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Master of Music -
Electronic Composition

Technological style formation.

Instrumental Composition is a course of study for current trends in contemporary art music with an emphasis on electronic and digital music. The course covers the compositional examination of instrumental, performative or music-theatrical compositions with the inclusion of new and the latest technologies.

Applicants with prior technical knowledge and with appropriate previous studies can specialize in the course of the master's program. Students with degrees in other fields can broaden the spectrum of their artistic work by studying electronic music.
A prerequisite for the master's program in electronic composition is the completion of a bachelor's degree in composition or a comparable course of study. A specialized previous study in the field of electronics is not necessary. Only in exceptional cases with extraordinary talent and previous education can Bachelor graduates from other art or computer science fields be admitted.

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

Basic information

Degree Master of Music
Period of study 4 Semester
Course begin Wintersemester
ECTS points 120 Credits
Major subjects Composition
Continuing study options Concert exam

Additional information

During the course, students will acquire fundamental and in-depth knowledge in the field of electronic/digital composition in various contexts and try it out in practice in a variety of ways. In addition to mixed forms of instrumental and electronic composition with current technologies up to 3D audio and VR, this can also involve installations or pure internet works. The focus of the course is the presentation of students' work within and, if possible, outside the university. Close cooperation with external institutions, ensembles or festivals for new music should provide composition students with professional performance conditions as part of their studies.

Mikrofon vor unscharfen Hintergrund mit mehreren Computern.

Special features of the study

The training takes place in the rooms of the Studio for Electronic Music of the university. Several workstations are available here, as well as comprehensive software and hardware equipment and excellent listening facilities.

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

Admission requirements

  • Successful completion of a four-year bachelor's degree in composition or equivalent. Admission to the electronic composition program is also possible with an undergraduate degree in instrumental composition.
  • Students who have not obtained their degree at a German-speaking institution must prove that they have sufficient German language skills (min. level A2 according to the European Framework of Reference).
  • Successfully passed aptitude test.

Qualifying examination

The qualifying examination consists of a colloquium with the presentation and discussion of submitted works, with questions about the candidate's own musical aesthetics and prior knowledge in the field of contemporary music. Detailed information can be found in the Qualifying Examination Regulations, especially in the appendix for content requirements and conduct of the examination.

In the master's program, the focus is on independent compositional work and professionalization. In addition to the presentation of own works, it is mainly about the design and organization of events, also outside the university. The instrumental and electronic composition classes work closely together. It is possible to participate in projects of the respective other area and also to temporarily receive corresponding main subject lessons.
The master's program is completed with a self-organized concert or comparable event featuring music created in the course of this program and a colloquium.

You can find a list of our lecturers on the following page.

The field of work of today's composers has expanded considerably; in addition to concert music, possible fields of activity include theater, video, installation and performance.
The practical orientation and the intended diversity in the course of studies should guarantee that versatile opportunities open up for the composers after graduation. In addition, the students are involved in internal and external projects at an early stage in order to establish a network with musicians, organizers, but also with artists from other fields.
For several years now, the Institute for New Music at HfMT Cologne has been working closely with the Ensemble Musikfabrik. The ensemble's specialized musicians perform new compositions by students in two concerts each year as part of the Adventure cooperation.
The broad and flexible range of educational opportunities allows students to individually shape their studies and career prospects. In many cases, graduates do not work exclusively as composers after graduation. As in other professional fields, composing is rarely limited to one area, but rather requires flexibility and versatility. This flexibility, however, 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. Today, composers are no longer only responsible for shaping their own music, but also their professional careers.

Ein Finger zeigt auf einen Notenständer mit Noten.
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Prof. Michael Beil
Elektronische Komposition
Telephone +49 / (0)221 / 28380 - 332
Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln
Unter Krahnenbäumen 87
50668 Köln