Graduate Studies in Composition
The Master Of Arts in Music (Composition)
The capstone of the MA in Composition is a composition portfolio. Preparation for this includes a grounding in Western classical theory (musicianship, counterpoint, and analysis), music technology, orchestration, specialized composition topics courses, and participation in weekly Composers Forum meetings. A principal aspect of training is weekly composition lessons. We operate on an “open studio” model: students have the option of studying with several teachers over the course of their study.
In the second year, in addition to submission of the composition portfolio, students take a qualifying exam in analysis of tonal and post-tonal music.
The PhD in Music (Composition)
In the first year of study, PhD students are assigned a faculty committee, to determine with them an appropriate course of study that takes into account prior coursework and student interest. Students create works for a PhD portfolio.
Prior to advancing to candidacy (normally after two or three years in the program), composition students submit their PhD portfolio, take a field exam covering “new music” from the last 100 years, present a PhD colloquium and submit a PhD essay, both on topics in 20th and 21st Century music of their choice.
The thesis for the PhD in Composition is a substantial creative work.