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Questions & Answers
Music History at the University of Louisville
1. Where can I find out about the UofL Music History faculty?
A: Short bios of the Music History faculty are available on the Faculty Directory by Area under the Music History section. There is also information at the Music History Program web site.
2. How many music history majors are there at UofL?
music history program is a small one, with a maximum of five to six
students enrolled as music history majors at any one time.
3. What resources are available at UofL for music history majors?
Dwight Anderson Memorial Library holds collections of unique resources
for original research in music history. These include the Grawemeyer
Collection of Contemporary Music, which comprises over 2,500 items by
major composers submitted to the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition
since its inception in 1985, the Ricasoli Collection of 17th - and 18th
- century materials from Tuscany, and several collections of local and
regional importance. The medieval facsimile collection is particularly
4. What opportunities for experience in ethno-musicology are available at UofL?
There are several courses in world musics offered at the undergraduate
and graduate levels. The world music series provides further contact
with and experience of the music of different cultures.
5. Will I be able to write my master’s thesis or senior paper on a topic I choose?
After the initial period of study, a student decides on an area for the
focus of the final project or thesis and then consults with the faculty
member specializing in that area. The student then drafts a proposal,
which must be accepted by a specific faculty member for direction.
6. What is a master’s thesis in music history?
master’s thesis in music history is a formal study of a specific topic
and an original contribution to the field of music history. If you are
in the Louisville area and can come to the University, you may examine
theses from previous years in the University of Louisville Music
Library. Recent theses have included studies of geometric pitch
structure and form in Varèse’s Déserts, medieval bilingual motets, and
conservative and progressive elements in C.P.E. Bach's Prussian Sonata
A list of recent theses, dissertations, and senior papers is available on the Recent Theses page of Music History web site.
7. What types of career options exist for music historians?
graduates in music history from the University of Louisville have made
careers as musicologists, music librarians, arts administrators, and
Admissions, Applications, Awards, Costs, etc.
What are the admission requirements to become a music history major at
the University of Louisville School of Music, and how do I apply?
be accepted into the undergraduate music history program, students must
meet the University of Louisville admission requirements and the School
of Music admission requirements. For undergraduate admission
requirements see http://admissions.louisville.edu/ugrd.html
Please note: All undergraduate applicants are also required to perform
an audition on a principal instrument or voice. For details on the
required audition and application see the School of Music Undergraduate Admissions web page.
to the graduate program must also meet the University of Louisville
admission requirements and the School of Music admission requirements.
In addition, applicants to the music history program at the master’s
level must submit a portfolio consisting of a letter of application and
two to three papers written for music history or music theory classes
at the undergraduate level. The goal should be to submit the best
possible portfolio, because a strong portfolio could result in an offer
of a scholarship or assistantship. For assistance, read the Summary List of the steps to take
in applying for entrance to the master’s program.
Portfolios are circulated among the Music History faculty, each of whom
makes an evaluation and a recommendation about admission and financial
The portfolio review is one stage of the admissions process for the
graduate degree program, which also includes submitting the following.
- An application to the university
- A financial aid application (if scholarship assistance is sought)
9. What are the course requirements for the undergraduate degree program?
enrolled in the undergraduate program in music history complete the
four-semester music history sequence required of all music majors and
also take 18 hours of courses, among which are four music history
courses on varying topics, two hours of tutorials intended to enhance
the four-semester core sequence required of all music majors, and a
senior research project carrying four hours of credit. View the course requirements for the B.M. in Music History.
10. What are the course requirements for the graduate degree program?
complete 36 hours of course work, including seminars in music history,
music theory and other elective courses including ensembles.
Requirements include a thesis, proficiency in German or French
established through examination, oral defense of thesis and graduate
oral. View the course requirements for the M.M. in Music History.
11. How much does it cost to study music history at the University of Louisville?
A: Tuition costs are set by the university. Visit the Bursar's Office for more information.
