offered in elementary and secondary education in conjunction with the College of Education.
Students can pursue an interest in music while continuing their chosen major. The minor program requires a minimum of 15 credit hours in three of four areas in music: theory, performance, ethnomusicology, and history. For further information, contact the music department office.
The department offers programs leading to the MA in music with concentrations in ethnomusicology, music education, musicology, and theory and to the MMus with concentrations in composition and performance (voice, piano, and selected instruments).
Applicants for admission to the master’s degree program must have an undergraduate degree with a major in music or a bachelor’s degree and evidence of an equivalent musical background; three confidential (not more than two years old) letters of recommendation; and, for non-native speakers of English, a TOEFL score of 500 minimum for performance or 540 for other concentrations and 600 for teaching assistants. Two copies of all transcripts should be sent with the application. In the following concentrations, these additional requirements must be met:
An applicant must declare a specific concentration within the MA or MMus; admission, if granted, is for that concentration only. If a student later wishes to change to another concentration, the student must petition the graduate faculty in music for approval.
More detailed information on all degree programs is contained in the Music Department Graduate Bulletin, available on request from the department office, 2411 Dole Street, Honolulu, HI 96822.
Diagnostic and Qualifying Exams
Prior to enrolling for the first semester of study, each classified graduate student will take a diagnostic examination in music history (part I) and theory (part II) to determine whether or not the qualifying exams in those areas (or specified courses in lieu of the qualifying exams) are needed to clear pre-program deficiencies. Students in ethnomusicology and performance are also tested in their area of concentration (part III). The content of the diagnostic examination consists of material normally included in the work required for a bachelor’s degree. The purpose of this examination is twofold: (a) to assess the student’s background and determine if there are deficiencies that should be remedied and (b) to assist the adviser and the student in planning a program of study. Detailed information about the examination is available on request.
Before being admitted to candidacy for a degree, each graduate student must pass the department’s qualifying examination, which consists of three parts: music history, theory, and the student’s area of concentration. Successful performance on specific parts of the diagnostic examination exempts the student from the equivalent parts of the qualifying examination. Parts I and II of the qualifying examination must be taken prior to enrolling for the second semester of study. All parts of the qualifying examination must be passed before the student earns 18 credit hours toward the degree. Credits earned in excess of this limit will not be counted if they are earned before all three parts of the qualifying examination are passed. When any part of the qualifying examination is not passed, the student must take that part again the next time it is offered. If the examination is not taken, a failure will be reported; students failing the examination a second time will be dropped from the program. Any exceptions to these procedures must receive prior approval by petition to the graduate faculty.
When all portions of the qualifying examination have been passed, the student will be advanced to candidacy.
Some concentrations require language competence:
Plan A requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, 22 in course work and 8 of thesis, and is taken by candidates concentrating in ethnomusicology, music education, musicology, theory, and composition. (Candidates in music education may choose either Plan A or Plan B, described below.) An ethnomusicology thesis is usually based on fieldwork. Composition students must compose an original work in one of the larger forms, plus write a detailed essay on the background and problems involved or a detailed theoretical analysis of the work.
Plan B also requires a minimum of 30 credit hours but does not include a thesis. This plan is taken by candidates in performance and is an option for candidates in music education.
Plan A music education students must pass a comprehensive exam of topics in this field after completing MUS 651 (Foundations of Music Education).
Plan B students in music education will be required to fulfill the following requirements:
Under Plan A, the oral final examination is arranged by the student in consultation with the thesis committee, usually during the semester in which all course work has been completed and after the student has completed the thesis document. Copies of the document must be presented to the committee at least two weeks prior to the examination. At the examination, the student’s knowledge and understanding of the field of concentration are examined with emphasis on the content of the thesis.
Candidates concentrating in performance are required to give a public recital. Additionally, in the recital semester and before the recital date, the student will meet with the recital committee for a one-hour oral examination to discuss historical and analytical aspects of the works to be performed in the graduate recital.
