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Composition, Songwriting, Sonic Arts & Intermedia

Composition students at Stanford write and produce music in many genres: songs, works for vocal and instrumental groups as well as electronics. At the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics they learn to record and produce multichannel spatial sound and develop multimedia and VR projects. 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.


Patricia Alessandrini photo
Composition • Sonic Arts and Intermedia • Media Theory • Music, Science, and Technology
Composition • Improvisation • Music History • Popular Music
Giancarlo Aquilanti photo
Music Theory • Composition • Conducting • Wind Symphony
Constantin Basica photo
Composition • Music, Science, and Technology
Jonathan Berger photo
Composition • Music Cognition • Music, Science, and Technology
Chris Chafe photo
Composition • Music, Science, and Technology • Improvisation
Paul DeMarinis photo
Sonic Arts and Intermedia • Media Theory • Composition
Composition • Sonic Arts and Intermedia • Media Theory • East Asian Studies
Sonic Arts and Intermedia • Music, Science, and Technology
photo of François Rose
Composition • Music Theory • Media Theory • East Asian Studies
Music, Science, and Technology
Erik Ulman photo
Composition • Music Theory • Music History
Ge Wang photo
Artful Design • Music, Science, and Technology • Media Theory
Matt Wright photo
Music, Science, and Technology

Lessons & Courses

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

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

Courses in the Spotlight

Music 101: Introduction to Creating Electronic Sounds

Students will explore their creative voices by learning the practical nuts and bolts of making sounds with computers and professional audio equipment. Basic concepts include mixing and production techniques used in podcasts, documentaries, live performance, electronic music, and sound art. Students will create a midterm soundscape project as well as a final class project that is focused on their particular creative interests.

Music 123C: Composition Seminar: World Music

The course will focus on creative exploration of compositional techniques in traditional music from Bali, Brazil, Central African Republic, India, and Japan.

Explore more of What We Do

Explore the Major & Concentrations

Explore the 24-Unit Minor

Learn about the Performance Certificate