School of Music

BM in 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  
     MUT 100 Music Theory and Aural Skills 1 4
     MUT 101 Music Theory and Aural Skills 2 4
     MUT 200 Music Theory and Aural Skills 3 4
     MUT 201 Music Theory and Aural Skills 4 4
MUT 330 Form and Analysis 3
MUT 332 Counterpoint 3
Music History 14 credits  
     MUH 105 Multi-Cultural Perspectives of American Popular Music  
          and Jazz 3
     MUH 222 Music History Survey 1 3
     MUH 223 Music History Survey 2 3

     MUH 220 Twentieth/Twenty-First Century Music
or  MUH 320 Seminar in Music History

Functional Piano 4 credits  
     MUS 150 Piano Class 1 1
     MUS 151 Piano Class 2 1
     MUS 250 Piano Class 3 1
     MUS 251 Piano Class 4 1
Conducting  4 credits  
     MUS 244 Basic Conducting 2
     MUE 252 Choral Conducting  or  MUE 313 Instrumental Conducting 2
Applied Music 27 credits  
     MUP 203 Composition (6 semesters) 18
     MUP 202 Applied Lessons on choice of instrument (3 semesters) 6

     MUS 442 Recital Class

     (8 semesters - must have compositions performed in 4 semesters)

     MUP 490 Capstone:  Senior Recital 3


Ensemble Requirements 4 credits  
Major Ensemble (2 semesters)  1
University Chorale, Chamber Singers, Concert Band
or University Orchestra
MUS 406 Composer's Ensemble (7 semesters) 2.5
MUS 406 Chamber Music .5


Additional Courses   
MUS 271 Principles of Digital Audio and Music Production  3
Music Electives  9
General Electives  3
University Core Curriculum and Non-Music Electives 32

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.

Audition Information

2015 Anniversary Scholarship Gala

2015 Anniversary Scholarship Gala

Click the link to visit the 25th Anniversary Scholarship Gala website where you can learn more about the event, preview the auction and raffle gifts, and purchase your tickets. 


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