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Music Composition Emphasis


The music composition emphasis is designed to explore and discover creative possibilities of expression through sound and notation. Courses build on foundational knowledge of the contemporary repertoire (all genres), harmony, rhythm, counterpoint, form, orchestration and notation to allow each composer to build their own musical language.

Career Opportunities

The field of music composition is rich with possibilities including writing for the concert stage, theatre, dance, film/TV, songwriting, arranging, orchestrating, as well as opportunities to teach and mentor at the high school and university levels.


Required Courses

  • MUC 106 - Freshmen Composition Lessons 1 (3 credits)
  • MUC 107 - Freshmen Composition Lessons 2 (3 credits)
  • MUC 116 - Introduction to Composition 1 (2 credits)
  • MUC 117 - Introduction to Composition 2 (2 credits)
  • MUC 315 - Introduction Electronic Music (2 credits)
  • MUC 318 - Orchestration (2 credits)
  • MUC 415 - Contemporary Composition Techniques (2 credits)

Learn more about these courses in the University catalog.

Student Experiences

In addition to coursework, students will also have opportunities to have their works performed on New Music Series Concerts as well as attend masterclasses with guest composers and ensembles.


Clint Needham
Professor, Composition

Carolyn Borcherding
Assistant Professor, Composition

Rob Kovacs
Lecturer, Songwriting