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Music Composition is the newest area of instruction offered by the Department of Music.  Coursework and instruction are rigorous, lively, and focused on creation of new works for performance by members of the Augustana community.  Students are invited to participate in the composition program as majors, minors or non-majors.  

The Composition Major seeks to develop students into insightful, curious, and professional artists capable of producing new music of the highest quality.  Private study with composition faculty, along with extensive coursework in music theory and history, form the backbone of this degree.  Because the art of composition demands exceptional musicianship, composers are required to enroll in private music lessons on an instrument, participate in ensembles, and demonstrate piano proficiency.  A recital of original works is required in the senior year.

Recognizing the study of composition can benefit and enhance any field of study, the Composition Minor allows students with other majors (both inside and outside the Department of Music) to develop as composers on a more focused and limited basis.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are available to majors and non-majors for 1 credit (half-hour lessons weekly) or 2 credits (one hour sessions weekly).  Although no previous formal composition study is necessary, students enrolled for private composition lessons are expected to already have a grasp of rudimentary music theory and notation.


Coursework in composition-related areas is open to qualified students from any major with permission of the instructor.  Rudiments of Composition (MUSC 116) is an exploratory course for any musician curious about the craft of writing music. New Music Seminar (MUSC 330) engages composers in experiencing and analyzing the most recent works from notable composers around the world.  Instrumentation and Orchestration (MUSC 320) gives composers hands-on experience in writing for a wide variety of musical instruments and chamber ensembles. 

The newly established Augustana Electric Music Studio affords Augustana composers the opportunity to explore the resources and possibilities of electronic and electro-acoustic sound.  Private lessons in electronic music are also available.

Composition Faculty and Studio Locations:

Jacob Bancks         Bergendoff 23, x7425
Randall Hall (electronic music)          Bergendoff, x7639