Doctor of Musical Arts
The primary objective of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree is the recognition of the highest achievement in music performance and teaching, preparing artist-pedagogues for careers in higher education and in the professional world.
The degree may be taken in performance and literature (with specialization in piano, collaborative piano, voice, vocal pedagogy, percussion, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, low brass, violin, viola, cello, double bass, conducting) or in composition. Historical and theoretical knowledge sufficient to support individualized interpretations for performers and original creative work for composers is expected, as are writing and speaking skills needed to communicate clearly and effectively. To assist the student in achieving these objectives, the course of study includes requirements in performance or composition, academic coursework, and research.
The doctor of musical arts curriculum in conducting prepares students for careers in higher education and in the professional world. During the program of study, students will study repertoire and technique specific to ensembles in all three major performance areas: wind band, choir, orchestra. Demonstration of knowledge, skill, expressive fluency and general conducting competency will be developed through public performance preparation with all three areas; however, most performing will be completed in the student’s primary area of emphasis.
Acceptance into doctoral programs is competitive. Applicants to the program leading to the D.M.A. must present necessary credentials for evaluation of previous training and experience. These include transcripts showing an average of at least a 3.0 grade-point average in a minimum of 28 hours in liberal arts studies, submitted through the WVU Office of Admissions and Records. Copies of programs of recent major recitals, and three letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to judge the applicant’s potential success as a graduate student in music must be submitted directly to the Director of Graduate Studies in Music. Normally, the admission process also includes an on-campus audition and interview with the faculty of the major performance area. Applicants to the D.M.A. in Composition must also submit scores and recordings for review. Applicants who do not meet all of the criteria for regular admission to the D.M.A. degree program may be granted a provisional admission subject to the satisfactory completion of certain specified courses or the attainment of a specified grade-point average within a semester’s work.
Have a complete résumé and prepared list of your completed repertoire in hand for examination by the Audition Committee. On this list, using asterisks indicate those numbers that you have performed from memory. Auditions are approximately 60 minutes of performance. Live auditions are strongly recommended, but tapes or other recorded formats can be considered when travel distance poses a hardship.
The following repertoire guidelines are intended to be flexible and to encourage diversity of individual interests, but they also provide a sense of expected scope. Offering repertoire from all the categories listed below is not mandatory at your audition, but you should certainly choose a program that contains stylistic variety and that represents your own strengths. Works customarily performed from memory in public recitals should be performed from memory at your audition. Early in the application process potential students should contact the major teacher in their area and discuss audition repertoire possibilities.
Major contemporary marimba work
Solo violin work (1 movement) from J.S. Bach Sonatas and Partitas
Vibraphone solo of any style
Perform six orchestra excerpts (xylophone and glockenspiel)
2. Snare Drum
Solo or etude from the advanced classical repertoire
Solo or etude from the advanced rudimental repertoire
Three orchestra excerpts
3. Drum Set
Perform at least 4 varying styles
4. World Percussion (optional)
(Possibilities include steel drums, African drumming, taiko, etc?)
Video recording of last solo percussion recital that includes multiple percussion and chamber music (if possible)
1. A major Baroque work, such as a group of Scarlatti sonatas, a suite by Bach, or one or more preludes and fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier
2. A complete sonata, variation set, or similar work by Beethoven or another Classical composer
3. A major Romantic or Impressionist work
4. Another work of your choice, preferably a major composition (or several shorter pieces) representative of twentieth-century style
Have a prepared list of your previous vocal teachers and vocal coaches and a precise statement of your present language background; foreign language study, diction, phonetics, etc
1. An aria from an oratorio; Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn
2. One selection of your own choice; preferably a major operatic aria
3. At least two selections from each of the four language categories:
1. 17th & 18th century
2. An aria by Mozart
3. 19th & 20th century opera
1. An aria by Bach
2. Lieder; Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, Mahler, Strauss
1. Art Songs; Debussy, Ravel, Faure, Poulenc
1. Early Songs; Purcell, Arne
2. Contemporary American and British songs; such as Britten, Menotti, Floyd
Audition repertoire for the DMA in Music Performance should be chosen to demonstrate the applicant’s current level of achievement. Early in the application process potential students should contact the major teacher in the area to discuss audition repertoire possibilities. Suggested repertoire could include a concerto, sonata, show piece, solo Bach, and for the double bass three major orchestral excerpts.
WOODWINDS AND BRASS
Audition repertoire for the DMA in Music Performance should be chosen that allows the candidate to demonstrate their current level of achievement. Early in the application process, potential students should contact the major teacher in their area and discuss audition repertoire possibilities.
An on-campus audition with the WVU Wind Symphony, University Choir, or Symphony Orchestra is preferred, although video recorded auditions are allowed when great distance precludes a visit to campus. The student is encouraged to audition in his/her strongest performance area: wind band, choir, or orchestra. Further audition requirements are as follows:
A. The applicant will perform a conducting audition with an appropriate WVU ensemble which will consist of 20-30 minutes of rehearsal of repertoire that will be assigned at least two weeks in advance by the appropriate conducting faculty.
B. The applicant will perform an audition on his/her major instrument or voice before appropriate music faculty. Those who have been away from solo performance for a period of several years may offer evidence of past proficiency (e.g. recital programs, letters, reviews, video or audio tape of a performance, etc.)
