Composition Major (B.M.)

Composition Major (B.M.)

Student writing music

What is a Bachelor of Music in composition?

If you dream of writing inspiring music for bands, orchestras, choirs, films, video games or innovative chamber ensembles, then the Bachelor of Music in composition is for you. The music composition degree program at UNH builds on a core set of classes in music theory, analysis and history, and places heavy emphasis on composition and continuing to develop your skills as a performer. 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 composers. You’ll be able to participate in the university’s dynamic Undergraduate Research Conference, which highlights performances of student composers’ works each spring. Our ensembles include touring chamber and choral groups, as well as orchestras and bands that inspire from the stage to the football field. Our department also hosts dynamic guest artists and lecturers throughout the year and offers a study abroad exchange program with Cardiff University in the U.K.

Potential Careers

  • Composer
  • Conductor
  • Music arranger and orchestrator
  • 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
E-mail: music.info@unh.edu

Connect with us

This form is only for prospective students who are not already enrolled at UNH. If you are a current UNH student and interested in this program, please reach out to the contact on this page.


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
6
MUSI 473
MUSI 474
Ear Training I
and Ear Training I
2
MUSI 475
MUSI 476
Functional Piano I
and Functional Piano I 1
2
MUSI 571
MUSI 572
Theory II
and Theory II
6
MUSI 573
MUSI 574
Ear Training II
and Ear Training II
2
MUSI 575
MUSI 576
Functional Piano II
and Functional Piano II 1
2
MUSI 501
MUSI 502
History and Literature of Music
and History and Literature of Music
6
MUSI 515Music in World Cultures4
MUSI 540Recital Attendance0
MUSI 731Conducting2
Select one of the following:3
MUSI 703
Music of the Renaissance
MUSI 705
Music of the Baroque
MUSI 707
Music of the Classical Period
MUSI 709W
Music of the Romantic Period
MUSI 711
Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries
MUSI 713
Art Song
MUSI 715
Survey of Opera
Select one of the following:3
MUSI 771
Counterpoint
MUSI 781W
Analysis: Form and Structure
MUSI #782W
Analysis: Form and Structure
Performance Study (Applied Lessons): select from the following coursesVariable
MUSI 541, MUSI 545, MUSI 546, MUSI 547, MUSI 548, MUSI 549, MUSI 550, MUSI 551, MUSI 552, MUSI 553, MUSI 554, MUSI 555, MUSI 556, MUSI 557, MUSI 558, MUSI 559, MUSI 560, MUSI 561, MUSI 562, MUSI 563, MUSI 564, MUSI 741, MUSI 745, MUSI 746, MUSI 747, MUSI 748, MUSI 749, MUSI 751, MUSI 752, MUSI 753, MUSI 754, MUSI 755, MUSI 756, MUSI 757, MUSI 758, MUSI 759, MUSI 760, MUSI 761, MUSI 762, MUSI 763, MUSI 764
Performing Ensemble: select from the following coursesVariable
MUSI 441, MUSI 442, MUSI 448, MUSI 450, MUSI 451, MUSI 452, MUSI 453, MUSI 454, MUSI 455, MUSI 456, MUSI 457, MUSI 459, MUSI 460, MUSI #461, MUSI 462, MUSI 463, MUSI 464
Total Credits38

Bachelor of Music in Composition

Degree program has final 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 775, MUSI 7764
Select 12 credits of MUSI 77712
MUSI 779Orchestration3
MUSI 795Special Studies (Advanced Music Theory ) 13
MUSI 795Special Studies (Electronic Music)2
Advanced Music History: select one of the following 23
MUSI 703
Music of the Renaissance
MUSI 705
Music of the Baroque
MUSI 707
Music of the Classical Period
MUSI 709W
Music of the Romantic Period
MUSI 711
Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries
MUSI 713
Art Song
MUSI 715
Survey of Opera
Performance Study (Applied Lessons): select from the following courses8
MUSI 541, MUSI 545, MUSI 546, MUSI 547, MUSI 548, MUSI 549, MUSI 550, MUSI 551, MUSI 552, MUSI 553, MUSI 554, MUSI 555, MUSI 556, MUSI 557, MUSI 558, MUSI 559, MUSI 560, MUSI 561, MUSI 562, MUSI 563, MUSI 564, MUSI 741, MUSI 745, MUSI 746, MUSI 747, MUSI 748, MUSI 749, MUSI 751, MUSI 752, MUSI 753, MUSI 754, MUSI 755, MUSI 756, MUSI 757, MUSI 758, MUSI 759, MUSI 760, MUSI 761, MUSI 762, MUSI 763, MUSI 764
Performing Ensemble: select from the following courses8
MUSI 441, MUSI 442, MUSI 448, MUSI 450, MUSI 451, MUSI 452, MUSI 453, MUSI 454, MUSI 455, MUSI 456, MUSI 457, MUSI 459, MUSI 460, MUSI #461, MUSI 462, MUSI 463, MUSI 464
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.

  • Students will exhibit the skills necessary for artistic expression at the highest possible level as defined by their particular area of concentration in solo and small ensemble (not conducted) and large ensemble (conducted) settings.
  • Students will exhibit competency in musicianship and analysis through: their understanding of musical forms and processes aural, verbal and visual analyses skill in performance, academic, pedagogical, and compositional applications rudimentary ability to create derivative or original music.
  • Students will demonstrate familiarity with musical literature from the formal concert repertory and from musical traditions outside of that repertory. Students will demonstrate the ability to place music in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts.
  • Students will demonstrate collegiate-level skill in the English language and competence in written and oral communication in English.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use technologies current to their area of specialization for professional development and entrepreneurship, and career preparation and promotion.
  • Demonstrate skill in the use of standard concepts, tools, techniques, and procedures to develop a composition from concept to finished product.
  • Manage a formal performance of a finished product.

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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