Composition (P0215D310009)

Type of programme Mode of study Profile of the programme Standard study length Language Instruction Department
PhD Programme full-time
3 years English Composition Department

Guarantor of study programme

Michal RATAJ

Members of qualification board



Hanuš BARTOŇ, Slavomír HOŘÍNKA, Ivan KURZ, Luboš MRKVIČKA, Michal NEJTEK, Michal RATAJ

Programme objectives

Development of the student's compositional skills, focused on the individuality of their own compositional style and artistic, aesthetic and cultural perspective;

Deepening knowledge of contemporary music and its application to their own compositions, as well as the historical continuity of the field of study;

Improvement of the ability to reflect theoretically on their own field and acquiring skills leading to the engagement of their own theoretical results within the broader professional discourse;

Acquiring a rigorous knowledge of research methodologies, particularly in the field of artistic research, and the ability to relate this to one's own artistic practice, becoming familiar with current publishing methods and gaining experience with creative and research grants;

Improved communication skills, enabling pedagogical practice in the highly specialised and demanding disciplines of composition and theory;

Gaining experience and knowledge in the organisation of musical life, the promotion of contemporary music and the presentation of one's own work, including the ability to apply related legal standards;

Overall strengthening of the ability to navigate interdisciplinary relationships.

Profile of a programme graduate

The graduate is an independent creative personality with their own opinion on the issues of contemporary music and the ability to defend them within the discipline’s discourse; they have a versatile compositional technique and an original, integral and distinctive style.


Professional Skills:

General competences

Rules and requirements for creating study plans

The doctoral student is guided to independent intensive study at the intersection of contemporary music composition and its broad theoretical contexts.

The study has two equivalent components: artistic (music composition) and theoretical, focused on research in the field of composition theory, each representing 50% of the programme in either full-time or combined study.

The content of the artistic component of the study and dissertation is the creation of a major musical work in symphonic, operatic, stage, electroacoustic, intermedia or other equivalent composition.

The topic of the theoretical section of the study and the textual component of the dissertation is contemporary music production viewed primarily from the perspective of composition theory or its aesthetic or historical aspects. In terms of composition and technical content, the artistic component is assumed to be related to the theoretical and research component of the dissertation.

In addition to the main artistic dissertation task, it is assumed the student will create and perform several other compositions loosely connected to the issues of the main work. These other works can be performed within the framework of the concerts of the Department of Composition. The doctoral student's own dramaturgical, organisational and grant initiatives are also expected. Continuous artistic outputs are a compulsory element of the study, as are continuous theoretical outputs.

The doctoral student follows an individual study plan based on the framework study plan.

A full-time doctoral student is usually entrusted with a selected teaching task in the field of additional composition disciplines. They may also be entrusted with organisational activities related to the artistic and scientific activities of the Department of Composition. An active approach to building a community within the discipline is expected.

Full-time study implies, in addition to the doctoral student's own artistic and research activities based on their individual study plan, close involvement in the artistic, research and teaching activities of the Department of Composition. A full-time doctoral student is usually entrusted with tasks in accordance with their artistic and research focus. This is usually a contribution to the teaching of technical-composition courses, but may also include other activities beneficial to the department. In addition, independent grant activity is expected, focusing on artistic and research projects. A project with an international scope is a mandatory part of the individual plan. The PhD student's studies are evaluated annually by the departmental board before the beginning of the winter semester. The evaluation takes the form of an interview. The departmental board primarily evaluates the consistency of the individual study plan and its actual implementation.

In the combined form of study, emphasis is placed on study, research and artistic tasks according to the individual plan. Other activities of the doctoral student are voluntary.

The requirements for the level of professional activity are identical in both forms of study in terms of content and demands.

The study obligations for all doctoral students are governed by the framework curriculum. Unless otherwise stated, courses may be taken at any time during the period of study. This is subsequently specified in the individual study plan.

Draft framework study plan:


Dissertation Artistic Work 1 --- credit --- 10

Dissertation Artistic Work 2 --- credit --- 10

Dissertation Artistic Work 3 --- credit --- 20

Dissertation Thesis 1 --- credit --- 10

Dissertation Thesis 2 --- credit --- 10

Dissertation Thesis 3 --- credit --- 20

Academic skills I: Academic Writing (compulsory in the first year of study) --- examination --- 6

Critical Reading (compulsory in SS of the 1st year of study) --- exam --- 10

Selected Lecture For Doctoral Students --- credit --- 10

Academic Writing / Conference Paper 1 --- credit --- 10

Academic Writing / Conference Paper 2 --- credit --- 10

Dissertation Seminar 1 --- credit --- 5

Dissertation Seminar 2 --- credit --- 6

Doctoral Composition Seminar 1 --- credit --- 6

Doctoral Composition Seminar 2 --- credit --- 6

Doctoral Composition Seminar 3 --- credit --- 6

Primary Foreign Language --- exam --- 15

Secondary Foreign Language --- exam --- 10


Detailed descriptions of the individual courses and the resulting certifications are included in the respective course cards.

The individual study plan is created at the beginning of studies and is based on the submitted research project of the PhD student. It regulates the specific timetable of work on the theoretical and practical components of the dissertation, specifies the time distribution of study obligations and the specific content of the framework courses (selection of foreign languages, specialised lectures). The individual study plan is approved by the departmental board which annually verifies its implementation, potentially approving required changes.


