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New compositional techniques

The contact studies in new compositional techniques (Kontaktstudium Neue Kompositionstechnicken) is a one-year certificate program aimed at students interested in contemporary experimental music, with strong emphasis on analogue and live electronics, electronic music, computer-based composition (Max and Ableton Live) and microtonality. The students are encouraged to create their own pieces and publicly present them at least once per semester, in the scope of the accompanying festivals of new music in Lüneburg and Hamburg.

General Information

We accept students with musical background, either in theory, composition or in instrumental muci, as well as students with technical background and strong interest in experimental electronic music. The contact studies lie to the side of the Bologna system, and people who are currently studying or have already finished their bachelor or master’s degrees are welcome to join. To be accepted for the studies it is necessary to present 3 of your pieces and pass an interview.

The official language of the course is English, and the course takes place at the Hamburg University of Music and Theater and at the Advanced Education Center for New Music (Fortbildungszentrum für Neue Musik) in Lüneburg.

Course Structure

This certificate programme includes 220 learning units that are partly offered in the form of weekend seminars.

In our weekend seminars we work comprehensively with electronic music and live electronics. As a special section of composition, live electronics is mainly understood as practical discipline. The practical part is complemented by learning and discussing about the historical and theoretical background of electronic music and by listening to selected works from international electronic studios. These not only serve to inform our students about the many possibilities of electronic sound design, but are also meant to stimulate the fantasy and inventiveness of the participants. In the practical part we experiment with sounds using voice, acoustic instruments, or any of our analog and digital family of synthesizers, modulation and effect devices. After this test phase, we listen to our sounds together, discuss the results and develop individual or team projects. Once the projects have matured enough it’s time to consider different notation approaches, possibilities of alternate instrumentations and technical setups – all in preparation for the public performance.

Being a part of our course allows you not only to participate in most of our Master in Multimedia Composition courses, making it an ideal preparation for the prospective Master candidates, but also to take any of the group lessons offered by our university, allowing you to branch further into not so closely related fields, such as music therapy, free improvisation, theater and others. Our main contents, however, include basics of electronic music, theory and praxis of live electronics, computer-based composition, microtonality and basics, in theory and praxis, of studio and recording technology.

After successfully taking part of the course and presenting their pieces in our concerts, the participants are awarded a final certificate.


We have two entrance exams per year, i.e. once per semester.

The application deadline for the summer semester is January 10. and for the winter semester June 25.

Participation fees are 500€ per semester.


The course is led by Prof. Helmut W.Ermdann , an internationally renowned composer, pedagogue, flutist and a fervent promoter of new music. With over 50 years of experience, Prof. Erdmann has been at the head of course since its inception in 1996. More than 100 people from all over the world have successfully taken our course. To our great pleasure we’ve had people from Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Estonia, France, Germany, Israel, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Syria, Sweden, Vietnam etc., resulting in a vibrant community and a melting pot of cultures and ideas.

For the weekend seminars held in Lüneburg please contact:

Fortbildungszentrum für Neue Musik

Claus-Dieter Meier-Kybranz

Katzenstraße 1a

21335 Lüneburg

Mobil: 0175 - 56 55 112

Cansu Arslan

Fachbüro Multimedia und Neue Kompositionstechniken+49 40 428482-663cansu.arslan@hfmt.hamburg.de