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Music

Study Music with leading performers, composers and musicologists; and perform in the acclaimed Dr John Gallagher Concert Chamber, part of the University of Waikato's purpose-built performing arts academy.

If music is your passion, then Waikato has a programme of study to suit. We teach Western Classical Music – from Baroque to contemporary, through performance, composition and musical scholarship. If you're inclined to the modern, we offer papers in sonic art and new technologies.

Our staff are highly qualified professionals, active nationally and internationally as composers, performers and musicologists. Music is their passion too, and our common aim is to help you develop the technique and understanding you'll need to reach your full musical potential.

Waikato's Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts will be your stage throughout your studies. Situated on the Hamilton campus, the academy is an award-winning performing arts venue.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Location:Hamilton
Faculty:

Career opportunities

  • Advertiser
  • Broadcaster
  • Composer
  • Digital Media Producer
  • Film Music Composer or Producer
  • Performer
  • Recording Artist

Prescriptions for the GradCert(Mus) and GradDip(Mus)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Music at an advanced level in their first degree. Each programme of study in Music must include MUSIC112 or equivalent.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Office.

Prescriptions for the PGCert(Mus), PGDip(Mus), BA(Hons), BMus(Hons), MA and MMus

A Postgraduate Diploma in Music is available in either Composition or Performance. Students must complete either MUSIC504 or MUSIC505.

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the BA(Hons), a student should normally hold a BA degree and have at least a B average in either the best three of their 300 level Music papers or all their undergraduate Music papers.

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the BMus(Hons), a student should normally hold a BMus degree and have at least a B average in their 300 level Music papers in the area of intended graduate specialisation or all their undergraduate Music papers.

To complete a BA(Hons) or BMus(Hons) in Music, students must gain 120 points at 500 level, including at least 30 points in research (normally MUSIC591) and at least 30 points from papers listed for Music.

Candidates for the MMus must have at least second class honours (second division) in their BMus(Hons) degrees. The MMus is taken in Composition or Performance. Students are required to take either MUSIC514 or MUSIC524.

Candidates for the MA in Music should normally have completed either:

a) a BA with a major in Music and have gained at least a B grade average across the 300 level papers, or for a qualification considered by the Academic Board to be equivalent, or

b) a BA(Hons) in Music (or equivalent) with at least second class honours (second division).

Acceptance into the MA is subject to the availability of a suitable supervisor and overall approval from the Programme Convenor.

Completion requirements for the MA in Music vary according to admission criteria:

Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including a research foundations paper, and either a 120 point thesis or a composition portfolio, a 90 point thesis or a 60 point dissertation.

Students admitted under b) above must complete a 120 point thesis or a composition portfolio, a 90 point thesis and a further 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and a further 60 points from approved 500 level papers.

Prescriptions for the MPhil

The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Prescriptions for the PhD and DMA

The Doctor of Philosophy is a three year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

