Music Composition | Pepperdine University | Seaver College

Music Composition

In addition to the core curriculum of the music major, the Composition emphasis at Pepperdine University combines training in music theory and analysis praxes as well as a strong element of music composition.

Essential to the curriculum are private composition lessons with the faculty composer. Composition students are also given valuable training in studio techniques, electronic music composition, Finale, conducting and counterpoint. A final composition recital of chamber music written by the student provides the capstone experience for the major.

Our Composition and Theory Graduates

After receiving the B.A. in Music with an emphasis in Composition, many of our students have gone on to graduate programs in music theory or composition. With their training in analysis, composition, notation and technical skills, our students are well equipped for the challenges of graduate school.

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New Music

In support of all students who are enrolled in private composition lessons, a new music ensemble of student instrumentalists and singers is assembled to perform concerts of new works. A culture of volunteer support for new music is fostered throughout the department giving all of our composition students the valuable experience of organizing and directing their own rehearsals and concerts. All new music events are under the supervision of the faculty in the theory-composition program. Collegium Musicum Novum concerts are performed in Raitt Recital Hall or in the newly renovated Stauffer Chapel.

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Composition and Theory Faculty

Gary Cobb, Professor of Music

N. Lincoln Hanks, Associate Professor of Music

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Application/Audition Information

All prospective students must apply for acceptance to Pepperdine University. For Seaver College admission information, go to:

To be considered for acceptance into the music program, all prospective students, regardless of desired emphasis, must audition on their primary instrument or as a singer. Auditions are held in January and February.

To schedule an audition, please call (310) 506-4111 or email

For Music Department application and audition information, go to:

Additional materials are required for the music theory and composition program:

All prospective composition students must submit a portfolio containing two or three scores of their original compositions. Scores should be properly bound with a front and back cover, and the front should clearly indicate the title of the work and applicant's full name. A CD recording of the submitted works is appreciated but not required. Do not send originals, as the submitted materials will not be returned. When you come to the Department of Music for your performance audition, you will also be scheduled for an interview with a member of the composition faculty. Admission into the Music Composition program is subject to a successful audition in your major performing medium, interview and the approval of the portfolio by the composition faculty. In the Application to the Department of Music, be sure to include a reference list and letters of recommendation from professional music teachers familiar with your composed works and overall musicianship.please send all audition and application material to:

Fine Arts Admissions Office
c/o: Dr. N. Lincoln Hanks
Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263-4462

Specific questions may be directed to:

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