Music Doctorate

Research and Composition

The Music Doctorate: Research in Composition is organized in collaboration by Sorbonne Université and IRCAM. It is intended for high-level composers, holders of a Master’s degree (or of an equivalent diploma accompanied with significant experience in composition), proposing in particular projects integrating a technological dimension into the work of composition and wanting to pursue a training program both as composers and researchers. The diploma attests to the competence both as composer (attested by the works produced at the end of studies) and as a researcher via the presentation of a thesis.

The doctoral training is assured by the three establishments; it includes doctoral classes and seminars offered by Sorbonne Université and IRCAM. Diplomas are awarded based on the production of creative work (the program must be in relation with the research project) and the defense of a doctoral thesis before a jury common to the partner establishments.

Research Themes

This doctorate is open to candidates wanting to pursue research in one or more of the following areas:

Musical material, form and meaning: musical categories and parameter, computer aided composition, music/sound/noise, semiotics, themes and expressivity.
Instruments and performers: playing techniques, gesture, performer/composer collaborations, acoustical analysis, augmented instruments, electronic instrument building.
Voice, text, speech: music/text relations, linguistic and phonological/phonetic approaches, semantics and expressivity, speech synthesis and processing, plurality of languages.
Orchestration, instrumentation: treatises and rules (from craftsmanship to formalization), timbre and instrumentation, computer-aided orchestration.
Interactivity: sound installations, mixed music (works for instruments and electronics), improvisation, multimedia.
Sound, space and stage: dramaturgy, scenography, opera, theater, architecture, sound spatialisation.
Methodology and cross-disciplinary aspects: analysis and theory, creative collaboration, documentation of workflows, quantitative and qualitative approaches, perception and cognition, aesthetics and philosophy of art.

A call for applications is published for this program

Applications to this program are open to candidates eager to work as a high-level composer while carrying out research leading to a thesis in the domain of musical creation, while working in a professional setting.

Candidates must hold a French national Master’s degree, or a Master’s-level diploma from the CNSMDP or the CNSMDL, or provide proof of equivalent studies abroad (equivalence provided by the doctoral school), or have proof of validated acquired skills (d'une validation d'acquis universitaire). Candidates must also provide proof of experience as a composer via a dossier of works according to the requirements listed in the call for applications.

Information 01 44 78 48 23 | info-pedagogie (at)

PhD Students


Karim Haddad

Karim Haddad was born in 1962 in Beirut Lebanon. He studied at the national conservatory there until it closed its doors in 1975 due to the civil war. He then went on to study philosophy and literature. Haddad received six awards from the CNSMD de Pari...

Alessandro Ratoci

Alessandra Ratoci is a musician, composer, and performer of electronic music; He studied at the Scuola di musica di Fiesole, at the Bologne conservatory, and at the Haute école de musique de genève. He is currently a professor of electronic and compute...

José Miguel Fernandez

José Miguel Fernández studied music and composition at the University of Chili and at the Laboratory for Musical Research and Production (LIPM) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He then studied composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique e...

Past Thesis Defenses


Daniele Ghisi

Daniele Ghisi studied composition at the G Donizetti conservatory in Bergmao under S. Gervasoni – and in 2007 received his diploma with honors. From 2008 to 2011 he participated in IRCAM’s Cursus program in composition and computer music, and in 2015 b...

Sasha J. Blondeau

Sacha J. Blondeau est compositeur de musique contemporaine mixte, instrumentale et électroacoustique. Il compose également des pièces pour le théâtre et s’intéresse notamment à l'interaction entre &...
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