Duke Music Graduate Programs

Duke University offers the A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in composition, musicology, and ethnomusicology; it also offers an A.M. in performance practice studies. Students in the A.M. programs are expected to continue toward the Ph.D. (those obtaining the A.M. in performance practice ordinarily continue toward the Ph.D. in musicology).

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    • Wet Ink with Duke graduate student composers Dan Ruccia (third from left) and David Kirkland Garner (far right).

    • Photo Credit: Sarah Griffin
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    •  Graduate harpsichord building project

    • Graduate student graduation 2013 photo 1
    • Dan Ruccia, Angela Mace, Tim Hambourger, Karen Cook

    • Photo Credit: Angela Mace
    • Ben Daniels
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    • Photo Credit: D.L. Anderson
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Although there is no separate degree track in music theory, students may pursue doctoral research in this areas within the context of the musicology program. No graduate degrees are offered in performance, music education, or music therapy.

For a student with no prior graduate study in music, the A.M. may be obtained in three semesters of full-time study. However, the Music Department admits students to the Master's program only if it is their intention to continue toward a doctorate. The Ph.D. requires an additional year of course work (hence, a total of five semesters) and the completion of a dissertation, which takes another two to four years. Students entering with a Master's degree from another institution can expect their program to be shortened by approximately a year, provided that the M.A. degree is not more than six years old.

Students have much opportunity for contact with members of the faculty and for individualized instruction. Currently the department has thirty-some graduate students in residence (with a few more abroad for dissertation research) and a full-time graduate faculty of fourteen, hence a very favorable student-faculty ratio. Degree programs are comparatively flexible and to a large extent can be tailored to a student's special interests. Individual objectives can be met through a wide choice of courses in music history, ethnomusicology, composition, theory, analysis, and performance practice (including projects with performing artists on the departmental faculty), as well as courses in other disciplines.

For additional information, answers to your questions, and/or application forms, please contact , Director of Graduate Studies.

John Supko's & Bill Seaman's new CD, "s_traits"

    • john supko 2014
Duke faculty composer John Supko’s s_traits, created in collaboration with media artist Bill Seaman, Professor in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, comes out Tuesday, November 4 on the Manchester-based Cotton Goods label. It is the second album devoted to Supko’s music, following drawn only once…
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Musicology Lecture Series: Fall 2014

    • Jeremy Begbie
Friday, August 29 @ 4 pm Biddle Music Building, Room 101 Jeremy Begbie (Duke Divinity School) "Disquieting Conversations: Bach, Modernity and God" Jeremy S. Begbie is Thomas A. Langford Research Professorship in Theology at Duke Divinity School. Educated largely in Scotland, before entering the theological world he read music…
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Encounters 2014-15 season: Da Capo Chamber Players and the return of yMUSIC

    • da capo chamber players
The Encounters 2014-2015 season features two residencies with outstanding new music groups. On November 9, the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players will perform in Baldwin Auditorium, presenting Steve Reich's "Double Sextet" and Duke composer Stephen Jaffe's "Light Dances" (Chamber Concerto No. 2). Da Capo's residency continues on November…
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