MUSPMACT 3011 - Compositional Studies 3A

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

Expanding concepts introduced previously through Compositional Studies 1 and 2, this course enables students to develop advanced creative and technical skills that build on their previous experience in composition and song writing, arranging, orchestrating and music production in a contemporary popular music context. A particular focus of this course is on introducing experimental approaches to music, exploring intersections between contemporary popular music and the musical Avant Garde. Students will research the fringes of contemporary popular music in order to both broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of music. They will apply this knowledge practically through pushing the boundaries of their creative work in a supportive environment, and learn skills for the interpretation and evaluation of such work. Through the course, students will develop both the knowledge and practical skills to move their creative work beyond established contemporary forms and techniques. Seminars introduce experimental compositional techniques, and explore the artistic movements and work of key practitioners that led to the development and adoption of these techniques. A key component of the seminar will be a research project. Tutorials will enable students to develop key skills of composers and producers including reflective practice, critical listening, conceptual thinking and oral communication skills. Workshops involve the creation of small-scale works centred on the practical application of the seminar and tutorial content, and enable students to work on their composition portfolios with the support of their tutor.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MUSPMACT 3011
    Course Compositional Studies 3A
    Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites MUSPMACT 2011 and MUSPMACT 3012
    Restrictions Priority is given to Bachelor of Music students but course is available to non-music students (by audition)
    Quota 30
    Course Description Expanding concepts introduced previously through Compositional Studies 1 and 2, this course enables students to develop advanced creative and technical skills that build on their previous experience in composition and song writing, arranging, orchestrating and music production in a contemporary popular music context. A particular focus of this course is on introducing experimental approaches to music, exploring intersections between contemporary popular music and the musical Avant Garde. Students will research the fringes of contemporary popular music in order to both broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of music. They will apply this knowledge practically through pushing the boundaries of their creative work in a supportive environment, and learn skills for the interpretation and evaluation of such work. Through the course, students will develop both the knowledge and practical skills to move their creative work beyond established contemporary forms and techniques.

    Seminars introduce experimental compositional techniques, and explore the artistic movements and work of key practitioners that led to the development and adoption of these techniques. A key component of the seminar will be a research project. Tutorials will enable students to develop key skills of composers and producers including reflective practice, critical listening, conceptual thinking and oral communication skills. Workshops involve the creation of small-scale works centred on the practical application of the seminar and tutorial content, and enable students to work on their composition portfolios with the support of their tutor.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Luke Harrald

    Dr Luke Harrald
    Phone: 83133402
    Email: luke.harrald@adelaide.edu.au
    Office: Schulz 11.10
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Through successful completion of this course, students will develop:

    1. An understanding of advanced compositional and music production principles; 
    2. An understanding of the historical, cultural and philosophical contexts of experimental music practice - particularly as it relates to contemporary popular music; 
    3. Creativity and individuality as an artist – to enable students to develop their own compositional ‘voice’; 
    4. A cogent and quality creative portfolio in recorded and notated formats; & 
    5. Critical and self-critical listening abilities.
    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, 2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 2
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3, 4, 5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1, 4
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 3, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    • Class handouts and weekly materials placed on MyUni.
    • USB 2.0 Stick or portable hard drive with enough capacity to store files associated with the course and formatted as HFS+ (OSX) or FAT (Windows – Do not use NTFS).
    • Stereo headphones with a 6.5mm male adaptor.

    Note – students must bring both their USB storage and Headphones (with adaptor) to university, as they are required for using the EMU Audio Suite.
    Online Learning
    This Course Profile, along with learning materials and assessment will be placed on MyUni – refer to http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course structure and content is delivered through a range of classes and materials. Class delivery modes include a weekly seminar, tutorial and practical workshop. The classes in this course use a format where students are presented with theoretical and/ or practical content through the seminar. The theoretical content creates a topic framework that students will expand through discussions and exercises in the tutorial, and practically through the workshop. Students will also be expected to further expand the topics presented through using out-of-class resources in their own time. The resources will compliment, reinforce and extend the concepts presented.