The Doctor of Musical Arts is a research degree in which the research component is divided equally between research-based performance and a supporting thesis. The thesis will be conceptually related to the student's performance.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
MAORI102He Hīnatore ki te Ao Māori: Introducing the Māori World20A (Hamilton), 20A (Online), 20B (Hamilton), 20B (Online) & 20G (Online)
An introduction to the Maori world view, social organisation, cultural concepts, including Maori astronomy, and their relevance in a contemporary society.
MAORI157Ngā Mahi a Rehia: An Introduction to Kapa Haka20B (Hamilton)
An introduction to the theoretical and practical components of kapa haka as a means of communication and cultural expression in the Maori world.
MUSIC101Secondary Performance Studies 120D (Hamilton)
Students develop musical interpretation and technical skills in their chosen instrument/voice and broaden their repertoire knowledge and performance opportunities at Friday performance hour sessions.
MUSIC112Music in Society: An Introduction to Western Music20A (Hamilton)
An introduction to Western music, its history, ideas and techniques.
MUSIC115Composition 120B (Hamilton) & 20B (Online)
The development of creative musical skills and techniques based on classical and popular idioms; song writing; melody writing; thematic development; harmonic understanding; two-part counterpoint. Computer technology will be used as a composition and publishing tool.
MUSIC117Musicianship 120D (Hamilton)
An introduction to sight-reading, score reading, keyboard skills, choral and aural training and general musicianship.
MUSIC118Performance Techniques 120A (Hamilton) & 20B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces the fundamental techniques that enable you to perform professionally in a public arena on your chosen instrument - piano, organ, harpsichord, violin, viola, cello, double bass, classical guitar or voice, orchestral winds and brass.
MUSIC119Harmony and Counterpoint 120D (Hamilton)
A study of harmony and counterpoint in the Western tradition using historical and contemporary models. Scores and sound files are realised using computer software.
MUSIC120Performance 120A (Hamilton) & 20B (Hamilton)
This paper continues to develop the fundamental techniques which enable you to perform proficiently in a public arena on your chosen instrument.
MUSIC121Chamber Music 120D (Hamilton)
This paper provides practical experience and development in a variety of chamber music formations, sonata duo, piano duet, piano trio, string quartet, vocal ensemble, as well as orchestral and choral practice, and, for keyboard players, continuo and accompanying skills.
MUSIC130Soloist Studies 120D (Hamilton)
An introduction to the biography of musical repertoire, musical styles, systems of intonation, and the dynamics of working with piano. Students gain a thorough knowledge and history of their chosen instrument.
MUSIC131Soloist Performance20D (Hamilton)
Students learn to identify strengths and address weaknesses in their technical and interpretive skills. They develop their talent and stage presence through lessons, concert opportunities and preparation for competitions.
MUSIC140Creative Music Technology 1: Introduction to Creative Technology20A (Hamilton)
This paper is an introduction to DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations); the creation of original musical works based on computer technology; basic recording and editing techniques; fundamental music studio knowledge; historical, aesthetic and theoretical elements.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
MAORI257Kapa Haka: Noble Dances of the Māori20A (Hamilton)
An examination of the theoretical and practical components of kapa haka as an influential and political phenomena of expression of Aotearoa/New Zealand and its influence on the landscape.
MUSIC201Secondary Performance Studies 220D (Hamilton)
This course teaches fundamental technical and musical training to facilitate greater proficiency and understanding of your chosen musical instrument.
MUSIC215Composition 220A (Hamilton)
The development of individual creative musical skills based on studies of historical and contemporary techniques in Western classical music.
MUSIC218Performance Techniques 220A (Hamilton) & 20B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces advanced performance techniques that enable you to perform professionally in a public arena on your chosen instrument.
MUSIC220Performance 220A (Hamilton) & 20B (Hamilton)
This paper develops the fundamental techniques which enable you to perform professionally in a public arena on your chosen instrument.
MUSIC221Chamber Music 220D (Hamilton)
Development of chamber music skills that were introduced in MUSIC121.
MUSIC227Performance Ensemble: Choir/Orchestra20D (Hamilton)
This course comprises two streams: University Chamber Orchestra and University Chamber Choir. The course will cover discipline-specific ensemble skills, vocal/orchestral techniques and discipline, and relevant vocal and orchestral repertoire.
MUSIC230Soloist Studies 220D (Hamilton)
This paper is available only for those students who have completed the year one Soloist Stream paper. These are for exceptional performers already working at an international level.
MUSIC240Creative Music Technology 2: Music and Visuals20B (Hamilton)
An introduction to music for screen idioms and its compositions through digital sound generation.
MUSIC250Lyric Diction and Language Studies20D (Hamilton)
Exploring the study of diction and language for singers, including IPA, English diction, Italian, French, and German.
THSTS212Developing Text and Action20B (Hamilton)
This paper develops performance and writing for performance skills. Using techniques based on contemporary/postdramatic methods in theatre and performance, students will engage with the creation and performance of new theatrical work, leading to assessment.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
MAORI357Mahi Whakaari: Māori Performing Arts20B (Hamilton)
This paper is an in-depth examination of Kapa Haka, investigating the theoretical and practical application of creating original compositions, lyrics, music, action and choreography.
MUSIC301Secondary Performance Studies Class20D (Hamilton)
This paper further develops musical interpretation and technical skills with the chosen instrument through weekly classes, and broadens repertoire, knowledge and performance ability through Friday Performance Hour sessions.
MUSIC314History and Analysis of Music: 1800 to the Present20B (Hamilton)
A critical and analytical survey of Western Music from the Romantic period to the present day, taught through a context-based survey course. Topics include: Literary musicians; The national and the exotic; Virtuosi; Women in 19th century opera
MUSIC315Composition 320A (Hamilton)
This paper aims to expand the creative musical skills, technical expertise and artistic outlook of students based on the exploration of a variety of twentieth century and twenty first century compositional ideas, techniques and technologies.
MUSIC318Performance Techniques 320A (Hamilton) & 20B (Hamilton)
The development of advanced performance techniques.
MUSIC320Performance 320A (Hamilton) & 20B (Hamilton)
This paper teaches more advanced techniques which enable students to perform more proficiently in a public arena on the chosen instrument.
MUSIC321Chamber Music 320D (Hamilton)
This paper provides advanced practical experience and development in a variety of chamber music formations and may also include orchestral and choral practice, and, for keyboard players, continuo and accompanying skills.
MUSIC323Advanced Composition Studies20B (Hamilton)
The supervised development of individual portfolios of original music.
MUSIC327Performance Ensemble 220D (Hamilton)
This course comprises two streams: University Chamber Orchestra and University Chamber Choir. The course will cover discipline-specific ensemble skills, vocal/orchestral techniques and discipline, and relevant vocal and orchestral repertoire.
MUSIC330Soloist Studies 320D (Hamilton)
This paper available only for students who have completed levels 1 and 2 Soloist studies. It is an intensive course of performance studies, aimed at those few students who are aiming for an international solo career in performance music.
MUSIC340Creative Music Technology 3: Creative Project20A (Hamilton)
This paper includes a critical study of music and technology, and the development of students' production and composition techniques. The aim is to extend creative musical skills, technical expertise, and artistic understanding.
MUSIC390Directed Study20D (Hamilton)
This is a special interest course which changes each year.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
MUSIC501The Aesthetics of Music20D (Hamilton)
No description available.
MUSIC504Professional Performance Practice20X (Hamilton)
No description available.
MUSIC505Composition Project20X (Hamilton)
No description available.
MUSIC510Music and the Screen20D (Hamilton)
No description available.
MUSIC511Sonic Art20D (Hamilton)
No description available.
MUSIC514Composition Portfolio20X (Hamilton)
No description available.
MUSIC522Composition Studies20D (Hamilton)
No description available.
MUSIC524Advanced Performance20X (Hamilton)
No description available.
MUSIC528Performance Studies20X (Hamilton)
No description available.
MUSIC560Special Topic20D (Hamilton)
No description available.
MUSIC590Directed Study20X (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
MUSIC591Dissertation20X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
MUSIC592Dissertation20X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
MUSIC593Music Thesis20X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
MUSIC594Music Thesis20X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
MUSIC800Music MPhil Thesis20X (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
MUSIC900Music PhD Thesis20I (Hamilton) & 20X (Hamilton)
No description available.
MUSIC901Music Creative Practice PhD Thesis20X (Hamilton)
No description available.
MUSIC994DMA Thesis and Performance20X (Hamilton)
No description available.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship


