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Bachelor of Music -
Instrumental Composition

Improvise, interpret and innovate.

Instrumental Composition is a course of study in current trends in contemporary art music with instrumental and vocal emphasis. The course of study may include compositional exploration ranging from solo to orchestral, performative, or music-theatrical compositions, as well as hybrid works incorporating new and emerging technologies.
During the course of study, students will acquire fundamental and in-depth knowledge in the field of instrumental and vocal composition in small and larger ensembles and will test this knowledge in practice in a variety of ways.

If you have any questions about the study program, please contact the responsible contact person(s).

Basic information

Degree Bachelor of Music
Period of study 8 Semester
Course begin Wintersemester
ECTS points 240 Credits
Major subjects Komposition
Continuing study options Master of Music Electronic Composition, Master of Music Instrumental Composition, Concert exam
Impressions from the study program

Special features of the study

The Institute for New Music is dedicated to the development, creation and realization of new and cutting-edge music. It offers a diverse training and research program for composition students as well as instrumental students focusing on new music. The Institute works closely with the Electronic Studio, which has the latest technology for the production and realization of various types of electronic music as well as multimedia projects and installations.

Applications are submitted online via the muvac platform. All information on the procedure can be found on our application page.

Admission requirements

  • General university entrance qualification or a comparable university entrance qualification
  • Proof of a TestDaF 3 language certificate for non-German-speaking applicants
  • Successfully passed aptitude test

Qualifying examination

The aptitude test consists of the following three parts:

  1. Oral main subject examination (duration: approx. 30 minutes) The aptitude test consists of a colloquium with the presentation and discussion of submitted works, with questions on knowledge of literature and movement techniques of contemporary electronic and also instrumental music.
  2. Music theory (elementary theory of movements/aural training) (written exams, duration together approx. 90 minutes).

Detailed information can be found in the aptitude test regulations, especially in the appendix for content requirements and conduct of the test.

The program is divided into a basic study period (1st and 2nd year) with a high proportion of compulsory modules and a differentiated main study period (3rd and 4th year).
The structural framework is formed by 6 main modules and the 7th profile-forming module:

  1. Core module
  2. Artistic-practical context
  3. Education
  4. Mediation
  5. Professionalization
  6. Bachelor thesis / Interdisciplinary project
  7. Profile Solo/Chamber Music or Profile Instrumental Pedagogy

Instrumentale Komposition

  • Prof. Miroslav SrnkaKöln
  • Prof. Brigitta MuntendorfKöln


  • Asmund Perssonn OdegaardKöln

Komposition und Technologie

  • Dong ZhouKöln

Composition today is a very versatile course of study with a strong practical orientation.
The field of work for today's composers has expanded significantly. In addition to concert music, the fields of theater, film, video, installation, performance, radio play, and music in digital environments (AR/VR/XR) have come into focus. It is amazing how many fields of work composers are active in today. Especially when working with new media, composers often move close to improvisation, art forms that have emerged from pop music and jazz, and other arts. In addition, the mediation aspect has moved more into the center. Working with children, young people and lay people becomes an important field of activity.

An aesthetic of genius, which for a long time shaped the image of the composer, has completely disappeared in recent years, and professional practice has changed to teamwork in most areas. The high practical orientation and diversity in the course of study should guarantee that versatile compositional opportunities open up for the composers after their university years. We also try to involve the students in external projects and to establish contacts with musicians, organizers, but also with other arts.

Especially important is the cooperation with other departments of the university, the proximity to the instrumental classes as well as to music theory and musicology. A high degree of internationalization enables numerous contacts to composers and cultures of other countries during the course of studies. In today's world, a high awareness of the qualities of other (musical) cultures and the ability to relativize one's own positions is essential.

The training cannot guarantee success, because success depends to a large extent on the imagination and initiative of the individual student. However, the broad and flexible range of courses on offer allows students to shape their studies and their career prospects very individually. The composition program prepares students for later professional practice. However, students must be aware that the development of a professional network begins during their studies.

As in other professional fields, there is rarely a commitment to a single area; rather, great emphasis is placed on making the possibilities more flexible. However, this flexibility is not to be understood in the sense of adaptation, but rather as the ability to shape one's studies and subsequent professional activity independently and vividly. In this way, composers today are not only responsible for their own music, but also for their professional careers.

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