Led by highly trained and specialized faculty, the music composition, theory and history area offers a diverse and engaging array of courses for both the music and theatre arts major and the general UWEC student.
Beginning composition class is an opportunity for any music student to learn about introductory principles of composition. Composition faculty will provide students with a major or minor in composition weekly individual lessons and a studio class where students critique their peers’ work. The composition curriculum exposes students to contemporary models of composition while steadily encouraging students to develop their own personal compositional style.
Music theory explores how music works and why, and it examines musical patterns derived from physical principles of sound and the aesthetic goals of composers. Courses in music history provide students with an introduction to relevant issues of culture, race, gender and socioeconomic factors as they impact the development and reception of music literature produced within both the Western (classical, popular and folk music traditions) and non-Western arenas (e.g., music practices in Africa, India and elsewhere). Through these course offerings, students enrich their experience as musicians, becoming better interpreters, performers and composers of music. Embracing a curriculum that is relevant to all students, study in this area aims to open up musical worlds as varied as Louis Armstrong, Mozart, Beyoncé, Libby Larsen and an Ojibwe powwow.
Explore our composition major
Music Theory Seminar is one of the best classes I have ever taken. I gained a deep understanding of my current repertoire and this directly influenced the way I played these pieces. I now have so many additional tools to use when preparing a piece for performance. This class filled in the gap between austere academic knowledge and the actual performance of music.
Contemporary Music Ensemble
A rarity for the undergraduate music experience, this ensemble exposes students to a wide range of contemporary art music from the 1920s to the present. The ensemble's instrumentation change from semester-to-semester, allowing for a variety of repertoire to be explored and presented in live concert settings. Beyond compositions written in conventional notation, students are regularly introduced to other modern approaches including graphic scores, electro-acoustic genres, and improvisation. This ensemble further offers students the unique opportunity to perform alongside their professors.
The composition curriculum exposes students to contemporary models of composition while steadily encouraging students to develop their own personal compositional style. Beginning Composition Class is an opportunity for any music student to learn about introductory principles of composition. Composition faculty provide students with a major or minor in composition weekly individual lessons and a studio class in which students critique one another’s work. Students have regular opportunities to learn from visiting composers and to write compositions for visiting artists.