Composition, Songwriting, Sonic Arts & Intermedia

At the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics students learn to record and produce multichannel spatial sound and develop multimedia and VR projects. 

Composition students at Stanford write and produce music in many genres: songs, works for vocal and instrumental groups as well as electronics. Everyone is welcome independent of their major and can start with introductory courses in rhythm, pitch, orchestration, counterpoint, jazz arranging or computer music. Recent compositions and activities of the undergraduate composition program are featured on their website.


Assistant Professor
Leland and Edith Smith Professor of Composition, Professor
Director of Music Theory, Senior Lecturer
Lecturer (CCRMA)
Denning Family Provostial Professor, Professor
Duca Family Professor, Director of CCRMA, Professor
Lecturer (CCRMA)
Associate Professor
Composer, Lecturer (CCRMA)
Director of Undergraduate Composition, Senior Lecturer
Advanced Lecturer
Associate Professor
Lecturer (CCRMA)

Lessons & Courses

Composition Lessons

Music 125: Individual Undergraduate Projects in Composition
Music 198: Concentration Project
Music 199: Independent Study

Composition & Songwriting Courses

Music 20C: Jazz Arranging and Composition
Music 32N: Sculpting with Sounds, Images and Words
Music 101: Introduction to Creating Electronic Sounds
Music 102: The Art of Music Video: Practice and Analysis
Music 112: Film Scoring
Music 113: Introduction to Instrumental Composition
Music 122A: Counterpoint
Music 123A: Composition Seminar: Rhythmic Design
Music 123B: Composition Seminar: Pitch Design
Music 123C: Composition Seminar: World Music
Music 124A: Songwriters Workshop
Music 127A: Instrumentation and Orchestration
Music 127B: Advanced Orchestration
Music 128: Stanford Laptop Orchestra: Composition, Coding, and Performance
Music 154E: Creative Agency in the Pandemic World
Music 155: Intermedia Workshop
Music 156: "sic" Improvisation Collective
Music 160B: Stanford New Ensemble
Music 186B: American Song in the 20th Century and After
Music 192F: Sound Installation
Music 203: Audiovisual Performance
Music 223: Composition for Electronic Musicians
Music 223B: Sonic Experiments in Composition
Music 223C: Tradition, Experimentation, and Technology in String Quartet Composition and Performance
Music 223D: Sound Practice: Embodiment and the Social
Music 250C: Interaction - Intermedia - Immersion
Music 305D: Analysis from a Compositional Perspective
Music 323: Doctoral Seminar in Composition
Music 324: Graduate Composition Forum
Music 325: Individual Graduate Projects in Composition

Academic Programs

Explore the Major & Concentrations

The undergraduate major in Music is based on a course of study that combines breadth of musical experiences across multiple dimensions with depth in a chosen area, allowing students to develop an array of tools as part of their aesthetic and musical formation. Theory, performance, history, cultural contextualization, technology, and science all contribute to a curricular foundation for all majors. 


Explore the 24-Unit Minor

The music minor allows students to explore music through a flexible program of study. The minor can focus on Composition, History, Performance, Conducting, Theory, or Music, Science & Technology (MST), or on areas not currently served by the major, such as Ethnomusicology, Jazz, or Musical Theater. The minor can also focus on musical aspects of a non-music major such as American Studies, Anthropology, Area Studies, Computer Science, CSRE, TAPS, etc.


Learn about the Performance Certificate

The Performance Certificate program is open by audition to undergraduates who demonstrate a high degree of accomplishment in their area of music performance, study privately with one of the Department of Music's faculty, and wish to inform their performance studies with coursework from the Department of Music's other areas of academic focus: history, theory, computer music, and composition.


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