M.Mus. courses in Music Theory

Music Theory represents the interface between artistic and academic work. Students obtain skills and practice in two respects, and as a result, a range of careers opens up for graduates, whether in university teaching, or at a publishing house, a media company or a music school.

The Weimar Master’s Course in Music Theory is characterised by its highly practical approach: students are prepared for potential teaching activities through tutorials and courses held in conjunction with the ‘Johann Nepomuk Hummel’ Music School in Weimar. Teachers cover a wide range of music theory, from medieval music through to the present day, and from composition through to musicology. Every year, the Centre for Music Theory arranges the ‘Music Theory and Aural Training’ conference in collaboration with the Society for Music Theory, which is renowned throughout Germany. The ‘Paraphrasen – Weimarer Beiträge zur Musiktheorie’ (‘Paraphrases – Weimar Contributions to Music Theory’) series by Olms Verlag enables outstanding work to be published. With its outstanding tradition in the humanities, Weimar offers a stimulating environment in which to combine art and academia. 

The subject of Music is a component of various arts-based master’s courses and culminates in the Master of Music (M.Mus.). In each case, the degree is spread over four semesters, with a total of 120 credit points (CP). The following subject combinations are possible in Weimar:

Artistic Professionalisation with Profile

Music Theory counts as the major subject, which is then expanded by a profile. The following profiles can be selected:

  • Without an audition/qualification exam: Musicology, Arts Management, Music Pedagogy, Contemporary Music
  • With an audition/qualification exam: Chamber Music, Instrument (violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion), Improvised Singing, Composition, Elementary Music Pedagogy/Rhythm

Artistic Professionalisation Two-Subject Master’s Degree

Music Theory can be chosen as one of two equally-weighted subjects. The other subject can be an additional major subject (e.g. an instrumental subject) or Musicology/Arts Management. An audition/qualification exam must be complete successfully for each of the subjects selected.

Combination with Musicology

One unique aspect of the course in Weimar, is the option to pair an instrumental subject with a combination of Musicology (30 CP) and Music Theory. This enables students to obtain an exceptionally broad education.

Music Theory as a profile

Music Theory can be added, as a profile, to any major subject in the Master of Music course. There is no need for a specialist audition/qualification exam for this.

For more details about the subject and the Centre for Music Theory, please visit www.hfm.weimar-de/musiktheorie

The detailed regulations, module catalogues, sample timetables and lecture lists can be found under the corresponding links. If you have any questions, please contact the student counselling service or the student representatives.

Admissions requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree, Diploma or Master’s degree (e.g. School Music, Musicology or Composition)
  • Successful completion of the audition/qualification exam
  • For overseas applicants: proof of German proficiency at language level B2/TestDaF 3 through, for example, the ‘Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang’ (DSH), the ‘Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache’ (TestDaF), ‘The European Language Certificates’ (telc) or comparable language examinations, e.g. Goethe certificates. We recommend using a certified language school

Application process

The application process for the M.Mus. in Music Theory corresponds to that for artistic courses of study. Applications are made via the online portal. All additional information about applications, deadlines and documents can be found here.

Please note: your application is only valid once you have successfully completed your application online and sent all your application documents by post.

Audition/qualification exam

The following requirements apply both for the Artistic Professionalisation Two-Subject Master’s Degree and the Artistic Professionalisation with Profile.

1. Music theory, written, 90 minutes

Three exercises from three different eras – potential topic areas:

  • Copying the style of the Renaissance in a two-part vocal composition
  • A four-part choral piece in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach
  • A composition from the field of Viennese Classicism (e.g. minuet), such as for a string quartet
  • Copying the style of a Romantic piano piece
  • Harmonic analysis (such as late Viennese Classicism or Romanticism)
  • Modulations e.g. in a duet
  • Instrumentalisation with wind instruments and piano
  • Free three or four-part setting for a folk song melody    

2. Music theory, oral, 15 minutes

Sight-reading analysis, with discussion and reflection on music theory systems

3. Aural training, written, 45 minutes

Three exercises, of which at least one is played from a CD/recording – potential exercises:

  • One-part atonal
  • Two-part polyphony
  • Frameworks (writing the upper voice and bass)
  • Basso continuo series
  • Four-part (e.g. homophone composition)
  • Gap-filling (score with gaps, at least four-part)

4. Aural training, oral, 10 minutes

Aural analysis using a CD or recording