Master of Fine Arts in Electronic Music and Recording Media
The master of fine arts in electronic music and recording media keeps Mills at the forefront of new music. Directed by a core faculty of distinguished composers, this program welcomes composers and sound artists working with electronic music and electroacoustic media.
This innovative interdisciplinary program (housed in the internationally acclaimed Center for Contemporary Music) focuses on electronic and computer music, the recording arts, and experimental media. It offers courses in recording and mixing, digital and analog synthesis, music software design and programming, interactive music composition, video, and live electronic music performance. The program encourages interdisciplinary and collaborative works across disciplines, including dance, art, computer science, poetry, and literature. MFA students also have access to the facilities and curriculum of Art and Technology, which provides links for students and faculty from all the fine arts disciplines, as well as providing an undergraduate major.
The Music Department has also recently established an endowed residency in honor of the electronic music composer/performer David Tudor. Paul DeMarinis initiated this residency in 2000–01, followed by Maryanne Amacher, Steina Vasulka, Trimpin, Ron Kuivila, Jon Rose, Laetitia Sonami, Keith Rowe, Bob Ostertag, David Dunn, Ikue Mori, David Behrman, and Nic Collins.
The Center for Contemporary Music (CCM) also presents Songlines, a series of symposia on sound, nature, and new music technologies that brings together guest composers, performing artists, and researchers in an informal setting.
See KQED television's feature on CCM.
- To have a developed understanding of cultural, political, social, and intellectual issues in diverse contemporary and historical musical & sound art practices.
- To have distinctive creative ideas and the ability to realize them successfully on a professional level.
- To be able to critically analyze & clearly identify strengths and weaknesses in her/his own work, & the work of others.
- To be able to productively collaborate with others in professional contexts relating to her/his area of expertise.
- To demonstrate a technical mastery of her/his instrument or discipline, and a comprehensive knowledge of its styles and repertoire, past and present.
Two-year residency requirement during which all students must complete their degree.
Minimum of 48 semester course credits
Several concentrations are possible within this degree program:
- composition and performance utilizing electronic media;
- instrument building and systems design for interactive electronic music; and
- intermedia work based in music, but also involving a variety of other time-based forms, such as video, Internet, and installation-based works.
Classes in the Electronic Music and Recording Media Program take place in the studios of the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM), and students pursuing intermedia work may also enroll in IART 219 Electronic Arts and IART 220 Advanced Electronic Arts, which meet in the Prieto Multimedia Lab, as well as relevant courses in dance and video. Students should budget additionally for materials required for work in these media. An average of $600 per semester is required to cover costs for CDs, DVDs, storage devices, software, and electronic supplies.
|MUS 212||Seminar in 20th-Century Literature and Theory||4|
|or MUS 237||Seminar in Music Literature and Criticism|
|MUS 250||Thesis for the Master's Degree 1||4|
|MUS 251||Seminar in Computer Music 2||4|
|MUS 252||Seminar in Electronic Music Performance 2||4|
|MUS 291||Composition Seminar 2||4|
|MUS 205||Selected Issues in Composition||4|
|Select one course below:||4|
|Selected Issues in Contemporary Performance and Improvisation|
|Advanced Electronic Arts|
|Select one course below:||4|
|Contemporary Instrumentation and Orchestration|
|Advanced Audio Recording|
|Advanced Orchestration Seminar|
|Select two courses below:||4|
|Individual Instruction in Performance and Composition|
|Select 16 semester credits in electives, which may include appropriate 100- or 200-level courses in other departments. 2|
|The following undergraduate courses are open to graduate students as well:|
|20th-Century Styles and Techniques I: 1900–1945|
|Experimental Music: From 1952 to the Present|
|Women, Gender, and Musical Creativity|
|Studies in European Music and Culture to 1750|
|Classical and Romantic Music|
|Film Music: Mood and Meaning|
|The Music of India: Brahma to Bhangra|
|Introduction to Electronic Music|
|Introduction to Computer Music|
|Advanced Chromatic Harmony and Post-Tonal Theory|
|Seminar in Musical Performance, Composition, and Improvisation|
|The World of Opera|
|Special Topics in Music|
MUS 250 Thesis for the Master's Degree , which consists of a performance of a major work during the Signal Flow Graduate Thesis Festival, and a written thesis. Students meet regularly during their final semester with their faculty thesis director, and also consult with a faculty thesis reader on the development of their thesis.
First-Year Review: All Candidates
Students in all graduate music programs must demonstrate professional standards of achievement in the chosen field. At the end of the first year of residence (two semesters of full-time enrollment or its equivalent), students must submit a portfolio representing the work accomplished during the period of enrollment. Only after completion of a successful faculty review will the student be permitted to proceed with the second year of study.
Inquiries concerning any of these requirements should be addressed to the Music Department at 510.430.2171.