Composition, B.Mus.

Program Overview

Do you often hear music in your head before you see the notes on paper? Are you fascinated by the creative process of making music? If so, you should consider a degree in composition.

PLNU composition majors work with department faculty to learn how to compose, orchestrate, critique, and edit music in many different genres. As a student of composition, your coursework will culminate during your senior year, where you will give a recital in which fellow students perform compositions from your body of work.

With a major in composition, you’ll develop applied music skills in one primary performance area while learning to demonstrate expertise of advanced tonal, timbral, and formal concepts. Additionally, you’ll produce many original compositions using a variety of tonal languages, performance forces, and expressive content.

Student Profile

James Bishop headshot

James Bishop

I don’t know why or how the notes came when they did, but it happened at 2 a.m. I had stared at the piano, seriously disappointed that I wasn’t in bed. I’d been frustrated and perplexed for hours, clunking out good but unsatisfying notes, melodies, chords, and themes that felt more forgettable to me than worthwhile. I was in the basement of Cooper Music Center after hours, falling asleep on a piano in one of the practice rooms. Read more

Performing

Refine your skills and share your talent with the campus and surrounding community by performing with one of our many ensembles and musical clubs. Whether you’re a singer, instrumentalist, or pianist, there is a place for you to perform constantly throughout your academic career.

Music Honors Weekend

Find out how you can spend a night on campus, meet one-on-one with a music professor, enjoy our annual Cider Celebration, and audition for a renewable music scholarship!

Course List

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Department Faculty

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Are you ready to take the next step to begin your PLNU journey? Whether you’re a high school senior, college transfer student, or international student, find out what we’re looking for in our applicants and how you can apply.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

With a degree from PLNU’s music program, you will be well prepared to pursue both graduate studies and an array of career options that will allow you to live out your passion for music while making a lasting impact in the lives of those who hear it.

A Bachelor of Music in Composition can lead to careers such as:

  • Video Game Composer
  • Film or TV Composer
  • Worship Music Composer
  • Music Teacher
  • Symphonic Instrumentalist
  • Singer/Songwriter
  • Music Publisher
  • Music Editor
John Reynolds

The Gift of Music: Fostering Hope Through Jazz

A look at PLNU alum Dr. John Reynolds and his mission as an inspiring teacher and gifted musician.

Read More in the Viewpoint Online Magazine