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Curriculum: Composition Undergraduates

Life isn't an audition.

A number of music schools can make you a better composer. Our interconnected courses are built to transform you intellectually, artistically, professionally, and individually. You'll understand the roots of your music, freeing you to take it somewhere new. You'll see how your training broadens your options, rather than narrowing them. You'll find your voice. And you'll enter the world with the same confidence you bring to your compositions.

Required Courses

Curriculum: Bachelor of Music in Composition
Credit Total: 136

Rec. Course #/Title Cr.
Private Instruction
1st/2nd yr. PVL 110 Composer at the Piano 16
3rd/4th yr. PVL 112 Major Instruction 16
Performance Class
3rd/4th yr. PRF 402 Composition Seminar 2
4th yr. PRF 452/453 Intro to Conducting 4
Musicianship and Music Theory
1st yr. MMT 102/112 Musicianship 4
1st yr. MMT 103/113 Musicianship 4
2nd yr. MMT 104/114 Musicianship 4
2nd yr. MMT 105/115 Musicianship 4
2nd yr. MMT 222/223 Counterpoint 6
3rd yr. MMT 106 Musicianship 2
3rd yr. MMT 107 Musicianship 2
3rd yr. MMT 202/203 Advanced Musicianship 6
3rd yr. MMT 230/231 Score-Reading at the Piano (taken with MMT 202/203) 2
4th yr. MMT 252/253 Advanced Musical Analysis 6
Humanities and Sciences
1st yr. HMS 110/111 Approaches to College Writing 6
2nd yr. HMS 202/203 Intro to Western Civilization 8
3rd yr. HMS 302-399 (Literature) 3
4th yr. HMS 402-479 (Hist/Phil) 3
  HMS 210-599 12
Music History and Literature
2nd yr. MHL 202/203 4
3rd yr. MHL 204 2
Applied Practical Training
1st yr. APP 352/353 Composition Workshop (corequisite of PVL 110) 4
3rd yr. APP 242/243 Orchestration 6
4th yr. APP 404 Practical Aspects of a Career in Music 2
3rd/4th yr. ENS 300 Chorus or ENS 301 Chamber Choir 4
Electives (4 credits total)
Courses numbered HMS 202-590, MMT 202-799, and courses in the APP, ENS, IND, MHL series that aren't used to fulfill core curriculum or major field requirements may be used to fulfill the requirements for the elective credits listed for individual majors.
Juries and Recitals
1st yr. JRFR Freshman Jury: Students enrolled in PVL 110R (The Composer at the Keyboard) must take a keyboard jury at the end of the spring semester. Compositions that best demonstrate the abilities of the performer, to be determined by the teacher, are required together with improvisations as requested by the jury. At the end of the sophomore year, each student's record will undergo a formal review by the department. Standing in place of a jury recital, this review will take into account the student's academic performance, especially progress in composition classes and lessons, as well as the student's participation in and attendance at school and department activities. The results of this review will determine whether the student will be allowed to advance to junior standing.  
2nd yr. JRSO Sophomore Jury: Study at least two works and perform them.  
4th yr. RCTSN Senior Recital: Present either one full recital of at least 40 minutes in the final semester of work or two half-recitals within the last two semesters of work. In both years, works performed must have been completed while the composer was a student at the Conservatory. Presentations must be performed by or prepared under the direction of the composer. The works presented during the last two years of study should include at least three of the following:
  1. Work for one to four instruments, not including voice
  2. Work for five to 25 instruments, not including voice
  3. Work for any number of instruments and/or any number of voices
  4. Work using electronic devices (either exclusively or in combination with acoustic instruments)
  5. Soundtrack not less than five minutes in length using electronic sounds or instruments for film or video and created using Conservatory facilities.