Other costs include a place to live and food to eat (room and board),
transportation to and from school, books, clothing, etc. In general,
the cost of living in Louisville is about the same as the national
average: a bit less than really large cities and a bit more than small
towns. Information about on-campus housing and meals may be found at
the following links:
Rates for Student Housing
The cost of off-campus housing may be researched in The Courier Journal
classified ads (among other places), at the following links:
The Courier Journal Real Estate Classified Ads
The Courier Journal Classifieds Home Page
12. What financial aid is available for music history majors? What are my options for financial assistance?
aid opportunities are different for undergraduate and graduate
students. In addition to information you find here, please be sure to
carefully research all other available options, including various
student loan programs and grants. Visit the UofL Student
Financial Aid Office.
Undergraduate Financial Aid
specifically for music history majors is fairly limited. However,
scholarships for undergraduate music majors are based on the
performance audition rather than the major. For information about
undergraduate academic scholarships for students whose high school
grades are exceptionally high, visit the Admissions web site on scholarships. For southern Indiana students, there are reciprocal in-state tuition plans.
Graduate Financial Aid
for music history majors includes Graduate Teaching Assistantships in
music history and Graduate Service Awards, and there are some
fellowships available. The GTAs and the fellowships are very
competitive with other universities. Please see the Music History Awards & Assistantships page for
Especially for Graduate Students
13. Will I have an opportunity to teach?
the first year of the master’s degree program, Graduate Teaching
Assistants are assigned to a particular professor each semester and
provide classroom assistance and grading assistance for exams and
assignments for the undergraduate classes. First year Graduate Teaching
Assistants may have occasional opportunities to substitute for various
faculty, but there is no full-time responsibility for a course.
Students may also volunteer to serve as tutors for various music
Second-year Graduate Teaching
Assistants with appropriate skills may have the opportunity to teach an
independent section of the music history course for non-music majors
14. What should I include in my music history application portfolio?
Applicants in music history should send a letter of application and two
or more writing samples to the Music History Division. In the letter,
include information concerning your background in musical performance,
other relevant studies, teaching experience, and other degree
preparation. If you are applying for financial assistance, state this
interest in your letter of application. If assistance for study will be
partly based on performance or teaching, an audition and/or an
interview will have to be arranged through the Performance Division in
question or the Director of Admissions. The writing samples should
be papers written for undergraduate classes in music history or music
theory. Your writing samples should be in your best prose; revising
your papers one more time is a good idea.
15. What should I do to prepare for graduate study in music history at U of L?
Prepare for the entrance examinations in Music History and Music Theory
with the study guide sent from the Graduate Division in late May. (The
review packet for the entrance exam in Music History is also available
at Graduate Music History Entrance Exam Review Packet
.) Begin reviewing foreign language for proficiency requirement for
master's degree. Language proficiency in German or French must be
established by the beginning of the second year of study.
Especially for Entering Undergraduate Music History Students
16. How can I best prepare to enter the undergraduate music history program at UofL?
read, study! and take your performance skills and your theory exposure
seriously. The more ground you can cover before college, the more your
training at UofL will mean for you. Many high schools offer some form
of music theory training, even if informally. If not, talk with your
ensemble directors to see if they can point you in the right direction
to get more music history information and music theory practice. Some
high schools offer courses in music history. In addition to taking
these courses, read as much as you can about general history and music
history, and if you are serious about music history, be sure to include
foreign language study of German or French in your high school program.
For music theory, there are several fine practice programs available
for purchase (including Musica Practica, MacGamut, and Auralia,
to name a few – all for both Windows and Mac), and there are many less
extensive (but still very useful) freeware or shareware programs
available for download. Try ZDNET
to explore some freeware of shareware programs; search the Downloads
for “music theory” or “Ear Training.” Another very good online practice
program is found at Music Theory On Line.
17. What is the procedure for applying for the B.M. in music history?
undergraduate music students do not begin their enrollment as music
history majors, applications are the same as for any music student. A
required audition, and application are detailed online on our Undergraduates Degrees page. If you know that you are very interested in majoring in music
history, speak to the music history faculty about this as soon as
possible, and contact us prior to application. The music history
sequence (four semesters of music history courses required of all music
majors) does not begin until the sophomore year, but the sooner you
make your interests known, the better.