Composition Track

Composition Track, 42 credits, Music BA Curriculum

This track is intended for students interested primarily in creating music of any genre, acoustic or electroacoustic. A solid background in music history, music theory (including tonal harmony and 20th-21st century techniques) and musicianship is essential for composers, as is competence on an instrument or voice. Students will have the opportunity to hear their music read or performed by guest performers and ensembles as well as groups such as the University Orchestra. Students will develop their individual musical voices through close mentorship by faculty and will create a final portfolio of their compositional work. Students interested in pursuing this track should contact track advisor Dr. Aaron Meyers-Brooks.

Prerequisite Course (must be completed prior to declaring the Music Major):

MUSIC 0100 – Fundamentals of Western Music – 3 credits

  • Students must earn a letter grade of B- or better in this course in order to declare a Music Major or Minor
  • Students may elect to take the Fundamentals Exemption Exam in lieu of enrolling in MUSIC 0100. A passing grade of 85% is required in order for the exemption exam to meet this requirement. Students may only take the Fundamentals Exemption Test one (1) time in a single sitting. The test must be completed within 60 minutes after clicking the test link.
  • Placement Exam Study Topics - notes in treble and bass clefs, major and minor key signatures, intervals, triads and their inversions, seventh chords and their inversions, major and minor scales, time signatures and rhythm, Roman numerals

Download the Course Requirement Checklist

Core Courses [21 credits]

   credits    course number & name

3        MUSIC 0222:           Music History 1

3        MUSIC 0411:           Theory 1

1        MUSIC 0412:           Musicianship 1

1        MUSIC 0416:           Musicianship 2

3        MUSIC 1310:           Introduction to Global & Popular Music

3        MUSIC 0711:           History of Jazz    -OR-

          MUSIC 1326:           Afro-American Music in the US

1        MUSIC ____:           Performance course (1 per semester)

1        MUSIC ____:           Performance course (1 per semester)

1        MUSIC ____:           Performance course (1 per semester)

NB: Performance courses are either private lessons or ensembles.

Must include at least one world music ensemble, to be selected from the following:

MUSIC 0615: Carpathian / MUSIC 0660: African Drumming / MUSIC 0690: Gamelan

3        MUSIC 1904:           Senior Seminar

NB: All Core and Required Courses must be completed prior to registering for

MUSIC 1904: Senior Seminar. MUSIC 1903: Senior Project may be taken concurrently.

1        MUSIC 1903:           Senior Project

See this document detailing Senior Capstone Project parameters.

Required Courses [21 credits]

   credits    course number & name

3        MUSIC 0224:           Music History 2

3        MUSIC 0415:           Theory 2

3        MUSIC 0417:           Theory 3

3        MUSIC 0419:           Theory 4

3        MUSIC ____:           One elective from the 1200, 1300, or 1400 level

Two composition courses to be selected from the following (6 total credits):

3        MUSIC 1421/1422:  Composition 1/2

3        MUSIC 1431:           Instrumentation & Orchestration

3        MUSIC 1441:           Electronic & Computer Music 1

3        MUSIC 1442:           Electronic Music Studio

3        MUSIC 1443:           Programming Environments in Music MAX/MSP  

3        MUSIC 1444:           Electronic Beat Making and Song Writing

3        MUSIC 1450:           Music Production and Recording  


You can view complete descriptions for Department of Music courses by visiting