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Bachelor of Music, Global Composition

Master of Music, Global Composition

The major is designed to welcome students who come to composition from European classical and jazz as well as non-classical backgrounds such as rock, DJs, video gaming, etc.
Note: Please be aware that this is a professional composition degree, not a recording engineering degree. The focus is on creation of original works of music. Students will learn how to record, edit and master recordings of their works - but in this major the recording process is a means to another end (composing). If you are interested in engineering other people’s music this would not be an appropriate degree for you.

Audition is via portfolio of compositions - we are looking for a creative spark, an original voice, a passion for music, evidence of the ability to work very hard. There is no specific genre, instrumentation, number of pieces or length required.


Audition Requirements:
Undergraduate deadline to turn in materials is February 10 via our online audition portal. Graduate Deadline to turn in materials is March 1.

**All printed materials (scores, music excerpts, recommendations, and grade transcripts etc.) need to be submitted via PDF format, all audio recordings need to be submitted via a link to BandCamp, SoundCloud, DropBox, Drive, YouTube, etc.**

  • Reproduce four one-page music excerpts with professional notation software, to demonstrate your notation abilities.  (Please send an email to to request excerpts and instructions.)
  • Performance audition: we want to hear you play to get a sense of your musicality. Do not sign up for a live audition.  Instead, please record a short video of you performing, and provide a link to the performance via YouTube.  Instruments may include traditional classical instruments such as clarinet as well as other cultures: tabla, berimbau, dumbek etc., and pop instruments such as turntables, electric guitar, laptop etc.  Repertoire can be anything: original, improvised, scored, cover, in any genre.
  • Three letters of recommendation from qualified professionals.
  • Unofficial grade transcripts from past 4 years of education.
  • Statement of purpose - a 2-3 page essay on your musical vision, life and career goals and preparations.
  • A written statement on your music-reading ability.
  • A statement on the technical, software, hardware and recording equipment and software used to create your composition portfolio.
  • Audio recordings, and printed scores (if available) of 2 - 4 original works. (printed scores are not required, but highly recommended)

The major is extremely competitive - compile your materials as if this was the ultimate dream job. They should be excellent and professional and demonstrate your interest and respect.


Summer preparatory projects:

If you are accepted you will be required to complete 3 preparatory projects in the summer before school starts:

  • You will be given a list of classical and world masterpieces to become intimately familiar with—you will need to put these on your iPod and listen to them everyday.
  • You will need to learn to write a 2 Part Invention in the style of Bach (You can buy Kent Kennan’s Counterpoint book to guide you);
  • You will need to complete the Eastman School of Music E-Music “Music Theory Fundamentals in 4 Weeks” course

All composition majors are expected to maintain at least a 3.75 GPA This major prepares students to have a good chance of success, whether in the best graduate programs or in the music industry.