With a degree in music and a major in music composition, you will develop a technical proficiency enabling artist creativity and self-expression. You’ll understand how composers function professionally in society, be able to compose and arrange music for private and public performance, and be prepared for advanced professional study in music.

a musical performance at GWU

With a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition, you will develop a technical proficiency enabling artist creativity and self-expression. You’ll understand how composers function professionally in society, be able to compose and arrange music for private and public performance, and be prepared for advanced professional study in music.

Undergraduate Admissions

The School of Performing and Visual Arts - Department of Music seeks to stimulate an interest in serving others through music. Your studies of Music Composition will cultivate a broad knowledge of music history and literature, develop proficiencies in music writing and performance, and provide basic skills in music technology.

The GWU Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

MISSION

1. to demonstrate technical proficiency that enables artistic creativity and self-expression; 


2. to develop an understanding of how the composer functions professionally in society; 


3. to provide an environment in which to compose and arrange music for private and public performance; and 


4. to prepare for advanced professional study in music.

STUDENT LEARNING GOALS

1. Students will gain a broad knowledge of music history and literature; 


2. Students will gain proficiency in piano; 


3. Students will gain an understanding of music theoretical knowledge;


4. Students will gain basic skills in music technology; and 


5. Students will gain compositional knowledge and compose for various mediums. 


STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

1. Students will gain a broad knowledge of 20th century styles and all style periods;

2. Students will be proficient in piano;

3. Students will become proficient in four part chorale writing; and

4. Student will become proficient in the music notation program Finale.

5. Be prepared for a career in a music-related field.

 

Your studies in Music Composition will prepare you for possible careers as a:

  1. composer or performer for radio, television, film, video games, and more
  2. With additional education, many Music Composition majors also explore careers as college and university professors of music theory and composition.

Our alumni are working as church musicians, published composers, freelance composers and performers, and music teachers.

In addition to the University’s required general education and prerequisites, the Bachelor of Music in Music Composition requires 79 credit hours, including various application and performance components. A minor is not required with the major.

Additional information, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

MUSC 105, 106, 205, 206, 247, 305, 306, 325, 326, 405, 446, and 447,
MIBS 150 (30 hours),

MUSC 226 (hours counted in core)

Primary Applied (12 hours)

Performance Group (9 hours, with a minimum of one hour being in a small ensemble),

Secondary Applied (4-5 hours)
For Piano: Organ (2 hours); Voice (2 hours); Applied elective (1 hour)

For Organ and Vocal: Piano (4 hours); Applied elective (1 hour)

For Instrumental: Piano (4 hours)


MUSC 307, 308, 405 (in addition to 305), 491, 492, and 497 (15 hours)


MUSC 245, 246, or 249 (2 hours)

Required by Concentration (6-7 hours)
For Piano: MUSC 259, 426, and 455

For Organ: MUSC 259, 427, and 459

For Instrumental: MUSC 349, 428, and 450
For Vocal: MUSC 257, 425, and 457

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