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Master of Music in Music History and Literature

Major: MUHM
Degree Awarded: MM
Unit: GU
Program Webpage:

Program Information

The School of Music offers training toward two specific graduate degrees in music: Master of Music requiring a minimum of 36 hours of graduate credit, and Master of Music Education requiring 30 hours of graduate credit. All programs require a minimum of 24 credit hours of residence at the University of Louisville. Major subjects in the Master of Music curriculum are music performance with concentrations in choral, wind or orchestral conducting, instrumental or vocal performance, jazz performance or jazz composition and arranging, piano pedagogy, music history, music theory, and music composition. The Master of Music Education program allows an applied music minor in an instrument, voice, or conducting. Each degree program has specific prerequisites, entrance requirements, and programmatic expectations that are described in the relevant section of the catalog. 

General Information Regarding Academic Policies

1.    Detailed curricular and program offerings, including specific requirements and provisions for degree programs, are published in the university Graduate Catalog at Students will be provided with copies of the Handbook for Graduate Studies in Music, the “Guidelines for Preparation for the Graduate Music History Entrance Examination,” and “Guidelines for Preparation for the Graduate Music Theory Entrance Examination.” These documents are also available on the School of Music website at

2.    Students will be required to address any deficiencies revealed by entrance examinations in courses taken within the first two semesters of study. Credit toward the degree is not granted for review course work.

3.    All students are required to complete Bibliography and Research Methods (MUS 607) by the end of the second semester of study (part-time students by the completion of 15 credit hours of graduate study). Upon satisfactory completion of requirements stated in B.2 and B.3, students will be considered in good standing.

4.    Students will complete a project appropriate to the field of study as defined by the faculty of their program. The completion of this project (public recital, thesis, professional paper) normally takes place in the last semester of graduate study. Preparation and presentation of a recital must follow the guidelines in the Handbook for Graduate Studies in Music and the preparation of a thesis must follow the “Guidelines for the Preparation and Processing of Theses” issued by the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (SIGS). The preparation of a thesis in music composition must also follow the "School of Music Thesis Formatting Guidelines for M.M. in Composition" available at

5.    In order to graduate, a student must be in good standing with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. No more than six (6) credit hours with any "C" or "C+" grade will be accepted toward a degree, and no grade below a "B-" will be accepted for a course in the student’s major subject area. Hours earned beyond the minimum in any curricular areas apply only to that area and cannot be assigned to another area in order to satisfy required credit. At least one-half of the total hours in graduate courses must be at the 600 level. Any exceptions to the program of study must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. A student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, or who fails to satisfy the published performance criteria, will be placed on probation. Students are ordinarily not permitted to continue on probation for more than one semester.

6.    When all course work and projects have been satisfactorily completed, the student becomes a candidate for the degree and is approved to take the graduate oral examination. A candidate who fails the oral examination at the end of one semester may not be given a second one before the end of the following semester. A candidate who fails the second oral examination will not be granted the degree of M.M. or M.M.E. from the University of Louisville.

7.    Upon request, a maximum of six (6) credit hours of earned graduate credit with a minimum grade of “B” may be transferred from accredited institutions that offer advanced degrees. Credit for applied music will not be transferred, but advanced standing may be awarded at a jury. Ensemble credits appropriate to the student’s degree program may be considered for transfer, but not to exceed one (1) credit hour per semester. Music history and music theory credits will be evaluated for transfer by the Director of Graduate Studies and the respective faculty. Transfer of more than six (6) credit hours may be requested provided that they are not earned by extension, or as thesis or practicum hours, and that the residency requirement of 24 credit hours is maintained by the addition of University of Louisville credits to the total program. Transfer of graduate hours within the University of Louisville toward a graduate degree in music may be requested provided that the minimum residence requirement of 24 credit hours is maintained.

8.    Students receiving a graduate assistantship (teaching, research, or service) will be provided adequate training and will be required to adhere to university policies. Performance of duties in research and service by graduate assistants will be periodically evaluated. Students with teaching assistantships will be evaluated each semester.

9.    Part-time students (with the exception of those in the M.M.E. degree program) must participate in one ensemble for each 18 credit hours of completed course work. If part-time study precludes completing ensemble degree requirements, other course work may be substituted.

Admission Requirements

1.    Applications for admission to a graduate program require the following:

(a)  a completed application;  

(b)  an application fee;

(c)  official transcripts for all previous post-secondary course work (all transcripts not in English must be certified as authentic and translated verbatim into English);

(d)  at least two letters of recommendation;

(e)  scores from the General Test Section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) that must be submitted prior to the beginning of study.

2.    Applications to specific degree programs require evidence of preparation for advanced study as follows:

(a)  in performance, an acceptable audition;

(b)  in academic specializations (music composition, music history, music theory), a portfolio of work appropriate to the field of study;

(c)  in music education, evidence of classroom teaching experience.

3.    Applicants whose primary language is not English must show English language proficiency in one of the following ways:

(a)  a minimum TOEFL examination score of 550 on the paper-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 79-80 on the internet-based test;

(b)  successful completion of the exit examination for the advanced level of the Intensive English as a Second Language Program at the University of Louisville;

(c)  documentation of the award of a degree from a recognized English language institution.

