Texas Tech University

School of Music

Bachelor of Music

Composition

 

Bachelor of Music in Composition

The Bachelor of Music in Composition at TTU is designed to prepare the student for a multitude of possible career and education pathways. The degree culminates in a capstone senior recital of original works representing multiple genres and styles, including voice, solo instruments, instrumental ensembles, computer music, and media music.

Programs by Track

We have several composition tracks, including:

Concert Works

(Large ensemble works, chamber, piano, choral, etc.), most often with notated scores and live performances by musicians at TTU

Media Arts and Music Track

this includes film, commercial music, and game soundtrack composition, but can also take you on a path of music production, engineering, and music management, and often a combination of all of these

Computer Music

What Sets Us Apart

The Music Composition degree provides significant flexibility in required courses to pursue and explore opportunities and creative experiences in many of the new music avenues that are now so easily accessible. Included in our “flex” curriculum are courses in media music, commercial music, recording and engineering, informatics, and computer music are available fields with opportunities to be explored with the help of our world-class faculty. We now have a variety of courses that can be taken during the third and fourth years to help guide students in the newer paths of composition as a career.

We prepare you—the music creator—for success in several career pathways, including further academic studies (graduate school), composition as a career, and employment and entrepreneurship in media music—including commercial, video-gaming, film scoring, recording/engineering studio training, sound for animation, and music informatics. We include training and experience in writing for a variety of acoustic instruments and ensembles from solo to chamber to wind ensemble, orchestra, and choir.

Our composition students have been accepted into some of the most prestigious graduate programs in the country with full assistantships and fellowships. Others have pursued advanced degrees in film scoring and are working as composers, orchestrators, and sound designers. Our composition students often pursue a secondary degree in music education or performance and work throughout Texas and the nearby regions while composing for their ensembles and as freelance composers. Newer opportunities in music media production are available with our new courses in recording, informatics, computer music, and sound design.

Explore Opportunities

Significant flexibility in required courses to pursue opportunities and creative experiences in many new music avenues

Collaborative Projects

We support works that 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

TTU offers media and media-related courses, and we encourage students to embrace and develop multiple areas

Program Highlights

Our composition program includes intensive study in the creation of original music. We offer traditional focuses on 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 have established faculty for the long-standing emphases in computer music and traditional composition in chamber, wind band, orchestra, vocal, and choral areas, and have a series of new courses in various music media specializations. The capstone project is a senior composition recital representing parts of your portfolio. Various levels of technology integration are strongly encouraged as part of this culmination of your undergraduate studies.

MORE HIGHLIGHTS

 
 
 
Image1Image2Concert Band

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

  1. Apply to the TTU School of Music
  2. Apply to Texas Tech University

Composition majors must also submit the following and should be uploaded within the TTU Music application site.

  1. Resume—see FAQs for more information.
  2. A list of compositions (if you have them), each with instrumentation, duration, year composed, performance info if available; if media compositions, each with the same information, but also include apps used.
  3. A one-page written essay on your reasons for wanting to study composition, and your long-term goals as a musician. (This will be especially important if you want to study composition, but do not currently have a portfolio.)
  4. A separate audition on your primary instrument or voice is required of all composition students.
  5. An interview. We would like to meet with you about your aspirations, your works, and just to talk—we get to meet you, you get to meet the composition faculty. These will be virtual for 2021-22 (Zoom).
  6. Optional. We welcome a portfolio of selected works, but the portfolio is optional. If submitting works, please choose up to three representative scores with recordings (a recording of a live performance is preferred, but a computer-generated audio track is acceptable).
  7. Optional. If applying for a media emphasis, again the portfolio is optional. If submitting works, 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. This gives us an idea of what kinds of technology you use and how the works were created. 

Auditions

  • Auditions are essentially an interview in addition to the listed application requirements and are set up during the application process for one of our audition days. Temporarily, because of Covid-19, these may be virtual. We will try to keep this updated for your information, but please do contact us (composition faculty) for confirmation.
  • You may contact us to set up a separate audition if you are unavailable for audition day. (Again, these may be virtual for the 2022 spring auditions.)
  • For audition days, interviews will normally be scheduled after auditions on your instrument or voice. 

Resume FAQ's

These are some of the things to include in your resume:

  • Your primary instrument or voice type—how many years?
  • Secondary instrument (optional)
  • Piano skills (lessons, years, self-taught)
  • Ensemble experience (choir, band, orchestra, chamber groups, jazz, popular)
  • Composition experience—how many years?
  • Other musical activities (teaching, organizing, conducting, etc.)
  • Technology skills—music (notation programs, DAW's, sound apps)
  • Technology skills—other non-music applications

Multiple Disciplines

We also welcome a combination of traditional composition and new media arts. Same criteria as listed, but also let us know in your essay.

Higher Program Offering

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Music in Composition degree in Dance could apply for the Master 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