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With CGU’s Master of Arts in Music, you will develop the necessary tools, knowledge, and experience to pursue a serious career in professional music.

Our program strikes a critical balance between music performance and scholarship, examining music in its interdisciplinary, cultural, and intellectual contexts while providing a mastery of the theory and practice of performance. Faculty includes highly trained performers and musical scholars whose diverse interests range across musicology, performance, and composition. They bring their passion for music and scholarship into the classroom and serve as invaluable mentors. Under their guidance, you’ll join a long list of accomplished graduates who have gone on to careers as college and university professors, members of professional ensembles, music directors in churches, and solo performing artists.

Program Highlights

Program at a Glance

32 – 36 units*

* Students who are pursuing a concentration in Historical Performance Practices require 36 units

2 years

*Program completion times may vary depending on course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring


MA in Music

Featured Courses

Music Literature and Historical Styles Analysis

Provides an overview of music literature from the Middle Ages to the mid-twentieth century with concentrated analysis of representative works, using analytical techniques that fit each period.

Research Methodology & Bibliography

Introduces the many types of electronic and print bibliographic tools needed to pursue research in music, as well as research methods, citation practices, and ways to evaluate research.

Interdisciplinary Music Criticism & Cross-Cultural Aesthetics

Introduces the study of aesthetics, its historical basis and vocabulary of concepts as well as the application of these concepts specifically to music in the late eighteenth century.

Application of Music Technology I

Explores music technology, the basics of MIDI and audio, music notation software, digital audio workstations and sequencing software, and music sample libraries.

Romantic: 19th Century

Addresses the conceptual roots of romanticism, early uses of the term as well as its influence, the period of time customarily assigned to this “era” for the study of music history, and repertory.

20th Century

Surveys concert music literature in Europe and the United States from approximately 1900 to the present, focusing on musical style and structure during this period and the many remarkable changes that occurred in the last century.

Areas of Concentration


Program Requirements

Qualifying Examinations
All music students are required to take written and oral qualifying examinations at regularly scheduled, posted times during the academic year.

Participation and Attendance
All students are encouraged to take part in the performance groups of the Claremont Colleges.

Language and Research Tool Requirements
You can satisfy the research tools requirement by qualifying in:

You can fulfill the language tool requirement by demonstrating competency at translating an approved language into English.

Recitals and Projects
All recitals and projects must be approved by the Music Department.

Capstone Project
For those who write music, the culmination of their CGU music education is the opportunity to present an original composition. Though there is no strictly prescribed form, in most cases, work will involve orchestra or large ensemble (soloists, choral forces, or electronics as additional components are possibilities). Whether you write and perform a symphony or concerto, it’s the best way to test and establish your musical vision.


Faculty & Research

Robert Zappulla profile image

Robert Zappulla

Professor of Music
Fred W. Smith and Grace Hobson Smith Chair in Music
Chair, Department of Music

Research Interests

Harpsichord, Historical performance practices, Baroque music

Peter Boyer profile image

Peter Boyer

Professor of Music
Helen M. Smith Chair in Music

Research Interests

Composition, Conducting, American film music, 20th- and 21st-Century music, American composers

Jenny Soonjin Kim profile image

Jenny Soonjin Kim

Assistant Professor of Practice

Research Interests

Piano, Fortepiano, 18th & 19th-century performance practices, 20th century atonal piano compositions, digital keyboard laboratory, the board of directors of Los Angeles Master Chorale: Education Committee and Gala Host Committee


Extended Faculty

William Alves

Harvey Mudd College

Research Interests

Traditional music around the world, Indonesian gamelan; computer music; abstract animation and visual music; and alternate tuning systems

Holly Gardinier

The Claremont Colleges Library

Research Interests

Information literacy, Research strategies

C. Joti Rockwell

Pomona College

Research Interests

Music theory and analysis, 20th-century American popular music, Mathematical models of music

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Request information about the Music program

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Frank Frias

Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-3240