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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
July 24, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

Bachelor of Music: Contemporary Music



Have questions? Email choosemusic@wlu.ca.

The Contemporary Music Program consists of two streams:


The Composition Stream
Students in this program stream are required to write works for various ensembles and to participate in a contemporary music master class. Those students wishing to continue in the contemporary music program beyond Year 2 must submit a portfolio of their work to the contemporary  music faculty. Upon approval, the student can enrol in Year 3 and Year 4 composition courses (MU360* and MU460*), which can be taken by composition majors only. During Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4, students study individually with members of the faculty; in the final year students write an extended work as their graduation composition.

Required credits: All core courses listed above in the comprehensive program; MU251T, MU252, MU260*, MU360*, MU460*, MU290A*, MU396 or MU390A*, MU496 or MU490A*; two of MU361, MU367, MU461, MU462; MU381; and 4.0 non-music electives credits; Music or non-music electives to make a total of 20.0 credits.

Composition Improvisation Stream
Students in this program stream are required to write works for various ensembles and to participate in a contemporary music master class. Those students wishing to continue in the composition/improvisation stream of the contemporary music program must submit a portfolio of their work to the contemporary music faculty and pass an improvisation audition. Upon approval, the student can enroll in Year 3 and Year 4 composition courses (MU360* and MU460*), which can be taken by contemporary music majors only. During Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 students study individually with members of the faculty, but in Year 3 and Year 4 their studio instruction is divided: 0.5 hours per week with a composition instructor, and 0.5 hours per week with an improvisation instructor. All composition/improvisation majors are required to take part regularly in improvisational ensemble performances and recitals, and during Year 4 to give a full length formal improvisational recital which will include at least one of the student’s original compositions.

Required credits: All core courses listed above in the comprehensive program; MU251T, MU260*, MU360*, MU460*, MU290A*, MU390A*, MU490A*; two of MU361, MU367, MU461, MU462; MU365 and MU381K or MU481K; and 4.0 non-music elective credits; Music or non-music electives to make a total of 20.0 credits.

Additional Program Regulations for the Composition Improvisation Stream:
Students must audition at the end of second year for admission into the Composition Improvisation Stream (which starts in Year 3). The audition panel will consist of one member of the contemporary music faculty and one faculty member in performance who teaches the instrument on which the student is auditioning.

Electro-Acoustic Music Studios
Students in the Contemporary Music Program have access to two Electro-Acoustic Music Studios (Studio A and B) which use a micro-computer-controlled digital audio and MIDI-based facility to create "tape" compositions. A variety of synthesis techniques are available including FM , Analog, and Sampling. Signal processing (‘outboard' equipment) and both digital and analog recording equipment complete the facility. A third station is used for music notation.

Studio A has been assembled to facilitate MIDI based composition. It uses a computer interface (O'S Studio 3), which allows MIDI control information to flow freely between software programs and external sound modules, synthesizers and effects unit s. Currently, Opcode StudioVision Pro and Max are the primary software programs resident on the computer, controlling synthesizers including the Alesis QS-6 and Roland DX7-II. Once completed, projects can be realized via the Spirit Auto 24-8-2 mixer to various playback media (cassette, DAT).

Studio B is specifically designed for digital audio recording, manipulation and storage. It uses a computer interface (Audiomedia III card), which allows the importation of music/sound from any standard media (cassette tape, DAT, CD). Once residen t on the computer hard disk, the sound can be edited and manipulated using the Protools editing/DSP program, as well as external processing modules. Once completed, projects can be exported, via digital or analog paths, to various playback media (CD-R, c assette, DAT).

Contemporary Music Program Faculty

Dr. Glenn Buhr

Dr. Peter Hatch

Prof. Cameron McKittrick

Prof. Linda Smith