*L. Paxton, MM (Chair)—voice performance
J. Blackwell, PhD—music education
*J. Boeckman, DMA—Director of Bands, symphonic wind ensemble
*A. Fine, PhD—musicology
*M. Hoover, DM—voice performance
*T. Itoh, DMA—composition/theory
A. Kehl, DMA—Associate Director of Bands, Marching Band
*J. Korth, DMA—piano performance
*B. W. Lee, PhD—ethnomusicology
*I. B. Lin, DM—strings performance
*C. Loong, PhD—music education
*K. McQuiston, PhD—musicology
*J. Moulin, PhD—ethnomusicology
*J. Mount, MM—voice performance
*T. Osborne, DMA—composition/theory
*J. Saplan, DMA—Director of Choral Activities
*J. Stepec, MM—orchestra, conducting and strings
*D. Womack, DMA—composition/theory
*T. Yee, DMA—piano performance
Degrees Offered: BA (including minor) in music, BEd in elementary education (music), BEd in secondary education (music), BMus, MA in music, MMus, PhD in music
The Academic Program
The music (MUS) department offers the bachelor of arts in music, bachelor of music, master of arts in music, master of music, and doctor of philosophy in music. In conjunction with the College of Education, the department offers the bachelor of education in elementary education (music) and the bachelor of education in secondary education (music). Information about each of these programs may be found on the Music Department website: manoa.hawaii.edu/music/.
The department is housed in a complex of buildings, including studios, practice and rehearsal facilities, and the Mae Zenke Orvis Auditorium, noted for its fine acoustics. In addition to many offerings in Western classical, vocal, and instrumental music, the department specializes in non-Western music, notably the musics of Asia and the Pacific.
The bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD programs are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Students interested in majoring in music, minoring in music, or participating in various ensembles may obtain information at the department office and arrange to see a music advisor. Advising is mandatory for music majors and minors.
An orientation session for new students is held each semester during the week before classes begin. At that time, incoming students take theory, history, and piano placement tests and receive advising and approval for music courses.
Bachelor degree concentrations include performance, composition, music education, and general music studies.
Specific course requirements are available on the Music Department website: manoa.hawaii.edu/music/. New and transfer students must attend orientation and consult the undergraduate chair when entering UH Mânoa.
In addition to the UH System Application form, prospective music majors must submit a Music Department Undergraduate Admission Application, recommendation form, and perform an audition. Forms and instructions are available from the department office and the department website at manoa.hawaii.edu/music/apply/ugrad.
Major requirements include 40 credit hours in various music courses. Bachelor of Arts majors work with an advisor to emphasize general music, Hawaiian music, or musical theater.
BMus candidates must complete 80 credit hours in music and major in composition or performance (piano, voice, and selected orchestral instruments).
Prospective music education majors should see the chair of the music education committee in the Department of Music for information and requirements. This K-12 degree program is offered in conjunction with the College of Education.
The major music requirements posted here are effective Fall 2012. Students who declared their major before this date may have different requirements. Students are advised to meet with a major advisor regarding the specific requirements that apply to them.
Students can pursue a minor in music while continuing their chosen major. The minor program requires a minimum of 15 credit hours. For further information, contact the music department office or view the website at music/about-us/degrees-programs/minor/.
Entrance exams for incoming students consist of the Diagnostic Exam to test for any deficiencies and insure that students remedy them as soon as possible in their degree programs. The General Exam (master’s level)/Qualifying Exam (doctoral level) is completed before candidacy for a degree.
Prior to enrolling for the first semester of study, each classified graduate student will take a diagnostic examination in music history (part I) and music theory (part II) to determine whether or not the general exams or qualifying exams in those areas (or specified courses in lieu of the general exams) are needed to clear pre-program deficiencies. Students are also tested in their area of concentration (part III). The purpose of this examination is twofold: (a) to assess the student’s background and determine if there are deficiencies that should be remedied, and (b) to assist the advisor and the student in planning a program of study. Detailed information about the examination is available on request. Successful performance on specific parts of the diagnostic examination exempts the student from the equivalent parts I and II of the general examination or qualifying examination. Entering doctoral students who are continuing directly from a master’s degree in UH Manoa Music are exempt from taking parts I and II of the diagnostic/general exams, since the student has fulfilled this requirement. In Ethnomusicology and Composition, the student will also be exempt from part III. Musicology and Music Education doctoral students must take part III, the qualifying exam, upon entering the doctoral program.
