Academic Programs Catalog

College of Music

Undergraduate Programs

Composition

The Bachelor of Music degree program in composition is designed for students who are interested in obtaining an introduction to the technique of composition and for students who are preparing for advanced study in composition, music theory, or musicology.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Music Degree in Composition

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog;  120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Music degree in Composition.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Composition major is met by completing Music 381. That course is referenced in item 3. b. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Music for the Bachelor of Music degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
    a. Capstone experience.
    Preparation and direction of a half-hour recital of original compositions during the senior year.  Compositions for several performing media should be included in the recital.  The student must demonstrate a command of compositional technique to the satisfaction of the appropriate faculty.
    b. The courses that are listed above under the heading General Requirements for All of the Bachelor's Degree Programs in the College of Music (26 credits).
    c. Music activity requirement (8 credits):
    All students enrolled in the Bachelor of Music degree program in composition are required to participate in a major ensemble as designated by the College of Music during each fall and spring semester of enrollment in the program. Music majors must perform an audition for placement into an ensemble in order to receive ensemble credit toward their degree. A minimum of 8 credits in courses approved by the College of Music is required. Students who are enrolled in the composition major for more than eight semesters are required to complete more than 8 credits to satisfy this requirement. However, no more than 8 credits that are related to the major ensemble requirement may be counted toward the requirements for the degree.
    d. Piano proficiency requirement (2 credits):
    All students in the Bachelor of Music degree program in composition whose performance area is not piano are required to demonstrate proficiency in piano to the satisfaction of the appropriate faculty. 
    Students are required to complete a minimum of 2 credits of Music 150M. Any credits earned in Music 150M beyond 2 credits will not count towards the degree program. Students who take the piano proficiency examination and place into Music 150M may take the Music 150M waiver examination on a one-time basis. For the waiver examination, students will be required to play all of the selections required in the piano proficiency examination prior to enrolling in Music 150M. The piano proficiency examination may only be taken while the student is enrolled in Music 150M.
    Students will take a placement examination before beginning any piano courses. The placement examination will determine the appropriate placement in Music 141, 142 or 150M. Students choosing to enroll without taking the placement examination, may only enroll in Music 141. 
    e. Complete the requirements for one of the following 5 performance areas (12 credits):
    (1) Piano (12 credits):
    (a) Private instruction in piano.  This requirement must be met by completing 8 credits of Music 150A and 4 credits of Music 350A (12 credits).
    (2) Stringed Instruments:  Harp, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass (12 credits):
    (a)  Private instruction in harp, violin, viola, cello, or double bass.  This requirement must be met by completing one of the following pairs of courses, with 8 credits in the 100–level course and 4 credits in the 300–level course:  Music 150C, 350C; 152A, 352A; 152B, 352B; 152C, 352C; 152D, 352D (12 credits).
    (3) Wind Instruments:  Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba (12 credits):
    (a) Private instruction in flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, or tuba. This requirement must be met by completing one of the following pairs of courses, with 8 credits in the 100–level course and 4 credits in the 300–level course: Music 153A, 353A; 153B, 353B; 153C, 353C; 153D, 353D; 153E, 353E; 154A, 354A; 154B, 354B; 154C, 354C; 154D, 354D; 154E, 354E (12 credits).
    (4) Percussion Instruments (12 credits):
    (a) Private instruction in percussion instruments. This requirement must be met by completing 8 credits of Music 155 and 4 credits of Music 355 (12 credits).
    (5) Voice (12 credits):
    (a) Private instruction in voice.  This requirement must be met by completing 6 credits of Music 151 and 4 credits of Music 351 (10 credits).
    (b) Both of the following courses (2 credits):
    MUS 143 English Diction for Singers 1
    MUS 144 Italian Diction for Singers 1
    f. All of the following courses (26 credits):
    MUS 335 Ensemble Conducting I 2
    MUS 380 Musical Styles and Forms 3
    MUS 441 Introduction to Computer Music 3
    MUS 480 Counterpoint 2
    MUS 483 Composition 14
    MUS 484 Instrumentation and Basic Orchestration 2
    g. One of the following courses (2 credits):
    MUS 336A Ensemble Conducting II:  Instrumental 2
    MUS 336B Ensemble Conducting II:  Choral 2
    h. One of the following courses (2 credits):
    MUS 410 Jazz History 2
    MUS 413 Keyboard Literature to Mid-19th Century 2
    MUS 414 Keyboard Literature since the Mid–19th Century 2
    MUS 415 Art Song Literature: German 2
    MUS 416 Art Song Literature: French, Spanish, and Italian 2
    MUS 417 Art Song Literature: British and American 2
    MUS 418 Opera and Oratorio Aria Repertoire 2
    MUS 420 Music of the 18th Century 2
    MUS 421 19th Century European–American Music Literature 2
    MUS 422 Music of the 20th Century 2
    MUS 423 History of Opera 2
    MUS 424 Music, Sexuality, and Gender 2