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Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance: Voice

Program of Study

Residence Requirement

Repertoire Requirement for Precandidates

Requirements for Candidacy

Dissertation Requirement


Final Oral Examination

Program of Study

The program leading to the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice Performance is individually designed for each student, based largely upon the particular needs of the individual. Although residence, pedagogy, and fee hour requirements must be satisfied, the doctoral degree is not awarded on the basis of a specified number of credit hours but rather on the basis of demonstrated competence. Completion of the program normally requires six terms of full-time study beyond the master's degree. Students are expected to attain candidacy effective at the beginning of the sixth term.

The minimum requirements include the following:

  1. A basic reading knowledge of two foreign languages is required. The languages are normally French and German, though Italian, Russian, and Spanish are acceptable if considered appropriate by the student's advisor. The requirement in each language may be met by completing courses 111 and 112 with a grade of B or higher. A student with a background in the language may satisfy the requirement by examination or by simply completing course 112 with a grade of B or higher. A placement examination in Italian, French and German diction is required.

  2. Musicology 503, Bibliography of Music (3 hrs.), is required. This course is considered necessary as preparation for graduate work in music and for the written and oral examinations prior to candidacy, and should be elected in the first term of enrollment as a precandidate.

  3. A minimum of fifteen hours of graduate work in musicology and music theory or at least five courses totaling a minimum of twelve hours are required prior to taking the preliminary examinations. Recommended course elections will be based on a placement examination in music theory and an interview with musicology faculty during the initial registration period. As a general rule, Theory 551 and 552 are recommended. In musicology, each period from the seventeenth century to the present should be covered in courses at or above the 500-level. Musicology 513, Opera from Mozart to the Present (3 hrs.), and 524, The Art Song (2 hrs.), are recommended. At least one of the musicology courses must be at the 600-level.

  4. Each doctoral student in Voice Performance is required to audition for a role in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance opera production during at least three terms and, if cast, is required to perform the role, subject to the approval of his or her studio teacher.

  5. Each student must elect Voice Performance 891 each term of residence as a precandidate, or at least two terms. Voice Literature 567, Oratorios (2 hrs.) is recommended, but 519, Teaching Voice (2 hrs.) and 520, Teaching Voice II (2 hrs.) are required if not elected earlier. Additional work in opera production and in the coaching of art songs is also recommended.

  6. Election of Music Performance 995, Dissertation Candidate (8 hrs.), each term in residence as a candidate, or at least one term.

Residence Requirement

At least one academic year of full-time residence is required.


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Repertoire Requirement for Precandidates

Because the body of vocal literature is vast and varied, and the differences among vocal categories are obvious, it would be unrealistic to require a specific repertoire for all doctoral students in Voice. A thorough knowledge of the literature and styles of all periods is, however, required of each student, as well as an ability to discuss and perform repertoire representative of each. The following twenty-three categories, with the number of songs, arias, or works to be chosen from each, is considered the minimum for a student completing the doctoral program in voice performance:

DMA Repertoire List  (Categories are listed with examples of proper citation).

* At least 3 atonal pieces must be included in the repertoire list, clearly marked by an asterisk.

1. Baroque and/or Rococo Solo Cantatas (3 Works)

1.               Telemann, Georg Friedrich                Der himmlischen Geiste unzählbare Menge, TWV 298


2. Arie Antiche (8): Please indicate the stylistically accurate editions used as your resource for these selections, which could include those edited by Dallapiccola, Parissote, Jeppeson and Paton.

1.               Monteverdi, Claudio                                Lasciatemi morire (Paton)                                Arianna


3. English Lute Songs (4)

1.               Dowland, John (1563-1626)                 Flow my Tears

4. Purcell (6)

1.               Purcell, Henry (1659?-1695)                  Music For a While                                Oedipus (1692)

5. J.S. Bach (2 major roles, one of which may be secular)

Student will prepare all appropriate arias from these works including extended solo passages and recitatives:

1.               Bach, J.S. (1685-1750)                            St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244

6. Handel (3 arias from opera, 3 arias from oratorio, including passages of recitative)

1.               Handel, George Frideric                        E pur così in un giorno…                                   Giulio Cesare

