Contact the Music Graduate Office

Office Location
East Studio Building 120 (JS 120)
205 S. Jordan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405

Mailing Address
1201 E. 3rd Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

Hours: 8 am–12 pm, 1–5 pm
Phone: 812-855-1738Phone

E-mail: musgrad [at] indiana [dot] edu

musicdgs [at] indiana [dot] edu (Eric Isaacson), Director 
serbes [at] indiana [dot] edu (Sara Erbes), Advisor
anmiller [at] indiana [dot] edu (Angie Miller), Recorder
musgrad [at] indiana [dot] edu (Victoria Wheeler), Secretary
musdoc [at] indiana [dot] edu (Janis Cooper Parker), Doctoral Clerk

More Information

Styles Guidelines for Composition DM Dissertations and MM Theses

Document Checklist

When dissertations and theses are submitted, the doctoral clerk reviews it for conformance to the following checklist (for electronic submission).  Students are strongly encouraged to check their document against this list before submitting the document to the committee and again before submitting the final copy. These items are explained in detail below.

Standards of Notation

The composition department recognizes the works listed below as standards of notational practice. Refer to one of them when in doubt about correct procedures and consult your committee for advice.

Gould, Elaine. Behind Bars. London: Faber Music Ltd, 2011.

Stone, Kurt. Music Notation in the Twentieth Century: A Practical Guidebook. New York: W. W. Norton, 1980.

Read, Gardner. Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice. Second Edition. Boston: Crescendo Publishers, 1969. (paperback edition: New York: Taplinger Publishing Company, 1979)

Engraving and Printing

The score must meet the highest professional standards and be generated with a high quality computer notation program; any hard copies are to be printed double sided by laser printer on archival quality paper of approximately 60-70# weight.


All front matter and page numbers throughout should use a serifed font such as Times New Roman.

Margin Requirements 

Electronic submission

1-inch margins on all four sides. 

Bound hard copy submission

Right-hand pages: 1.5-inch margin on the left side; 1-inch margin on the right, top, and bottom.

Left-hand pages: 1.5-inch margin on the right side; 1-inch margin on the left, top, and bottom.

Sequence of Pages and Pagination

All right-hand pages carry odd numbers; all left-hand pages carry even numbers. Page numbers may be printed on the page in one of two ways: option (a), within the margin space at the bottom of each page, centered, or option (b), within the margin at the upper right corner of right-hand pages, and the upper left corner of left-hand pages.

Front Matter

Pages in this section should be paginated consecutively using small Roman numerals centered at the bottom (but not printed on the official title page). Samples for the official title page and signatures pages are provided at the end of this web page.

Electronic submission

page 1: official title page, no page number

page 2: blank, except lower case "ii" centered at bottom

page 3: signature page, "iii"

page 4: blank, "iv"

page 5: your actual title page, "v"

page 6: program notes, performance information, any text, "vi" 

(additional pages inserted as necessary, continuing numbering)

next page: instrumentation, Roman numeral at bottom

next page: optional inscription for commission, dedication, premiere, or a blank page to achieve a "right-hand" start to the music, Roman numeral at bottom

Bound hard copy submission

1st sheet: official title page, right-hand, no page number; reverse side: lower case "ii" centered at bottom.

2nd sheet: signature page, right-hand, "iii" at bottom; reverse side: "iv" at bottom.

3rd sheet: your actual title page, right-hand, "v". On the reverse side: program notes, and performance information or any text, "vi"
(possible insertion of additional sheets for further information, text, etc.)

4th sheet (or last sheet of front matter): instrumentation, right-hand, "vii". On the reverse side: "viii", optional inscription for commission, dedication, first performance, etc.


Page numbering restarts using arabic numerals. If using electronic submission option:

  • first page of score, "page 1" (not printed)
  • continue numbering pages at bottom center

If using bound copy option: 

  • first page of score, right-hand, "page 1" (not printed)
  • second page of score, left-hand, "page 2" (printed)
  • continue numbering pages on the right-hand side for odd-numbered pages, left-hand side for even-numbered pages.

Vocal Works with Text

If the composition is vocal and employs a text, include the text in its original format as part of your performance information in the front matter (see above). An extensive text may obviously require additional pages. If the text is under copyright, the copyright-holder's permission for use must be obtained. Include the statement of permission on the page with the text itself.

First Page of Score

On the first page of score the work's title should be printed in the space above the uppermost staff, and is traditionally centered. The composer's name should be printed above the uppermost staff, against the right-hand margin. Copyright information should be printed in the space beneath the lowest staff. Although it is not an official academic requirement, you are strongly urged to copyright your work.

Program Notes

Your document must include program notes, with a minimum length of 500 words for a dissertation or 250 for a thesis. These notes should be written for a general audience; they should not involve a detailed analysis, but should prepare an educated layperson for a performance of the work. 


Format of Title and Signature Pages

For each of these pages the format of the models below should be followed. If pages are larger than the 8.5 x 11-inch size of the models, only the general proportions need be followed.  For electronically submitted documents, the signature page should be included, but committee members should not sign the page. 

Models of the Official Title Page and Signature Page for the D.M. Dissertation in Composition (PDF)

Word Version (formatting might change, so be sure to match the look of the PDF file above)

Models of the Official Title Page and Signature Page for the M.M. Thesis in Composition.

Word Version (formatting might change, so be sure to match the look of the PDF file above)