The Master of Music in Theory is a 30 credit master’s degree preparing the student for a career in the field of music theory and for further graduate studies at the doctoral level.
Composition technique: students will compose music that is expressive, demonstrating the proper techniques in, and related to, the production of a professional-level composition.
Presentation of live compositions: students will present new works for live performers that are well-prepared, demonstrating a high level of individual preparation through engaging in proper rehearsal and performance techniques with collaborating performers.
Electro-acoustic composition technique: students will create new electro-acoustic works that demonstrate skill at executing works that rely on technology.
Score preparation: students will produce musical scores that are professionally notated, and should in all cases be clear, complete, free of errors, and should show attention to detail, including an informative program note for the audience.
Writing about music: students will write analytic papers that are clear and compelling, with proper use of terminology and conventions of musical writing; analysis will display critical listening and thinking skills, and demonstrate knowledge of diverse approaches to music theory and analysis.
Master of Music in Music Theory/Composition students are required to take:
• Computer Music
• Electives in Music History and Music Theory/Composition
Depending on their area of concentration, MM students prepare either a masters thesis (advanced research paper) or a large-scale composition under the supervision of their advisor. Recent MM thesis papers have studied the works of Stravinsky and Bernstein. Recent MM thesis compositions have been written and given their world premieres at WCU, scored for large percussion ensemble, orchestra, and concert band. Graduates from the MM in Theory/Composition program have gone on for more advanced study in composition and/or theory at the doctoral level. Most students from these programs aspire to become college-level instructors, while others have gone on to become freelance composers and arrangers.
All degree requirements must be completed within six years. A single one-year extension may be granted for cause.
Candidates must demonstrate sufficient pianistic ability, sight singing, and aural perception to meet demands of program.