The diagnostic/general/qualifying examination is offered in August (before the beginning of the fall semester), in January (before the beginning of the spring semester) and in the third week of April.
- Students who enter in the fall semester will take the diagnostic examination in August. If the student does not pass any portion of the diagnostic examination, he or she may re-take the examination in January and April or take the recommended course(s) between August and May and clear deficiencies in the first academic year of study by earning a grade of B or higher.
- Students who enter in the spring semester will take the diagnostic examination in January. If the student does not pass any portion of the diagnostic examination, he or she may re-take the examination in August and the following January or take the recommended course(s) between January and December and clear deficiencies in the first year of study by earning a grade of B or higher.
N.B. Students who enter in the spring semester will be exempt from taking the April examination and will not need to submit a petition for approval to the graduate faculty.
Dismissal from the graduate program will occur if the student does not pass any part of the diagnostic examination and then: (1) does not pass any part of the general examination or qualifying examination in two attempts; or (2) does not take the prescribed course(s) to clear deficiencies in their first year of study; or (3) does not earn a B or better in the prescribed course(s).
Students with deficiencies are strongly advised to take the recommended course(s). Students may also wish to study on their own and re-take the examination. Keep in mind that many classes recommended to rectify deficiencies are offered only once per year. The student should consult with his or her advisor to discuss the most suitable course of action.
General or Qualifying Exams
Before being admitted to candidacy for a degree, each graduate student must pass the department’s general examination/ qualifying examination, which consists of three parts: music history, music theory, and the student’s area of concentration. All parts of the general examination must be passed before the student earns 18 credit hours toward the degree; course work taken in excess of this limit will not be counted if the credits are earned before all three parts of the general examination are passed.
When a student does not pass any part of the diagnostic/general/qualifying examination, there are two options:
- Exam Option. The student may repeat the unsuccessful portion of the exam the next time the examination is offered. If a student chooses this option but does not take the next examination, a failure is recorded. Any student who does not pass the diagnostic examination and does not pass the general examination/qualifying examination twice will be dropped from the program.
- Course Option. The student may take courses to remove the deficiency and must submit the required course option form. Courses to clear pre-program deficiencies or in lieu of general or qualifying examination must be taken for grade during the first two semesters of study and passed with a grade of B (not B-) or better. These courses do not count toward graduate degrees. All deficiencies must be cleared by the end of the first year of study. Students who do not remove their deficiencies by the end of the first year of study will be dropped from the graduate program.
Any exceptions to these procedures must receive prior approval by petition to the graduate faculty. The student petitions the graduate faculty by memo, signed and dated, explaining the reason for the deferral request, no less than five weeks before the exam retest date.
The department offers programs leading to the MA in music with concentrations in ethnomusicology, music education, and musicology, and to the MMus with concentrations in composition and performance (voice, piano, and selected instruments). The MA in music education is available either on-campus or online.
Applicants for admission to the master’s degree program must have a bachelor’s degree with a major in music or a bachelor’s degree and evidence of musical background equivalent to a music major; three confidential letters of recommendation (not more than two years old) on forms provided by the music department; and, for non-native speakers of English, a TOEFL score of 500 (paper) 61 (iBT) minimum for performance or 540 (paper) 76 (iBT) for other concentrations and 600 (paper) 100 (iBT) with scores of 25 in listening and speaking for teaching assistants. Application forms are available at the music department and its website, or Graduate Division and its website. The completed forms should be submitted with two copies of all transcripts by January 15 for the fall semester, and by August 1 for the spring semester. (Those who decide to enroll must submit official copies of all post secondary transcripts.) In the following concentrations, students must meet additional admission requirements:
a. Composition–Three original scores representative of various forms and media.
