The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music offers one of Australia’s most innovative and comprehensive music composition programs, embracing many of today’s approaches to music-making: studio-based composition, chamber composition, community composition, jazz composition, composition for film and television, experimental composition and sound art. Our composition students are part of a lively, creative community that investigates music through traditional approaches and new technologies.
Opportunities for our composers include performance residencies with leading local and international performers as well as the Monash New Music Ensemble under the direction of Tristram Williams. Our composition students develop their original work under the guidance of active and well-established composers. Visiting practitioners of new music present their approaches and methods in weekly composition seminars.
Music composition is a specialisation in our Bachelor of Music and related double degrees. At the graduate level the School offers a Research Masters and a Doctor of Philosophy in music composition. The School conceives of music composition as an art form embracing any musical style, and as a form of research characterised by exploration and reflective practice.
Our Creative Community
A vibrant and creative composing community has evolved in the School that includes composers working in many areas of music. This highlights our approach that allows for expression and exploration in a wide range of musical styles and genres. Staff and students in the composition program are involved in many projects, and present their work in the wider community. Types of works created and performed in the School include:
- notated compositions for solo instruments, chamber groups and large ensembles
- electronic works for spatialised sound
- computer-generated compositions (including the creation of software with Max/MSP and Pd)
- music for film, dance and drama productions
- improvisation-based works
- sound installations
- works that combine the above
Activities of composition students include the collaboration with performance ensembles and individual performers within the School. The School aims at the integration of composition, music studies and performance, and encourages a high level of creative interaction among students and staff.
Melbourne trombonist James Macaulay has taken out top honours at the 2017 National Jazz Awards, with trumpeter Niran Dasika as runner up. Both are graduates of the Sir Zelman Cohen School of Music. Current... Read more
Finalists for the Australian Music Centre's 2017 Art Music Awards were announced last week, and staff and students from Monash University's Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music feature heavily.... Read more
German conductor and composer Jobst Liebrecht has been invited by the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music to present his second composition residency program. This follows his successful first residency... Read more
2016 has marked the beginning of a collaboration between the MSO and Monash University with the introduction of the Pizzicato Effect Prize for Composition. The Pizzicato Effect is the Melbourne... Read more
Professor Paul Grabowsky and the Monash Art Ensemble, in collaboration with David Yipininy Wilfred, the traditional djunggayi (manager) of the manikay of the country of Nyilipidgi, and his brother... Read more
Finalists for the Australian Music Centre‘s 2016 Art Music Awards were announced last week, with staff and students from Monash University's Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music featuring heavily.... Read more