The composition program is for students who want to express their creative vision by writing music with depth and meaning. Through intensive instruction in compositional techniques, composers will develop their musical interpretation, taste, and direction to form their own expressive voice. With the knowledge and tools to create music, composers will be given ample opportunities to work with their peers and hear their works come to life every semester of their program.

  • Concentration-Specific Course and Non-Course Requirements by Year: 

Requirements for the midterm, final juries, recitals, and 10-minute concerts for composers differ from the Performance and Conducting programs. 


  • Midterm and Final Jury

    • Both the midterm and final jury for composers’ Major Lessons course will be an evaluation of the music written and not a performance evaluation. Students will submit their work-in-progress during the midterm and a 2-piece portfolio for the final jury. 


  • 10-Minute Concerts

    • Composers will have 10-minute concerts starting from their 2nd semester of Year 1. 


  • Recitals

    • Solo recitals have a 15-minute length requirement except for the first semester of Year 1, which will be 10 minutes. 


More specific requirements for midterm and final juries, recitals, and 10-minute concerts for composition students can be found in the Repertoire Requirements manual. Pre-screening and live audition requirements can be found on the Admissions page. In addition to the core curriculum, composition students have the following requirements: 


  • Instrumentation

    • In Year 1, students will enroll in two semesters of Instrumentation where they will develop their understanding of all instruments in the orchestra and how to score for both small and larger combinations of instruments.


  • Keyboard Harmony

    • In Years 1 and 2, students take a four-semester Keyboard Harmony course sequence together with piano students to develop their musicianship skills at the keyboard including score-reading, clef-reading, transposition, and figured bass. 


  • Orchestration

    • In Years 2 and 3, students will enroll in four semesters of Orchestration to study the orchestrational techniques and styles of various eras and apply the various elements of orchestration to scoring projects for ensembles of various sizes. 


  • Polyphony 

    • In Year 2, students will enroll in two semesters of Polyphony which focuses primarily on the writing of counterpoint in certain styles and will also examine these styles from a historical and analytical perspective. 


  • Analysis

    • In Years 3 and 4, students will enroll in four semesters of Analysis where they will discuss the musical forms, harmony, and counterpoint of various eras. These courses will focus on analyzing, rather than writing, music from each area. 


  • Score Reading

    • In Year 4, students will enroll in two semesters of Score Reading to develop and reinforce their ability to read choral and orchestral music in all clefs and apply these skills to the process of reading transposing instruments in orchestral scores. 

  • Distribution of courses taken IN ADDITION TO the core curriculum:


  • Year 1:

    • Spring/Fall: MUSC 276-277 Instrumentation I-II

    • Spring/Fall: MUSC 248-249 Keyboard Harmony I-II

  • Year 2:

    • Spring/Fall: MUSC 278-279 Polyphony I-II

    • Spring/Fall: MUSC 280-281 Orchestration I-II

    • Spring/Fall: MUSC 348-349 Keyboard Harmony III-IV

  • Year 3:

    • Spring/Fall: MUSC 380-381 Orchestration III-IV

    • Spring/Fall: MUSC 382-383 Analysis I-II

  • Year 4: 

    • Spring/Fall: MUSC 384-385 Score Reading I-II

    • Spring/Fall: MUSC 482-483 Analysis III-IV

Composition Program Chair

Dr. Eunsook Park

Admissions Information

Voice Program Chair

Dr. Eunsook Park

Admissions Information

  • Pre-screening Requirements

  • Audition Requirements

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