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EIU Department of Music

Faculty and Staff Listing

Dr. Bradley D Decker, Instructor of Music Composition & Technology

Office: 0349 - Doudna Fine Arts Center
Phone: 217-581-3611
Fax: 217-581-7137

Bradley Decker's Vita

Brad Decker is a composer, educator, and performer of contemporary concert music, whose works often incorporate electronic, electroacoustic, or interactive media. His recent works explore the interaction of acoustic instruments and electronics to create immersive composite textures. His instrumental works combine virtuosic flourishes, polyrhythmic interplay, and extended techniques. Electronic elements include interactive computer processing and sampling, multichannel diffusion, and fixed-media accompaniments. Multimedia projects range from traditional film soundtracks to live-performed improvisations with video. As a double bassist, he regularly performs his own compositions and improvisations that incorporate computer interactivity. His music is performed at venues in the US and internationally, and is distributed through his website

Dr. Decker holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in composition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focused on the creative process of composer Franco Donatoni, which has resulted in several publications. He completed Masters in Music composition and theory at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  His teachers include Peter Hestermann, Kenneth Jacobs, Erik Lund, Heinrich Taube, Steven Taylor, and Scott Wyatt. He has attended masterclasses and lessons with composers Agostino DiScipio, Stefano Gervasoni, Lee Hyla, and Tristan Murail. He currently teaches music composition and electronic music at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

Frequently Taught Courses

MUS 1070: Introduction to Music Technology

MUS 1560: Introduction to Composition

MUS 1570, 3570, 5570: Applied Composition

MUS 2070: Electronic Music Studio Techniques 1

MUS 3070: Electronic Music Studio Techniques 2

MUS 3547: Orchestration

MUS 3542: Post Tonal Analysis


D.M.A. Music Composition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006

M.M. Music Composition and Theory, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, 2000

B.M. Music Composition, Eastern Illinois University, 1998


My dissertation on the late works of Franco Donatoni was published in January 2006. My most recent scholarly publications and lectures address Donatoni’s late chamber music style, his creative process, and compositional methods.

My recent music is derived from a series of structured improvisations, as I explore the immediacy of expression through hands-on exploration of acoustic instruments connected to a computer-processing environment. Each work captures the essence of the moment, time and place, emotion, and life experience. These have been recorded in different capacities; my interest is in harnessing this energy into a fixed medium, such as a score or fixed electronic work. I continue to perform as a double-bassist using structured improvisation and live computer processing in numerous capacities, namely solo works, group ensemble collaboration, video-art installations, and film soundtracks. Notable performances have been in Mexico, Australia, Italy, France, Brazil, and Canada, as well as at numerous venues in the United States.

As a teacher, I stress positive, creative exploration, and refined clarity of expression. My classes center on the discovery of new ideas through hands-on experience, critical thinking, and focused observation. 

Selected Publications

Decker, Bradley D. “Preserving the Fragment: Franco Donatoni’s Refrain for Eight Instruments” In Franco Donatoni. Gravità senza peso. Atti del convegno. edited. By Candida Felici. Lucca, LIM. 2015

Decker, Bradley D. “Preserving the Fragment: Techniques and Traits of Franco Donatoni’s Late Chamber Music” Perspectives of New Music. 46, no. 2 (Summer 2008)


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Music Department

Doudna Fine Arts Center
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

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