Programs of study for composition majors are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills required for the fullest development of their individual creative gifts. Specialized courses for composers include counterpoint, instrumentation/orchestration, form and analysis, notation, score reading, operatic composition, and electronic music. In addition to studying with MSM’s expert faculty, composition students are given opportunities for response to present their work in master classes by world-renowned guest composers and performers.
The composition department supports live performance of student pieces. The department organizes composer concerts ten times each year, and students work with performance majors to prepare solo and chamber works. Every composition student writes an orchestral thesis piece at the end of the program of study, and all these pieces are rehearsed and performed in concert by MSM’s orchestras.
In addition to on-campus concerts of modern work and collaboration with students specializing in contemporary performance, composition majors can take advantage of the School’s location in one of the great capitals of new music. Study in New York City offers unparalleled opportunities for composers to experience live performance, from modern repertoire classics to the latest works from the cutting edge.
Facilities for Electronic Music Composition
Specific courses and degree sequence plans can be found in the Course Catalog.
Music Technology and Contemporary Media
Manhattan School of Music is pleased to announce a new choice of emphasis in the Composition MM program: Music Technology and Contemporary Media (MTCM). In addition to traditional composition and orchestration studies, the new curriculum features creative applications of technology to both concert music and commercial work. Students in this program use software such as Max/MSP and Protools, work with DAWs such as Digital Performer and Logic, and have the opportunity to explore other directions for electronic music composition such as OSC and recent breakthroughs at IRCAM and the MIT Media Lab. The curriculum offers scoring and production techniques for film, TV, and multimedia.
Enrolled students will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and software. Composition/MTCM majors will also have the opportunity to collaborate one-on-one with student filmmakers enrolled in the Columbia University Film School, The School of Visual Arts, and other film schools around New York and the U.S. All students will take both courses and private studies with MSM faculty.
Interested students should apply to the MM program in Composition, checking off the MTCM option. Students should submit a portfolio of work to demonstrate their readiness for graduate-level work. This portfolio should include at least one piece demonstrating the use of electronics in a creative way, and at least one piece demonstrating the use of acoustic instruments (with or without the use of electronics) in a creative way.
Recordings of the work samples may be excerpts from longer pieces. Each submitted recording should be approximately 3-4 minutes long, with a maximum of 10-12 minutes of recorded music total. Applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in at least one of the following (or similar) software applications: Max/MSP, pd, Super Collider, Kyma, Protools, Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase, Sonar, Ableton Live, etc.
Application portfolios will be prescreened, and qualified applicants will be invited to come to MSM for an interview/audition.
Students with questions about this program are invited to contact Mr. Richard Sussman, MTCM Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
General admission information
Composition Audition Procedures