General Information for MPhil and PhD in Musicology/Composition

The Department of Music offers M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Musicology and Composition. Postgraduate students have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of research orientations, methodologies, and subject matters. Students may pursue their studies on a part-time or full-time basis, and financial assistance is available in the form of studentships. Graduates from the programme have furthered their studies at institutions such as Cornell University, The City University of New York, Princeton University, University of Michigan, and the University of Nottingham, and many have assumed academic careers in the region.

Musicology students may choose from historical, theoretical, or anthropological approaches to music research. A broad range of topics may be considered, including classical, traditional, or popular idioms of Asia, Europe, and North America. Research in the areas of film, multimedia, aesthetics, ethnography, and the social and cultural contexts of music are also encouraged. Distinguished postgraduate research includes an award-winning Ph.D. thesis on the appropriation of the qin repertory in Tokugawa Japan, a pioneering study of the musical practices of Filipino musicians in Hong Kong, and a critical biography of the life and work of the composer Calixa Lavallée.

Composition students may compose for a variety of media, including voice, musical instruments of Western and Eastern origin, or electro-acoustic instruments. Specialisation in computer-assisted musical creativity, utilising the resources offered by the electronic studio, and the exploration of various musical styles and idioms, including popular and commercial musics, are also possible. Innovative projects that combine composition with writing, technology, or other art forms are particularly encouraged in both Musicology and Composition.

All students need to attend seminars, research colloquia, and general courses offered by the Graduate School. The completion of a thesis under staff supervision is required for musicology degrees. Composition students must complete a portfolio of original works, combined with a small research thesis, or a number of short essays on issues related to composition and adjacent fields, such as analysis or music theory. All students need to defend their thesis after submission.