Wayne State University


Contact: Jonathan Anderson
(313) 577-9692 jon.anderson@wayne.edu

Applicants to the Bachelor of Music in Composition program should submit a portfolio of 2-4 compositions in contrasting styles. These must be provided in hard-copy and bound. In addition, please submit a list of completed compositions (including date composed, instrumentation, duration, and performances received). Please include recordings of the compositions (live recordings preferred, but MIDI versions are also acceptable). These should be submitted on one audio CD with a provided track list on the CD case. Send to Dept. of Music Attn: Prof. Jon Anderson.

All music composition applicants must complete the following:
1) an audition on their primary instrument or voice
2) an interview with Professor Jon Anderson where you will present 2-4 compositions in contrasting styles and your list of completed compositions. 
3) complete the Music Theory Placement Exam 

Brass and Woodwind Principal
•    All Major, minor, and chromatic scales throughout the range of the instrument
•    Two prepared selections in contrasting tempo and historical styles:  Selections can be chosen from:  etudes, solo works, single movements of concertos, sonatas, suites, etc.
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination

Percussion Principal 
Demonstrate percussion skills on snare drum, marimba or xylophone, and timpani, as follows:
Snare drum:
•    Long roll, open-closed-open, pp-ff-pp
•    5,7,9,13,17-stroke rolls
•    Flams, flam accent no. 1 & 2, ruff, paradiddles,ratamaque, flam tap
•    Sight reading
•    Solo piece (non-rudimental)

Marimba or xylophone: 
•    Major scales, two octaves, keys of C, F, G, D, E, A, Bb, Eb, Ab
•    Chromatic scale
•    Major and minor arpeggios, two octaves, for each of above keys
•    Sight reading
•    Three or four-mallet solo

•    For two drums, tune major 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths; minor 3rds, 6ths; octaves
•    Perform page 19 in the Goodman Timpani Method plus any two exercises for two or three drums
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination

Strings Principal
Violin, Viola and Cello:
•    One 3-octave major and one melodic minor scale, with arpeggios
•    One movement from solo Bach sonatas and partitas
•    An etude of applicant's choice
•    One concerto movement or single-movement solo piece
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination

•    One 2-octave major and one melodic minor scales, with arpeggios
•    One movement of solo Bach or an etude of applicant's choice
•    One concerto movement or single-movement solo piece
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination

Scales and arpeggios (or representative etudes)
•    Two prepared solos in contrasting musical styles
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination

Piano, Guitar, or Organ Principal
•   Chromatic scale, major and minor scales and arpeggios, four octaves
•   Two prepared pieces in contrasting styles. The minimum acceptable level is early intermediate, standard compositions such as Bach, Little Preludes; Clementi, Sonatinas; Kuhlau, Sonatinas; short character pieces of the 19th and 20th centuries. “Self-composed” works are not acceptable for audition repertoire.
•   Sight reading of a simple piece
•   Theory placement examination

Applicants should demonstrate technical ability consistent with the satisfactory completion of method books such as Frederick Noad: Book 1 - Solo Guitar Playing, Julio Sagreras Book 1, or similar methods.
•    Major and minor scales in several positions
•    Demonstrate knowledge of chord types in several positions
•    Perform, from memory, studies and/or etudes such as those by Aguado, Brouwer, Carcassi, Giuliani, Sor, and Tarrega
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination

•    Two prepared pieces in contrasting musical style, performed on either organ or piano
•   For organ, selections should be at the level of J.S. Bach's simpler Preludes or standard hymns
•   For piano, selections should be at the level of Bach's two-part Inventions or a simpler sonata by Mozart
•   Chromatic, major and minor scales and arpeggios, two octaves (piano only)
•   Sight reading of hymns (organ only)

Voice Principal 
•    Two prepared pieces in different historical and contrasting styles, one English art song and one foreign language art song (preferably Italian); an aria or other appropriate song may be substituted for the second song
•    Students must have piano accompaniment for their repertoire in the correct key
•    Scores must be legible and accessible
•    No recorded accompaniments
•    Music must be memorized
•    Sight reading
•    Theory placement examination

Jazz Principal 
All jazz instrumentalists (Auditioning students must bring 3 copies of sheet music for rhythm section)
•    major and minor scales
•    one prepared jazz piece (applicant's choice, no self composed pieces)
•    sight reading
•    improvisation

Additional Requirements for: 
Drummers (full set):
•   demonstrate ability to play different styles - bossa nova, Latin, jazz waltz, straight time, contemporary pop styles
•   demonstrate reading abiity

Guitar or Bass (electric or acoustic):
•   read chord symbols

Keyboard, woodwind, and brass players:
•   demonstrate technical ability and range

For more information on the Bachelor of Music in Composition, click here