b. Ethnomusicology–A personal statement of 800 words minimum (3 pages) including the purpose of study. Background in cultural anthropology is desirable and, depending on the thesis research, may be required.
c. Music Education–BEd (music education) or equivalent, minimum of one year of full-time music teaching experience in a public or private school, a 20-30 minute videotape/DVD demonstrating current teaching expertise, and a lesson or rehearsal plan.
d. Musicology–Sample of academic writing proficiency (a 10-page term paper in English from an upper division music history course is preferred).
e. Performance–An audition of works representative of various musical styles. An applicant not residing in Hawai‘i must submit an unedited tape recording or CD comparable in scope and length to an in-person audition and, if admitted, will audition before the department admissions faculty before registering for the first semester of residency to ascertain appropriate placement in the curriculum sequence. A recent UH Manoa graduate may be admitted without a hearing if the BMus senior recital is considered to be of high enough quality by the majority of the department admissions faculty.
An applicant must declare a specific concentration within the MA or MMus; admission, if granted, is for that concentration only. If a student later wishes to change to another concentration, he or she must petition the graduate faculty in music for approval.
More detailed information and links to relevant forms for all degree programs are posted on the department’s website: manoa.hawaii.edu/music/.
Some concentrations require language competence:
- Ethnomusicology–A reading or speaking knowledge of a foreign language relevant to the thesis research (or equivalent competence in linguistics).
- Musicology–A reading knowledge of French or German.
Students must earn a minimum grade of B- in music courses that count toward the master’s degrees. Plan A requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, 22 in course work and 8 of thesis. Candidates concentrating in ethnomusicology and musicology follow this plan. An ethnomusicology thesis is usually based on fieldwork.
Under Plan A, the student arranges the oral final examination in consultation with the thesis committee, usually during the semester in which all course work has been completed and after the student has completed the thesis document. Copies of the document must be presented to the committee at least two weeks prior to the examination. At the examination, the thesis committee examines the student’s knowledge and understanding of the field of concentration, with emphasis on the content of the thesis.
Plan B also requires a minimum of 30 credit hours but does not include a thesis. Candidates in performance, music education, and composition follow this plan. Plan B students in performance must fulfill the following requirements:
- Give a public, hour-long recital.
- Additionally, in the recital semester the student will meet with the recital committee for a one-hour oral examination to discuss historical and analytical aspects of the works performed in the graduate recital.
Plan B students in music education must fulfill the following requirements:
- A comprehensive three-hour examination, exhibiting strength in written expression and a grasp of the essentials of the broad field of music education; and
- A project or paper about some specific aspect of music education whose size and scope will be determined by the student and the faculty member directing the project.
Plan B students in composition must fulfill the following requirements:
- Composition students must compose an original work in one of the larger forms, and write an essay on a topic related to their master’s studies.
- Candidates concentrating in composition must give a public, 30-45 minute recital of original works composed during their master’s studies at UH Manoa.
The master’s student must spend at least two semesters in program residency at UH Manoa. (Full-time work or the equivalent in credit hours.)
The department offers programs leading to the PhD in music with concentrations in composition, ethnomusicology, music education, and musicology.
Applicants for admission to the PhD program must present a master’s degree in music (in the area of emphasis or equivalent), an excellent academic record (two copies of all college transcripts), three confidential letters of recommendation (not more than two years old) on forms provided by the music department, a sample of academic writing proficiency such as recent term papers as specified in certain areas, and, for non-native speakers of English, a TOEFL score of 560 (paper), 83 (iBT) or better, and, for teaching assistants, 600 (paper), 100 (iBT) with scores of 25 in listening and speaking. Application forms are available at the music department and its website, or Graduate Division and its website. The completed forms should be submitted with two copies of all transcripts by January 15 for entrance in the following fall semester and by August 1 for entrance in the following spring semester. (Those who decide to enroll must submit official copies of all post secondary transcripts.)
