Composition and Music Technology

A wide range of acoustic and electroacoustic composition classes are taught at the University of Montana by Dr. Bryan Kostors as a part of the Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Arts, and Master of Music degrees in Composition. We are the only accredited composition program in the state of Montana.

In classes and lessons, students are encouraged to write music that interests and excites them, while they develop their compositional craft and learn new techniques and technologies.


  • Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Music, Specialization in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music in Composition
  • Master of Music, with Emphasis in Composition

Composition Courses

In MUSI 180: Composition I, students begin working with scales, chords, and rhythms to build melodies and harmonies into pieces for solo instruments, duos, trios, and quartets.

In MUSI 280: Composition II, students write for larger ensembles in longer forms, developing their compositional skills and style.

In private composition lessons, MUSI 380 and 480, students are encouraged to explore new compositional techniques and deepen their personal style, eventually writing for large chamber ensembles, orchestra, band, and choir, and presenting a full recital of their compositions during their senior year.

In MUSI 559: Composition, graduate students have the opportunity to work intensively on advanced studies in composition. They conclude their degree by completing MUSI 593, Professional Project.

MUSI 407: Counterpoint, and MUSI 440: Orchestration are also offered as a part of the composition curriculum.

Music Technology Courses

The Music Technology curriculum includes four classes in computer music composition. There are also additional “special topics” courses offered each year, covering areas such as studio recording.

MUST 110: Digital Audio and Multi-tracking
MUST 210: Sequencing, Synthesis, and Sampling
MUST 310: Interactivity and Digital Signal Processing
MUST 410: Computer Music Programming

Concerts, Special Events, and Performance Opportunities

In the spring, all composition students have their pieces performed and critiqued during Composers Showcase, programmed alongside work by a visiting guest composer. In the fall, students have their pieces performed at New Music Missoula.

Additional Opportunities

UM composition and music technology students have the opportunity to participate as performers, composers, and recording engineers on our recording projects, released on Squirrel Records.