The Master of Music (Performance Studies) programme, with a focus in Western Art Music tradition, is designed to cater to the changing needs of musicians today. It has a strong emphasis on performance with the Principal Study instruction at its core embracing both solo and collaborative performance and yet, develop Master’s level skills of critical enquiry and research through a secondary specialization in areas of teaching, research, or community music.
* This programme received a 100% graduate employability score in the Ministry of Higher Education’s Graduate Employability 2020. (Source: ge.mohe.gov.my/)
Mode of instructions
The programme is conducted entirely in English. It is essential that all candidates are able to speak, read, and write fluently in English.
Candidates may be admitted into the programme by meeting the 4 requirements:
- Academic Requirements
- English Language Requirements
- Music Audition Requirements
- Professional Profile
Candidates must meet either of the following requirements:
Bachelor Degree in the field or related fields,
- With the minimum CGPA 2.5 or equivalent, or
- With the minimum CGPA 2.0 but can be accepted subject to rigorous internal assessment, or other equivalent qualification recognized by the Malaysian government.
Music Audition Requirements
The entire programme should be at least 20 minutes with a minimum of three contrasting styles. All pieces must be performed from memory. Exceptions may be given for works from the 20th- and 21st-centuries. The programme should include:
- One work from Baroque period
- One first movement of a Classical sonata
- One major work from Romantic period, 20th-century, or 21st-century
The entire programme should be at least 15 minutes with a minimum of three contrasting styles. All pieces must be performed from memory. The programme must meet the following two requirements:
- Language: One English language and at least two different languages of your choice (German, French, English, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, etc.)
- At least one art song (only ONE Chinese art song is allowed, if included)
- Only one aria from any opera or oratorio in the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or 20th-century periods.
The entire programme should be at least 20 minutes with a minimum of three contrasting styles.
All pieces must be performed from memory. The programme should include:
- One movement from an unaccompanied Bach sonata or partita. No repeats should be played unless ornamented. A dance movement and its double constitute one movement
- One fast movement from a 19th-, 20th-, or 21st-century concerto (including cadenza)
- A virtuosic piece, such as one by Sarasate, Paganini, Wieniawski, or Tartini
All works except item iii must be played from memory. The programme should include:
- One movement from an unaccompanied Bach sonata, partita, or cello suite (No. 4 to 6; BWV1010 to 1012). No repeats unless ornamented. A dance movement and its double constitute one movement
- A fast movement from a major concerto (including cadenza), such as one by Walton, Hindemith, or Bartók
- One contrasting work or sonata movement of your choice
All works must be played from memory. The programme should include:
- One movement from an unaccompanied Bach cello suite (No. 3 to 6; BWV1009 to 1012). No repeat unless ornamented
- One movement of a major concerto (including cadenza), such as one by Dvorak, Schumann, or Haydn (D major)
- One caprice from Piatti’s 12 Caprices or one etude from Popper’s High School of Playing
The entire programme should be at least 20 minutes. The programme should include both solo works and orchestral excerpts. Candidate must provide a copy of all the pieces and excerpts along with the audition video submission.
- One short piece or a single movement of a two- or four-mallet solo marimba work. Memory is required
- One piece of a concert snare drum solo or etude (example: Delecluse, Pratt, Peters, Tompkins, etc.)
- One piece of timpani solo (example: Delecluse, Vic Firth, Carter, etc.)
- Snare drum: Two contrasting excerpts
- Xylophone: Two contrasting excerpts
- Glockenspiel and/ or vibraphone: Two contrasting excerpts
- Timpani: Two contrasting excerpts
Passing of a performance audition on a major instrument and submit a portfolio of at least 15 minutes with a minimum of two contrasting composition styles. The portfolio should include:
- Scores on a notation software program (any software), which will then be converted to PDF for submission
- MP3 of all scores (Live recordings are encouraged but MIDI realizations are acceptable)
Professional documentation is required when submitting the application. These documents include:
- A list of repertoires studied and performed in the last five years
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- Two recommendation letters from individuals that are familiar with:
- your growth, talent, and accomplishment
- your attitude and characteristic that indicate your ability and potential to succeed in the field.
All submitted documentation must be in English language. Translated documents must be notarized by the authorized governing body. Complete documentation must be submitted to the music office by early March, July, and November respectively.
Commencement of the Programme for International Students
Successful applicant will be able to proceed with the programme once the visa requirement is approved and received by the music office by the third week of April, August, and December respectively.
Upon successful acceptance into the programme, the students will need to sit for the Music Theory Diagnostic Test and Music History Diagnostic Test. Students who do not perform well in the placement tests may be required to take remedial courses in music history and/or theory. Credits earned in these remedial courses will not count towards graduation.
The Music Theory Diagnostic Test covers on realization of figured bass in SATB setting including identification of non-chord tones, roman-numeral analysis of a brief extract from tonal music, and form/phrase analysis. The musical elements covered in the test are from the common practice of the tonal harmony. For further information on the system used in music theory, kindly refer to Tonal Harmony: With an Introduction to Post-Tonal Music by Stefan Kostka, Dorothy Payne, and Byron Almén.
The Music History Diagnostic Test consists of multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, listening questions, and short essays. The areas covered ranges from Renaissance up to the 20th century period of Western Art Music.
Placement Test for both Music Theory Diagnostic Test and Music History Diagnostic Test will be conducted during the orientation week for each semester. Each placement tests will take 1.5 hours. Click the link for a sample of Audition Music Theory Test: https://www.ucsiuniversity.edu.my/sites/default/files/audition_theory_test_-_mmus_-_sample_questions_-_5_sept_2021.pdf
English Language Requirements
For International Students
Cambridge English Qualifications and Tests 154
(B1 Preliminary, B2 First, C1 Advanced C2 Proficiency, Linguaskill Online)
Cambridge English Qualifications and Tests 200
TOEFL ESSENTIALS (ONLINE)7.5
PTE Academic / Academic (online)47
- * If your native language or the prior Bachelor’s degree studies is not in English, proof of English language proficiency is required when submitting your application. If English language is the medium of instruction from previous institution, supporting document is required.
- Principal Study 1-4
- Research Project 1-2
- Music Research Methods
- Performance Practice Seminar
- Pedagogy Seminar
- Advanced Tonal Analysis
- Community Music
- Music and Law
- Music in Southeast Asia
- Orchestral Excerpts for Strings
- Repertoire Studies 1-3
- Seminar in Musicology 1-3
- Teaching Practicum
The courses will open career opportunities for instrumental teaching and performance, and enhance musical skills, knowledge and understanding to a level appropriate for undergraduate music teaching at college and university.