C. Knowledge of literature and techniques appropriate to the applicant’s desired area of emphasis will be assessed by appropriate faculty.
D. Applicants desiring a choral emphasis will also be asked to demonstrate knowledge of appropriate vocal pedagogy within the choral rehearsal, as well as appropriate piano skills.
Applicants for entrance to the DMA in Composition should send a portfolio of compositions that include a major work (master’s thesis or equivalent) and two or three other shorter works in various genres. The score may be on paper, bound the usual way, or as computer-notated files (Coda Software’s Finale preferred) on compact disc or ZIP disc. Portable document file format (Adobe Acrobat) is acceptable. Please do not use floppy discs. Music files may be sent as attachments to an e-mail message (firstname.lastname@example.org), Recordings of application compositions are welcome but not mandatory.
NOTE: Doctoral instruction in composition is generally in classical styles; no more than one application work may be in some other style (jazz, popular song, etc.) Questions about the application portfolio compositions should be addressed to the Composer-in-Residence or Director of Graduate Studies.
The exact amount and nature of course work undertaken will be determined by the student’s advisor with the approval of the doctoral committee in light of previous preparation and field of specialization. A paradigm detailing recommended courses and other requirements is available upon request.
The D.M.A. curriculum in conducting includes: 12 credits of private lessons (minimum of 2 credits in each secondary area); 6-9 credits of conducting seminar (in-depth repertoire study); 6-8 credits of music theory, including at least one analysis course (results of the graduate theory entrance exam will dictate the exact number of credits required); 69 credits of music history (results of the graduate history entrance exam will dictate the exact number of credits required); 1218 credits of recital; 28 credits of research. The combination of recital/research credits must equal 20.
Upon completion of the requirements of the Division of Music and the general WVU graduate studies requirements, the student will be recommended for admission to candidacy for the degree. These requirements are (in order of occurrence):
1. Pass written qualifying examinations
a. Broad knowledge in music theory and music history and literature.
b. In-depth knowledge of the literature of the field of specialization or of the craft of composition.
2. Satisfactorily pass a comprehensive oral qualifying examination
The qualifying examinations shall be considered one integral examination consisting of written and oral parts. If the first attempt is unsuccessful, the student is allowed to try the entire examination a second time. The second attempt will be considered final. The applicant’s committee may elect to discourage a second attempt if the first does not indicate probable success upon repetition. Graduate students who have met these requirements and who have maintained a minimum average of B (3.0) in courses completed shall be admitted to candidacy.
Completion of the requirements for this degree normally requires at least three years of full-time graduate work. A minimum of two consecutive semesters must be spent in full-time graduate study at WVU beyond the master’s degree or its equivalent. Exceptions to this requirement may be presented to the Graduate Committee.
Performance requirements (for performance majors) include private lessons, master classes in applied repertory, and public performance of at least two solo recitals and other types of presentations appropriate for the preparation of an artist-teacher, such as chamber music programs, concerto performances, major roles in opera or oratorio, or major accompaniments. Credit for each public performance is established in advance, during the first semester of study, along with the establishment of the student’s DMA committee. A Performance Prospectus indicating projected performance repertoire is prepared by the student in consultation with his/her committee and the major ensemble directors, as appropriate.
Academic requirements include courses in music theory, music history, and music literature.
Composition requirements (for composition majors) include private lessons and the creation of a composition portfolio. The student will be encouraged by the major professor to compose works in a timely manner in a wide variety of genres from which can be drawn a select number of pieces for the portfolio. The comprehensive examination determines the admission to candidacy and is normally taken after the successful completion of required course work in music theory and music history. Work on the major project and research document normally will commence only after admission to candidacy. The candidate will submit to his/her Doctoral Committee for approval a prospectus for the portfolio to include the proposed major work, the proposed research document, and other compositions with proposed credit weighting for each.
Research requirements are intended to develop theoretical and historical investigative techniques sufficient to enable the performer to form valid individualized interpretations and to assist the composer in developing an original style. These requirements consist of the course Music Research and Bibliography (MUSC 771), for composers a doctoral seminar, and for all students a research project culminating in an extended written study related to the student’s area, although not necessarily constituting original research. This project will be supervised by a regular graduate faculty member who is a member of the student’s doctoral committee in consultation with the entire doctoral committee.
For performers, the final examination will consist of a major solo recital (which will be regarded as the equivalent of the Ph.D. dissertation defense). Immediately following the public performance the candidate’s committee will meet to evaluate the performance as evidence of mature musicianship and finished technique. The final recital will not occur in the same semester as the qualifying examination.
For composers, when all compositions and the major project have been approved and all other requirements have been fulfilled, the candidate’s doctoral committee will administer the final oral examination. At the option of the committee, a written examination may also be required. The final examination(s) shall be concerned with the compositions, the major project, and the candidate’s grasp of the field of specialization and its relation to other fields. The final examination will not be given in the same semester as the qualifying examination.
Following admission to candidacy, doctoral students are allowed five years to complete all remaining degree requirements. An extension of time may be permitted only upon repetition of the qualifying examination and completion of any other requirements specified by the student’s doctoral committee.