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Ethnomusicology Preliminary Exams

General Ethnomusicology Preliminary Exam

The candidate should first formulate his/her questions and submit them to the relevant faculty members for approval. After initial approval is granted, the candidate should compile bibliographies. After the bibliographies have also been approved, the candidate may set a date for the examination.

Three essays, with topics formulated by the student and approved by the faculty, are written at computers at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance during a six-hour, monitored exam. The student will bring an empty disc and prepared bibliographies to be included with the essays. A discussion involving musical analysis must be included in one of the three questions.

The first essay is a discussion of a genre coming from a second geographical area of interest, i.e. not the principle focus of the candidate. The purpose of this question is to demonstrate a certain breadth of knowledge concerning musics of the world.

The second essay, the theoretical essay, centers upon an ethnomusicological issue of current concern. The purpose of this question is to demonstrate the currency of the candidate’s knowledge concerning the discipline of ethnomusicology.

The third essay is more broadly defined. It may be a comparison of two musical genres (but may not include a genre covered in other questions or in the Special Area Preliminary Exam), it may be a question relating to musical pedagogy, or to musical technology, or possibly to some other related subject (approved by the faculty). Whatever topic is chosen, the student must include substantive musical analysis.

After the exam, the student will be called in for a discussion with the faculty.

Special Area Preliminary Exam

One essay, with the topic formulated by the student and approved by the faculty, is to be written at computers at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance during a six-hour, monitored exam. The student will bring an empty disc and prepared bibliography to be included with the essay.

This paper, as a model of ethnomusicological writing, may encompass the historical, anthropological, linguistic, sociological, and musicological methodologies that constitute the discipline. The topic may encompass the dissertation topic but should be more broadly conceived.

Besides logical conclusions, creative themes, and scholarly approaches, the faculty expects examples of fine writing.

After the exam, the student will be called in for a discussion with the faculty.

The essays will be rated ‘high pass,’ ‘pass,’ ‘low pass,’ or ‘fail.’

 

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