Our program provides students with opportunities to compose and arrange in a variety of styles. We want our students to have a strong foundation of different techniques so that they can learn how to express themselves as individual artists.
The composition degree focuses on composing and arranging in different contemporary styles, enabling the student to be able to notate clearly and concisely what they have conceived and want musically to express.
Exploring such techniques as twelve-tone, polytonality, aleatoric, mathematical and neo-modal approaches, the student is encouraged to discover her/his own style of composition, and to give a concert of original compositions which exemplify individualized creative progress.
"I have been able to have my own works performed at school and in the community, which is great as a composition major!" - Travis Whaley, Piano Performance, Composition, and German, Class of 2015
The program provides a foundation for work in practical commercial applications including film scoring and advertising and serves students preparing for advanced composition work in a graduate program.
Composers should include scores of at least three original compositions, and, if possible, tape recordings of their pieces along with the materials they send to the Department of Music.
The compositions need not be long, but they should be varied enough to demonstrate aptitude for this major.
Applicants in composition will have an interview in addition to auditioning on their major instrument.
Please see the Music Admissions page for detailed information.