Texas Tech University

School of Music

Master of Music

Composition

master of Music in Composition

The Master of Music in Composition Program at TTU is designed to provide the composer with a professional portfolio of music compositions and professional skills in preparation for not only doctoral work, but also in an ever-growing array of fields involved with the creation and design of music, especially media, which encompasses commercial, video-gaming, film scoring, recording/engineering studio training, sound for animation, and music informatics. We have established faculty for the long-standing emphases in computer music and traditional composition in chamber, wind band, orchestra, vocal, and choral areas. The flexibility built into the program allows the candidate to pursue coarse work that can lead to various career paths.

What Sets Us Apart

The Master of Music in Composition degree provides opportunities to explore education and creative experiences in many of the new music avenues that are now so accessible—media, commercial, recording, and computer music are available fields with opportunities to be explored with the help of our world-class faculty. The final project allows wide flexibility with a goal towards performance and career enhancement, and so can encompass an array of possibilities including a traditional career-defining chamber work, but also could entail large ensemble works, electronic works, mixed media, and music informatics (an emerging field for designing complex software and hardware-based music technologies). We particularly encourage interdisciplinary capstone projects that could incorporate the creator with film, dance, theater, and other imaginative collaborations with a goal of live performance, recording, and filming to enhance the candidate's media exposure and reputation as part of their career development. 

Combine Fields

Combine imaginative fields within composition to create a unique profile and a unique portfolio

Collaborative Projects

Combine music of any kind with the visual, dance, and theater arts

Interdisciplinary Vision

Help create career defining pathways by combining music with art installations, film, and dance works 

Music Media

Music Media is a fast-growing field within the composition discipline

Program Highlights

Our composition program includes intensive study in the creation of original music. We offer traditional focuses on either or both acoustic instrumental music and computer music, and have expanded into the fields of media composition where the creator can design and assemble a professional portfolio that is on the cutting edge of national and international standards. Performance opportunities abound as our talented performance students and faculty lend their musical skills to our composition projects, and our new technology areas can collaborate to help realize your works.

We seek for the candidate to attain the skills and expertise to excel in any number of different compositional pathways, in addition to building writing skills that look towards publication possibilities.

The capstone project is a two-semester thesis composition and paper. The composition should be of a size and scope that will allow a professional level performance and recording to use as one of the primary works in your portfolio. The paper may be on any relevant subject matter of interest with the goal of perfecting writing skills and developing publication potential.

Teaching Assistantships are available through both the Composition Area and Theory Area.  

MORE HIGHLIGHTS

 
 
 
TTU faculty & studentTTU lab computer with headphones

Facilities & Technology

The Composition Area features a newly built computer music lab with iMac computers. Software includes Finale, Sibelius, Logic Pro, Audacity, Ableton, the Microsoft Suite, Adobe Suite, as well as software for specific sound design and media creation.

Our Equipment and Technology

In 2020, we began major updates in our production facilities. Concert venues and studios are now connected via Dante and NDI networks for the highest quality and efficient audio and video production workflow. Here are some examples of our equipment in service today.

  • Dante Mic Pre-Amps/ADC: multiple units of Focusrite RedNet MP8R and X2P
  • A range of Microphone brands that we use: Schoeps, DPA, Neumann, AKG, AEA, and Royer
  • Panasonic Professional 4K cameras, Blackmagic video switcher and video recorders

Composition faculty have additional resources for computer music and media generation as part of their teaching offices. 

Student Labs

Student Lab with iMac stations all equipped with keyboards and notation/DAW software

Student Labs

Professional Equipment

Experience using 4K professional digital cameras and advanced recording techniques

Professional Equipment

Technology Courses

Computer music sound design projects and Max interactive live music courses available

Technology Courses

Live Recordings

Experiences in studio and live recording, as well as recording engineering are available, both as courses and/or employed work-study programs

Live Recordings

 

Admissions

We welcome students from many different backgrounds and experiences. Entering first-year students with limited composition experience will take an Introduction to Composition class that will begin the process of understanding the many different paths/tracks to take. The class will emphasize an understanding of a variety of musical languages and the many different kinds of composition in today's world. Of course, there will also be composing, with the goal of public performances of your works. Individual lessons within a faculty studio will normally begin after taking this Intro class. Students with a large and developed portfolio will usually be assigned studio lessons.

Apply Now

To be accepted into one of the Master's or Doctoral Degree programs in music, the applicant must be approved by the School of Music and admitted by the Texas Tech Graduate School. Instructions are here: Application Procedure [link to]

  1. A portfolio is required. Please choose up to three representative scores with recordings (a recording of a live performance is preferred, but a MIDI generated audio track is acceptable).

If applying for a media emphasis, again a portfolio is required. Please choose up to three representative works in audio/video format. Since these works are often without a score, please also provide written information on the applications used, and the process used to create each submission.

  1. The following are from the Application Procedure and are listed here for your convenience and for additional information that is required.
  2. A complete curriculum vitae showing your training and experience—please include:

A list of compositions, each with instrumentation, duration, year composed, performance info if available; if media compositions, each with the same information, but also include apps used.

Other musical activities (teaching, organizing, conducting, etc.)

Technology skills—music (notation programs, DAW's, music programming languages, sound apps)

Technology skills—other non-music applications (computer programming and languages, web design, productivity, video editing, graphic design, etc.)

  1. A personal statement on your accomplishments so far, and your goals for this degree plan and future professional aspirations.
  2. Sample of written work, such as term paper, master's thesis, published article, etc.
  3. Letters of recommendation (2-3) are required.
  4. A personal interview with the composition faculty is required. This will be set up after other application materials are complete.

Questions

Kimberly Calvert-Gibson
Graduate Coordinator
806.834.0616  

Higher Program Offering

Students pursuing the Master of Music in Composition degree in Dance could apply for the Doctor of Music in Composition here at Texas Tech University. 

Curriculum

COURSES

Some of our popular course offerings include:

Computer Music with Max/Msp

A course in designing interactive environments for live instruments and sound design. The course has a capstone music composition project that can be performed on the TTU Computer Music Concert (the T-Tech Concert). Long term projects are encouraged as part of a larger musical vision that can become a major part of your portfolio works.

Recording I and Recording II

New courses that are designed as part of our commercial music degree plan. Graduate students may design their curriculum to include these popular and job-oriented courses into their program. The courses explore the latest creative methods and technology in sound and video productions, including live concert recording/filming, ADR for Anime, and more. Hands on experience in mic placement, DAW work, mixdown, and engineering are invaluable experiences we are proud to offer our students.

Music Informatics

Explores new possibilities in a combined field of music, science, and technology, through developing electronic musical instruments using Arduino and other devices. Further study explores the advanced use of technology in music and media productions through developing new electronic musical instruments/devices using Arduino/Teensy, sensors, and a 3D Printer. 

ONLINE CATALOG INFORMATION

Alumni Success & Careers

Career Possibilities

Media Music 
Commercial Music 
Film Scoring 
Video-Gaming Music 
Recording/Engineering Studio Training 
Sound for Animation 
Music Informatics 
Professional Composer 
Academic Teaching Positions 

Questions

Peter Fischer

Peter Fischer
Composition, Area Chair
peterfischermusic.com

Hideki Isoda

Hideki Isoda
Composition, Director of Media Production
hidekiisoda.com