Apr 17, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Music (M.M.)

Master’s degree options and requirements

Kansas State University offers the Master of Music  degree with specialization in the following areas: music education, performance, music history/literature, keyboard pedagogy, and composition. The degree requires a minimum of between 32 and 36 credit hours including a master’s report (or recital) or a master’s thesis. Music education majors may elect to take 36 credit hours without master’s report or master’s thesis. Graduate students cannot register for both graduate report and graduate thesis.

Core requirements:

MUSIC 801 Introduction to Graduate Study (2).

Theory and history-literature 11-12 hours, including Music 702:Style Analysis and at least one seminar course or MUSIC 767:Topics in American Music.

  • History options include: 530, 531, 532, 570, 601, 650, 707, 766, 803, 807, 830, 832, 834, 836, 837
  • Theory options include: 615, 616, 620, 675, 711, 714, 802, 804, 857
  • Literature options include: 704, 705, 706, 707, 708, 737, 738, 740

A Placement Examination will determine whether or not academic deficiencies exist. If they are present, the student is required to enroll in the appropriate remedial courses or by doing independent study before re-examination.

See areas of specialization for further explanation. (MUSIC 802, taken during the summer, does not fulfill the seminar requirement.)


Requirements for individual areas of specialization

Music education


An applicant in music education may arrange a personal audition or send a recording demonstrating ability in the major area of performance as part of the admission process. Those who do not do so will audition during the registration period.

Core requirements

As above with the following amplification: MUSIC 807: History and Philosophy of Music Education is required.


4 hours individual instruction in the major performance area of the student’s undergraduate study, or in a chosen secondary performance area, or in advanced conducting.

Major field

Music education core: (6 credit hours.)

Music education electives (6-7 credit hours)

not more than 2 hours of 811 or 814 may be counted

Master’s report, (2 credit hours)

With the approval of the student’s advisory committee and the graduate faculty of the area concerned, the requirements may be satisfied by one of the following:

  1. A scholarly paper on some aspect of the student’s major area of teaching;
  2. An original composition of acceptable proportions, with an accompanying report;
  3. A recital on the student’s major instrument, the recital to be given under the conditions listed under the performance major;
  4. Six additional semester hours of graduate courses in music education and/or advanced courses related field, (e.g., art, drama, education, philosophy, psychology, statistics, etc.).



Each student wishing to major in performance must audition in person or send a recording of a recent concert. The audition, or audition recording, must be of substantial length and include music from at least three different style periods. The audition must be approved by the faculty of the appropriate division.

Core requirements as above with the following amplifications:

History-Literature hours must include:

For wind and percussion students:

For choral conducting students:

For band conducting students:

For string students:

For voice students:

For organ students:

For piano students:

Electives (4 to 6 credit hours)

Major field

A minimum of 12 hours in the division of the student’s major performance area, 8 hours of which must be individual instruction. The remaining 4 hours may be in pedagogy, methods, or ensemble. Voice majors who are found deficient in knowledge of foreign language diction will take 1 hour of diction.

Master’s report (recital), (2 credit hours)

All graduate students majoring in performance will perform a full recital of not less than one hour. The program for the recital must be approved by the student’s advisory committee, and the advisory committee will judge the recital. All solo literature (including concertos) will be played from memory, unless the advisory committee grants an exception in recognition of unusual circumstances. The recital will be digitally recorded and the recording uploaded to EDTR, with supporting material, for presentation as a master’s report. The student will also either (a) prepare substantial program notes of a historical and analytical nature, these notes to be with the recorded recital; or (b) present a lecture-recital on a major work not included on the master’s recital, the lecture-recital to be recorded and uploaded to EDTR with the master’s recital. Under both options a and b, the project is to be done under supervision of the major professor or the director of graduate studies. The program notes or the lecture should demonstrate the student’s ability to investigate and interpret the historical aspects of a work, to analyze style, and to use commendable English. The literary standards should be comparable to those required for the usual master’s report. Under option b the student’s choice of a work must be approved by his or her advisory committee.

Additional requirements and policies: students in areas in which ensemble performance plays an important role will be expected to take part in appropriate ensembles and organizations as determined in consultation with the student’s advisory committee.


Core requirements

As above.


Collegium Musicum, 2 hours.

Major field

12 hours minimum

Master’s report, (2 credit hours.)


