Undergraduate Composition

Bachelor of Music Composition (B.M.)

The Bachelor of Music Composition (B.M.) degree at UofL is a four--year program of study designed to develop a high level of expertise in music composition and related skills. In addition, the program encourages and promotes the development of each student's individual compositional "voice" or personality.

Requirements for Emphasis in Composition (Undergraduate Catalog)

Composition Portfolio

The composition portfolio is the audition for the composition major, and it is also the primary tool for evaluating financial support. The portfolio should contain three or four samples of original compositions, along with recordings for the same works, if possible. Evidence of experience using various instrumental and/or vocal combinations is helpful. Submit your most advanced and sophisticated work. If you have any questions about what to submit in the portfolio, feel free to ask questions before submitting. (Although each student must play or sing a performance audition for the School of Music, composition majors also audition by submitting the portfolio described above.)

Application materials should be received by Feb. 1 for full consideration.

Send to:
Admissions Counselor
School of Music

University of Louisville
Louisville, KY  40292

Composition Study

Six semesters of private composition study are required. Students will compose for a variety of different instrumental and vocal genres, as well as taking courses in electronic and computer music. They will be encouraged to expand their musical language through study of 20th- and 21st-Century styles and techniques of composition, as well as study of contemporary repertory. A number of music theory courses, including analysis and counterpoint, will support this work in composition.

Composition Degree Flight Plan

Performance Opportunities for Compositions

There are many opportunities for performances of new compositions, and students will be encouraged to present their work regularly. There is at least one, and often two or more, student composer recitals each semester. There are also other UofL sponsored opportunities for performances. Frequently, students will have works performed on recitals of performance majors, at school-wide assemblies (called Convocations), or on concerts of student or faculty ensembles. Student pieces are selected by competitive submission for inclusion on the annual New Music Festival. There are often other opportunities for performances in the broader Louisville community.

Senior Recital

During the last semester of study each student presents a Senior Recital of 45-60 minutes of music written while studying at UofL. Since most students usually have written more music than this by then, and since they have been presenting it regularly during their four years of study, the Senior Recital is typically a high point of great satisfaction and personal accomplishment. It's a big undertaking, and there's a lot to organize, but the composition teachers guide the process, and it's always an enjoyable, exciting event.

Financial Support Suggestions

There are a few undergraduate scholarships for outstanding students. In addition, if you have excellent performance skills and wish to be considered for a performance award for participation in School of Music ensembles, please contact the instructor of your instruments or voice at the School of Music.