Composition and Sonic Arts

When you study Composition and Sonic Arts at Victoria, you will graduate with considerable technical command of compositional technique as well as broad historical, theoretical, and analytical knowledge of your discipline.

You have the choice of two specialisations for your studies, each providing you with the opportunity to develop your unique composition interests and talents.

  • Instrumental/Vocal Composition—the creation of original music through the medium of a notated score.
  • Sonic Arts—the creation of original music and sound art using digital music technology.

Students with talents in both areas may also complete both specialisations. Students wishing to take Instrumental/Vocal courses beyond first year must enrol in a Bachelor of Music degree. Students wishing to major in Sonic Arts and Music Technology courses may enrol in a Bachelor of Arts degree (Music major) or a Bachelor of Music degree.

Programme highlights

  • Supervision and mentoring by some of New Zealand's most renowned composers and sound artists.
  • The opportunity to work across a broad range of areas, with staff expertise in everything from orchestral composition to film scoring to multichannel live electronics to mechatronic sound sculptures.
  • Attend weekly composer workshops featuring national and international guests, staff seminars, and student performances.
  • Develop close working relationships between composition and performance students.
  • Submit works for the New Zealand String Quartet and Te Kōkī Trio workshops.
  • Take part in the NZSM Composers Competition, with prizes sponsored by the Lilburn Trust.
  • Collaborate with other creative arts disciplines in Wellington.
  • Be considered for a number of annual paid commissions with scheduled public performances.
  • Have works performed and recorded by the NZSM Orchestra.

For more details and full degree requirements, see the Bachelor of Music degree. For postgraduate degrees in Composition and Sonic Arts, see the Postgraduate study page.

See the performance opportunities available to NZSM students.

Take a look at photos from the NZSM Composition programme on our Flickr pages.


Our staff are some of New Zealand's best-known composers and sound-based artists, whose collective expertise covers all significant aspects of composition and sonic art. Here you can find a list of all Composition staff currently teaching at NZSM.