Music Theory & Composition

Rhythm and meter, melody and harmony, texture, timbre, articulation and so much more.. TCU’s music theory and composition students explore these underlying principles of music. You’ll learn from five full-time faculty composers and theorists, as well as several other accomplished composers, in a highly selective program offering individual instruction and mentoring.

TCU’s Division of Music Theory/Composition offers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Bachelor’s and master’s students focus on either theory or composition.

Here’s a complete list of our degree programs in music theory and composition:

The School of Music also offers a Bachelor of Arts in music and a music minor.

Scholarship support is available for talented undergraduate students. Assistantships that include full-tuition remission plus a stipend are available for graduate music majors.

TCU’s Upchurch Studio for Electro-Acoustic Music enables students to acquaint themselves with new technology relevant to musical performance, analysis, composition, education, and research.

Music Composition

Blaise Ferrandino, BM, MM, DMA – Division Chair
Neil Anderson-Himmelspach, BM, MM, DMA
Martin Blessinger, BM, MM, DM
Till MacIvor Meyn, BM, MM, DMA

Music Theory

Blaise Ferrandino, BM, MM, DMA – Division Chair
Neil Anderson-Himmelspach, BM, MM, DMA
Sean Atkinson, BM, MM, PhD
Martin Blessinger, BM, MM, DM
Joey Carter, BM, MM
Trey Gunter, BME, MM
Guillermo Martinez, BM, MM
Till MacIvor Meyn, BM, MM, DMA
Amy Pummill Stewart, BM, MM, DMA

Throughout the year, you’ll have the opportunity to perform your own compositions and those of fellow students and present your work in a professional setting at student composer concerts. Participate in masterclasses, private lessons, and open rehearsals with such guest composers as John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon, and John Mackey.

A degree in music theory/composition opens doors to a wide variety of graduate programs and careers, including composing, arranging, performing, and music instruction at all levels of education.

Your faculty advisor will work with you to choose the right combination of courses and mentor you so you can reach your goals.

Schedule one-on-one meetings with your career consultant to learn more about everything Career Services has to offer music majors.

Career Preparation

Advanced Linear Analysis

Advanced Orchestration

Analysis for Performance

Bartok and Stravinsky

Billy Joel

Clara Schumann

Maurice Ravel


Music and Meaning

20th Century Counterpoint

Graduate Seminars in Musicology

Credit by Exam

Students may determine proper placement into Music Theory courses, which are required by all Music majors, through AP test credit or the School of Music’s internal music theory placement exam. A placement test is required for all students wishing to major in the School of Music.

Credit by exam may be awarded for the following music theory courses:

Via AP Music Theory

AP Score TCU Equivalent Credit Awarded Placement Into
3, 4, or 5 MUSI 10003 MUSI 10003 MUSI 10203

Via School of Music Theory Placement Exam

Score TCU Equivalent Credit Awarded Placement Into
85-184 on total exam MUSI 10003 MUSI 10003 MUSI 10203
185 or higher on total exam MUSI 10003

MUSI 10203

MUSI 10203 MUSI 10213
185 or higher on total exam, 15 or higher on dictation subscore, and 9 or higher on sight-singing subscore MUSI 10201 MUSI 10201 MUSI 10211

Admission & Audition Requirements

For undergraduates and graduates wanting to attend the TCU School of Music, there is an admissions process. Learn more about the audition requirements below.

Admission Information

Audition Requirements

For further information about TCU Music Theory/Composition, contact:
Dr. Blaise Ferrandino
Division Chair, Music Theory/Composition