Composition

The B. A. in Music with a concentration in Composition provides instruction in the composition of original music. The curriculum also includes counterpoint, orchestration, and music designs, courses which provide knowledge and skills necessary for composers. In their junior and senior years, students work one-to-one with a composition professor to prepare a portfolio of works for public performance as a senior capstone project.

Admittance to the composition concentration requires music faculty approval. Interested students should submit a sample composition and have a minimum of a B average in Comprehensive Musicianship I-IV and Musicianship Skills I-IV.

Students should consult with their music department faculty advisor prior to registration.

Composition Degree Requirements

Core (Common to all Concentrations):

  • MUSC 111 - Comprehensive Musicianship I (3 credits)
  • MUSC 121 - Musicianship Skills I (1 credit)
  • MUSC 112 - Comprehensive Musicianship II (3 credits)
  • MUSC 122 - Musicianship Skills II (1 credit)
  • MUSC 211 - Comprehensive Musicianship III (3 credits)
  • MUSC 221 - Musicianship Skills III (1 credit)
  • MUSC 212 - Comprehensive Musicianship IV (3 credits)
  • MUSC 222 - Musicianship Skills IV (1 credit)
  • MUSC 335 - History of Music I (4 credits)
  • MUSC 336 - History of Music II (4 credits)

Lessons (7 Semesters):

  • MUSC 227 - Applied Voice/Instrument (for at least first four semesters) (1 credit)
  • MUSC 337 - Applied Voice/Instrument (upper division lessons; can be taken beginning in fifth semester) (1 credit)
  • MUSC 114 - Secondary Instrument (Recommended but not required) (1 credit)

Ensembles (7 Semesters):

  • MUSC 230 - Symphonic Band (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 231 - Wind Ensemble (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 232 - Chamber Choir (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 233 - Orchestra (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 234 - Men's Chorus (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 235 - Women's Choir (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 237 - Clarinet Ensemble (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 238 - Jazz Ensemble (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 239 - All-College Choir (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 240 - Choral Arts Ensemble, Pit Orchestra, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Combo, String Chamber Music, Viola Da Gamba Ensemble, Brass Quintet (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 241 - Saxophone Quartet (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 242 - Brass Choir (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 243 - Percussion/Marimba Ensemble (0-1 credits)
  • MUSC 244 - Gregorian Chant Schola (0-1 credits)

Special Studies:

  • MUSC 260 - Introduction to Music Composition (4 credits)
  • MUSC 340 - Music Designs (4 credits)
  • MUSC 345 - Special Studies in Orchestration (2 credits)
  • MUSC 346 - Tonal Counterpoint (2 credits)
  • MUSC 357 - Composition Projects (2 semesters or more) (2 credits)

Music Major Field Test:

Required for graduation. Students are required, in the spring of their Junior or Senior year, to take a standardized Major Field Test covering Theory & Analysis, Literature, History, and Aural Skills. Students may take the standardized test only after completing the Music History sequence (MUSC 335 & MUSC 336). (0 credits)

Piano Proficiency Exam:

Students must pass the piano proficiency exam to graduate. The purpose of the exam is to ensure that each student can use the piano as a functional tool. Students must demonstrate proficiency in basic sight-reading, clef reading, simple harmonization, and transposition at the keyboard. (0 credits)

Important Considerations:

Even if a Composition student’s major instrument is not piano, the music department recommends continued piano study, even after successful completion of the piano proficiency examination.