The School of Music offers the Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition. The composition program offers annual orchestra readings of student works, weekly composition seminars, numerous concerts featuring student works, and concerts of electro-acoustic music.
The electronic studios offer current and up-to-date technology for analog and digital synthesis, sampling, MIDI, and music printing.
Music Theory is an intellectually challenging and vibrant discipline, with close ties to history, philosophy, psychology, and other fields. The University of Alabama School of Music offers programs of study leading to the B.M. and M.M. degrees in Music Theory, with curricula designed to prepare the student for college teaching and to provide the background and skills necessary for active and productive scholarship in this increasingly diverse field. Combining the strengths and resources of a full-fledged school of music and a major research university, and offering a full range of relevant courses from Schenker to set theory, we provide an exciting and supportive environment in which to work.
For information on courses in music theory for undergraduates, please see the School of Music section of the University’s undergraduate catalog.
For information on courses in music theory for graduate students, please see the School of Music section of the University’s graduate catalog and the School of Music Graduate Handbook, which also contains specific course requirements for the M.M. in music theory.
Information is available on the graduate diagnostic examination in music theory, which is required of all incoming students in any graduate program in music. Comprehensive examinations, which include a music theory section, are required of all graduate students before they can be admitted to candidacy.
The University of Alabama Contemporary Ensemble is overseen by the Department of Composition and Theory. For more information on this ensemble click here.
Composition and Theory Faculty
- Craig First, D.M. Northwestern University, Professor of Composition and Theory, Composition/Theory area coordinator,
- Jeremy Orosz, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Instructor of Theory
- Amir Zaheri, D.M.A., University of Alabama, Director of Contemporary Ensemble, Instructor of Composition and Theory
- Stephen Peles, Ph.D. Princeton University, Associate Professor of Composition and Theory
- Thomas Robinson Ph.D., The City University of New York, Assistant Professor of Theory
Analysis of 20th-Century Music
Form and Analysis
Theory I, II, III, and IV
Advanced Schenkerian Analysis
Analysis of Tonal Music
Analysis of 20th-Century Music
Graduate Theory Review
Problems in Music Theory
Endowed Chair in Composition and Theory
Every third year our Endowed Chair in Composition & Theory brings to the School distinguished visiting faculty from around the world. In recent years visiting scholars and artists have included Joseph Auner, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Barry Brooke, Scott Burnham, Poundie Burstein, Michael Cherlin, Mario Davidovsky, Stephen Dembski, Ross Lee Finney, John Harbison, Hubert Howe, Jr., Andrew Imbrie, Andrew Mead, Tristan Murail, Wilfred Mellers, Robert Morgan, Bruno Nettl, William Rothstein, Carl Schachter, Joseph N. Straus, Gottfried Wagner, and Charles Wuorinen.
The 2012-2013 Endowed Chairs were held by Jonathan Dunsby, Severine Neff, Lynne Rogers, and Peter Westergaard.