Graduate School

The University of Mississippi

3 New Emphases Added to Master of Music Degree

by Jordan Orris

ConcertThree new academic emphases have been added to the Master of Music degree: ethnomusicology, which is the study of different kinds of music from throughout the world in their cultural context; musicology, which is the academic or scholarly study of music; and music theory, or the study of how music works.

Dr. Alan Spurgeon, professor, director of music education, and graduate program coordinator in the Department of Music, details that courses include the core courses that all M.M. students take, including research classes and general courses in music theory and Western art music, as well as courses specific to each new degree emphasis.

When asked about the career path for these emphases, Dr. Spurgeon replied, “The careers for these options are varied. For ethnomusicology, the possibilities include working in archives or other areas that are research oriented. For theory and musicology, one would want to pursue further study and get a Ph.D. to prepare for university teaching in music schools.”

The new degrees are not offered at most universities and the ethnomusicology degree is the only one in Mississippi. Dr. Spurgeon shared, “Our music school also offers master’s degrees in music education, music performance, and choral conducting and students in those programs have been successful in getting jobs in their field or continuing in graduate school here or elsewhere. We offer a Ph.D. in music education and, since this is a shortage area, all our students can look forward to full-time university or college teaching careers. Our Ph.D. program in music education is among the largest in the country. Anyone interested in any of our degrees should contact me at or 662-915-5170.”