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 Music
 
Graduate Degree Programs

Master of Music in Contemporary Music
The MM in Contemporary Music is a flexible degree that allows students to study contemporary practice in one or more areas of concentration. In addition to a 12-credit common core, students take 12 credits of academic electives in music and 30 credits of applied music.

The MM degree incorporates several distinctive features. One is that the scope of music considered in the curriculum extends to music of the European art tradition, jazz, popular musics, and musics of non-Western cultures. Thus, the MM in Contemporary Music conveys the broad scope of applied musical practice in the 21st Century.

A second distinctive feature of this degree is its flexibility with respect to areas of applied practice. Students may focus in a single area, such as keyboard performance; or combine allied areas such as keyboard performance, jazz studies and composition. In the contemporary music environment such allied areas are frequently intermixed in practice, but they usually are not intermixed in academia.

A third distinctive feature is the requirement of a compact disc as an exit project. The state of recording technology today is such that a musician with even only modest financial resources has access to the means of producing a high-quality recording. As a result, having a CD as part of one's portfolio is no longer optional in the professional world. The compact disc requirement puts the art of recording on the same artistic plane as the art of live performance and recognizes the centrality of the recording arts in contemporary music practice.

The 54 credit degree consists of the following course requirements:

Common Core - 12 cr. hours
  • MUS 675 - Introduction to Graduate Research (3)
  • MUS 680 - Contemporary Topics in Musicology (3)
  • MUS 685 - Contemporary Readings in Music (3)
  • MUS 690 - Recording and Media Production (3)
Ensemble - 6 cr. hours

Applied Performance Studies - 24 cr. hours
One performance recital is required for the degree in one of the following areas of concentration:
  • Collaborative Piano
  • Composition
  • Conducting
  • Instrumental Performance
  • Jazz Studies
  • Recording Technology
  • Vocal Performance
Approved Electives - 12 cr. hours

M.M. Application Procedures and Guidelines
Before prospective students can become a candidate for any WOU graduate program, they must apply to the university, and make a separate application to the music department. Acceptance for graduate study in the Music Department is contingent upon acceptance to the WOU Graduate Studies program and acceptance into the WOU Music Department graduate program.

For Fall 2010 entry into the M.M. degree program, priority consideration will be given to application materials received by:
Friday, February 5, 2010.

Applications will also be considered throughout the year.

General University Application Requirements
Direct all inquiries to the Graduate Studies Office. Note: A health history report is required of all new, full-time students. International students must provide proof of proficiency in the English language (see International Student link). To apply to the WOU graduate program:

  • 1. Complete and submit the Application for Graduate Admission form and the nonrefundable and nontransferable $50 application fee.
  • 2. Supply to the Admissions Office sealed official transcripts from all non-WOU institutions attended.

Music Department Application and Eligibility Requirements
To apply to the Music Department M.M. program applicants must:

  • 1. Hold an earned BM or BA/BS in Music at an accredited institution.
  • 2. Complete and submit the M.M. Application form from the WOU Department of Music. There is not a fee for the Department of Music Application.
  • 3. Submit three written recommendations from persons who know the applicant's professional and personal qualifications, at least one of which must be from a professor/professional in the proposed emphasis of study.
  • 4. Provide a writing sample (e.g., research paper, thesis, etc.). The writing sample will provide the evaluators with information concerning the potential of the applicant to successfully handle the academic component of the graduate degree. Evaluators will review the sample for command of English, the ability to present an argument in a cogent manner, and evidence of critical thinking.
  • 5. Optional: For those applying for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, complete and submit the 2010-11 Graduate Teaching Assistantship Application and two copies of the 2010-11 Graduate Evaluation Form.
  • 6. Submit the following materials based on applicant's area of emphasis only:
Composition
  • 1. Three (3) diverse, legible scores that best reflect the applicant's compositional style(s).
  • 2. Recordings (CD, VHS Video, and/or DVD formats only) of three (3) representative works, at least two (2) of which should correspond with the scores submitted. If VHS videos are submitted, please include only one (1) work per tape. MIDI realizations may be used only in exceptional cases. Do not direct reviewers to a web site - please submit all materials in hard-copy format.
  • 3. A current résumé or vita, which includes 1] a list of original compositions (including title, medium, date composed, and duration); 2] a list of performances of original works (including date, location, and performers); and 3] a list of prizes, commissions, grants, or other honors recently received.
  • 4. A personal statement that addresses 1] compositional aesthetics and influences; 2] statement of purpose (why are you interested in pursuing graduate studies at Western Oregon University); and 3] long range professional goals. This personal statement is in addition to the required writing sample for the Music Department application.
Conducting
  • 1. Pass a live audition. A VHS recording or DVD of conducting skills may be submitted in lieu of the initial live audition; however, any applicant admitted on the basis of a recorded audition must perform a live placement audition upon arrival on campus to begin studies.
  • 2. A repertoire list from the past five (5) years.
  • 3. A current résumé or vita detailing your professional experience, honors, and awards.
  • 4. Copies of programs applicant has conducted in the last two (2) years.
  • 5. A personal statement that addresses 1] conducting aesthetics and influences; 2] statement of purpose (why are you interested in pursuing graduate studies at Western Oregon University); and 3] long range professional goals. This personal statement is in addition to the required writing sample for the Music Department application.
Collaborative Piano, Instrumental Performance, and Vocal Performance
  • 1. Pass a live audition that demonstrates 2-3 works of appropriate literature from different music eras. A VHS recording or DVD of performance skills may be submitted in lieu of the initial live audition; however, any applicant admitted on the basis of a recorded audition must perform a live placement audition upon arrival on campus to begin studies.
  • 2. A repertoire list from the past five (5) years.
  • 3. A current résumé or vita detailing your professional experience, honors, and awards.
  • 4. Copies of select programs applicant has performed in the last two (2) years.
  • 5. A personal statement that addresses 1] performing aesthetics and influences; 2] statement of purpose (why are you interested in pursuing graduate studies at Western Oregon University); and 3] long range professional goals. This personal statement is in addition to the required writing sample for the Music Department application.
Jazz Studies
  • 1. Performers: Pass a live audition that demonstrates 2-3 jazz styles and improvisation techniques. A VHS recording, CD, or DVD of performance skills may be submitted in lieu of the initial live audition; however, any applicant admitted on the basis of a recorded audition must perform a live placement audition upon arrival on campus to begin studies.
  • 2. Composers/Arrangers: Three (3) diverse, legible scores that best reflect the applicant's jazz composition/arranging style. Recordings (CD, VHS Video, and/or DVD formats only) of three (3) representative works, at least two (2) of which should correspond with the scores submitted. If VHS videos are submitted, please include only one (1) work per tape. MIDI realizations are not acceptable.
  • 3. A repertoire list from the past five (5) years.
  • 4. A current résumé or vita detailing your professional experience, honors, and awards.
  • 5. A personal statement that addresses 1] jazz performing aesthetics and influences; 2] statement of purpose (why are you interested in pursuing graduate studies at Western Oregon University); and 3] long range professional goals. This personal statement is in addition to the required writing sample for the Music Department application.
Recording Technology
  • 1. Three (3) sample recordings (CD and/or DVD formats only) of diverse styles that applicant has recorded and engineered.
  • 2. A current résumé or vita detailing your professional experience, recording/engineering credits, honors, and awards.
  • 3. A list of audio hardware and software with which applicant has substantial experience.
  • 4. Copies of select programs of concerts/music productions applicant has recorded/engineered.
  • 5. A personal statement that addresses 1] recording technology aesthetics and influences; 2] statement of purpose (why are you interested in pursuing graduate studies at Western Oregon University); and 3] long range professional goals. This personal statement is in addition to the required writing sample for the Music Department application.

Graduate Placement Exams (GPE)
All new graduate students are required to take placement examinations in Theory/Aural Skills, and Music History/Literature. It is the purpose of these tests to determine if prospective candidates for the M.M. degree have adequate musicianship and scholastic preparation. All faculty members who advise graduate students should be informed of their entrance records and should be familiar with policies and procedures for removing any deficiencies revealed by the GPE. All new Music Department graduate students must take the GPE or sign a waiver stating that they will complete the courses related to each exam waived. The GPE covers theory, aural skills, and music history and literature. The examination will be administered once annually prior to the Fall term during new student week. If remedial coursework is assigned based on the results of the GPE, the student must enroll in these courses in the first semester they are offered during a students degree program.

Theory and Aural Skills
  • Aural Perception: Error detection; identification of discrepancies between written scores and the music being played, in rhythm/meter, melody and harmonic sonority.
  • Written Analysis: Analysis of a short composition from the 18th-20th centuries, with respect to thematic, structural, harmonic and other relevant parameters.
  • Sight-Singing: Singing at sight a melody characteristic of the 18th-19th centuries, containing chromaticism and modulation.
  • Keyboard Harmonization: Harmonization (providing an accompaniment at the piano) at sight of a melody typical of the 18th-19th centuries, with appropriate use of various types of altered chords.
History and Literature
  • The examination is divided into historical periods: Medieval-Renaissance-Baroque-Classic-Romantic-Contemporary. The exam tests the student's knowledge of the major musical styles and forms, important compositions and treatises, composers and musical terminology.
Guidelines for GPE Results
Minimum acceptable scores are established by the theory/aural skills and music history/literature faculties respectively. Courses are provided for the removal of deficiencies, which are determined by these examinations. All new Music Department graduate students must take the GPE prior to the term they enter WOU. In lieu of taking the GPE, students may sign a waiver form that will obligate them to take the designated courses the first term they are offered (and the student is enrolled) after the student's initial enrollment. Those students who fail the examination, or portions of the examination, must take the appropriate course(s) the first term the course(s) is(are) offered (and the student is enrolled) after failing the GPE.

Music Scholarships
The following categories of music scholarships are available for students who demonstrate aptitude in performance and scholarship. It is imperative that all students interested in music scholarships apply to the scholarship committee by the scheduled deadlines. Contact Dr. Tom Bergeron (503-838-8802 or berge@wou.edu) for scholarship guidelines and application, or select the following files to download that reflect your current status and eligibility:

2011-12 New Student Scholarship Application Form (pdf 128k)
Receipt deadline for application (February 13, 2011 audition date) is February 7, 2011!
2011-12 New Student Scholarship Guidelines (pdf 113k)
 Western Oregon University Contact Information
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