The M.M. in Composition, Concert Music emphasis, is designed for students to build upon a strong compositional foundation gained in an undergraduate music program by means of intensive private composition study combined with advanced coursework in music history and theory.

Normally a two-year program, the M.M. in Composition, Concert Music Emphasis emphasizes the development of increasingly sophisticated compositional skills, including a special focus on longer forms, while providing the strong academic foundation necessary to pursue doctoral study, either at CUA or at another institution.

Composition work in lessons is directed towards two goals: the creation of chamber music in preparation for the graduation recital (see more below), and the larger thesis composition, submitted to the Composition faculty as a graduation requirement. The performance and reading of your compositions is a paramount objective, because it is in performance of your music that the most valuable and immediate lessons are learned. As a result, you are encouraged to take advantage of the many performance and reading opportunities open to you at the School of Music.

Requirements

Total: 35 credit hours. Six of these hours must be full-time composition lessons.

Comprehensive Examinations

  • Successful completion of comprehensive examinations is required in the areas of theory and analysis, and repertoire and compositional practice post 1900. Students may schedule comprehensive examinations following an adviser's written approval.
  • A recital of original chamber music (minimum 30 minutes of music) must be presented prior to graduation, typically in the final semester of study.

Graduation Recital

  • A recital of original chamber music (minimum 30 minutes of music) must be presented prior to graduation, typically in the final semester of study.

 Thesis Requirement

  • As a thesis, you must deposit a score of an extended work for orchestra or large instrumental ensemble. Please consult CUA's detailed thesis guidelines, which discuss document formatting and submission procedure.