Master’s thesis, (6 credit hours)

This option is open by permission to history majors who are not required to take 601 and who have a special interest in research.

Electives (2 to 8 credit hours)

Additional requirements

Reading knowledge of foreign language; German or French preferred, Italian, Latin, Russian, or Spanish acceptable.

Oral examination

In defense of thesis or report.

Piano pedagogy

Major field

6 hours individual instruction and the following courses:

Master’s report (recital)

In place of a master’s recital and report, all students will present a lecture–recital that will be musically-illustrated presentation on some aspect of piano pedagogy.  MUSIC 824 and MUSIC 825 will replace the two credits of MUSIC 898 Graduate Report.



Entrance to the program normally requires at least 26 undergraduate hours of composition courses. The applicant should submit original scores to the composition faculty for approval.

Core requirements

As above with the following amplification:


One course (2 hours) in advanced conducting or score reading.

Major field

Total, 16 hours, as follows: 10 to 14 hours, including 802 (Seminar in Music Theory) or 804 (Advanced Analysis), and individual instruction in composition; and master’s report, 2 hours or master’s thesis, 6 hours. The report or thesis may be either a theoretical paper or a composition in a larger form with an accompanying report.

Electives (Up to 6 credit hours.)

Additional requirements and policies

The composition student must prove his or her proficiency in conducting and in electronic instrumentation, either by class study or by actual performance in the area.

All students receiving individual instruction in composition are required to copy their music in the prescribed professional manner.

Wherever possible, the composer should assume the responsibility of seeing to the performance of his or her own music.

Music Education Summer Program

Please visit http://www.k-state.edu/musiceducation/summergrad/index.html for more information.

Masters Report (2 credit hours)

With the approval of the student’s advisory committee and the graduate faculty of the area concerned, the requirements will be satisfied by a scholarly paper that includes detailed analysis of performance literature, rehearsal plans, and performance documentation in the student’s major area of teaching.

Master’s report or thesis

The master’s report should demonstrate the student’s ability to locate and gather information, to organize this information, and to interpret and evaluate it. While the subject need not be taken from a totally unexplored area, the master’s report should reflect originality of thought and approach, and it must represent essentially the student’s own work. The report is written with the guidance of the major professor. The director of graduate studies is the second reader and should be consulted early in the work. The other member of the advisory committee also reads the report and should be consulted well before the work is finished.

The master’s thesis differs from the report only in the broader scope and greater length required.

Both the thesis and the report must be in clear and commendable English. The form and style should follow Irvine’s Writing About Music, 3rd edition, revised and enlarged by Mark A. Radice (Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press, 1999). (Music education majors will use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, most current edition, instead.)

For discussion of the master’s report (recital), see above under the performance specialization.

Final examination

The purpose of the final examination is to expose required learnings from your graduate program of study and should include questions from the three general areas: the candidate’s major field, history-literature, and theory. The candidate will be expected to demonstrate a breadth of knowledge in the field of music covered in their course work. The final examination for the master of music degree consists of either a written examination of four questions to be answered within a four hour period of time or an oral defense of their master’s recital/report/thesis. The responsibility for evaluating the examination lies with the candidate’s supervisory committee. Although focused on the program of study, the candidate will be expected to demonstrate a breadth of knowledge in the field of music beyond that covered in course work, as well as the ability to relate his or her special area to other areas. The responsibility for evaluating the examination lies with the candidate’s supervisory committee.

Problems courses

Not more than three hours in MUSIC 799: Problems in Music should ordinarily be applied to the master’s degree except that two hours of Problems in Music may be applied to the master’s report.

The purpose of the Problems in Music course is to provide opportunity for guided independent study in areas not included in regular course offerings. If scheduling difficulties have made it impossible for the student to take a needed or desired course, Problems in Music may be used to cover that subject matter.

Symposium in music and workshops

MUSIC 811: Symposium in Music and the other short, concentrated workshop courses, designed especially for school music teachers and supervisors, are given during the summer session. Often these are taught by visiting musicians and educators of national prominence. The symposium and various workshops carry graduate credit, but only 2 hours of these courses may be applied toward the master’s degree. Further information may be obtained from Professor Jana Fallin, Department of Music, Kansas State University, 109 McCain Auditorium, Manhattan, KS 66506-4702.