The Composition Program prepares students for a professional career as a composer by equipping them with fundamental skills and a deep knowledge of concert music of the twentieth century through to the present. Each student is encouraged to explore and develop their own individual approach to musical expression and technique, with the composition teacher providing appropriate grounding in relevant repertoire and concepts. Masterclasses with distinguished visiting composers and performers serve to broaden the student’s perspective on compositional practice, and frequent concerts and workshops with resident ensemble Hezarfen provide the opportunity to build a strong portfolio.
The composition curriculum is focused around weekly lessons with composition faculty. In these intensive one-to-one sessions each student is encouraged to explore their own individual approach to musical expression and technique in order to develop an authentic artistic practice. The lessons also focus on fundamental skills such as effective notation, advanced instrumentation, critical listening, and extensive analysis of contemporary repertoire. The core courses, Post-tonal Analysis, Recent Trends in Composition, and Advanced Orchestration impart a comprehensive knowledge of concert music in the twentieth century through to the present. Other electives include electronic music or mixed media composition.
The final portfolio for the Master's degree is a substantial work of twenty minutes duration (if scored for chamber ensemble or electronic medium) or ten minutes (in the case of orchestral works). Students should also submit an academic paper of around 35 pages in length. The dissertation for the Doctorate must be a major work of minimum thirty minutes duration (if scored for chamber ensemble or electronic medium) or twenty minutes (in the case of orchestral works), in addition to a written thesis.
The Masters of Music program at MIAM allows students to choose a focus in Conducting, which includes the study of both Orchestral and Choral techniques. Special auditions requirements for conducting include a full CV, and a video of the applicant conducting (camera facing the side, or front the conductor). All applicants are required to conduct movements one and two of “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” by Mozart during the interview (piano arrangement).The Conducting focus requires that the student take a minimum of three courses in conducting during the three semesters following the preparatory semester at MIAM. All conducting students are required to take the Basic Conducting Techniques course during the preparatory semester. Following that, students will take Conducting 1, Conducting 2, and Conducting 3. Students are suggested to choose suitable courses as electives during the Master’s program, which can be done in consultation with the instructor.
Conducting 1 is the study of Orchestral Conducting Techniques, using the conductor’s baton. Various skills are developed following the Basic Conducting Techniques course, including a further study of articulation, dynamics, tempi, and beat patterns of 6/8, and compound meters such as 5/4, 9/8, and 7/4. Also included in this course is a study of one of the early Beethoven symphonies, where the skills mentioned above will be used in a performance at the end of the semester.
Conducting 2 focuses on Choral Conducting techniques, as well as ensemble management skills and basic vocal techniques. Different types of cues are studied, as well as the various techniques used in rehearsal with amateur vocal ensembles. Repertoire for the course is chosen from the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods, and reflects some of the different styles of music required to be learned by the modern choral conductor.
Conducting 3 is an advanced course that assists the student in preparing for the second and final recital. This may include both choral and instrumental conducting based on discussion between the instructor and the student. Advanced score study techniques are examined, as well as hyper-metrical conducting and an advanced level of baton/open hand technique.
The Final Project for the Conducting Focus at MIAM requires that the student submit both a written paper and complete a full conducting recital (the second of two). The paper is a Master’s thesis, of approximately 30 pages of text, which may or may not be directly connected to the recital.
Ethnomusicology developed from the need for scholarly techniques to describe, analyze, and contextualize musics from outside the Eurogenetic art tradition. In the 21st century, it now encompasses studies of the Eurogenetic art tradition itself, bad music, jazz, popular musics, and music*, —in other words, all of the world’s musics. It has grown from a splinter group of musicology to a major force in the study of music and humanity, with scholars working in more than 100 countries, and a dozen journals included in the Thomson-Reuters Arts & Humanities Citation Index. While originally focusing on the analysis of sounds, today’s ethnomusicologists embrace the interdisciplinarity that defines our era. Thus, ethnomusicology plays an increasingly important role in understanding cultures, media, and peoples. To this end, ethnomusicologists may draw from the latest insights in anthropology, biology, critical studies, history, information retrieval, medicine, psychology, etc.
The core of MIAM’s Master’s program comprises four courses: Introduction to Ethnomusicology, Foundations of Ethnomusicology, Analysis and Transcription, and Fieldwork Methods. Doctoral students who enter the program without a degree in ethnomusicology must take these courses or demonstrate mastery of them to the satisfaction of the faculty. Other courses include a variety of topical seminars, surveys by continent, topics in Turkish music, and Critical Perspectives in Ethnomusicology (Doctoral level only). In addition, all Master’s students regardless of their area of concentration must take the one-semester course, Musics of the World.
*music? = animal communication, artificial-intelligence/robot music, phonetics,??, silent musics, sound studies, etc.
The global music industry has developed in various areas such as music technology, music distribution, merchandising, and web-based direct marketing, etc. With the technological advancements come the complex marketing mechanisms, market penetration strategies, event management, public relations and advertising tactics, new artist management systems, and sales/distribution methods. MIAM also concentrates heavily on advanced music management, publishing and A&R (artist and repertoire) systems in order to adapt to an ever-changing global multi-billion-dollar music industry. With this concentration, MIAM provides advanced studies and research in global and local music business and management.
