School of Music

Master of Music in Composition

The Master of Music degree is generally a two-year course of study and is designed to prepare the student for a professional career in music composition and/or provide the necessary foundations for doctoral study. The curriculum includes private studio instruction as well as participation in group seminars, master-classes, and workshops. A strong emphasis is placed on the development of a portfolio of compositions, significant in scope, including solo, chamber, vocal, wind, orchestral, and electro-acoustic works- many of which are supported by professional performance and recording opportunities.

Please view the Graduate Catalog for specific degree requirements and information on the application process.

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Composition Faculty
Dr. Andrew Rindfleisch, Program Coordinator || (216) 687-2029 ||
Dr. Greg D’Alessio || (216) 687-4586 ||

Entry Requirements: Students intending to earn the Master of Music degree in composition are required to submit a portfolio of representative works. This portfolio will be reviewed by the composition faculty who will recommend on its merits and on the potential of the applicant to complete graduate work. Submit your portfolio directly to the head of the Composition area.

Founded by Professor Andrew Rindfleisch, the Cleveland Contemporary Players is an organization dedicated to issues relevant to contemporary music and culture, championing the living creative artist, and supporting, with great commitment, American music.

A vital component to the Composition curriculum at CSU, the Cleveland Contemporary Players bring into residence renowned visiting artists, Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, and virtuoso ensembles to interact with students, while also presenting free concerts to the public. Through the Cleveland Contemporary Players, CSU student composers receive a unique opportunity to hear their works performed and recorded by resident guest artists, participate in master-classes, attend lectures, and even receive private lessons from important visiting composers.

Residencies of acclaimed artists in contemporary music occur up to eight times per academic year, making the composition program at CSU one of the most active in the United States. Through the Cleveland Contemporary Players, this unusual program of study expands the educational environment, creating new and meaningful musical connections to the world of contemporary music culture, and promoting interest and involvement in living music.

Music Composition Resource Center

Designed by Professor Andrew Rindfleisch, and opened in 2005, the CSU Music Composition Resource Center is housed in a large, spacious studio in the Music Department and serves as a one-of-a-kind professional development center for use by undergraduate and graduate students studying music composition at Cleveland State.

Here, composition students are provided with a state-of-the-art digital photocopy machine, multiple binding machines and supplies, multiple CD recording units, unlimited blank CD’s, unlimited mailing envelopes, computers with notation software programs, and all the supplies necessary to assist them in the pursuit of a career as a composer. The Music Composition Resource Center will aid the student in all the following areas:

  • Professional production of musical scores
  • Professional production of recordings
  • Application to fellowship and grant foundations
  • Application to graduate schools
  • Application to summer festivals
  • Sending work to performers and ensembles
  • Giving students the ability to effectively network within the profession

Emphasizing career development, the Music Composition Resource Center remains an unprecedented aspect to composition studies at Cleveland State University and is one of the only such Centers in the country.

Electronic and Computer Music at Cleveland State

Computer-based technology is the single most rapidly increasing element of contemporary life, and the composition program at Cleveland State is designed to instruct and prepare students to operate within the context of the very best available current technology. The electronic and computer music facilities at CSU, designed by Professor Greg D’Alessio, contain a wide range of significant new technology for the creation of computer and electro-acoustic music. The beginning “macromusic” laboratory contains over 15 Macintosh-based Midi stations. The intermediate studio is equipped with two Midi/audio work-stations with multiple synthesizers and software synthesis applications designed to assist student composers in the initial stages of experimentation. The advanced studio contains both an extensive Midi station as well as a dedicated multi-track digital audio station. All instruction is grounded in aesthetic as well as technological concerns. Performance opportunities are also available as concerts of electronic and electro-acoustic music are given regularly.