                  (1685-1759)                                              Piangerò

7. Mozart (1 complete operatic role, 2 complete sacred works and 2 additional arias which may include concert arias)

1.               Mozart, W.A. (1756-1791)                       Donna Anna                                                       Don Giovanni, K. 527

8. Lieder (60, including one complete cycle)

Please list composers in chronological order:

1.               Loewe, Carl (1796-1869)                      Seit ich ihn gesehen                                               Frauenliebe, op. 60

2.                                                                                   Er, der Herrlichste von allen

3.                                                                                    Ich kann’s nicht fassen, nicht glauben

4.               Berg, Alban (1885-1935)                         Warm die Lüfte*                                                     Vier Lieder, op. 2

9. French Art Songs (26)

1.               Bizet, Georges (1838-1875)                  La coccinelle        

10. 19th and 20th Century Italian Song (12)


1.               Pizzetti, Ildebrando (1880-1968)           I pastori                                   Cinque liriche

11. Russian Song (6, in Russian)

1.               Borodin, Alexander (1833-1887)          Fal'shivaya nota

12. Songs by Nationalistic Composers (7, in the original language)

1.               de Falla, Manuel (1876-1946)               El paño moruno                  Siete canciones populares españolas


13.  British Songs (10)

1.               Sullivan, Arthur (1842-1900)                  The Lost Chord

14.   20th and 21st Century American Songs (20)

The list must include selections by African American composers.

1.               Griffes, Charles (1884-1920)                The Lament of Ian the Proud, A. 118

15. 17th-20th Century French Operatic Literature (5 arias)

1.               Halévy, Jacques François Fromental    Il va venir (Rachel)                               La Juive


16. 19th and 20th Century Italian Operatic Literature (10 arias)

1.               Donizetti, Gaetano (1797-1848)          Regnava nel silenzio (Lucia)           Lucia di Lammermoor    

17. 18th-20th Century German Operatic Literature (5 arias)

1.               Beethoven, Ludwig van                           Abscheulicher! (Leonore)                                  Fidelio


18. Middle European and Russian Operatic Literature (3 arias)

1.               Dvorák, Antonín (1841-1904)                  Mesiku na nebi hlubokem (Rusalka)           Rusalka


19. North American and British Operatic Literature (5 arias)

1.               Barber, Samuel (1910-1981)                Do Not Utter a Word (Vanessa)    Vanessa

20. 18th-21st Century Oratorios, Symphonic and Chamber Works employing solo voices (5)

1.               Mendelssohn, Felix (1809-1847)          Elijah




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Requirements for Candidacy

  1. Pedagogy. Every doctoral student in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance must satisfy the pedagogy requirement during the first two terms of enrollment. A list of courses that satisfy this requirement may be found in the Handbook for Rackham Students in Music, Dance, or Theatre.

  2. Preliminary Examinations Prior to Candidacy.

    • Music History General Preliminary Examination (or the coursework alternative)
    • Music Theory General Preliminary Examination
    • Performance Preliminary Examination in the field of specialization
    • Comprehensive Oral Preliminary Examination.

    The preliminary examinations required for admission to candidacy are taken after the student has satisfied the language, residence, and pedagogy requirements; has completed most of the course work; and is prepared to concentrate his or her efforts on the dissertation recitals. At least two courses in musicology, including MHM 503, must be completed prior to taking the preliminary examination in that field, and at least two courses in music theory must be completed prior to taking the preliminary examination in theory. During the examination in performance the applicant must satisfy a jury that he or she has achieved the requisite musical competence to undertake the preparation of the public programs to be presented in lieu of a written dissertation. Both the performance and comprehensive oral preliminary examinations are administered by a committee from the Department of Voice.

    Candidacy will be conferred upon completion of these requirements and examinations. A dissertation committee must have been appointed by the time candidacy is achieved.


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Dissertation Requirement

After achieving candidacy, the student must present three performances in lieu of a dissertation, two of which must be song recitals. The third performance may be a major opera role or an oratorio role performed with orchestra. Although the basic requirements for the degree must be met by all students, various specializations are possible at the candidacy level including, for example, specializations in pedagogy, theatre, musical theatre, early music, contemporary music, and chamber music.


An abstract listing the music performed and, if space permits, providing program notes and commentary is required.

Final Oral Examination

A final oral examination concerned primarily with the field of specialization will be conducted by the dissertation committee after all of the other requirements have been completed.


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