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No two music careers are exactly alike, and as a Composition student at UArts, you'll have the opportunity to create your own path toward becoming a professional music composer. You'll learn composition for every genre of music, but you'll also get the chance to specialize in the genre that most interests you—from big band, classical and jazz, to gospel, alternative rock, electronica and more. At UArts, you'll have lots of opportunities to mix your creative juices and collaborate with Film students, Animation students, Theater students, and Dance students, among others. If you're open to all genres of music and you've written your own compositions, it's time to consider applying to the University of the Arts' Composition program.

Our Composition majors have composed for live performances and studio recordings. They've re-scored films and recorded them using virtual instruments and samples. They've designed soundscapes for city-wide light shows. And they've collaborated with ProJazz in Santiago, Chile, and the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts in the U.K. Each semester, a professional chamber music ensemble visits UArts to perform and record students’ work, which is a great way to learn how professional musicians bring your creations to life.

Here at UArts, you'll be taught by faculty who are all in-demand, working professionals.

Women’s Bar 24400 s Oliver Grey T Pumps Grey Comb Lt Spotlight: UArts' Matt Davis is a jazz guitarist based in Philadelphia. In addition to performing, Matt is an active composer, teacher and arranger. Hailed as "brilliant" by the Philadelphia Daily News, Matt’s original 12-piece "modern chamber jazz ensemble," called "Matt Davis’ Aerial Photograph" performs regularly in and around town. 

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    Mike Worth

    Music - Composition
    Emmy Award-winner composer, orchestrator - MTV, VH-1, NBC, Comedy Central
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    Music - Composition
    Leader of adventurous jazz ensemble The Eleventet
    David Thomas

    Music - Composition
    Works performed throughout America,in Europe, Israel, South America and China

    Sample Courses in the Composition Major

    First Year
    Applied Composition Instruction
    Music Theory
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    Creative Practices

    Second Year
    Applied Composition Instruction
    Jazz Musicianship
    Jazz Theory
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    Classical Jazz Piano
    Music History

    Third Year
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    Applied Composition Instruction
    Dress Maxi Fishtail Pink Lady Linaking for Mermaid The Dress Women Lace Bodycon Party Evening Short Off Sleeve Hipsters Shoulder 1wTqSO1 Jazz Musicianship
    Jazz Theory
    MIDI Orchestration

    Fourth Year
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    Applied Composition Instruction
    Advanced Musicianship
    Creative Composition
    Senior Recital

    About the Curriculum

    The Composition Program is designed as a creative launching pad for students interested in writing and arranging for film, game music, animation, theater, dance and multimedia projects.  The curriculum provides a foundation in jazz, popular, commercial, and contemporary classical genres with a focus on emerging technologies. Instrumental and vocal ensembles perform and record student compositions and arrangements. In addition to composing for the University’s ensembles, there is an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration.

    Students graduating from the Composition program will:

    • Demonstrate outstanding aural musicianship;
    • Demonstrate outstanding cognitive musicianship and theoretical knowledge;
    • Understand music in its historical and sociological context;
    • Express understanding of music in verbal and written form;
    • Be musically literate and technically proficient performers and composers;
    • Possess knowledge and experience in a diversity of musical styles and cultures;
    • Acquire the skills to use and integrate current technology in support of their musicianship;
    • Use all of the above as the basis for creative output.

    To earn the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Studies: Composition, students will complete a total of 129 credits as follows:

    • 61.5 credits in the Composition Major
    • 4.5 credits in Creative Practices and Collaborative Studio
    • 9 credits in Music History
    • 33 credits in the Liberal Arts
    • 21 credits in free Electives

    Thanks to a curriculum that stresses emerging technologies and the business side of composition as well as the academics and theory behind it, our students are able to pursue a variety of music composition careers: in radio and television, with orchestras or chamber ensembles, and even composing soundscapes for video games, events or industrial applications.

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    Jackson Teeley

    BM '16

    Music - Composition
    New musical 'Arrowhead' was recently produced in New York City and Boston
    Kevin Korn

    BM '07

    Music - Composition
    Los Angeles agent representing major film and video game score composers
    Michael Winstanley

    T Grey Pumps Grey Women’s s 24400 Bar Oliver Lt Comb BM '15

    Music - Composition
    Won the Ensemble de la Belle Musique competition for one of his compositions
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