1st Cycle Academic Diploma

The 1st cycle academic diploma in Composition represents a point of arrival of excellence for the preparation of the modern composer of film music.

The entire training course is aimed at consolidating the techniques of composing music for images, for documentaries, films, commercials, short films and applied music in general.

Duration 3 years

Frequency Lessons of 50 minutes/weekly or fortnightly

Where Rome

Language Italian/English

It is a limited students number course, open to a maximum of 12 students, coming from Saint Louis pre-academic courses or selected through audition.

The study path follows a double way, one aims to exploit all the potential offered by the informatics inside music technologywhich includes Virtual Instruments, virtual orchestras, sequencing and music-on-image editing programs; the other way instead aims to look into the practice of orchestration and conducting of real orchestras, with strings, woods, brass, percussion and soloists.

  • Study of international classical authors from the 19th and 20th centuries and contemporary composers for cinema music such as John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Alan Silvestri, Michael Nyman, Hans Zimmer and weekly realization of sound projects.
  • Advanced study of the piano as a tool for the composition, orchestration and impromptu reading of orchestral scores
  • Development of instrumental knowledge and orchestration techniques for film music, with resident orchestras performing original scores every year.
  • Professional skills for the use of virtual and hybrid orchestras, recording on sequencers, the use of effects and mixing skills.
  • Deepening, through the study of various ensembles, music languages and the most important compositional techniques, to obtain the most suitable technical tools to optimally express the own musical creativity
  • Each student conducts the own compositions both in studio and in live contexts
  • Writing of original soundtracks in partnership with Italian and European directing and training institutes

At the end of the three-year first cycle academic diploma, the student can continue his / her specialization studies in two-year second cycle academic diploma (aut. Mur) in Composition (Film Scoring) or Applied Music.

  • Composer of original music
  • Composer of applied music, for films and images
  • Orchestrator for little, medium and big combos/ensembles
  • Music producer in digital and mixed environments

Matteo Balani

Elio Rivagli

Roberta Montanari

Michele Braga



Every year, Saint Louis provides various orchestral ensembles put at the disposal of Composition students, the string quartet, the saxophone quintet and a Beethoven-like orchestral ensemble with which the students will perform and conduct their own compositions, a unique experience for young composers.

Personalization of own study path choosing from over 200 different courses from the various departments of St. Louis, a unique opportunity to expand the own skills and build a future as a professional, able to operate in multiple sectors of Music Business.

  • Popular Music Department: Music Management courses, choir writing and arrangement, Black Music, Neo-Soul, Writing and arrangement for pop orchestras, Digital Marketing, Konnakol, Ethnic Music, Creative Writing.

  • Jazz Department: Jazz improvisation courses, jazz harmony studies, jazz arrangement for rhythm section and 5 horns, arrangement for big band.
  • Composition and Applied Music Department: Courses in music for images, music for video games, music for films, sonorization of commercials, orchestration, traditional harmony studies, contrapuntal techniques.
  • Electronic Music Department: Electronic music courses, Live Electronics, Ableton, Reaktor, Max for live.
  • Sound Engineering Department: Microphoneing courses, mixing management, home studio management and Mastering.

Since 2012 Saint Louis has participated in the Erasmus + program, which offers the possibility to every student of Academic level to live periods of mobility in other European and Extra-European Higher Education Institutes for study or internship projects.

Each student can therefore benefit of a maximum of 12 months of study or internship abroad for each study cycle (12 months max in the three-year first cycle, 12 months max in the two-year second cycle of academic studies), choosing one’s destination among a wide and excellent offer of foreign partners that Saint Louis has established and consolidated over time.

  • Special International Projects: European Jazz Contest, Italian Jazz on the Road, Italian Jazz C.R.E.A”, Minus One – Italian Jazz on the Road to… Tbilisi, Body Sound DiVision

Mostly fortnightly classes concentrated in 3-4 consecutive days. Mandatory attendance to the minimum extent of the 80% of the lessons.

  • FULL-TIME ATTENDANCE: Classes are mostly held with fortnightly cadence, organized in alternate weeks, with the exception of the instrument / singing lesson which can be organized at the student’s choice on a weekly or fortnightly basis. About 300 hours of classes per year.

  • PART-TIME ATTENDANCE : Students who, for work or distance reasons, are unable to attend all the lessons provided for in the study plan can personalize their own study plan choosing how many subjects to attend from year to year. Part-time attendance implies a probable extension of the course of study beyond 3 years.

  1. Consult the study plan and admission tests:Check that your self-preparation is in line with the skills required for the individual tests by clicking below on Admission tests and study plan.
  2. Fill out the application form: It is possible to submit an application for participation at the admission exam to I and II cycle academic courses from the 3rd of February to the 30th of April. Subsequent applications will only be considered on the basis of the remaining places available.
  3. Wait for the call and take the admission tests: The admission exam to the three-year first cycle of academic courses is divided into several tests, aimed at verifying the candidate’s personal skills and which exactly reflect the contents of the entire pre-academic path of Saint Louis.




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