he degree programs in Theory-Composition are for students who demonstrate a creative ability in writing and arranging music or who have a strong interest in its theoretical aspects. Students who complete a degree in this field typically pursue careers as composers, arrangers, theory or composition teachers, film composers, commercial orchestrators, or transcribers.

  Composition students are given every opportunity to develop their own compositional style.  The program's flexibility, the varied strengths the faculty bring to the program, and the exposure to contemporary alternatives, give students the chance to mingle styles and explore new directions.

   Studies in electronic music are incorporated into the Composition program.  The School's studios contain the latest sound synthesis equipment, including analog and digital synthesizers and computers (see Music Engineering Technology Program for details).

   Numerous practical experiences encourage students to function as professionals in the field.  A weekly Composition Workshop offers majors the opportunity to have their works performed.  Many ensembles provide Composition majors the chance to have their works performed publicly.  Weekly forums introduce majors to the economic, legal, and professional sides of life as an active composer, as well as provide an opportunity to meet prominent visiting composer.

The UM Muisc Library's collection of 20th century art music recordings is outstanding for its size, scope and currency and includes a comprehensive representation of today's important European developments.

   Undergraduate composition students participate in ensembles each semester and study their principal instrument.  All theory/composition students are encouraged to develop their total musicianship.

   In the final semester of academic work, undergraduate students are required to present a recital of their own compositions.

Undergraduate students interested in majoring in Music Composition must submit a portfolio of their compositions in addition to performing an audition on either an instrument or voice. The portfolio requirements are quite flexible. Guidlines are as follows:

Entering Freshmen:

  • Outline your compositional activities. For example, if your high school has a composition class, outline the scope of the class. If you have attended a summer program in which you have taken a composition course, elaborate on the type of activities which were included in the class.
  • Present several music scores that you have composed. The scores should be notated correctly.
  • If you have a cassette recording of your composition(s), submit it marked clearly on the cassette "COMPOSITION TAPE."

Transfer students:
In addition to the above:

  • Music scores and tapes that you have written and recorded must be submitted.
  • List college theory and composition courses that you have taken. If possible, provide a syllabus from the course(s).

raduate studies enable students to pursue advanced work in composition, theory, electronic music, and media writing and production with a distinguished and recognized faculty.  Students keep abreast with the most recent trends in each field while developing their own directions.

   Performance experience in traditional and contemporary choral and instrumental ensembles is recommended for all graduate students.

he Master of Music program in Music Theory is essentially an academic program that allows students to pursue their personal music and academic goals and to prepare for further advanced study in the discipline.  Because of the program's strong scholarship emphasis, academic criteria are given prominent consideration among the criteria for admission.

ll composition programs (M.M. in Composition, M.M. in Electronic Music, D.M.A. in Composition) are designed to encourage students to explore a variety of styles and to cultivate their own individual directions in the creative process.  The composition track in Electronic Music focuses on the development of theory and knowledge of analog, hybrid analog/digital, and digital synthesis and applications of such to compostion.  Students in all composition tracks keep abreast with the most recent trends in each field.  Their experiences include work with traditional and contemporary choral and instrumental ensembles.

tudents in the Master's degree program in Media Writing and Production pursue courses and directed study in writing and production for electronic and film media.  Students acquire theoretical and practical experience through utilization of a state-of-the-art MIDI workstation.   The basic skills of producing recordings, including pre-production, in-the-studio techniques, and post-production tasks are defined through extensive analysis of contemporary recordings.  Projects designed to encourage analytical thought processes are integrated throughout the program.  Students are required to submit a final project of recorded work.

pplicants for the various composition  programs must submit portfolios and, if available, tapes of representation compositions.  Compositions submitted should reflect a cross section of the applicant's previous work as a composer.  Students desiring further information about what should be included in portfolio submissions to particular programs should contact the appropriate programs director.

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Music in

Bachelor of Music in
Music and Production

Master of Music in
Music Theory

Master of Music in

Master of Music in
Electronic Music

Master of Music in
Media Writing and

Doctor of Musical Arts
in Composition

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"The background

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received at the

University of

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foundation of a




Johanna Meier, one of the great dramatic sopranos of our age, has appeared in many of the world's great theaters and concert halls


  • 13 credits in Theory/Composition
  • Psychology of Music I
  • Music History Survey I and II
  • 4 credits in Performance
  • 6 credits in Thesis
  • a minimum of 2 credits in Ensemble
  • 12 credits in Theory
  • Psychology of Music I
  • Music History Survey I and II
  • 4 credits in Performance
  • 6 credits in Thesis
  • a minimum of 2 credits in Ensemble
  • 12 credits in Electronic Music
  • 6 credits in Theory/Composition
  • 3 credits in Music Media and Industry
  • 3 credits in Ensemble
  • 3 credits in Electives
A minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the master's degree is required.  12 to 18 credit hours in required recital and/or pedagogy projects and a D.M.A. essay devoted to the doctoral composition.

  • 3 credits in Studio Production Ensemble
  • 3 credits in Audio Engineering for Producers
  • 3 credits in Advanced Orchestration
  • 2 credits in Jazz Composition
  • 3 credits in Recording Industry Operations
  • 3 credits in Studio Production
  • 4 credits in Film Scoring
  • 2 credits in Sound Synthesis
  • 1 credit in Studio Writing Special Project
  • 3 credits in Production Project
  • 3 credits in Approved Electives

    (Entrance limited to Fall Semester)