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Composition and Theory


The Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music at Georgia Southern University offers degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels for students who wish to pursue studies in music composition. The Bachelor and Master of Music in Composition degrees are designed for students interested in writing contemporary concert or art music.

The undergraduate degree in composition includes an introductory class followed by six semesters of individual instruction, and a weekly forum in which students of all levels present their works and receive feedback from their peers and the faculty. Throughout the curriculum, students work with a variety of performance forces that range from solo performer, to chamber ensembles, to orchestra and concert band. Senior students are also required to collaborate with colleagues from other Departments and disciplines within the university, in order to create an interdisciplinary work. The products of all these works are generally presented at the New Music at Southern concert series.

For information on the program please contact Program Director Dr. Martín Gendelman.

The M.M. in Composition allows students to work extensively with a teacher/mentor in broadening their portfolio of compositions in a variety of genres and styles. Students take supporting courses in music technology, advanced analysis, and the history of music. The capstone is a full solo recital involving many different types of soloists, ensembles, and media. Students may elect to do considerable work in the Department’s Electronic and Digital Music Studio.

The On The Verge concert series brings outstanding composers and performers to Georgia Southern for concerts and masterclasses.

New Music at Southern Facebook Page.


A vital part of the Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music at Georgia Southern, the Music Theory area focuses on furnishing undergraduate music majors with excellent written, aural, and analytical skills.

The Music Theory Sequence (which includes Theory, Ear Training, and Sight Singing courses) provides the students with a theoretical and a practical understanding of the elements of music. It also provides the basis for a solid musicianship, which students are encouraged and expected to cultivate and grow throughout their professional lives. Analytical Techniques offers an opportunity for students to understand the elements previously mentioned in a variety of contexts, making the previous sequence deeply meaningful.  All music majors are required to take the sequence during the first four semesters of their degrees.

In addition to the courses for music majors, the Music Theory area also offers two courses in Music Fundamentals for students who are not seeking a music degree but have, nonetheless, an interesting in understanding the basic mechanics of music.

Music Theory Links

Diagnostic and Placement Exams for Undergraduates
Entrance Exams for Graduate Students


Dr. Martín Gendelman, Theory/Composition Area Head
Dr. Martín Gendelman, Theory/Composition Area Head
Dr. Stephanie Furry Mason
Dr. Stephanie Furry Mason
Dr. Stephen Primatic
Dr. Stephen Primatic
Dr. John Thompson
Dr. John Thompson

Dr. Russell Brown

Last updated: 7/31/2023