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Program of study

Program of study, curriculum and entrance requirements

Studies in composition are offered as Bachelor's and Master's programs. As of 2022 a postgraduate Meisterschüler*in is also offered. International applicants are kindly reminded to take note of the requirement to provide a certification of their German language level to be considered for the entrance examination.



The Bachelors study is an eight-semester program focussing in the first four on fundamentals: instrumentation, stylistic techniques, acoustics, compositional analysis and structural hearing. From the fifth semester onward the discovery and development of personal means of musical expression become central: exploring electroacoustic music, intonation / tone systems, intermedial composition, experimental music, new music theater, among other topics.


The Masters study is a four-semester program and requires completion of a portfolio of work including a substantial thesis in German or English based on researching and analysing an existing work of another composer. It may, if desired, explore a specific focus theme related to intonation research / microtonal composition, compositional theory, experimental music theater, or sound organisation.

Intonation research and microtonal composition
Acoustics and psychoacoustics applied in compositional practice and in the creation of sound-based artworks. Acoustic and electronic sound experimentation; practical work in collaboration with instrumentalists. Training the ability to realise complex harmonic structures, implementing microtonal harmony based on the tuneable limits of extended just intonation with acoustic and electronic instruments.

Composition theory
The history of composition may be seen as a history of problems. Changes of compositional thinking, offering provisional "solutions" to "problems" which constantly arise in new forms, are followed and critically examined from historical, systematic, analytic and practical perspectives. Mastery of research methods, strategies, and means of argumentation. The history and systematic approaches of "Musiktheorie", fundamentals of tone systems and their historical implementations, counterpoint, Generalbass, arisal and principles of the tempered harmonic system of tonality, harmony in new music, construction and deconstruction in music of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Experimental music theater
Study of a main instrument to a performing level with focus on contemporary playing techniques and experimental transmedial forms of performance. Fundamentals of body and voice work, body-work as basis for a successful implementation of the voice. Theater history and theory with special attention to contemporary experimental music theater. Fundamentals of dramaturgy and intermedial collaboration. Independent completion of a project in the medium of new music theater, supported by a mentor.

Sound organisation
Theory and practice of electroacoustic processes: fundamentals of electroacoustic methods, recording, processing, AD/DA conversion, editing, protocols, fundamentals of digital music production, synthesis techniques and models. Knowledge of the history of electroacoustic music, computer music, and sound art. Theory and practice of sound art: space and time theory. Introduction to the analysis, conception and realisation of space and time-based artistic production processes.

Meisterschüler*in (NEW!)

Komposition Meisterschüler*in

The Meisterschüler*in program in Composition is a postgraduate degree with the following prerequisites: a completed Master's degree and a demonstration of exceptional and developed artistic ability. The studies are intended as a bridge to professional practice, and focus on individual mentorship in conjunction with self-directed artistic projects. To complete the degree candidates are required to present original work in the form of a concert or equivalent intermedial formats (installtion, exhibition, etc.).

Application deadline: 15th of March - 14th of April

Applications are only accepted within the application period.

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