Further information on submitting a proposal for the MA by Research in Musical Analysis is available from Dr Tim Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org
The individually-focused nature of the MA in Music (by Research) is particularly well suited to the study of Musical Analysis. Here at York, analytical work has always centred around the practical applications of this approach: using analysis to uncover and evidence the workings of a given repertoire. Analysis of any kind is a quest for understanding. Rather than studying the theory of analytical techniques in isolation, it is the more musically intuitive process of rationalisation that is the focus here. Discovering the compositional grounds that have engendered an emotional response to music, considering how and why a composer has created particular effects, ensure that analysis is kept relevant.
Applicants for this programme of study should have a clear research proposal that sets out to apply analytical investigations within a wider context. Some indication of how analytical evidence may be used to support a larger thesis should also be outlined. Examples may include the study of a particular composer, period, style, genre (and so on). Analytical topics of recently completed MA dissertations include: Perception & Perspective in Sibelius’ Symphony No.3; Unity, Contrasts and Cyclic Aspects of Schumann’s Carnival; Processes of Integration in Contemporary String Quartets; Coherence and Direction in Ligeti’s Violin Concerto; Case Studies of the Twentieth-Century Chamber Concerto.
The MA in Music by Research offers postgraduate opportunities to individuals who prefer to study independently rather than through classroom teaching, working under the close supervision of an expert in their field. This is a research degree, not a taught course programme, and applicants will need to have a clearly-focussed research proposal in their given area in order to be considered for admission to the research MA. Supervision and tutorial meetings are held on either a weekly or fortnightly basis throughout the academic year and by arrangement over the summer vacation. There is also an opportunity for all MA by Research students to interact with one another: the MA Research Forum. Meeting on Wednesday mornings, this is a discussion group that engages with common themes, such as issues of writing about music, while offering the opportunity for individual students to present aspects of their research topics to the larger group. Students are also encouraged to attend the weekly Research Seminar series (on Wednesday afternoons) where invited speakers, staff members and PhD students give presentations about their latest work, and there are opportunities to meet other postgraduate researchers.
The MA in Music by Research lasts one year for full-time study or two years for part-time study. Candidates may elect to apply to the MPhil/PhD programme subject to satisfactory completion of the MA by Research, though progression is not automatic. The submission of a final dissertation or portfolio of work is the product of a series of carefully-structured elements produced throughout the duration of the programme in conjunction with supervisory guidance.
The following submission alternatives are available for MA by Research candidates. All are subject to supervisory agreement:
Please include as part of your application a research proposal detailing your proposed topic and how you plan to investigate it. This should include a paragraph explaining the relevance of your research or professional experience to date and another explaining why you think your work has the potential to make a new contribution to your field of interest. In addition, please include a selective resource list (maximum length: one page) of significant items (e.g. scores, analyses, published texts such as articles, books and concert ephemera, internet and audio-visual resources, etc.) that you have consulted in exploring your topic and preparing your proposal.
The Department will assist you in matching your research interests to our supervisory expertise. Please note that acceptance into the MA by Research programme requires approval by your potential supervisor.