The course Introduction to Music Business & Management (compulsory for all Masters students) provides an overview of the topics listed above. As the courses advance, students gain experience in studio productions, internships, and event organizations. MIAM’s aim is to prepare artistically conscious music business professionals (who understand music in all its stylistic aspects) rather than marketing specialists driven purely by commercial interests. New methods in music business and management are researched constantly in order to provide students with up-to-date information and a focus to generate a musically sound business approach.
The Music Theory faculty at MIAM serve all MIAM students, as well as those to whom music theory is a specialisation. Aside from fundamental techniques, MIAM Theory majors master the most current analytical methodologies in which a multidisciplinary, musicological approach, is foregrounded, thus encompassing structural as well as poststructural musical analysis. The focus of the Music Theory program is to enable graduate students to produce scholarship of the highest professional level. To this end those choosing a Music Theory concentration are guided in a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of analytical tools, not only in the common practice era, but also in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as in music of other eras, if so desired.
Basic theoretical training for Masters-level students consists of two compulsory courses: Introduction to Music Theory, which is an intensive course in writing tonal harmony; and either Eurogenetic Music Theory, which focuses on classical form and analysis, or World Music Theory, which takes a broad approach to the field of musical analysis, incorporating several other traditions of music from different cultures and cultural milieus. Specialised courses for Music Theory majors include Advanced Post-Tonal Theory, Schenkerian Analysis, and diverse analytical topics such as Chromatic Harmony or Period Performance Practice. Courses are also occasionally offered on one particular composer, school of composition or historical period. Students may take independent study to explore individual areas of interest in detail with a tutor. The coursework serves ultimately as preparation for student’s final project or thesis, which is expected to represent an original contribution of relevance to the field. Excellence in the applied skills of music theoretical study, such as ear-training, tonal writing and critical listening are an important part of the Masters music theory specialisation, and are a prerequisite for the successful completion of the music theory specialisation at the doctoral level.
Musicology is taught at İTÜ MIAM both as a specialized concentration, and in the form of preparatory, compulsory, and elective courses. In the preparatory and compulsory courses, all students are exposed to a chronologically organized survey of Western music, trained in critical listening, and introduced to key concepts in the periodization of music history and its cultural contexts. In-depth elective courses are offered on particular genres (such as symphony and opera), on periods and/or repertoires (such as ancient musics, Renaissance music, American music, and twentieth-century music), and on particular methodologies (such as semiotics). For students specializing in the field, some in-depth courses provide essential training in research methodology, source studies and editing techniques, advanced bibliography, and critical concepts. Students also have the option of pursuing an independent study with the professor of their choice. The final project/thesis is intended to present an original contribution to the field with a topic approved by the student’s advisor.
The aim of the Performance area at MIAM, within both the Master’s and Doctoral curricula, is to prepare musically sophisticated, knowledgeable and intellectually aware musicians, well versed in both the academic aspects of music generally and the repertoire of their chosen instrument. To that end, in addition to individual weekly lessons and participation in coached chamber ensembles, students are required to take core courses in the areas of musicology and music theory among others, to develop their musicianship. Master’s students are required to give one half and one full recital. Doctoral students are required to give two full recitals and a lecture recital, the latter to be presented at the doctoral dissertation stage. The instruments that are currently offered at MIAM include piano, violin, cello, flute, percussion, guitar and voice. Other orchestral instruments and Turkish folk and art music instruments may also be offered depending on the availability of teaching staff.
The program in Sonic Arts is aimed at digital musicians, sound artists, and composers working with materials outside of traditional Western notation and instruments. Current areas of interest include electroacoustic music, mixed media composition, sound art installation concept and design, live laptop performance, interactive improvisation with computers and live performers, and multimedia composition.
Providing opportunities for public performance and engagement outside of the classroom are central concerns of the Sonic Arts program. Classes with a creative focus include frequent opportunities for public presentation of classwork in either a concert or exhibition setting. There are also additional opportunities to participate in off-campus concerts and events.
The curriculum is designed to give students a broad knowledge of current developments and historical trends in electroacoustic music and sound art. All students take core classes in aspects of electronic music composition, history, audio programming, and multimedia design. The students can supplement the core classes with a number of electives including Mixed Electroacoustic Composition, Sound Studies, or individual composition lessons and research topics.
The final project or thesis for the Master’s program is a portfolio of sound compositions of not less than 30 minutes, or sound art project of comparable scale. In addition students must submit a research paper of publishable quality. For PhD candidates, a larger research project and dissertation are developed in consultation with faculty following successful completion of the qualifying examinations.
The concentration in Sound Engineering and Design (SED) is unique in that it seeks to address the technical, commercial, and musical aspects of the discipline in equal measure. The scope of this objective is reflected in the diversity of the MIAM curriculum, which requires students to complete courses from every concentration area in addition to their own courses. Students graduating from the Masters program thus possess not only a comprehensive and up-to-the-minute grasp of all relevant practical and theoretical issues but also a refined creative sensibility and a subtle understanding of the global and domestic music industry across multiple genres. This distinguishing educational aspect of the program strives to create a musical foundation which in turn enables the students to make informed decisions about their music production decisions in the future. The opportunity for the students to work as both assistants and in some cases primary engineers at MIAM's recording studios during their studies is one of the most invaluable aspects of the program. These recording and mixing experiences compel the students to prepare different recording setups, mixes and masters for various genres and ensembles.
The core of the MIAM SED program consists of the following four courses: Studio Practices, Multitrack Recording and Mixing, Advanced Mixing and Mastering. However, the students are encouraged to expand their sonic knowledge by taking courses of their interest, such as Computer Music, Audio Programming and Classical Production.