2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music Composition, MMus

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Nicholas Scherzinger, Chair, Department of Music Composition, Theory, and, History

120B Crouse College, 315-443-3907, nscherzi@syr.edu


Joseph Downing, Nicolas Scherzinger, Natalie Draper, Loren Loiacono


The Setnor School of Music offers a master of music (M.M.) degree program in composition. You will study privately with our prestigious faculty and also meet weekly in the Composer’s Symposium to discuss current issues and visit with guest composers.

All graduate students are required to complete a core sequence of courses in research, music history, and music theory (a total of nine credits). Students are required to complete 36 graduate credits beyond the baccalaureate and normally four semesters in residence. Similar academic patterns and admissions procedures comprise each program for the M.Mus.  For Music Composition this includes: 8 credits in the major, 3 credits in music history, 3 credits in music theory, and 3 credits in research, as well as 2 ensemble credits, 1 recital credit, 12 credits in music theory electives and the remainder to be taken as music electives.

The program promotes the attainment of high levels of performance and a solid grasp of general musical knowledge, as demonstrated by the following: a terminal requirement of at least one large-scale composition and the presentation of one public recital of selected compositions. Written and oral comprehensive examinations must be completed during the final semester. Convocation attendance and ensemble participation are required for all full-time graduate students.

Student Learning Outcomes

Music Research (Graduate Sequence):

a. conduct research studies and utilize findings in fields of artistic or pedagogical practice.

Harmony and Analysis (Graduate Sequence):

a. identify/describe advanced elements and organizational patterns of music and their aural and verbal analysis.

b. identify/describe advanced musical forms, processes, and structures.

Comprehensive Exam/Thesis/Lecture Recital (Graduate Sequence):

a. create and present a culminating demonstration integrating research and practice.

Composition Major Graduate Recital:

a. demonstrate skills for functional and artistic self-expression at the appropriate level.

b. demonstrate the ability to compose a cross-section of repertoire.

Program Requirements

Required Core Sequence: 9 credits

Required Area-Specific Courses and Music Electives: 16 credits

MTC Music Theory Electives (12 credits)

MHL 622 - Western Musical Styles/Electives (4 credits)

MHL 622 - Western Musical Styles may be required or optional pending diagnostic results; otherwise, remaining credits in this area are elective

Composition Lessons: 8 credits

Ensembles: 2 credits

Weekly Student Convocations: 0 credits

Recital: 1 credit

Total Credits Required: 36

Degree awarded: MM Music Composition

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