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Columbia College Chicago
BA Music: Composition
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BA Music: Composition


The Music Composition program of Columbia College Chicago combines technical training with a practical approach. Techniques learned are immediately applied in assignments that are critiqued in class. Every course in the composition program culminates in a performance of student work by a professional ensemble. The composition curriculum is designed to provide students from diverse composition backgrounds the skills necessary to compose in a variety of genres and idioms.

  • Composition I focuses on melodic writing based on a vocal model, tonal harmony and short forms.
  • Composition II continues this direction and adds chromatic harmony and counterpoint.
  • Composition III adds extended tonality, modern techniques, orchestration and forms composed for large ensembles.


Students continue their studies with several semesters of private composition lessons and advanced courses such as Counterpoint, Orchestration and Composing for Films. Beyond the mastery of techniques, students are encouraged to express themselves freely, with their own voice.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Music requires the completion of 38 credit hours of core courses, 26 credit hours of specialized course work, 14 credit hours of electives and 42 credit hours of liberal arts and sciences classes, totaling 120 credit hours.

BA Music with a Concentration in Composition: Degree Requirements