BM - Emphasis in Music Composition

In addition to core courses required of all Bachelor of Music students, Composition majors enroll in a five semester sequence of lessons (small group and private), as well as two semesters of Computer Composition. Related coursework required of Composition majors includes Orchestration, Counterpoint, and Form and Analysis. Throughout this course of study students create a portfolio of work demonstrating competency in a variety of instrumentation, genres, and forms. Composition students draw upon a deep pool of talented performers at UTA affording them an opportunity to hear and record their work. A Theory/Composition Lab is appointed with notation, recording and interactive computer software and relevant hardware. Composition majors present a recital of original work toward the end of their studies.


Dr. Elyse Kahler, D.M.A. from Texas Tech University (Music Composition)

Department of Music

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Composition Studies

Area: Music Composition

Elyse Kahler


Office: FA 307

Bio: Elyse Kahler is the Composition Studies Coordinator and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Kahler writes for a variety of ensembles and levels, and has particular interests in fun and engaging music for middle school students and inspiring music for the modern church. Recent projects include a commission from Tyler ISD for a scaled orchestra piece that beginners to seniors can play together, Forging Canyons for the International Clarinet Association conference, and Perspectives, a chamber work with dance and film in collaboration with Anne Wharton. A Thread of Hope for piano, a piece about climate change, was performed as part of Ann DuHamel's Prayers for a Feverish Planet project. Dr. Kahler research interests include methods to discuss the creative process with composition students and popular music analysis, specifically how unclear lyrics inform formal labels. During the summers, Dr. Kahler teaches music theory at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Interlochen, MI. For more information, please visit

Dr. Graham Hunt, Ph.D. Duke University

Department of Music

Associate Chair, Professor, Music Theory and Composition Area Coordinator

Area: Music Theory and Composition

Graham Hunt


Phone #: 817-272-2446

Office: FA 304

Bio: Graham Hunt is Professor of Musicology and Music Theory at the University of Texas at Arlington. He received his Ph.D. in Musicology from Duke University. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in music theory journals, including 2 articles in the most pre-eminent journal in the field of Music Theory, Music Theory Spectrum. He has also presented 5 times at the national meeting of the Society of Music Theory. He served as President of the Texas Society Music Theory from 2011-2014. He has given the keynote speech for the Oklahoma City University Theory Conference and has been a guest speaker at the Music Theory Lecture Series at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the University of Texas at Austin. He has published on subjects such as Wagner, Neo-Riemannian analysis, the Three-Key Exposition in Sonata forms, and, most recently, problematic rondo forms in Classical and 19th-Century finales, in journals such as Journal for Schenkerian Studies, Integral, Theory and Practice, 19th-Century Music Review, and Music Theory Spectrum. He was also selected to be the Grace and Joseph Valentine Visiting Professor at Amherst College (Massachusetts) in 2009. His latest research applies the groundbreaking theories of William Caplin, "Formal-Function Analysis," which was derived from the theories of Arnold Schoenberg to examine formal ambiguities that have previous defied traditional analytical interpretations, such as three-key expositions, truncated rondo forms, and opera arias, duets, and ensembles. Most recently, he was been invited to contribute a chapter to "Mozart Operas", a volume published by Leuven press, on Sonata forms in Mozart's operas, published an article in Music Analysis (published in the UK) on "Diverging Subordinate Themes" in sonata forms ranging from Scarlatti to Bruckner, and contributed a chapter to “Wagner studies” on formal functions of leitmotivs in Wagner’s opera Lohengrin. This November, he will present a paper on “Lesser, Redundant and Inconvenient Rondo Forms” at the national Society for Music Theory, which will be held virtually.