The main creative output is the compositional component of the dissertation, which forms an integral part of the defence. The creation and performance of other compositions during the study is expected. Their form, scope and method of presentation are determined by the individual study plan. These compositions are usually related to the research and artistic focus of the study. Through their compositional practice, doctoral students are an active part of the music scene both nationally and internationally.


Beyond the curriculum, the doctoral student actively participates in theoretical discourse in an interdisciplinary context across the university and with related disciplines outside the university. Active participation in doctoral and public conferences within the discipline at home and abroad is highly encouraged and is usually subject to institutional support.


A project with an international scope is a mandatory aspect of each individual plan. This may be the completion of a study internship, the organisation of an international reciprocal event in composition, concert and research, the organisation of bilateral or multilateral lecture series or teaching visits, or an event combining these aspects. In the past, students have completed study placements that have deepened their artistic and professional erudition, but have also led to the establishment of valuable contacts abroad. They have ultimately resulted in the realisation of significant compositional and concert activities and the establishment of more lasting collaborations between institutions and individuals.


The textual segment of the thesis and its scores are stored in the HAMU library and available as PDFs upon request. Recordings of the artistic compositions are in the archives of HAMU and the Department of Composition at HAMU. Information and testimonials are also available online by logging into the HAMU system:

Compositional segment of the dissertation: Plainte; Into these worldless houses; Proxies for totems of belonging

Textual segment of the dissertation: The Noise–Pitch Continuum in Timbral Music

Compositional segment of the dissertation: Kwadian; Svídna; PET(m)use

Textual segment of the dissertation: Visual music.

Compositional segment of the dissertation: Mystery Of a Bar.

Textual segment of the dissertation: Real-time composition

Compositional segment of the dissertation: Intermedia composition

Textual segment of the dissertation: Bodily experience and human body as relationship of music and object

Compositional segment of the dissertation: Undulating Borders for cello and symphony orchestra

Textual segment of the dissertation: microinterval and its grasp within compositional thinking

Compositional segment of the dissertation: Sinfonietta

Textual segment of the dissertation: influence of synaesthesia on compositional thinking


Compositional segment of the dissertation: composition for piano, chamber ensemble and live electronics

Textual segment of the dissertation: Selected methods of real-time piano sound processing

Compositional segment of the dissertation: Site-specific opera / musical theatre

Textual segment of the dissertation: The use of site specificity in contemporary music drama works. Comparison of approaches and student’s own conception

Compositional segment of the dissertation: Concerto for newly created musical instrument and chamber ensemble

Textual segment of the dissertation: Examples of the establishment of new musical instruments in concert practice

General information about admission process

Education and experience requirements:

The entry requirements include adequate knowledge of English and another foreign world language, which the applicant must demonstrate by means of an examination before the interview. The required level and the group of languages that may be tested are regulated by the relevant Dean's Decree for each academic year.

The admission procedure is single-round. During the interview, the student will present a proposal for the PhD project, specifying their artistic, research and study preferences. It may focus on composing for acoustic instruments or the human voice, as well as on the use of contemporary technologies in composition and intersections between them. In the theoretical segment of the project, continuity with previous creative and research activities of the department is expected, but not required.

In particular, the PhD project will:

As part of the entrance examination, the applicant will submit and present representative examples of their previous compositional work (see the compulsory annex to the application form). They must also submit scores or a corresponding recording of the work (graphic, textual, etc.) and recordings of their works of up to 20 minutes. In addition, they will present a sample of their previous music-theoretical work to the selection committee in the form of a short presentation of up to 10 minutes.

Each year the Department may specify preferred areas for potential doctoral projects that reflect continuity with existing research areas in the Department of Composition.

Applicability to other types of academic programmes

The programme is designed as a postgraduate study of composition and its theoretical aspects. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the study, a connection to a broad portfolio of artistic and theoretical study programmes is considered. However, the admission of an applicant will be determined by the appropriate quality of the composition portfolio submitted and the relevance of the research project as specified in the admission requirements.

Parts of the state final examination and their contents

The organisation and conduct of the state doctoral examination is governed by the Study and Examination Regulations of AMU.

The state final examination consists of three parts:

In a composition-theoretical lecture of no more than 15 minutes, the doctoral candidate will demonstrate the ability to situate key composition-theoretical aspects of his/her dissertation research in contemporary music-theoretical discourse. The lecture may include a presentation, followed by a discussion between the doctoral candidate and the examining committee.

At least two peer reviews, one of which must be prepared by an external evaluator from outside the department, are the basis for the actual dissertation defense. In the defence, the doctoral candidate responds in a relevant manner to the comments made and defends the validity of his/her positions or brings them into line with the suggestions of the opponents. The professional level and relevance of the defence are an integral part of the state final examination.

The final evaluation is voted on by an examination committee appointed by the Dean on the basis of the recommendations of the opponents.

Other academic duties

A full-time student may be given pedagogical responsibility according to the needs of the composition department, typically compositon techniques, introductory disciplines or one-off thematic modules. He/she may also be entrusted with rather organisational tasks (organisation of concerts, international workshops, etc.).

Characterisation of professional practice


Anticipated job placement for graduates (typical employment)

Graduates of doctoral studies will be primarily employed:

Accreditation validity

Study programme valid from Study programme valid to
2023-04-20 2033-04-20

Programme study plans