Bachelor of Music Composition

Music composition is the creation of new works ranging from pieces that sound conservative to the most avant-garde pieces, which may include non-traditional instruments, video images, dancers and lighting effects. Computers and electronic devices such as MIDI synthesizers are also frequently used in music composition.

Pursuing Music Composition at Ohio State

Students interested in music composition should develop performance skills in preparation for the School of Music entrance audition. Piano lessons and music theory classes are also recommended, if available. All students planning to pursue a music major complete an entrance audition and the Theory Placement Exam (TPE). Normally students do this during the senior year in high school on a scheduled Audition Day. Transfer students and students already at Ohio State should also plan to complete an audition and the TPE.

Acceptance into the Bachelor of Music degree program in music composition requires a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative point-hour ratio (CPHR) in first- and second-year music theory courses and in first- and second-year aural-training courses, admission to the second-year level of performance (private lessons) on the student’s principal instrument, a portfolio of the student’s original music compositions, and approval by the music theory and composition area faculty.  School of Music students should apply for acceptance into the Bachelor of Music degree program in composition at the end of the second year or the beginning of the third year of study.

Career Prospects in Music Composition

Some composers are able to support themselves by means of grants, commissions and other awards, or find work in video and film production studios. Most composers continue their studies in graduate school and earn a doctoral degree before becoming a college teacher.

Undergraduate Curriculum information