The College of Arts and Architecture

Composition and Technology

The School of Music offers the following degrees in Composition and Technology:

  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Master of Music in Music Composition
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music with an Option in Music Technology

There is also a minor in Music Technology.

The Music Composition program gives students a broad range of experiences including composition of concert music (for all media), film scoring (through collaboration with the Penn State Film Department), songwriting (including recording and production), and electroacoustic music. Private lessons, weekly seminar meetings, and master classes comprise the core of study. Weekly literature/listening study, regular preparation and public performance of compositions and long-term professional goal planning are some of the means to foster development of craft, artistry and vocation in composition.

A minimum if twi concerts per year focus on student compositions and student works are regularly performed by the School’s many ensembles. The composition program also produces collaborative works such as group-composed works for studio ensembles and others.

The purpose of the program is to produce thoroughly trained composers with a variety of skills and experiences, able to apply them in the professional or academic world, or both. There are few, if any, programs in the United States that adopt this broad an approach.

Music technology studies are offered through an option to the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree, as well as through a Music Technology Minor. Students working in the Music Technology area are exposed to a broad range of pursuits, including audio production with a digital audio workstation, recording in a professional-quality studio, music programming in software such as Max/MSP and SuperCollider, musical acoustics, and electroacoustic music history and culture. The minor attracts students from diverse majors such as Electrical Engineering, Information Sciences and Technology, and Journalism. The major allows students to earn a degree in a liberal arts-based music degree with a focus in music recording and computer technologies.

Paul Barsom
Mark Ballora
Alex Heppelman