Music, Music Composition Specialization, M.M.
Joseph Morgan, Program Director
The School of Music offers a Master of Music degree with specializations in collaborative piano, conducting, jazz studies, music composition, music composition for contemporary media, music education, musicology, and performance.
Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.
Admission to the Master of Music degree program requires
- an earned bachelor's degree in music from an accredited university or college;
- an acceptable grade point average in all college work taken (at least 3.00).
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
- submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
- submit three letters of recommendation.
Additionally, those seeking a specialization in music composition must submit recordings and scores of three to five of their compositions.
The Master of Music degree in Music with a specialization in music composition requires completion of a minimum of 33 semester hours.
- complete the curriculum with 70 percent of the total degree hours at the 6000 level (see Curriculum section below for specifics);
- successfully complete both written and oral comprehensive examinations no earlier than the student's last semester of study. Comprehensive examinations may be repeated once.
Additionally, those with a specialization in music composition must establish proficiencies in music history and music theory* and establish proficiency in a performance skill on an applied instrument or voice and in keyboard (may also fulfill performance-skill requirement).
*NOTE: Diagnostic examinations in music theory and music history will be scheduled during the first week of the first semester of study. Students who do not pass the diagnostic examinations should consult with the graduate coordinator to plan how to meet the requirements. Additional courses may be required to satisfy these proficiency requirements.
Curriculum: Music, Music Composition
The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.
Core Courses (9 hours)
MUS 6620 - Bibliography and Research
Survey of bibliography and problems and methods of research. Analysis and evaluation of research in the arts.
MUTH 6050 - Analytical Techniques
Prerequisite: MUTH 5010 or permission of instructor. Skills and procedures of musical analysis as they apply to all periods through analysis of representative compositions. Evaluation of work from all standpoints: craftsmanship, expression, and stylistic correctness.
MUS 6630 - Music Seminar
Prerequisite: MUS 6620. Study and research of a topic in music determined by the instructor.
Specialization Courses (18 hours)
MUAP 6140 - Composition
Development of skills and ability in handling musical materials with goals of some individual style or expression within the framework of current practices. Taken in consecutive order with MUAP 6150 and MUAP 6160.
MUAP 6150 - Composition
Development of skills and ability in handling musical materials with goals of some individual style or expression within the framework of current practices. Taken in consecutive order with MUAP 6140 and MUAP 6160.
MUAP 6160 - Composition
Development of skills and ability in handling musical materials with goals of some individual style or expression within the framework of current practices. Taken in consecutive order with MUAP 6140 and MUAP 6150. MUAP 6160 may be repeated with no limit, but only three hours of credit may be applied toward the degree.
MUAP 6670 - Graduate Recital
Prerequisites: Completion of MUAP 6682 for the collaborative piano specializations; MUS 6030, MUS 6060, and MUAP 6709 for the conducting specialization; the appropriate courses from among MUAP 6681-MUAP 6688, MUAP 6691-MUAP 6698, and MUAP 6701-MUAP 6708 for the jazz studies and performance specializations; MUAP 6140, MUAP 6150, and MUAP 6160 for the music composition and music composition for contemporary media specializations; and permission of the appropriate music faculty in all specializations. One-hour private lesson per week in the selected performance field and recital preparation until recital completed. Those specializing in collaborative piano may take course three times.
MUHL 6040 - Twentieth Century Music
Styles and compositional techniques found in representative masterworks of the twentieth century from Debussy to present. Analysis, listening, and research.
MUTH 5190 - Principles and Practices of Electronic Music
Includes history and techniques, acoustics, electronic sound generation, recording, operation of audio equipment, basic principles of composition, and experience with tape recorders and a music synthesizer. Open to nonmusic majors with permission of instructor.
Electives (6 hours)
- Guided elective to be chosen from fields of philosophy, art history, anthropology, or literature with consent of advisor (3 hours)
- Free elective (3 hours)
Proficiency Courses Determined by Placement Examination (0-6 hours)
Either or both of these courses may be required based on the results of the student's diagnostic examinations in music history and music theory:
Performance proficiencies are evaluated by the appropriate performance faculty. Keyboard proficiencies are evaluated by the student's primary composition professor.