You will receive lessons and be able to perform, and have your works performed, in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, through events such as the annual opera production, our contemporary music ensemble – Okta, the Lilburn Trust Student Composition Awards, weekly lunchtime recitals and performance hours.

Our Music programme has excellent facilities available for you to rehearse and compose, the electroacoustic music studios are of an international standard. A long-standing feature of the Music programme is our commitment to integrate the latest technological developments throughout the programme as appropriate.


Subject links

Conservatorium of Music/Music Programme


Music is available in streams for the BMus and as a major for the BA. Music may also be taken as a second major or as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Music as a single major for the BA, students must gain 135 points from papers listed for Music, including 105 points above 100 level, and 60 points above 200 level. Students must include MUSIC112; at least one of MUSIC115, MUSIC117, MUSIC119, MUSIC140; and at least one of MUSIC213, MUSIC215, MUSIC222, MUSIC240 and MUSIC314.

To complete Music as part of a double major, students must gain 120 points from papers listed for Music, including 90 points above 100 level, and 45 points above 200 level including MUSIC112; at least one of MUSIC115, MUSIC117, MUSIC119, MUSIC140; and at least one of MUSIC213, MUSIC215, MUSIC222, MUSIC240 and MUSIC314.

To complete a minor in Music, students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for the Music major, including at least 30 points above 100 level.

Music is available in streams for the BMus.

To complete a BMus (Academic), students must complete 90 papers from Music, and 135 points from elective papers.

To complete a BMus (Performance), students must complete MUSIC118, MUSIC120, MUSIC121; and MUSIC218, MUSIC220, MUSIC221, MUSIC227; and MUSIC318, MUSIC320, MUSIC321, MUSIC327 and 60 points from elective papers.

To complete a BMus (Composition), students must complete MUSIC140; and MUSIC219, MUSIC222, and MUSIC323; and 30 points from either MUSIC240 and MUSIC340 or MUSIC215 and MUSIC315 and 30 points from Music list and 105 points from elective papers.

For more information about subject requirements please refer to the catalogue of papers for the most up to date information. If you have any questions and need more advice contact one of our friendly student advisors phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080 or email: wfass@waikato.ac.nz

Details of streams for the Performance programme are set out in the Bachelor of Music.

If you wish to undertake performance papers as part of your Music major or if you would like a specialist Music qualification you will enrol in the Bachelor of Music.

Within the BMus, a Soloist specialisation is available. Details of the specialisation can be found in the Bachelor of Music.

All students enrolled for the BMus or the BA majoring in Music are required to participate in group performances, either by singing in the University Chamber Choir or playing in the University Orchestra. Participation in the Choir or Orchestra may be counted towards MUSIC227 Music Ensemble 1 or MUSIC327 Performance Ensemble 2.

Notes:

  1. All BMus students enrolled in first year Music papers should have skills in reading and writing music to Grade 3 level (NZMEB, AMEB) or Grade 5 level (Royal Schools, Trinity College). Candidates must gain at least 60 points at 100 level in any subject(s) before enrolling in Music papers above 100 level, and at least 90 points at 100 and 200 level before enrolling in Music papers above 200 level.
  2. Assessment: Failure to achieve a pass in any Performance, Performance Techniques, or Chamber Music papers will result in the need to re-audition for entry to Performance or Chamber Music streams. Students wishing to enter the Performance stream at any level will be required to audition.

Please note: For all graduate subject requirements check the information provided in the papers section above.


Contacts

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4380
General and Undergraduate Email Enquiries: musi-fass@waikato.ac.nz
Graduate and Postgraduate Email Enquiries: musi-grad@waikato.ac.nz