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Music Theory: Music, M.M.

School of Music

Take the next step with advanced exploration of your passion for music theory in a rigorous and creative environment committed to musical excellence. Hone your research skills in an area of interest.

Receive faculty-level training with an emphasis on public music theory and related areas. Work closely with faculty mentors to explore interests in music theory and related fields such as composition, musicology and technology. Work with digital technology to create and produce music. Attend master classes, lectures and performances. A dissertation is required.

Program Highlights

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    Distinguished School

    Since 1969, the School of Music has consistently retained the distinctive National Association of Schools of Music accreditation.

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    Supportive Community

    Foster your creative learning, skill development and personal exploration through Spark: Music Leadership at Carolina.

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    In-Depth Study

    Enjoy courses in counterpoint, form and analysis, post-tonal theory, analysis and performance.

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    Special Guests

    Learn from leading music theory researchers and instructors and frequent visits by guests theorists, musicologists and composers.

What You’ll Study

Attain a masters-level knowledge of music history, music theory and compositional styles by identifying, describing, comparing and contrasting musical works from antiquity through modern times. Candidates will produce original research in music theory. A thesis is required.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Analytical Reasoning

    Breaking down complex problems or situations to identify patterns, connections and solutions

    Critical Thinking

    Analyzing and evaluating information to make informed decisions or judgments

    Cultural Awareness

    Learning about and respecting diverse cultures and beliefs

  • Performance

    Presenting oneself creatively through a specific medium to an audience

    Understand Complexity

    Analyzing and synthesizing information to identify patterns and connections


    Creating professional written content for inclusion in scholarly journal articles, books and reports

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Potential Careers

  • Composer
  • Musicologist
  • Researcher

Workplace Settings

  • Education

I really enjoy studying with the teachers in the music theory department. Not only do they have incredible knowledge of the subject, but also they are passionate for my success in the field.

Spencer Martin
Portrait of Spencer Martin