Music Composition

  • Overview

    This minor provides a flexible course of study for students with a wide range of musical backgrounds who wish to create, arrange, and notate their own music. The minor familiarizes students with the current field of music composition, building a solid foundation in the basic concepts of composition and associated musical skills while emphasizing musical innovation and creativity.

    By the successful completion of the minor, students will be able to:

    • Compose original music in a variety of styles and genres, using conventions appropriate to each
    • Arrange and notate music for solo and ensemble settings, and create parts, using principles of instrumentation and orchestration
    • Demonstrate understanding and awareness of compositional practices throughout history to present day, including the use of technology in writing and creating music
    • Apply knowledge of the Techniques of Music (Music Theory, Ear Training, Dictation) to inform their own music compositions
    • Develop an individual compositional voice and artistic viewpoint

    The minor in Music Composition requires successful completion of 18 credits across four subject areas, as outlined in the chart below. Students must apply and be accepted into the minor before registering for Composition Major Lessons (there is an additional fee of $515 per lesson credit for all students).

    Course availability may vary from semester to semester. Students seeking to pursue alternative applicable coursework at Mannes or other New School colleges to fulfill the minor should consult with their advisors.


    Area Course Options Requirements
    Introductory Course Beginning Composition (XCMP 1004) Introductory course prior to applying for and declaring minor (1 credit)
    Major Lessons Composition Lessons* (XASL 2000 or XASL 3000) *Additional tuition of $565/credit
    (6 credits)
    Techniques of Music Theory (XTOM 0010 – XTOM 3002)
    Ear Training (XTOM 0105 – XTOM 3102)
    Dictation (XTOM 0103 – XTOM 3202)
    Level of coursework determined by placement exam
    (6 credits)
    Elective Coursework Orchestration (XCMP 2001, XCMP 2002)
    21st Century Notation (XCMP 1015)
    Film Scoring (XCMP 2021)
    Creative Uses of Sound (XCMP 2500)
    Songwriting (XCMP 2013)
    Arranging (XCMP 2015)
    Lyrics and Libretto (XCMP 2020)
    Introduction to Super Collider (XTEK1200)
    Or other composition elective
    (5 credits)


    Minors are available to undergraduate students across The New School except those students at Lang and the Bachelors Program for Adults and Transfer Students who are completing a self-designed BA or BS in Liberal Arts, who are not permitted to declare minors. For students at Lang or the Bachelors Program for Adults and Transfer Students interested in pursuing a deeper study of this subject area, opportunities are available through the self-designed major in Liberal Arts. To explore this, contact an academic advisor or read more information about self-designed options for Lang or the Bachelors Program for Adults and Transfer Students.


    For questions regarding this minor’s curriculum, including requests for course substitutions, please contact Maggie Koozer, Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning,, 212.580.0210 x4824.