2020-21 Catalogs

BM in Performance - Composition

This degree concentration is designed for those who wish to prepare for a career in music composition and those who plan to do graduate work in composition. The program aims to instill students with a thorough understanding of both traditional and contemporary compositional tools and prompts students to engage in the discourse surrounding the making of new music in our society. Private lessons, participation in the USM Composers Ensemble, regular composition and performance of new works, and classes in counterpoint and analysis are emphasized.

The minimum number of credits required for the degree is 120.

Music Theory and Aural Skills (22 credits)Credits 
     MUT 110 Music Theory 13
     MUT 111 Sight Singing and Aural Skills 11
     MUT 112 Music Theory 23
     MUT 113 Sight Singing and Aural Skills 21
     MUT 210 Music Theory 33
     MUT 211 Sight Singing and Aural Skills 31
     MUT 212 Music Theory 43
     MUT 213 Sight Singing and Aural Skills 41
     MUT 330 Form and Analysis3
     MUT 332 Counterpoint3
Music History (12 credits) 
     MUH 105 Multi-Cultural Perspectives of American Popular Music 
          and Jazz3
     MUH 222 Music History Survey 13
     MUH 223 Music History Survey 23

     One other MUH course not listed above

Functional Piano (4 credits) 
     MUS 150 Piano Class 11
     MUS 151 Piano Class 21
     MUS 250 Piano Class 31
     MUS 251 Piano Class 41
Conducting (4 credits) 
     MUS 244 Basic Conducting2
     MUE 252 Choral Conducting or MUE 313 Instrumental Conducting2
Applied Music (27 credits) 
     MUP 203 Composition (6 semesters)18
     MUP 202  (3 semesters)6
       Applied Lessons on choice of instrument 
     MUS 440 Studio Class - Voice only (3 semesters)0 - 1.5
All voice students who are taking applied voice lessons as their primary instrument must also enroll in MUS 440 Studio Class (voice) up to 6 semesters. 

     MUS 442 Recital Class  (8 semesters)

       (must have compositions performed in 4 semesters) 
     MUP 490 Capstone:  Senior Recital3

 All music performance composition students will complete Jury Level 1 at the end of their 2nd semester, Jury Level 2 at the end of their 4th semester, and Jury Level 3 at the end of their 6th semester. Students must perform a check jury in the semester in which jury levels are not being completed. Jury Level 3 must be successfully completed prior to the presentation of their Senior Recital. 

All music performance composition students must pass a juried proficiency examination in their applied area; this exam will be graded pass/fail.

The senior recital for music performance majors specializing in composition will meet the following requirements: The recital should consist of 45 minutes of original music for a variety of ensembles (at least 3) ranging from solo to large chamber group. The music on the recital must have been composed during the student’s time at USM. Programming for the senior recital should be selected under the guidance of the applied instructor. Programs exceeding 45 minutes of music require the special approval of the faculty. 

Ensemble Requirements (5 credits) 
Major Ensemble (2 semesters) 1
University Chorale, Chamber Singers, Concert Band or University Orchestra 
MUS 406 Composer's Ensemble (7 semesters)3.5
MUS 406 Chamber Music.5


Additional Courses  
MUS 271 Principles of Digital Audio and Music Production 3
Music Electives 7
General Electives


University Core Curriculum and Non-Music Electives


 Admission Information

Admission to all degree programs in music is based on the following criteria:

  1. Performance audition on the applicant's major instrument and a portfolio review of compositions.
  2. Tests of aural comprehension, rhythmic recitation, and sight singing administered individually by a member of the staff.
  3. A diagnostic written test of music fundamentals, including intervals, scales, chords, and key signatures.