The department offers programs leading to the PhD in music with concentrations in composition, music education, ethnomusicology, and musicology.
Applicants for admission to the PhD program must present a master’s degree in music (in the area of emphasis) or equivalent, an excellent academic record (two copies of all college transcripts), three confidential letters of recommendation on forms provided by the music department, a sample of academic writing proficiency such as recent term papers, a GRE General Test score, and, for non-native speakers of English, a TOEFL score of 560 or better. Application forms are available at the music department or the Graduate Division. The completed forms should be submitted with two copies of all transcripts by February 1 for the following fall semester and by September 1 for the following spring semester.
In the following concentrations, these additional requirements must be met:
An applicant must declare a concentration in one of the four areas previously listed. Admission, if granted, is for that concentration only. If a student later wishes to change to another concentration, the student must petition the graduate faculty in music for approval. Each student will have a principal adviser who must be a member of the music department’s graduate faculty.
An application will be denied if it is determined that no principal adviser in the applicant’s area of interest is available on the music department’s graduate faculty.
This degree requires an emphasis on ethnomusicology courses for students who are not concentrating in the area of ethnomusicology. This emphasis ensures that all PhD graduates will be able to teach introductory courses in world music. Requirements for music PhD students also include MUS 659 Seminar in College Music Teaching, followed by supervised college teaching experiences.
The PhD student must spend three semesters in residence (full-time work or the equivalent in credit hours) at UHM and must complete the degree within seven years. Language Requirements. Before advancing to candidacy, reading proficiency must be satisfactorily demonstrated as follows:
Diagnostic and Qualifying Exams. Prior to enrolling for the first semester of study, each PhD student will take diagnostic exams in music history and theory to determine whether or not the qualifying exams in those areas (or specified courses in lieu of the qualifying exams) are needed to clear pre-program deficiencies. Additionally, ethnomusicology majors take their area’s diagnostic exam to determine whether or not specified ethnomusicology courses are needed to clear pre-program deficiencies. When courses are taken to clear pre-program deficiencies or in lieu of qualifying exams, they must be taken for grade during the first two semesters of study and passed with a grade of B or better, or the student will be dropped from the graduate program. Credits earned for these courses do not count towards degrees. For students taking the qualifying exams, only one failure is allowed. Furthermore, the exams (and any retest) must be taken when offered. A no show for any reason is considered a failure. All deficiencies must be cleared by the end of the first year of study. Deferral of any retest must receive prior approval by the graduate chair. The student petitions the graduate chair by memo, signed and dated, explaining the reason for the deferral request, no less than five weeks before the exam retest date. For deferred retests, all deficiencies must be cleared before the start of the second year of study.
The student’s principal adviser, appointed by the graduate chair, will consider the test results in advising the student to begin the program.
Comprehensive Exam and Advancing to Candidacy. This exam is given to measure the student’s readiness to begin significant research in the selected major area of research. It is given only after successful completion of course work, fulfillment of residency requirements, successful completion of all language requirements, and notice from the advisory committee that the student is judged to be sufficiently prepared to pass this examination.
This is a two-part exam consisting of a written portion and a two-hour oral portion, passed or failed as a whole. A student failing this exam may retake the exam once, but this must be done within one year. Passing this exam enables the student to begin the dissertation process and receive a certificate from the University indicating that all requirements of the doctorate except for the dissertation have been completed. Following the comprehensive exam, the formation of a five-member doctoral committee, and submission and approval of a dissertation proposal, the student is advanced to candidacy.
After this occurs, all that remains is fieldwork (for ethnomusicology majors only), writing of the dissertation, and the oral defense of the dissertation.
The date of the final oral exam is arranged by the student in consultation with the doctoral committee; usually, it is during the semester in which the student has completed the dissertation document. Copies of the document must be presented to the committee at least two weeks prior to the examination. At the examination, the student’s knowledge and understanding of the field of concentration is examined based on the content of the dissertation.