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Creative Arts & Design×

Masters Degrees in Composition, USA

We have 3 Masters Degrees in Composition, USA

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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. Read more
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.

Learning Outcomes

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.

Curriculum

Master of Music in Music Theory/Composition students are required to take:

• Composition
• Computer Music
• Form
• Orchestration
• Counterpoint
• 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.

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Prepare for a competitive job market with our unique MA in Composition and Literature, gaining expertise in both subfields of English. Read more
Prepare for a competitive job market with our unique MA in Composition and Literature, gaining expertise in both subfields of English.

We are the only master's degree program in English of this kind in the mid-Atlantic region. Our program provides a broad exposure to scholarship and pedagogy in composition and in literature, preparing you to excel in a variety of occupations, including teaching at the community college level or advanced doctoral work.

WHAT THE MA IN COMPOSITION AND LITERATURE OFFERS

-Our unparalleled commitment to innovative pedagogy will provide you with experience building course syllabi, lesson plans, and your own teaching philosophies.
-Students can tailor this MA to their own interests within the field, choosing from a variety of courses.
-Graduates of the MA in Composition and Literature program are uniquely qualified for positions at teaching and community colleges or for PhD work in either literature or composition.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

-Specialty in literary theory
-High job placement rates
-Summers-only option for academic residency
-Experienced, dedicated faculty; emphasis on teaching
-Individualized, comprehensive examinations
-Friendly, supportive community; down-to-earth atmosphere

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The Department of Music offers graduate studies leading to the master of music degree. Students may specialize in composition, music history or performance (instrumental, vocal, opera, conducting). Read more
The Department of Music offers graduate studies leading to the master of music degree. Students may specialize in composition, music history or performance (instrumental, vocal, opera, conducting).

The graduate music program is small, and students receive personal attention from faculty, as well as quality performance opportunities.

Our opera program boasts a professional affiliation with the Tri-Cities Opera (TCO). Opera students are members of the TCO Resident Artist Training Program, where they gain professional experience while completing their studies. Our graduates have gone on to perform in major opera houses around the world.

Graduate Degrees Offered

*MM with track in Opera (associated with the Tri-Cities Opera Company)
* MM with emphasis in one of the following:
- Composition
- Conducting
- History and Literature
- Instrumental performance
- Vocal performance

All applicants must submit the following:

- Online graduate degree application and application fee
- Transcripts from each college/university you have attended
- Two letters of recommendation
- Personal statement (2-3 pages) describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to your program's admissions committee.
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae detailing educational and professional experience
- The GRE is only required for applicants pursuing Music History and Literature emphasis.
- A live audition/interview is also required. For international applicants, the department will consider online audition/interviews via SKYPE or similar technology (contact the graduate director for details).

And, for international applicants:
- International Student Financial Statement form
- Official bank statement/proof of support
- Official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic scores

Depending on your desired track or emphasis, you must also submit the following:
- Composition applicants:
*Minimum of two manuscripts and/or recordings of compositions, preferably for differing performing genres. Electronic scores prepared with Finale or Sibelius preferred; hard copies accepted
*Recorded sample of compositions (if possible); live performance recordings preferred

- Conducting applicants:
*Preliminary screening DVD of rehearsal and/or performance conducting an instrumental or vocal ensemble (10-30 minutes)
*A (recent) recording sample, highlighting either:
*the candidate's major instrument
*voice; including a minimum of two composition(s) in contrasting styles

- History and Literature applicants:
*Minimum one writing sample (a research paper in music); two (or more) desirable

- Instrumental Performance applicants:
*Preliminary screening CD or DVD, including a minimum of two compositions in contrasting styles

- Opera and Vocal Performance applicants:
*Preliminary screening CD or DVD, including a minimum of four compositions in contrasting styles (one each in English, French, German and Italian)
*Opera/oratorio and song literature should be included

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