Bachelor and master of Music > Composing music > Composition

Music does not just appear out of thin air. It is thought up and played on existing or newly invented instruments, improvised, communicated or, after much mulling over, written down or recorded on an electronic medium. The complex constellation in which these decisions are made is one of constant flux.

Inventor of the as yet unimaginable, deviser of new ways, guardian of tradition, composer of music for concerts, theatre and film … Whatever aesthetic and ideological choices he or she makes, every composer wishes to plumb the depths of the medium of music and keep rediscovering it with ever-new amazement.

The composition programme equips students with the means to take up a well-founded position amid this ambivalence. The search for beauty this entails must always start from a rejection of habit, a ceaseless fundamental questioning of the entire system of the music industry in which the social conditions are embedded: for which instruments, for what audience, for what occasion?

A survey of cultural history and philosophy and a profound insight in musical history are indispensable aids in this process. The ways in which composers of the past and the present have formulated their own authentic answers to ever-returning questions are revealed in a thorough study of score analysis.

The general theory of music, solfeggio and ear training are the basic competencies of each classical musician. The study of traditional compositional techniques such as harmony and counterpoint not only refines the ear and the powers of imagination but may also function as a trigger for critical reflection in the development of a personal and contemporary musical language. That is why this traditional score study is also part of the basic training, while jazz harmony and applied harmony make for interesting additions to the curriculum.

A composer must have a thorough knowledge of musical instruments to match an intelligent outlook on the practice and psychology of making music. These complementary goals are realized throughout a range of theoretical and practice-oriented courses.

The general scientific, historical and categorizing insights from organology and acoustics are given a specific interpretation in the instrumentation and orchestration classes. Sound realization and research make for a contemporary expedition through the world of live electronics and composition software.

Keyboard and choir practice prepare students for making music in a more general sense and for coaching small and larger ensembles. These competencies are essential for the eventual realization of the master’s exam and personal artistic project. This final project and exam consist of a full evening’s concert of original music that is both in terms of music and organization the autonomous realization of the composer.

Such an organization demands that the artist’s outlook extends beyond the strictly musical. Courses such as cultural management, music and law, and legal and economic aspects of the music industry can help show the way that leads from dream to reality.