Bachelor of Music in Composition

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Bachelor of Music in Composition with a major in Theory and Composition is for the undergraduate who yearns to discover techniques for composing for orchestra, voice, chamber ensembles, and experimental instruments. Students study composition every term. Students study in depth their primary instrument and learn techniques of conducting, orchestrating, and music technology. Students also learn theory and music history within an experiential music curriculum.

The Bachelor of Music in Composition is designed to:

  1. Provide students with a learning environment conducive to the pursuit, fostering, development, and exchange of ideas and information, particularly as it pertains to music composition and performance.
  2. To provide student access to varied composition communities.
  3. To continue to build upon the Frost School of Music's reputation as an innovative, forward-thinking, and first-rate center for advanced study.
  4. To maintain the highest educational, professional, and ethical standards.

Goals of the program are:

  1. To provide students with training to be fluent in basic compositional skills.
  2. To help students understand various directions that are available to composers in the 21st century.
  3. To help students perform and realize their music.

The curriculum in Composition is designed for those students intending to pursue a career as a composer and/or to pursue graduate degrees in Composition. Prospective students are expected to furnish evidence of compositional ability.

For Undergraduate portofolio requirements, pelase visit Frost Admission's Undergraduate Composition Portfolio.

To learn more about the curriculum, please visit the Academic Bulletin.

For more general information about a Bachelor of Music in Composition, please click here.

If you do not only like performing music, but also writing it, a bachelor of music in composition may be the degree for you. These students learn the ins and outs of theory, interplay between instruments, and other composition fundamentals to prepare for a career in composition. These days, composers work in a variety of contexts with professional musicians, film, media, marketing, and other fields. Music composition is a creative field that benefits from formalized training through a bachelor’s degree. While working closely with faculty in small ensembles in the classroom, you will gain the skills you need to compose successfully. Composers need broad, flexible skills to create music for a variety of musicians and ensembles. A bachelor of music in composition will help prepare you for your desired composing career path.

How Do You Apply to a Bachelor of Music in Composition?

Once you decide that a bachelor of music in composition is a good fit for you, you should review the application process online and contact the office of admissions, who can assist you throughout the process and answer any questions you may have.When applying for a bachelor of music in composition, you will need to submit several components of a comprehensive application.

Why Do I Need a Bachelor of Music in Composition?

Although you may not technically need a bachelor of music in composition to create original music, attaining the degree does help give you several advantages in the field. No matter how unique your compositions are, having the right connections to place and present your music are tremendously valuable. Furthermore, the degree will give you a broad foundation of technical and critical-thinking skills that are not as easily garnered on your own. The bachelor of music in composition degree is designed to help you become a versatile, well-rounded, experienced musician and composer so that you have the skills to succeed in diverse composition contexts. A bachelor’s degree helps you build mentor and professional relationships that will benefit your career for years to come.

What Does a Bachelor of Music in Composition Degree Entail?

During your degree, you will study the ins-and-outs of composition and gain real-world composing experience. Each class you take builds on the ones you’ve already completed, empowering you to graduate with a solid portfolio. Aside from focused study in your primary instrument, you will study conducting, orchestrating, theory, and music technology. The program is crafted so that you can perform and elaborate the music you create and collaborate on. A quality composition program encourages you to become experienced with current technologies so that you can confidently dive into the field after graduation.

Where Do Composers Work?

The type of job you seek as a composer all depends on your interests. Some composers work directly with musicians through recording studios. Other composers work on television series or movies. These jobs tend to be located in the same cities as the entertainment industry: Miami, Los Angeles, Nashville, etc. Some composers work in religious institutions or in houses of worship, creating music for faith traditions. While other composers create compositions out of their homes or private studios while working music-related jobs like teaching, private lessons, or arts administration. Forging connections in a wide variety of niches is helpful no matter what career trajectory you’re seeking as an up-and-coming composer. Despite the wide variety of tracks, the field of music is small, and the more positive impressions and connections you make, the better.

What Kinds of Skills Will I Gain with a Bachelor of Music in Composition?

Composers draw from a range of technical and creative skills:

  • Flexibility. As a composition major, you will be creating music for a range of ensembles and musical configurations. The flexibility in your composing capabilities will expand your skills and make you a stronger composer.
  • Collaboration. Composition is an inherently collaborative endeavor. During a bachelor of music in composition degree, you will collaborate with musicians on a day-to-day basis. You will be playing the compositions of other composition majors, and in return, they will play the music you write.
  • Leadership. As a composer, you are creating music for others to play. In this way, a composer is a leader. You may also gain experience in conducting, leading ensembles, and more.

How Do I Find the Bachelor of Music in Composition That is Right for Me?

Identifying the faculty who teach in the program is a great place to start. Is there an emphasis on effective pedagogy and good teaching? What is the typical class size? Will you have the chance to work in small groups and ensembles to learn effectively? A bachelor of music in composition program must have quality instructors and a wide range of class offerings, but there are other features of the program to consider as well. Are candidates able to participate in competitions, service-learning, and other enrichment opportunities? After looking for these answers at multiple music schools, you’ll discover the Frost School of Music is the right music school for you.