The Composition-Theory Division is recognized internationally for its innovations, diversity, excellent instruction, and performance resources in contemporary art music. As one of the country's largest composition departments, it offers to students unusual opportunities for pursuing research and maintains high standards for the composition and performance of new music. The diverse backgrounds of the active composers in the Division contribute to a lively atmosphere of coordinated experimentation and sometimes controversial approaches to music problems and research. The result is a broad perspective in observing, understanding, and influencing the various states of the art on the current international scene. All three areas of study-the composition of music, the creation of theories of music, and the theory of creative music composition-are represented by teachers who themselves are actively involved in all aspects of these disciplines.
Electroacoustic music activities at the School of Music have earned the University of Illinois an international reputation as a leader in the field of contemporary music. Known for significant creative and technical developments in electronic and computer music composition, the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios (EMS), founded in 1958, were the first of their kind in the western hemisphere. Today EMS has ten specially designed studios for sound generation, processing, and recording. The EMS Computer Music Project (CMP), founded in 1984, offers a UNIX-based time-sharing system for the teaching of computer music and acoustics, promoting research in computer sound synthesis/analysis, computer-assisted composition, and music notation/printing. In addition to the Experimental Music Studios' facilities, the School of Music Computer-Assisted Music Instruction Lab (CAMIL) supports study of music composition, theory, history, education, and performance.
In an effort to provide a fertile ground for creativity and learning, the Division sponsors numerous new music concerts featuring works by students, faculty, and guests from the United States and abroad. A weekly Composers' Forum encourages students to exchange ideas with other students, performers, and guest composers. The Division also participates in the Midwestern Composers' Symposium, an annual event which allows students to disseminate and evaluate their work.
For more information, please visit the Composition-Theory Division website.