Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

MMus Critical and Experimental Composition

Work with internationally recognised composers to develop your compositional voice through experimentation and critical evaluation of your processes and assumptions.


This MMus gives you opportunities to develop your compositional creativity and technical fluency to an advanced level under the guidance of our expert staff, all of whom are experienced and active composers. The diversity within our composition staff enables us to support a broad range of critical and experimental approaches to acoustic and electroacoustic composition, and to the intersections of these aesthetics.

The course facilitates rigorous study of fundamental principles in the field of musical composition alongside exploration of aesthetic theory to help you understand and develop your compositional voice. Your major project will be a portfolio of original compositions, and you can also pursue an optional module in another area of music such as musicology, music psychology, performance, or electronic and computer music.

There are opportunities to try out new work, both formally and informally, and the School of Music’s contemporary-music ensemble, LSTwo, often includes student compositions within its repertoire. The School enjoys a significant reputation for performance studies and a lively and full concert diary, much of which will provide useful material for study by students on this course.

Key Staff

Dr Scott Mc Laughlin (Programme Leader)
Research Interests: Materiality and material-agency; Experimental Music; Spectral music; Microtonality; Repetition, reductionism, ambiguity/perception; Emergent and self-­organising musical structures; Interactivity and game mechanics in music

Dr Mic Spencer
Research Interests: Composition (including improvisation, notational issues, linearity/non-linearity, narratives, experimental music); The music of Dillon, Feldman, Ferneyhough, Hespos, Lachenmann, Maxwell Davies, Spahlinger, Xenakis; Aesthetics of New Music; Performance practice of new music; Micro-tonal tuning systems

Dr Ewan Stefani
Research Interests: Computer and audiovisual music composition; Free improvisation, particularly using electronic instruments; Sound in space and acousmatic sound theatre; Experimental audiovisual performance practice

Dr Matthew Pritchard
Research Interests: History of modern music aesthetics, especially in Germany; History of (esp. motivic) analysis and theories of melody; Music of Bengal

Programme Information and Composition Activity

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