The University of Alberta offers the M.Mus. degree with a specialization in Composition, and the D. Mus degree with composition as an area of concentration. Students work closely with faculty members who specialize in modern composition for acoustic media, electroacoustic or electronic media, computer music programming, hardware and software experimentation, and improvisation. Normally, students receive regularly scheduled professional, public performances of their works, and have access to technological resources for a variety of modes of electroacoustic composition and performance; included here are resources for live electronics performance, field recording, multichannel diffusion, hardware prototyping for circuit bending, and human interface design (HCI).
In addition to the above, graduate students in composition are encouraged to explore alternative performance opportunities, with possibilities here including: the University Symphony Orchestra, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Contempo New Music Ensemble, as well as non-Western ensembles and the XiME Experimental Improvisation Ensemble. The Department also includes opportunities for composers to interface with graduate and faculty scholars in the areas of musicology, theory, and ethnomusicology. Students are also encouraged to seek collaborative opportunities with students in Art & Design, Drama, Humanities Computing, Industrial Design and the many other Departments on the University's large and diverse campus.
Progressive, non-standard approaches to the sonic arts are encouraged. Graduate students in composition are encouraged to engage in a diverse and inclusive approach to contemporary musical creation and performance. It is expected that the student develop both a compositional 'voice' and mature artistic practice, and gain proficiency with various advanced techniques relating directly to both acoustic and electronic media.
A minimum of 24 credits (or four full-course equivalents), comprising:
Five required courses (18 credits):
MUSIC 545 Seminar in Computer Applications to Music (3)
MUSIC 581 Advanced Studies in Avant Garde (3)
MUSIC 651 Seminar in Music Analysis (3)
MUSIC 660 Advanced Composition I (6)
MUSIC 661 Advanced Composition II (3)
Two graduate-level options (6 credits)
*Students who have not taken at least 3 credits in electronic music in their undergraduate training must enrol in MUSIC 445 Electroacoustic Music outside of the program requirements; students who have not taken a bibliography and research methods course (or equivalent) will be required to take MUSIC 505 Bibliography and Methods of Research as a program requirement. A portfolio of works composed and performed during the program of study must be presented to a jury and will be considered the equivalent of a thesis. The portfolio normally consists of three or four works for different ensembles or media (acoustic, electronic, or both), and has an overall duration of approximately 60 minutes.
Applicants should hold a B.Mus. in Composition or a recognized equivalent. A statement of intent outlining their goals and qualifications for graduate study, and a minimum of three scores and recordings must be submitted in addition to the materials required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.
Please consult the Application Checklist for complete details.
For more information on the M.Mus in Composition program, please consult the Department of Music Graduate Handbook.