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Master of Music Instrumental Composition

Master of Music - Instrumental Composition

The duration of the master’s program is four semesters and builds on the bachelor’s program, enhancing and expanding composition skills.

Instrumental and electronic composition classes work closely together, which enables students to not only participate in projects in either specialization, but also to take coursework in the specialization that they did not choose as their concentration.

General Information

  • Academic degree: Master of Music
  • Duration of degree program: 4 semesters (2 years)
  • Start of program: Winter semester
  • Degree requirements: 120 ECTS credits
  • Major: Instrumental Composition
  • Graduate program: Concert Exam

Admission Requirments

  • Successful completion of a four-year Bachelor’s Degree or other comparable qualification in composition. Students who have completed a foundation degree in electronic composition will only be admitted if they are able to demonstrate that the programme was sufficiently specialised in this area or if the candidate is able to demonstrate the appropriate skills and prior knowledge through their composition samples.
  • For non-German-speaking applicants, proof of a language certificate at level A2 (based on the European Reference Framework for Languages) is also required.
  • Successful completion of the entrance examination.

Entrance examination

The entrance examination consists of a colloquium (interview), requiring the candidate to present and discuss works they have submitted. The discussion will include challenging questions about the candidate’s views on musical aesthetics, as well as knowledge of academic literature and compositional techniques associated with contemporary electronic and instrumental music.

Detailed information can be found in the Entrance Examination Regulations, particularly in section 5: Content Requirements and Examination Format.

For practical courses, we recommend that candidates contact their chosen subject tutor in good time. They will be happy to advise candidates individually.

Wir empfehlen für die künstlerischen Studiengänge, sich rechtzeitig mit dem Hauptfachlehrern Ihrer Wahl in Verbindung zu setzen, Sie werden gerne persönlich beraten.

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The focus of the master’s program is independent composition work and career development. The emphasis is primarily on planning and organizing events, especially within larger projects and outside of the University, as well as the presentation of their own pieces. The aim of closely collaborating with external institutions, ensembles, and festivals for new music is not only to simulate professional performances for students, but also to enable them to network with professional musicians and organizers, facilitating the transition into the professional world.

In addition to course work and seminars analyzing current composition techniques, events with specialized performers are also organized so that students can learn specific performance techniques and raise questions about notation and instrumentation.

The program concludes with a concert or similar event featuring music created during the program that the students organize as well as a one-hour Colloquium.

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  • Prof. Brigitta Muntendorf
  • Prof. Miroslav Srnka

Today, composition is a highly multifaceted academic field with extensive practical relevance.

The range of work for contemporary composers has grown significantly. Apart from concert music, there are now opportunities for careers in theatre, film, video, production, radio play, and other areas. The sheer number of career possibilities composers have today is astonishing. They often work on the edge of improvisation or with art forms originating in jazz, pop, or other music, particularly so if they work with new forms of media. Teaching has also gained increased attention, which has created yet another career field out of work with children, adolescents, and amateurs.

The practical training and the diversity of the program are meant to ensure that composers have a broad range of career opportunities open to them following graduation. The aim is also to introduce students to external projects as well as musicians, event organizers, and other artists as quickly as possible. Close collaboration with other University departments and access to courses on different instruments as well as music theory and musicology is also particularly important.

The large number of international students and instructors ensures that students have close contact with composers and cultures from other countries during their studies. Nowadays, it is necessary to fully understand the qualities of other (music) cultures and to be able to put one’s own beliefs into perspective.

As with any course of studies, this program cannot guarantee success because success depends primarily on the creativity of each student. However, the University’s broad and flexible curriculum enables students to personalize their education and career perspectives to a great extent. The goal of the composition program is to prepare students as much as possible for a future career; however, students will only become composers after graduation, after their own work has spoken for itself.

Often, composers do not work exclusively as composers after graduation. As in many other careers, composers rarely specialize in just one area anymore. Rather, great emphasis is placed on the ability to adapt to opportunities. However, this flexibility should not merely be viewed as a way of conforming, but rather as the ability to personally shape and inform one’s own studies and subsequent career. This makes today’s composers the architects of not only their own music, but also their own careers.

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