MUSST 3014 - Rhythm in the 20th Century

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

The twentieth century witnessed an explosion in different approaches towards the composition of musical rhythm. Of all the aspects of traditional music theory rhythm has been the most neglected. This course tries to redress the balance: the aspects of rhythm that will be examined include those of relevance to the classical and jazz worlds. The following composers will be considered: Stravinsky, Bartok, Messiaen, Ives, Carter, Reich, Riley, Lutoslawski, Ligeti, Nancarrow.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MUSST 3014
    Course Rhythm in the 20th Century
    Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 2 hours per week
    Restrictions Available to Bachelor of Music students only
    Course Description The twentieth century witnessed an explosion in different approaches towards the composition of musical rhythm. Of all the aspects of traditional music theory rhythm has been the most neglected. This course tries to redress the balance: the aspects of rhythm that will be examined include those of relevance to the classical and jazz worlds. The following composers will be considered: Stravinsky, Bartok, Messiaen, Ives, Carter, Reich, Riley, Lutoslawski, Ligeti, Nancarrow.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Charles Bodman Rae

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Understand rhythmic concepts, rhythmic processes, and rhythmic techniques in selected music of the twentieth century.

    2. Demonstrate their knowledge of rhythm through the process of composition.

    3. Critically analyse the formal and rhythmic aspects of a musical work written since the beginning of the twentieth century.


    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    The primary materials will be musical scores and recordings drawn from the holdings of the Elder Music Library.

    Recommended Resources

    The Elder Music Library holds musical scores, audio recordings, and books relating to the composers, works and concepts that will be studied. Many of the relevant materials have been placed on Reserve in the Elder Music Library (for use only in the library – not for loan) and students should ask at the library counter for access to the box containing these materials.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Weekly seminar (2 hours per week)

    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    In addition to the 2 hour weekly seminar, students are expected to spend 5 hours per week listening to assigned pieces, and 6 hours per week in preparing for the compositional tasks and analytical project.

    Learning Activities Summary

    The course will feature particular works by the following American and European composers (not in order): Charles Ives, John Cage, Elliott Carter, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Conlon Nancarrow, Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok, Olivier Messiaen, Witold Lutoslawski, and Gyorgy Ligeti.

    The course will consider, inter alia, the following concepts, processes and techniques: added/additive rhythms; ostinati (particularly layered ostinati); polymetres; metrical contradiction; irregular pulsation; chance procedures; aleatorism; aleatory counterpoint; indeterminacy; metrical modulation; folk metres; phasing; minimalism; palindromes; isorhythm; rhythmic cycles (talea); and rhythmic augmentation/diminution.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    a) Short compositional exercise no.1 (25%) - due Week 5

    b) Short composition exercise no.2 (25%) - due Week 10

    c) Analytical project (50%) - due during Examination period

    Assessment Detail

    a) Short compositional exercise no.1 (25%) - due Week 5

    Students will be required to compose a short piece (an ‘exercise’, of circa 30-50 bars in length), either for solo piano or an instrumental duo, making use of one or more of the following rhythmic techniques: layered ostinati, metrical contradictions, irregular pulsation/groupings.

    b) Short composition exercise no.2 (25%) - due Week 10

    Students will be required to compose a short piece (an ‘exercise’, of circa 1-2 minutes in duration), scored for three or four instruments, and making use of aleatory techniques.

    c) Analytical project (50%) - due during Examination period

    Students will be required to write an analytical study (of circa 2,000 words) of a twentieth century (or early twenty-first century) work, with the principal focus being on rhythm and related aspects of form. The choice of topic music be discussed and agreed, in advance, with the course tutor. The topic must be determined no later than the eighth session of the course.

    Submission
    To be advised in class.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

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    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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