Composition Major B.M.

Student writing music
Composition Major B.M.

What is a Bachelor of Music in composition?

Composition is the act of writing or creating musical works. The music composition degree at UNH builds on a core set of classes in music history, theory and analysis, and places heavy emphasis on composition and performance. The major is recommended for students considering a professional career in composition, or graduate study leading to an advanced degree.

Why study composition at UNH?

As a music student at UNH, you’ll study composition with nationally and internationally known composition faculty and learn from guest artist composers. You’ll be able to participate in the university’s dynamic undergraduate research conference, which each spring highlights performances of student composers’ works. Our ensembles include touring chamber and choral groups, as well as orchestras and bands that inspire from the stage to the football field. You’ll also be able to engage with the community through our many outreach programs. Take advantage of an exchange program in Cardiff, Wales, where you can study with professional musicians.

Potential careers

  • Composer
  • Conductor
  • Music industry executive
  • Music professor
  • Music teacher
  • Performer

Department of Music
Paul Creative Arts Center
30 Academic Way
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH  03824

Phone: (603) 862-2404
Fax: (603) 862-3155

Curriculum & Requirements

All bachelor of music students are required to give a public performance during their senior year, which fulfills the Discovery Program capstone requirement:

  • For students in the composition option, a full lecture, lecture-recital, or recital including at least one original composition is required.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. B.M. in music majors may use MUSI 502 History and Literature of Music (a required core course for the major) to satisfy the Inquiry Discovery category requirement, and MUSI 515 Music in World Cultures (a required core course for the major) to satisfy the World Cultures Discovery category requirement.

Bachelor of Music Core Curriculum

MUSI 471
MUSI 472
Theory I
and Theory I
MUSI 473
MUSI 474
Ear Training I
and Ear Training I
MUSI 475
MUSI 476
Functional Piano I
and Functional Piano I 1
MUSI 571
MUSI 572
Theory II
and Theory II
MUSI 573
MUSI 574
Ear Training II
and Ear Training II
MUSI 575
MUSI 576
Functional Piano II
and Functional Piano II 1
MUSI 501
MUSI 502
History and Literature of Music
and History and Literature of Music
MUSI 515Music in World Cultures4
MUSI 731Conducting2
Select any course between MUSI 7153
Select one of the following:3
Analysis: Form and Structure
Analysis: Form and Structure
Select variable credits of MUSI 764 Performance Study (Applied Lessons)Variable
Select variable credits of MUSI 464 Performing EnsembleVariable
Total Credits38

Bachelor of Music in Composition

Degree program has plan approval from the National Association of Schools of Music.

Select 9 credits of MUSI 771, MUSI 795 (Independent Study/Advanced Counterpoint), MUSI 781W, and MUSI 782W9
Select 4 credits of MUSI 7764
Select 12 credits of MUSI 77712
MUSI 779Orchestration3
MUSI 795Special Studies (Advanced Music Theory ) 13
MUSI 795Special Studies (Electronic Music)2
Select 3 credits of MUSI 715 Advanced Music History 23
Select 8 credits of MUSI 764 Performance Study8
Select 8 credits of MUSI 464 Performing Ensemble8
Total Credits52

Students in the bachelor of music in composition degree program may use a maximum of 8 ensemble credits toward graduation.

Students in the bachelor of music in composition degree are required to attend 8 semesters of composition seminar.

Explore Program Details

Use this checklist to track your completion of major requirements. Always check with your advisor if you have any questions.

B.M., Composition Major 

For majors entering fall of 2014 or later

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