Early Music Performance

Master of Arts in Music – Early Music Performance

  • The program details described below are subject to change. Actual degree requirements for a given academic year may differ from what is listed here.
  • Refer to the 2015-2016 USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements.
  • See the Thornton Admission page for specific application information.
  • Current students should refer to the specific requirements list for their major, which is available through the Thornton Student Affairs office.


The MA in early music is a two-year, 32-unit program consisting of course work in music history, individual instruction on a historical instrument or voice, early music ensemble and collegium workshop, culminating with a thesis.

Sample Summary of Program of Study

Lessons (5 units)

MPEM 553 Individual Instruction (lessons) (5 units)

Music Ensembles (5 units)

MUEN 550 Early Music Ensemble (three 1-unit courses)
MPEM 450 Collegium Workshop (two 1-unit courses)

Program Intensive Courses (6 units)

MUHL 572 Seminar in Historical Musical Notation (2 units)
MUHL 589 Seminar in Renaissance Repertoires and Performance Practice (2 units)
MUHL 591 Seminar in Baroque Repertories and Performance Practice (2 units)

Core Thornton Academic Courses (6 units)

MUHL 570 Research Materials and Techniques (2 units)
MUHL 574 Music of the Renaissance (2 units)
MUHL 575 Music of the Baroque Era (2 units)

Electives (6 units)

400 or 500 level music courses (2 units)
400 or 500 level courses in Letters, Arts and Sciences (4 units)

Capstone Projects (4 units)

MUHL 594ab Master’s Thesis with Recital (two 2-unit courses)

All curricular requirements are evaluated on an annual basis and are subject to change. Students follow the curricular requirements as published in the USC Catalogue for their year of matriculation. A typical graduate credit load is eight units per semester.

Music Graduate Entrance Exams (MGEE) are administered during Orientation Week just prior to the start of your program. See the MGEE page for more information. Language examination to demonstrate reading knowledge in one foreign language (French, German, Italian or Latin) must be passed prior to the thesis. In lieu of a comprehensive examination, candidates will be required to pass periodic reviews.