Doctor of Music

The Doctor of Music degree (D.Mus., D.M., Mus.D. or occasionally Mus.Doc.) is a higher doctorate awarded on the basis of a substantial portfolio of compositions and/or scholarly publications on music. Like other higher doctorates, it is granted by universities in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some Commonwealth countries. Most universities restrict candidature to their own graduates or staff, which is a reversal of the practice in former times, when (unlike higher degrees in other faculties) candidates for the degree were not required to be a Master of Arts.

The Doctor of Music degree should not be confused with the Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degree, which is the standard (Ph.D.-level) doctorate in fields such as performance (including conducting) and musical composition. (However, at least one graduate program, at Indiana University, has been issuing the D.Mus. degree since 1953 for a curriculum that would otherwise lead to the D.M.A. degree.)[1]

The D.Mus. is also distinct from the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in music, which is awarded in areas such as music history, music theory, and musicology.

The Doctor of Music degree has also been awarded honoris causa when presented to musicians and composers such as Joseph Haydn,[2] Richard Strauss, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn, Simon Rattle in classical music, and Joan Baez, Matthew Bellamy, David Bowie, Phil Collins, Bruce Dickinson,[3] Celine Dion, Bob Dylan, Kenny Garrett, Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, David Gilmour, Milt Hinton, Billy Joel, Nik Kershaw, Sir Elton John, B.B. King, Mark Knopfler, Annie Lennox, Jon Lord, Sir Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Jimmy Page, Paul Simon, Joe Walsh, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young in popular music. It has also been awarded as an honorary degree to musical artists who were not composers, including the ballet dancers Dame Alicia Markova and Dame Beryl Grey, as well as female royalty regardless of their experience in music.

See also


  1. Correspondence with Graduate Music Office, Indiana University Bloomington.
  2. Hughes, Rosemary S. M. "Haydn at Oxford 1773–1791". Music and Letters. 20: 242–249. doi:10.1093/ml/XX.3.242.
  3. "IRON MAIDEN Singer Receives Honorary Doctorate In Music From Queen Mary University". July 20, 2011. Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
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