4.    Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in the area to be pursued in advanced studies, or they must present evidence of equivalent preparation.

5.    Applicants must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 on a 4-point scale.

6.    Applicants who meet the requirements listed in items 1-5 will be considered for conditional admission for graduate study at the School of Music. For additional entrance requirements specific to the degree of interest, consult the section relevant to the degree program below.

7.    Entrance examinations in music history, theory and, if appropriate, jazz, will be administered before the first term of study. The School of Music provides guidelines to assist in preparing for the entrance examinations.

8.    Any exception to the above expectations will be evaluated individually and will require a statement indicating criteria to be met in a specified time frame with provisions for monitoring progress and performance. Justification must be provided in writing and must be accepted by the faculty of the student’s proposed program, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Dean of the School of Music.

9.    Students who fail to meet performance standards or who do not meet other requirements as outlined in the letter of admission, program of study, or the catalog of the University of Louisville are subject to dismissal from their programs.



  1. Bachelor of Music degree or equivalent.
  2. Demonstration, by examination, of skills and capacities in the following fields:
    • written, aural, and keyboard harmony;
    • melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic dictation;
    • elementary counterpoint; and
    • history and literature of music, and analytic understanding of musical forms and genres.
  3. Evidence of preparation for advanced work in the area, as follows:
    • Applicants for the track in Music History must submit a paper to the Music History faculty demonstrating ability to write efficiently and to do elementary research. In addition, applicants must complete the entrance examination in Music History with an average score of no less than seventy (70) for admission to the Music History curriculum. Before admission to candidacy, students in Music History are required to have a reading ability in one foreign language (preferably German, French, or Italian) demonstrated by examination administered in cooperation with the Department of Classical & Modern Languages (fee $20.00). The examination must be passed before the student is admitted to candidacy.

   4. GRE scores.

Core Curriculum
MUS 500 - Music History Review* 0
MUS 400 - Music Theory Review* 0
MUS 600 - Graduate Oral Exam Preparation 0
MUS 607 - Bibliography and Research Methods 3
Music History Seminar (600 level) 3
Music Theory 4
Additional Music Theory or Music History Seminar (500 or 600 level) 3
Analysis (MUS 647, 648, 651, or 653) 3
Ensemble (3 semesters of major ensemble)** 3
Thesis 4
Total: 23
Other Requirements  
All students must pass an oral examination after all course work is completed.  
Music History and Literature Concentration  
Music History Seminars (600 level) 6
Additional Music Theory or Analysis 2
Music Electives 5
Total 13
Minimum Credit Hours Total: 36


* These courses may be satisfied by passing the entrance examinations in these areas.

**The recommended ensembles for the Music History Track include Early Music Ensemble and New Music Ensemble.

Departmental Faculty


Robert Amchin
Distinguished Teaching Professor

Greg Byrne

Christopher Doane

Kent Hatteberg
Director of Choral Activities
University Scholar

D. Bruce Heim
University Scholar

Kimcherie Lloyd
Director of Orchestral Studies and Opera

Naomi Oliphant
Associate Dean
Distinguished Teaching Professor

Seow-Chin Ong

Division Head of Music History

J. Patrick Rafferty

Steve Rouse

Marc Satterwhite
Division Head-Music Theory and Composition

Brett Shuster

Frederick Speck
Division Head-Ensembles and Conducting
Director of Bands

Gerald Tolson

Division Head-Music Education and Music Therapy

Michael Tracy
Division Head-Jazz Studies

Paul York

Associate Professors

Ansyn Banks
Associate Professor

Krista Wallace-Boaz
Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

Daniel Weeks
Associate Professor
University Scholar

Krzysztof Wolek
Associate Professor

Mark Yeary
Associate Professor

Assistant Professors

Amy Acklin
Assistant Professor

Director of Marching Band

Dror Biran
Assistant Professor

Randi Bolding
Assistant Professor

Darcy DeLoach
Assistant Professor

Caroline Ehman

Assistant Professor

R. Christopher Fitzgerald

Assistant Professor

Rebecca Jemian

Assistant Professor 

Sidney King

Assistant Professor 

Stephen Mattingly

Assistant Professor

Matthew Nelson

Assistant Professor

Chad Sloan

Assistant Professor 

Krzysztof Wolek

Assistant Professor

Mark Yeary

Assistant Professor

Professor Emeriti

Jerry W. Ball
Professor Emeritus

Paul R. Brink
Professor Emeritus

Jean Christensen
Professor Emerita

Anne Marie de Zeeuw

Professor Emerita

Donn Everette Graham
Professor Emeritus

Karl-Werner Guempel
Professor Emeritus

Brenda E. Kee
Professor Emerita

John LaBarbera
Professor Emeritus

Lee Luvisi
Professor Emeritus

Daniel McAninch
Professor Emeritus

Peter McHugh
Professor Emeritus

Acton Ostling
Professor Emeritus

Richard Spalding
Professor Emeritus

Dallas Tidwell
Professor Emeritus

Edith Davis Tidwell
Professor Emerita

Distinguished Teaching Professor

Robert Weaver
Professor Emeritus

Contact Information

Music History and Literature - MM

Admissions Counselor
School of Music

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