Master's degree in music theory

Programme details

The Major Specialism modules I+II (“Künstlerisches Kernmodul I+II”, semesters 1 – 4) provide the core of the Master’s course. Here, the majors Music Theory and Ear Training are connected with Music Analysis as well as piano practice or composition (by choice). The Teaching module (“Fachdidaktik/Lehrpraxis”, semesters 1-3) underline the professional relevance of the study course which is generally on Music Education.

The modules Applied Music Theory and Musicology I+II (“Angewandte Musiktheorie und Musikwissenschaft I+II”, semesters 1–4) emphasise the scientific elements of the study course comprising special seminars in Musicology as well as Music Literature studies and lectures about scientific working methods and techniques for the verbalization of music resulting in the final thesis.

During the 3rd and the 4th semester, students choose one module out of a module catalogue to either refine their artistic skills or to specialise (for instance in Elementary Music Education).

Course Profile

  • Official Length of the programme: two years, 120 ECTS-credits
  • Start of the course: winter semester as well as summer semester
  • Application period: 1 October to 15 November for the summer semester. 1 March to 15 April for the winter semester.
  • University Degree: Master of Music
  • Teachers
Career perspectives

The Master’s course in Music Theory provides the qualification to work as a teacher for Music Theory at universities in the fields of tone setting, ear training, and repertoire analysis; the course’s emphasis is on composition techniques of the 20th and 21st century.

The study programme has been designed for Bachelor’s graduates (or equivalent degree) who stand out through artistic excellence in the field of music theory and wish to profile in contemporary music.

Language requirements

Foreign students whose native language is not German must provide evidence that their knowledge of German is sufficient for their chosen course. 
For the Master’s degree (Music Theory), students are required to have reached level B2 as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. 
Applicants’ linguistic competence will be established during the aptitude test. 

You will find further information in the Aptitude Test Regulations and Matriculation Regulations (only in German) of Rostock University of Music and Drama.

Aptitude test requirements

Please apply via our application website by uploading the required documents and application video by 15th of April for the next winter semester and 15th of November for the next summer semester. 

Study applicants for the master's degree course in Music Theory must complete the following examination components:

Examination Part 1
A selection of previous student assignments or representative exercises must be submitted with the application (e.g. modal composition, pastiche composition, compositions, analyses, academic coursework, instrumentations/orchestrations etc.). Number of documents: min 3, max 7

The applicant will only be invited to the second part of the examination if s/he has passed part 1 of the examination.

Examination Part 2:
a 45-minute oral and practical examination with the following contents: 

Keyboard Skills
a) play a figured bass
b) score-reading (various excerpts of musical scores)
c) Advanced spontaneous tasks  (e.g. sequence models, modulation, stylistic improvisation etc.)

Major Ear Training
d) identifying and singing intervals and chords
e) Sight-singing (tonal and atonal)
f) Speaking/tapping rhythm on sight
g) Identifying a chord progression/cadence,

Major Aural Analysis
h) Aural analyses (two different epochs)

Major Music Theory
i) Short presentation (5 to max. 10 minutes) on a topic chosen by the applicant that is related to music theory
j) Spontaneous analysis of several excerpts from musical scores,
k) Discussion about topics related to music theory

The applicant will only be invited to part 3 of the examination if s/he has passed part 2 of the examination.

Examination Part 3:

Major Music Theory
three-hour written examination with the following contents:
Tasks from the areas related to compositional technique and analysis, including counterpoint techniques of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, homophonic compositional techniques and music of the 20th and 21st centuries

Major Ear Training
90-minute written examination with the following contents:
one-part to four-part dictations (homophonic and polyphonic) also using audio media.

The aptitude test takes place at 10.06.2021 at hmt Rostock. Additionally, foreign students have to pass a German proficiency test.


Click here for the ONLINE APPLICATION and the dates of the APTITUDE TEST.

A fee of 50 Euro is charged for processing your application for admission. Please transfer this amount when you submit your application.

We will gladly advise you personally!

Mrs Hanka Paschedag
Study Office for Music
fon +49 381 5108 222
fax +49 381 5108 201

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Lang, Head of Music Theory

Visit our university information day in April!