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Music Composition/Performance

avmlgeek36avmlgeek36 41 replies32 threads Junior Member
Hey! I’m interested in pursuing Music Composition (preferably Composition, but Performance is also good) alongside another field. And so, I would like to undertake a BA (more flexibility). So, does anyone know of any schools that may have a BA in Music Composition (or BA in Music Performance)?

Thank you!
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Replies to: Music Composition/Performance

  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1448 replies20 threads Senior Member
    Yes, BA's in Music Composition do exist. UCLA would be an example. However, without more information about yourself, random people listing random schools likely will not be efficient.
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  • avmlgeek36avmlgeek36 41 replies32 threads Junior Member
    @Eeyore123 ah, yes sorry! So I’m a junior currently looking to major in music with either mathematics or a science (maybe biochem or biology). And so I was trying to find a way to combine both of my interests at a school. However, I could not really find any schools that offer a BA in Music Composition aside from UCLA.
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  • merc81merc81 10532 replies163 threads Senior Member
    edited September 22
    Theory/composition typically coexists with performance in general B.A. music programs. The choice to emphasize one or the other could be made largely under your discretion through course and activity selection. From what you've posted, you may simply want to consider colleges that would offer you the freedom to pursue the musical track of your choice in relatively greater depth within the context of a general major. Combining this interest with a major in math or a science should not be difficult at range of colleges, though you may want to favor those with generally flexible curricula.
    edited September 22
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  • aquaptaquapt 2038 replies38 threads Senior Member
    This could be a possibility: https://ccs.ucsb.edu/majors/music-composition

    Many students at Lawrence University in Wisconsin double-major between the music conservatory and the LAC. Their composition major is a BMus but you could definitely combine it with a math or science major; the combined major would be a 5 year program, though.

    St. Olaf is also terrific in both music and math/science. They offer both a BM and a BA in music, and composition is one of the tracks.

    U of Richmond is another school with a music BA program where you can emphasize theory/composition and also combine that program with math/science. They offer music-specific merit scholarships as well, fwiw.
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  • BellaMorganBellaMorgan 108 replies1 threads Junior Member
    https://www.bachelorstudies.com/Bachelor/Music/USA/

    Feel free to browse this list, hoping that you will be able to figure out which music school you prefer.
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  • avmlgeek36avmlgeek36 41 replies32 threads Junior Member
  • merc81merc81 10532 replies163 threads Senior Member
    edited September 23
    If you would like to keep your approach simple, then look into schools with notably flexible curricula such as Smith, Hamilton, Amherst, Brown and Grinnell, which would easily allow you to pursue majors in more than one discipline. For these particular colleges, however, note that you would need top-notch academic credentials.
    edited September 23
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  • compmomcompmom 10838 replies77 threads Senior Member
    First, I think it would help you to read the Double Degree Dilemma essay posted closer to the top of this music forum, which is really about different ways to studt music. You can do a BM, a BA, a double major within a BA, a major/minor within a BA, or a double degree BA/BM. (Subsitute BS for BA if appropriate). Harvard and Yale have BA/MM's but that is unusual.

    If you were to apply for a BM, it would be expected that you know for sure whether you want to do composition or performance. Do you have a composition teacher? Recordings of live performances? Have you done summer programs? Understand that composition is a very competitive field, as much as performance.

    So when you say a BA might be better in terms of flexibility, you are right.

    For a BM, you do 2/3-3/4 classes in music. For a BA, in music, it would be 1/4-1/3 classes in music. It is true that you could look at flexible schools like Brown or Amherst, or Bennington or Sarah Lawrence for that matter, so that you can fit all those music classes and other major's classes in. LOok at the number of gen eds at schools and try to find those with fewer rather than more.

    Many BA programs are a general music major, meaning theory, music history, composition, ethnomusicology, music analysis, orchestration, technology. Some will have a composition strand but if a school doesn't that doesn't mean you cannot study compositioin there. Look at the actual courses, and at the faculty.

    Some BA programs have little performance (there are exceptions, for instance UCLA has a conservatory type BA and Oberlin has enhanced their BA recently) but instead students take lessons (often funded, sometimes for credit) and perform or have pieces performed in extracurricular organizations (also sometimes for credit).

    If you apply for a BA program you should submit a music supplement with a recording, music resume and letters of recommendations. Often auditions are in the fall once you are on campus, for those extracurricular ensembles.

    One other thing: you can major in something else entirely and do music as an extracurricular, and take lessons.

    And you can also decide to do a double degree with a BM and a BA in something else. Schools for that are numerous: Oberlin, Bard, Ithaca, Hartt, Eastman/Rochester, Lawrence, Peabody/Johns Hopkins, Tufts/NEC, Michigan, many more.

    If you want a BA in music we need to know more about your academics in order to suggest schools.

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  • Musicmom2twoMusicmom2two 13 replies2 threads Junior Member
    My older daughter is currently a junior a Tulane. She is Majoring in Music Composition and Digital media production with a minor in Gender studies. She will apparently be adding a major in piano performance because there are no extra requirements.

    She selected this school specifically because she could double major. At some of the more prestigious programs she was accepted to she would have had to give up either film or music.

    The music department here is small but very good. She is very happy.
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  • compmomcompmom 10838 replies77 threads Senior Member
    edited October 24
    Composers do not need to do a BM program. You need 3-4 good pieces to get into grad school. That can be accomplished many different ways. Going to a BM program is a personal choice for those who want immersion in music, but a BA ( whether general music major, composition strand, or even other major) can work fine for composers and leaves more room for other areas of study.
    edited October 24
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