MM in Music Theory and Composition

MM in Music Theory and Composition

Music Composition and Performance Opportunities in a Conservatory-Like Setting

Develop your skills as a music composer in a conservatory-like setting in this master of music program, working closely with our faculty of internationally recognized composers. Specialize in traditional composition, electronic composition, or composing for film or music theatre. You will be actively involved in the performance of your work, collaborating with composers, musicians, and other artists, at NYU and throughout New York City. 

Concentrations in Scoring for Film and Multimedia and Songwriting are also available. 

What You'll Learn
  • How to compose pieces of your own design
  • How to select the best practices necessary for your career in music composition
  • How to integrate choreographers, visual artists, writers, filmmakers, and other scholars in other fields into your own works
  • Musical, technical, and interpersonal skills through immersion into the profession – you'll be exposed to leading professionals, associations, and industry settings
  • Music research
  • Music history and literature
  • Music theory

See the curriculum and requirements for this degree. This program requires the completion of a minimum of 36 points, or credits. Prior to starting, you will take evaluation tests in music theory, aural skills and music history.

In addition to the MM program, we also offer a Post-Master's Advanced Certificate: Professional Studies in Music.

How You'll Learn

Core and Elective Courses
The 36-point program of study includes 6 points in music research and music history/literature; 17 points in music composition, including private study with our faculty, performance practice, the NYU Composer's Forum, and a seminar in composition; and 10 points of elective courses, allowing you to tailor your curriculum toward your specific interests and musical goals. Elective courses include: Scoring for Film and Multimedia, Advanced Instrumental Conducting, and Advanced Computer Music: Synthesis and Composition. These 10 points may be used towards pursuing the Special Tracks below.

Special Tracks
For an additional 9 points of coursework, you can choose a special track such as Composition for Music Theatre, Computer Music Composition, or Composition for Film and Multimedia. Special Track courses include:
Concentrations in 
Scoring for Film and Multimedia and Songwriting are also available. 

Performance Opportunities for Your Own Work
As a student in this program, you'll be actively involved in the scheduling and performance of your own works, in concerts and readings by NYU performance groups in residence, school performing ensembles, as well as chamber groups specially hired for specific composition concerts. You will have countless opportunities to collaborate with performers, dancers, actors, and multimedia applications. Within our department, there are very active collaborations with the Music Technology, Jazz Studies, and Instrumental and Vocal Performance programs. In addition, we have a very active collaboration with musicians and other artists from New York City.

Composers Forum
Through our department's weekly Composers Forum, you'll have the opportunity to meet and work with world-renowned composers and performers, prepare two student showcases per semester, and attend highlights in the New York City new music concert season.

Degree Details


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Robert Honstein