Music Composition

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Silhouette of student playing cello with music notes backgroundThe Bachelor of Music in Composition Degree at Central Washington University is primarily a study of acoustic composition and is intended for students with adequate knowledge/skills in the following areas:

  • High level of musicianship as demonstrated through performance on primary instrument
  • Basic understanding of music theory concepts
  • Application of basic compositional techniques
  • Knowledge of significant composers and their compositional techniques
  • Creative compositional potential

As many incoming freshman have not been exposed to all of the above, acceptance into the BM in composition at CWU cannot occur until the end of the first year of study (see Admission – Composition Program Information). The freshman year should be used to achieve a higher level on the applied instrument and acquire and/or solidify the necessary skill set (music theory) to become an informed, artistic, and more successful composer.

Artful composition is not exclusively dependent upon creativity and/or originality. This element creates a composer’s “voice.” The compositional process is enhanced by one’s knowledge and understanding of “the Masters” of composition from centuries prior.

Contact: Dr. Martin Kennedy

Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition
Music Department
Central Washington University
400 East University Way Avenue
Ellensburg, WA 98926
tel: 509-963-1216
fax: 509-963-1239