Required for the major in composition

  1. Music composition: 45 units
    1. MUCA 100: Fundamentals of Composition (6 units)
    2. MUCA 345: Composition (27 units; 9 terms, 3 units per term)
    3. MUCA 300: Techniques of the Contemporary Composer (6 units)
    4. MUCA 400: Topics in Electronic Music (6 units)
  2. Music theory in addition to the core courses required for the B.Mus. degree: 12 units
    1. One course in counterpoint (6 units), either:
      • MUTH 400: Renaissance Counterpoint (6 units) or
      • MUTH 401: Counterpoint in the Style of J.S. Bach I (6 units)
    2. One course in analysis (6 units) selected from the following:
      • MUTH 421: Theory and Analysis of Music Since 1900 (6 units)
      • MUTH 550: Topics in Music Theory and Analysis (6 units); topic must concern music composed since 1900
  3. Orchestration: MUCA 411, 412: Orchestration I, II (12 units)
  4. Conducting: MUEP 380: Conducting Principles (6 units)
  5. Performance: A minimum of 18 units in applied individual instruction
  6. Ensemble: 12 units; participation in an ensemble is required every term in residence on the Appleton campus, as specified by the following requirements:
    1. 6 units selected from wind ensemble, symphonic band, symphony orchestra, or a major choral ensemble
    2. 6 additional units selected in consultation with the composition faculty

The qualifying examination in composition

The qualifying examination in composition comprises a portfolio of compositions that is submitted to and adjudicated by a committee of composition faculty members. The examination must be completed no later than the end of the first term of the sophomore year.


Senior Experience in composition

For students majoring in composition, the Senior Experience consists of a recital of original compositions and a portfolio of scores and recordings of works composed while at Lawrence. The composition recital, which is normally held during the winter or spring term of the senior year, must include approximately 35–40 minutes of original music composed while at Lawrence (e.g., 5 to 6 works for various chamber ensembles, possibly including a solo work or two), showing variety in musical style, compositional technique, and artistic conception. The compositions should represent the student's finest work at Lawrence, and they should be prepared, rehearsed, and performed at the highest possible level.

The student, in consultation with his or her principal composition instructor, is responsible for all aspects of production (assembling personnel, preparation of scores and parts, preparation of the concert program and program notes, organizing rehearsals, and, where appropriate, coaching). The senior portfolio consists of professional-quality scores prepared by the student along with recordings of works performed at Lawrence, and must be submitted by the end of the tenth week of the term in which the senior recital occurs.

The senior recital and portfolio is not normally subject to consideration for honors in independent study. Students wishing to undertake an honors project distinct from the senior recital may do so, but the honors project may not substitute for the senior recital and portfolio.


Required for the emphasis in jazz and improvisational music

Admission to the Bachelor of Music in composition with an emphasis in jazz and improvisational music may be granted to a limited number of students upon successful completion of qualifying examinations and with the approval of a candidate selection committee. For detailed information on admission and scheduling of requirements, students are referred to the chair of the jazz and improvisational music department.
Specific courses required for the emphasis are as follows:

  1. Music theory in addition to the core courses required for the B.Mus. degree (6 units):
    • MUTH 421: Theory and Analysis of Music Since 1900 (6 units)
  2. Music composition and arranging
    1. MUCA 230: Small Group Jazz Composition and Arranging (3 units)
    2. MUCA 330: Large Ensemble Jazz Composition and Arranging (3 units)
    3. MUCA 411: Orchestration I (6 units)
    4. MUCA 530: Advanced Jazz Writing Skills (12 units)
    5. MUCA 300: Techniques of the Contemporary Composer (6 units)
    6. 6 units from MUCA 345: Composition
  3. Supporting courses for the emphasis:
    1. MUCA 220, 221: Jazz Improvisation I, II (6 units)
    2. MUTH 240: Jazz Theory and Aural Training (3 units)
    3. MUIN 329: Jazz Studies - one term of applied individual study in jazz piano (3 units)
    4. MUCO 455: Jazz History (6 units)
    5. MUEP 305: Jazz Pedagogy (1 unit)
    6. MUEP 120: Basic Audio Recording (1 unit)
  4. Performance: A minimum of 24 units in applied individual instruction and 6 terms on the major instrument or voice
  5. Ensemble: Completion of the requirement must include:
    1. 3 terms of MUEN 248: Jazz Small Group Studies, after admission to jazz emphasis (3 units)
    2. 3 terms of MUEN 295: Jazz Ensemble or MUEN 293: Jazz Band, after admission to the jazz emphasis (3 units)
    3. Additional ensembles, specific to primary instrument, as follows:
      • Winds/Percussion: 6 terms wind ensemble/ symphonic band; 3 terms chamber music
      • Strings: 9 terms symphony orchestra (3 terms required participation after admission to the emphasis in jazz studies); 3 terms chamber music
      • Piano: 3 terms symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, symphonic band, concert choir, women’s choir, or chorale; 3 terms supervised accompanying
      • Guitar: 3 terms symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, symphonic band, concert choir, women’s choir, chorale, or chamber music
      • Voice: 6 terms concert choir or women’s choir
  6. Required projects:
    1. Recitals: Half recital (30 minutes maximum stage time) during junior year, full recital (60 minutes maximum stage time) during senior year.
    2. DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards Application: By December 31 of the senior year, all candidates are required to submit an application and CD recording (a minimum of 10 minutes or 3 selections) for the Jazz Soloist category in the annual DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards. Repertoire will be chosen by the coordinator of jazz performance practice in consultation with the applied jazz studio teacher
    3. Assembly of self-promotional CD and/or web site: Over the course of the candidate’s two years in the jazz emphasis, a media project documenting the student’s jazz performances, compositions, arrangements, and teaching/pedagogical demonstrations must be assembled. Candidates may choose to create an audio CD, audio/visual DVD, or personal web site containing a minimum of 30 minutes of recorded work by the candidate. The selected project(s) must be presented to the jazz and improvisational music faculty before the conclusion of the final term of study.
    4. Jazz Small Group Coaching: All candidates will direct or co-direct a jazz small group for a minimum of one term after admission to the emphasis in jazz studies (one 60-minute rehearsal per week). Each candidate must submit (in writing to the jazz faculty) a repertoire list and rehearsal plan for the term by the end of the third week. Each candidate must arrange for one group rehearsal observation by a jazz faculty member before the mid-term reading period.
    5. Jazz Big Band Conducting: All candidates will conduct designated rehearsals and sectionals of Jazz Band or Jazz Workshop after admission to the emphasis in jazz studies.
    6. Jazz “Tune of the Week” Tutoring: All admitted jazz emphasis candidates will serve as co-tutors for jazz “Tune of the Week” study/rehearsal sessions once each term. Tutors will organize and lead a single session (2–3 hours in duration, time and date TBA) at the end of each term for freshmen and sophomores contemplating admission to the jazz emphasis. Each session will serve as an “organized jam session” covering the 10 “Tune of the Week” selections assigned in each given term.

Note: Before admission to the jazz emphasis, students are required to study with the respective classical applied instructors but may elect added applied study with the respective jazz applied instructor. After admission to the jazz emphasis, candidates are required to study with the respective jazz applied instructors but may elect to continue applied study with the respective classical instructor.