In the following concentrations, students must meet additional admission requirements:
- Composition–A master’s degree in composition or the equivalent in terms of course work and original composition; a score of one large-scale work; scores of two shorter works; and a recording of at least one of the above.
- Ethnomusicology–A master’s degree in ethnomusicology or the equivalent in terms of course work and fieldwork. A major research paper in ethnomusicology as evidence of extensive background in musical traditions other than Western art music.
- Musicology–A master’s degree in musicology or a minimum of four graduate seminars in musicology, and a 7,500-word research paper in English on a subject in historical musicology.
- Music Education—A master’s degree in music education is preferred, but an equivalent background is acceptable. A minimum of two years full-time music teaching in a public or private school; three confidential letters of recommendation on the applicant’s teaching ability, at least two of which must be written by the applicant’s job supervisors (principal or other supervisor); and one of the following: (a) a 20-30 minute videotape or DVD demonstrating current teaching expertise, or (b) an in-person teaching demonstration; and a lesson or rehearsal plan relevant to the teaching demonstration.
An applicant must declare a concentration in one of the four areas previously listed. Admission, if granted, is for that concentration only. If a student later wishes to change to another concentration, he or she must petition the graduate faculty in music for approval. Each student will have a principal advisor who must be a member of the music department’s graduate faculty. An application will be denied if it is determined that no principal advisor in the applicant’s area of interest is available on the music department’s graduate faculty.
This degree requires an emphasis in ethnomusicology (11 credits of specified course work) for students who are not concentrating in ethnomusicology. This emphasis ensures that all PhD graduates will be able to teach introductory courses in world music. Requirements for music PhD students also include MUS 659 Seminar in College Music Teaching, and/or supervised college teaching experiences.
The PhD student must spend at least three semesters in program residence (full-time work or the equivalent in credit hours) at UH Manoa and must complete the degree within seven years. The student must earn a minimum grade of B- in music courses that count toward the PhD in music.
Other Requirements. Before advancing to candidacy, reading proficiency must be satisfactorily demonstrated as follows:
- Ethnomusicology–One dissertation research language and one library research language.
- Music Education–Language appropriate to the areas of research or research statistics.
- Musicology–Two European languages: German and one other language, preferably French.
- Composition–Language appropriate to areas of research. Presentation of a full (50-60 minute) recital of works composed during the doctoral residency.
Comprehensive Exam and Advancing to Candidacy. This exam measures the student’s readiness to begin significant research in the selected major area of research. It is given only after successful completion of course work, fulfillment of residency requirements, successful completion of all language requirements, and notice from the advisory committee that the student is sufficiently prepared for this examination. This two-part exam consists of a written portion and a two-hour oral portion. A student failing this exam may retake it once, but must do so within one year. Passing this exam enables the student to begin the dissertation process and receive an ABD certificate from UH Manoa, indicating that all requirements of the doctorate except for the dissertation have been completed. Following the formation of a five-member doctoral committee, the comprehensive exam, and submission and approval of a dissertation proposal by the doctoral committee, the student is advanced to candidacy.
After this occurs, all that remains is fieldwork (for ethnomusicology majors only), research for and writing of the dissertation, and the oral defense of the dissertation.
Final Oral Examination. Basically a defense of the dissertation, this exam is conducted by the five-member doctoral committee, consisting of graduate faculty members appointed by the music graduate chair and approved by the Graduate Division dean. The chair of the student’s advisory committee normally serves as the chair of the student’s doctoral committee. At least one member must be from outside the music department, but music department members make up the majority. The committee chair and outside member must be physically present at the exam, which is subject to other regulations described at the Graduate Division website: manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/final-defense.
The student arranges the date of the final oral exam in consultation with the doctoral committee; it usually takes place during the semester the student has completed the dissertation document. Copies of the document must be presented to the committee at least two weeks prior to the examination. At the examinations, the committee scrutinizes and judges the student’s knowledge and understanding of the field of concentration, with emphasis on the content of the dissertation.