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Composition studies at MIAM comprise a weekly individual lesson with one of MIAM’s faculty composers. Students have the choice of working in areas such as acoustic, electro-acoustic or electronic composition. No specific style is imposed on students; rather, each is encouraged to find his or her own compositional voice and to develop skills in 20th and 21st century writing techniques (they have the freedom to use these techniques as tools, as sources of inspiration, or as conventions to oppose). At weekly composition seminars examples from the contemporary repertoire are presented and the composers’ aesthetic aims and compositional tools discussed. The final project for the Masters degree is expected to be a substantial work of twenty minutes duration (if scored for chamber ensemble or electronic medium) or ten minutes (in the case of orchestral works). The dissertation for the Doctorate must be a major work of minimum thirty minutes duration (if scored for chamber ensemble or electronic medium) or twenty minutes (in the case of orchestral works).

Ethnomusicology developed from the need for scholarly techniques to describe, analyse, and contextualise musics from outside the pan-European art tradition.  Today ethnomusicologists include that tradition, as well as popular musics, the biology of music, music psychology, and music philosophy, along with the study of all the world’s diverse musics.  Students should have a degree in music or anthropology, but those from related disciplines may also be considered.  The core of the Masters program comprises four courses: Introduction to Ethnomusicology, Foundations of Ethnomusicology, Analysis and Transcription, and Fieldwork Methods.  Doctoral students who enter the program without a degree in ethnomusicology must take these courses or demonstrate mastery of them to the satisfaction of the faculty.  Other courses include a variety of topics in Turkish music, surveys by continent, special seminars, and Critical Perspectives in Ethnomusicology (Doctoral level only).  In addition, a compulsory course, Musics of the World, is taken by all Masters students regardless of their area of concentration.

Performance at MIAM is offered in those instruments most essential for participation in the core solo and chamber-music repertoires.  The aim, within both the Masters and Doctoral curricula, is to prepare musically sophisticated, knowledgeable, and intellectually aware musicians, well versed in both the academic aspects of music generally and the repertoire of their chosen instrument.  At the same time, rigorous technical training is provided so as to place MIAM’s students at the forefront of a demanding profession, ready to rise to the challenges offered by an increasingly competitive international concert scene.  Individual weekly lessons form the mainstay of MIAM’s performance curriculum, while coached participation in chamber ensembles and/or orchestra form an important complimentary strand within which MIAM’s performers continue to develop their musicianship.

Historical Musicology is taught at MIAM both as a specialized concentration and, in the form of two compulsory courses, an integral part of the Masters curriculum.  In the review-level Introduction to Music History and its Masters-level sequel, all students are exposed to a chronologically organized survey of western music, trained in critical listening, and introduced to key concepts in the periodisation of music history and its cultural contexts.  In-depth elective courses are offered in particular genres (symphony and opera, for example) and in periods or repertoires (such as ancient musics, Renaissance music, and twentieth-century music).  For students specializing in the field the Foundations of Musicology seminar provides essential training in research methodology, source studies and editing techniques, advanced bibliography, and critical concepts.  Students have the option also of pursuing an independent study.  The final project is intended to present an original contribution to a topic approved by the student’s advisor (recent projects have taken as their subject matter the lute works of J. S. Bach, the songs of Sibelius, and the Seven Last Words of Haydn).

The Theory concentration at MIAM serves all MIAM students as well as those specializing in theoretical studies.  Basic theoretical training for Masters-level students consists of two compulsory courses: Introduction to Music Theory, an intensive course in writing tonal harmony; and Graduate Level Music Theory, which focuses on Classical form and analysis.  MIAM Theory majors are expected to master the most current analytical approaches to music, both of the common practice era and of the 20th and 21st centuries.  Courses are offered to this end in Post-Tonal Theory and Schenkerian Analysis, as well as advanced seminar courses which cover a range of advanced topics and other current approaches to 20th century repertoire.  Courses are also occasionally offered on one particular composer, historical period, or compositional current.  Students may use the independent study option to explore certain areas of interest in more detail. This coursework serves ultimately as preparation for students’ final project, which is expected to represent an original contribution of relevance to the field.

The global music industry has developed in various areas such as music technology, music distribution, merchandising, and web-based direct marketing, etc. With the technological advancements come the complex marketing mechanisms, market penetration strategies, event management, public relations and advertising tactics, new artist management systems, and sales/distribution methods.  MIAM also concentrates heavily on advanced music management, publishing and A&R (artist and repertoire) systems in order to adapt to an ever-changing global multi-billion-dollar music industry. With this concentration, MIAM provides advanced studies and research in global and local music business and management. The course “Introduction to Music Business and Management” (compulsory for all Masters students) provides an overview of the topics listed above. As the courses advance, students gain experience in studio productions, internships, and event organizations. MIAM’s aim is to prepare artistically conscious music business professionals (who understand music in all its stylistic aspects) rather than marketing specialists driven purely by commercial interests.  New methods in music business and management are researched constantly in order to provide students with up-to-date information and a focus to generate a musically “sound” business approach.

The concentration in Sound Engineering and Design (SED) is unique in that it seeks to address the technical, commercial, and musical aspects of the discipline in equal measure. The scope of this objective is reflected in the diversity of the MIAM curriculum, which requires students to complete courses from every concentration area in addition to their own courses.  Students graduating from the Masters program thus possess not only a comprehensive and up-to-the-minute grasp of all relevant practical and theoretical issues but also a refined creative sensibility and a subtle understanding of the global and domestic music industry across multiple genres. The opportunity to work as both assistant and in some cases primary engineers at MIAM's state-of-the-art digital recording studios during their studies is one of the most invaluable aspects of the program.