    The classes provide theoretical explanations of composition and song writing techniques; discussion of their creative and technical application in various styles and genres; and their practical application to creativity and production through supervised sessions using music technology.
    Workload

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

    Seminar 1 x 12 hours per week = 12 hours per semester
    Tutorial 1 x 12 hours per week = 12 hours per semester
    Workshop 1 x 12 hours per week = 12 hours per semester
    Reading 3 x 12 hours per week = 36 hours per semester
    Practice 4 x 12 hours per week = 48 hours per semester
    Self initiated learning & research 3 x 12 hours per week = 36 hours per semester
    = 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    The structure of the course is broken down into sections. Each section may consist of a number of weeks dedicated to the section topic and more specific sub-topics that may vary according to changes in the field.

    Each of the topics is supported by theory, discussion and practice through the seminar, tutorial and workshop.

    Topics will include the following:

    • Introduction to Experimental Music Practice in Contemporary Popular Music
    • Drones: featuring La Monte Young, Beatles, John Cale, Velvet Underground
    • Minimalism: featuring Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Brian Eno
    • Noise: featuring Russolo, Mertzbow, Ito & Cat Hope.
    • Glitch: featuring Nick Collins, Oval, Klipp AV.
    • Drum & Bass / IDM: featuring Aphex Twin, Autechr, Square Pusher.
    • Hip hop: featuring DJ Spooky.
    • Intervention Art & Wearables: featuring Somaya Langley, Adachi Tomomi
    • Interactive Music: Beyond smart phones.
    • Net mediated collaboration: [60 Project]
    Specific Course Requirements
    This course will involve using the resources of the Electronic Music Unit (EMU). This includes facilities such as studios, recording spaces and digital audio workstations.

    Access and use of EMU is based upon the following:

    Users must complete and pass the EMU Guide Assessment (EGA). In order to pass the EGA users must receive a 90% or above grade. Users will have a maximum of 3 attempts at passing the EGA before being prohibited from taking the assessment further. If a user fails to pass the EGA after 3 attempts, or doesn’t pass by the end of week 4 of the course, they will not be permitted to continue the course and won’t be provided access or permission to use any of the EMU facilities.
  • 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
    Summative Assessment Summary
    Tutorial Participation 10% (objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5),
    Research Essay - 2000 words - 30% (objectives 2, 3)
    Portfolio 60% (objectives 1, 3, 4, 5)

    Formative Assessment: Tutorials will contain embedded formative assessment tasks that may include weekly quizzes, student presentations, in-class exercises and homework that will enable students to engage with the practical and theoretical concepts presented in order to complete their summative assessments.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    As per Conservatorium policy, active and positive participation in 100% of classes is expected, any student who attends less than 100% of required classes without approved leave may result in a 5 (five) mark penalty for each unapproved absence. The penalties will be applied to the final total percentage mark for the year for the relevant component i.e. after all other assessments have been completed and calculated. Arrival after the scheduled starting time or departure before the scheduled finishing time may, at the lecturer or Co-ordinator’s discretion, be regarded as an unapproved absence.
    Assessment Detail
    TUTORIAL PARTICIPATION (10%)
    Creativity requires self-motivation and disciplined practice to produce completed work and meet performance deadlines. The Tutorial Participation component is for presenting work (or work-in-progress) in class each week to allow students to demonstrate progress, benefit from cumulative feedback from their tutor and manage their creative decision-making, technical requirements and deadlines.

    RESEARCH ESSAY (30%)
    The Research Essay component (30%) will give students the opportunity to research a topic from the seminar sessions in much greater detail than in class. Essay topics will be provided in an assessment outline in Week 3.

    PORTFOLIO (60%)
    The Portfolio component will contain a set work which is underpinned by the research carried out for the Research Essay, where students will practically apply the compositional techniques they have researched through the essay by creating a new composition. The remaining two works of the portfolio will be open, allowing students to continue developing their individual compositional voice / style that they have been working on cumulatively since the first year of the program. The set work will have higher weight in the portfolio (30% of semester grade vs. 15% and 15% for the remaining two works) in order to reflect the additional research that has gone into that work.
    Submission
    All assignments will be submitted digitally through the Assignments section of MyUni. Feedback on the assessments will be also be sent to students through the MyUni system.
    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

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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