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Fredonia’s Master of Music in Music Theory/Composition degree provides emerging composers with opportunities to grow both as creative artists and academic scholars. Our composers write music for ensembles and media and in a wide array of musical styles. More than half of our master's students continue on for graduate study at prestigious graduate schools like the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, University of Louisville, University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Kansas.

At Fredonia, your courses will be divided between composition lessons, theory, history, and research coursework and a graduate thesis and recital. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, Fredonia has been educating musicians for over a century. Our nurturing, inclusive environment supports individual passion and paths, allowing you to develop your vision and career path with the assistance of our successful music faculty.

The Fredonia Difference

Fredonia's program features four esteemed faculty with experiences in many different musical fields. You will have the chance to work with a large number of talented performers, with five to eight composition concerts every year. We offer collaborative experiences with choreographers, filmmakers, illustrators, and poets. There are also opportunities to interact with world-renowned composers and performers from across the United States in conjunction with our student-run presenting organization, Ethos New Music Society.

Career Opportunities for Music Composition

  • Advanced graduate programs in composition and music theory
  • Film, music and arts administration
  • Music performance
  • Music teacher


What does a Graduate Degree in Music Composition look like?

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More questions about Fredonia's graduate programs?

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Sample Courses

MUS 521 Music Bibliography

An exploration of the resources and techniques needed for graduate studies in all areas of music. Students will learn to examine and critically evaluate music resources in both traditional and electronic forms, and will develop research strategies that can be adapted to many different areas of study.

MUS 653 Post-Tonal Analysis

The course introduces students to a variety of post-tonal music and analytic approaches. Repertoires covered include free-atonality, twelve-tone music, integral serialism, early electronic music, aleatoric music and indeterminacy.

MUS 609 Composition

Advanced free composition for graduate study, concentrating on individual creative musical inclinations of each student. Seminar and private study of 20th century creative concepts.

Student Success

My time as a master's student in the music composition department at SUNY Fredonia cemented my commitment to being a composer. The quality of instruction in composition lessons is high, and I was always impressed by what my fellow composition students were doing. The frequency of composer concerts is great, and I also valued the consistent presence and support of professors at those events, thereby creating a strong sense of community. The guest composers and performers we hosted were impressive, and the readings, masterclasses, and lessons I received with those guests exposed me to the world of new music beyond Western New York.

— Emily Joy Sullivan

Why Music Composition at Fredonia?

jazz band

Student-centered campus

Fredonia is a student-centered campus offering innovative graduate degree programs, world-class faculty, and a conservatory edge … at a price that’s within reach.

composition facilities

Digital and analog technology

The Fredonia Electroacoustic Music Studio is equipped with both the latest in digital technology as well as a vintage 1967 Moog synthesizer.

Rosch Recital Hall

Award-winning, acoustically superb facilities

Juliet J. Rosch Recital Hall is home to hundreds of students, faculty, and guest artist recitals each year.

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