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Fiffaro
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Most English Universities offer a PhD, but not a DMus. Although very few offer DMus in comparison to those who offer PhD, DMus is accepted as the "higher" Doctorate of the two. I wouldn't mind having either!

 

Or both! :blink:

The thing is, it wouldn't make a scrap of difference if you did. I don't study the organist's credentials when choosing to attend a recital, just whether he or she can play. I would hope those who select candidates for senior positions in "the industry" also put musical ability and interpersonal skills before paper qualifications.

JC

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I suspect all intend so to place the priority on musical ability - but inevitably are often swayed inadvertantly by an impressive display of qualifications.

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Here is the North American view:

1) If an institution offers both PhD and DMus/DMA in composition, the PhD tends to have more rigorous requirements, and therefore takes more time to complete.

2) Most performance programmes offer the DMA degree; PhD is very rare in this subfield. Whether or not a dissertation is required for graduation, the DMA programme in performance tends to take less time to complete than a PhD in other subfields of music.

3) Musicology and theory degrees are always PhD as they are research-oriented.

4) Speaking from a purely academic perspective, a PhD is more highly regarded than a DMA because of the emphasis on research. This is a very broad generalisation.

 

My experience is that North American universities differ even more widely than our own in terms of the standards required for submissions. For my MA, I had to produce a performing edition of something 18th century, and I chose a smallish oratorio by Boyce. In my preliminary research, it had only been attempted once before in academia, so I sent for this chaps PhD thesis on the work in question. When it arrived, I was stunned. All he had done was just about copy out from a microfilm of one source. No editorial procedure, and none of the other sources (there was another set of part books elsewhere) had been consulted. All this for a PhD, all my hard work just for an MA!

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My experience is that North American universities differ even more widely than our own in terms of the standards required for submissions. For my MA, I had to produce a performing edition of something 18th century, and I chose a smallish oratorio by Boyce. In my preliminary research, it had only been attempted once before in academia, so I sent for this chaps PhD thesis on the work in question. When it arrived, I was stunned. All he had done was just about copy out from a microfilm of one source. No editorial procedure, and none of the other sources (there was another set of part books elsewhere) had been consulted. All this for a PhD, all my hard work just for an MA!

 

Whilst I'm sure that I will be shot down in flames by those the other side of the pond, this is my understanding too. I am informed that a North American Master's degree is regarded as roughly the equivalent to a first degree in this country, and that an American Doctorate is regarded as roughly the same standard as an MA here.

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Most English Universities offer a PhD, but not a DMus. Although very few offer DMus in comparison to those who offer PhD, DMus is accepted as the "higher" Doctorate of the two. I wouldn't mind having either!

 

How does it work, then? Is the DMus generally an honorary degree bestowed to people who have been exceptional in the field?

I see that even schools like Oxford and Cambridge offer PhD programmes.

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How does it work, then? Is the DMus generally an honorary degree bestowed to people who have been exceptional in the field?

I see that even schools like Oxford and Cambridge offer PhD programmes.

 

HonDMus is an honorary degree. DMus usually isn't, but is offered by very few establishments. The RCM and Oxbridge spring to mind, but there are probably others.

 

Yes, I would think that virtually all universities offer a PhD in music if they have the staff with some expertise in that particular specialism which the candidate hopes to research.

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Whilst I'm sure that I will be shot down in flames by those the other side of the pond, this is my understanding too. I am informed that a North American Master's degree is regarded as roughly the equivalent to a first degree in this country, and that an American Doctorate is regarded as roughly the same standard as an MA here.

 

It's very true that American schools differ greatly in standard. Some schools have very strict requirements, and some don't. Some offer a variety of specialised courses already at the undergraduate level, and some don't. When you come across Master's and doctoral theses, the names of the schools and advisers would probably give you a fairly accurate idea of the quality of the research.

 

You should understand that tertiary education in the US is set up very different from the UK and other Commonwealth countries. Most American schools encourage undergraduates to pursue a general course of study. Although students are usually expected to declare their major(s) by the end of the second year (of a four-year degree), there is a lot of flexibility in choosing one's classes. It is not unusual for students to major in two unrelated areas, e.g. music and astrophysics. This is true in all types of tertiary institutions--research univerisities, conservatories that are affiliated with universities, and small liberal arts colleges. Specialisation doesn't usually happen until the final year of an undergraduate programme or at the Master's level.

 

I wouldn't go as far as saying that an American doctorate is roughly the same standard as an MA in the UK. Particularly in the scholarly study of music, I think the major American universities are far more advanced in their research than their British counterparts. You will see what I mean if you look at the lists of contributors in the top journals in musicology and theory.

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It is not unusual for students to major in two unrelated areas, e.g. music and astrophysics.

 

My university (Cardiff) offered a degree in Music and Physics, and I know of at least one person, now a successful teacher and accompanist, who graduated with such a degree.

 

 

Peter

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I'm interested to read this thread - one of my missions in life is to eradicate certain phrases from biogs! The ones that really bug me are 'critical acclaim' and 'much in demand'.

 

In my opinion, a good biography tells you something interesting about the performer, probably where he/she studied, who their teachers were, and something about their interests musically and non-musically. My own biography has a line about me keeping pet chickens, which may be silly but it seems to make people laugh (possibly at me!). :blink:

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