Why study Theory?
Music Theory is an area of study that tends to focus on musical materials per se, in order to explain (and/or offer generalizations about) their various principles and processes. It investigates how these materials function (or, in a more speculative vein, how they might function), so that musical “structure” can be better understood (from "Theory," by David Carson Berry, Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd ed., 2013).
David Carson Berry, MM Faculty Adviser
UC Advantages and Special Opportunities
The graduate programs in music theory are of very high quality, blending rigorous academic training with opportunities for specialization in a variety of areas. The music theory faculty consists of nationally and internationally known scholars with diverse academic backgrounds, impressive research trajectories, and an exceptionally wide range of interest areas. This range permits offering seminars that expose students to all major research areas in the field.
The position of this academic program within the context of a major conservatory provides ample opportunities for interactions with high quality performers and composers, which enhances the educational experience.
Teaching opportunities abound, and most TAs gain experience teaching both theory and aural skills. The high quality of the students creates a unique pedagogical setting. The high-level teaching experiences thus attained give our students a competitive edge as they enter the job market.
Students and alumni are very active presenting their research in major professional venues. High quality work thrives within a collegial, supportive environment.
The Thinking About Music series brings in top scholars in the field to present lectures and includes several opportunities for students to interact with them and become familiar with their work. A weekly colloquium series provides opportunities to present research, as well as crucial guidance on professional development issues, thus preparing them for successful careers.
Musicology and theory students work together to organize the very high quality biennial University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Music Theory & Musicology Society conference.
For specific admissions information, international student requirements and application deadlines please visit the CCM Admissions website.
The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
CCM’s founding schools (the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the College of Music of Cincinnati) were both charter members of the National Association of the Schools of Music (NASM). The requirements for entrance and graduation in all music programs are in accordance with the published regulations of NASM.