Music Theory & Composition, Bachelor of Music

The purpose of the music theory and composition program is to develop a student’s musical understanding through score analysis, performance, and the creation of new music.  Special attention is paid to gaining fluency with musical concepts and topics through a graduated and integrated curriculum.

Music Admissions, Auditions, & Scholarship Information

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Dr. Bernie Scherr-Music Department Head of Music Theory & Composition

Dr. Bernie Scherr

Department Head of Music Theory & Composition, Professor of Music 325-670-1429


  • Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition (B.M.-TC)


  • Music Theory

Why study Music Theory & Composition at HSU?

HSU music major students playing the piano and tuba


Students are encouraged to experiment with the musical elements they study in the theory curriculum as they develop their inner ear, their unique compositional voice. Many students have their works performed by HSU ensembles while in school.

HSU Information Science student in computer lab

Electronic & Scoring

The School of Music computer lab offers students the opportunity to integrate electronic elements into their music. HSU students are also encouraged to compose music for film.

A HSU student sings while another student plays the piano

Recital & Portfolio

Students learn to compose for a wide variety of ensembles and instruments before graduating. All students pursuing the BM-TC degree are required to present a 30-50 minute recital of original works. The music for this recital will be part of the student’s composition portfolio, which will be bound and deposited in the School of Music library. The portfolio is music that has met a high standard in artistry and notation.

Program Details

Theory & Composition courses (46 credits)

  • MUTC 1131, 1132, 2131, 2132 Ear Training I, II, III, IV
  • MUTC 1133, 1134, 2133, 2134 Keyboard I, II, III, IV
  • MUTC 1235, 1236, 2235, 2236 Harmony I, II, III, IV
  • MUTC 2237/2238, 3237/3238, 4237/4238 Composition I, II, III, IV, V, VI
  • MUTC 2338 Computers in Music
  • MUTC 3231 Form & Analysis
  • MUTC 3233/3234 Counterpoint
  • MUTC 4231 Orchestration
  • MUTC 4233 History of Theory or MUTC 4234 Schenkerian Analysis
  • MUTC 4235 Post-tonal Theory
  • MUTC 4333 Pedagogy of Theory

Music Core courses (37-39 credits)

  • Performance Principal MUPS (8 credits)
  • MUPS (Advanced level) (8 credits)
  • MUPC 1125/1126 Diction (voice principals only)
  • MUHL 3241/3242/3243 Music History I /II/III
  • MUHL (4 credits from 4241, 4242, 4243, 4244, 4247, 4099)
  • MUSI 3122 Intro to Conducting
  • MUSI 3223 or 3224 Choral/Inst Cond Tech
  • Ensembles MUEI/MUEV
  • Ensembles MUEI/MUEV (upper level)
  • COMP 4000 Senior Comps
  • RECI 4000 Half-Senior Recital
  • CONC 1000 Recital Attendance (8 semesters)

All HSU students are eligible for this program.

Career opportunities include Composers music on commission or for publication, Electronic Composer, Arranging other’s music, Songwriter, Orchestrator, Music Copyist, and Educator/Teacher of composition and music theory.

The minor provides minimal exposure to music theory and composition for music majors. The music theory minor (MUTC) focuses on analytical skills and composition of music and is reserved for music majors only.

This minor is for music majors, only.

Required Courses

  • MUTC 2234-2238 Composition I & II – 4
  • MUTC 3323-3234 Counterpoint* – 4
  • MUTC 4233 History of Theory or MUTC 4234 Schenkerian Analysis – 2
  • MUTC 4099 Individual Project in Music Analysis – 1
  • MUTC 4235 Post-tonal Theory – 2
  • MUTC 4333 Pedagogy of Theory – 3

Total 16 hours

*If a student replaces counterpoint for orchestration, he/she must take orchestration for the minor.