GENMUS 3011A - Techniques of Composition 3 part 1
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014
General Course Information
Course Code GENMUS 3011A Course Techniques of Composition 3 part 1 Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Contact Up to 3 hours per week Assumed Knowledge Musical literacy Course Description Study of the fundamentals of composition in various styles and genres with an emphasis on contemporary classical repertoire. Technical studies seminar: compositional methods and analysis (basic score reading skills will be required). Workshop: project-based composition leading to performance of students' works.
Course Coordinator: Professor Graeme Koehne
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate skills, knowledge and understanding of a range of compositional techniques and methods
- Be aware of the capabilities of musical instruments
- Undertake analysis of musical scores.
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. 3 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1, 2 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 2, 3
Students enrolled in the Composition Major should own, or have easy access to, a computer running Sibelius (or Finale) music notation software and a sampled instrument library such as Garritan Personal Orchestra.
Students should make use of the resources of the Elder Music Library and the Electronic Music Unit. Students are also encouraged to attend the general musical activities of the Elder Conservatorium such as concerts, rehearsals, masterclasses, workshops and guest lectures.
Students should familiarize themselves with online resources such as the Petrucci Music Library of the International Music Score Library Project (www.imslp.org); Garritan.com; and digital media stores such as iTunes, Amazon etc.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching Modes
Technical Studies (1.5 hr per week) (Major and Elective) This seminar provides the opportunity for the theoretical and historical study of the resources, techniques and styles of contemporary music principally in the classical tradition. Topics are presented in a 3-year cycle. Technical Studies is a seminar format class and students may be expected to give in-class presentations on set topics during the year. In addition to these topics occasional sessions will be set aside for guest speakers (subject to availability) or to enable guided discussion of issues related to contemporary musical aesthetics and practice based on materials handed out in class.
Composers’ Workshop (1.5 hr per week) (Major and Elective) provides for practical engagement with individual instruments and small ensembles (subject to availability) and the performance of student compositions specifically composed for this class. Mr David Harris coordinates this class and will provide details of schedule and assessment.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
Students should be aware that the major assignments for Technical Studies are generally given out as close as possible to weeks 4 and 10 of each Semester and the submission dates are approximately 3 weeks after distribution. Composer’s Workshop assignments are scheduled in class and are based around compositional activities relating to available performer resources.
Learning Activities Summary
The Technical Studies class is based on a three-year cycle of teaching modules. This year the topics are:
Semester 1: Weeks 1-8 The French Tradition from Impressionism to Spectralism
Semester 1: Weeks 9-12 Variation Forms and Techniques
Semester 2: Weekes 1-8 Music in Latin America: Sources and Influences
Semester 2: Weeks 9-12 Opera, Musicals and Song: Synthesising Music, Text and Voice.
(Subject to variation depending on the availability of guest speakers and forum discussions etc.)
Specific Course Requirements
From time to time students may need to make themselves available for attendance at rehearsals, workshops, performances and guest seminars.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment structure depends on whether you are enrolled in Composition as a Major (Composition 1A/1B;2A/2B;3A/3B) or as an Elective (Techniques of Composition 1A/1B;2A/2B;3A/3B).
COMPOSITION (MAJOR) 1A/1B;2A/2B;3A/3B;(1001/1002; 2001/2002; 3001/3002)
3 units per semester
Individual Tuition: 50% of final mark for Composition (Major) 1A/B;2A/B;3A/B:
Semester 1 Assessment: Students are required to submit two of the required 4 works for the folio completed (or at an advanced stage towards completion) to their teacher by noon on Monday, June 30, 2014. These works will be assessed together with a teacher’s report on student progress.
Semester 2 Assessment: Students are required to submit a folio of 4 complete works (equivalent to the specifications listed below and including the two Semester 1 works) to the Hartley office by noon on Monday, November 3, 2014. Students will attend a 15’ panel interview (Viva Voce) on Wednesday, November 12 to discuss their folio. Interviews will be scheduled late in Semester 2.
Technical Studies: 25% of final mark for Composition (Major) 1A/B;2A/B;3A/B. 4 assignments listed below due approximately 3 weeks after distribution (around weeks 4 and 9).
Composers’ Workshop: 25% of final mark for Composition (Major) 1A/B;2A/B;3A/B. Attendance and participation form a large part of the final assessment for this component. Composition assignments are set throughout the year.
N.B. Works composed for one component may NOT be submitted for assessment in another component. (i.e. A work written for Composers’ Workshop cannot be included in your Composition folio for the individual tuition component.)
TECHNIQUES IN COMPOSITION (ELECTIVE) 1A/1B;2A/2B;3A/3B (1011A/B; 2011A/B;3011A/B)
3 units for the full year
Semester 1: 50% of the total for the full year comprised of: 25% Technical Studies assignments 25% Composers’ Workshop assignments (See details below)
Semester 2: 50% of the total mark for the full year comprised of: 25% Technical Studies assignments 25% Composers’ Workshop assignments (See details below)
Assessment Related Requirements
Composers’ Workshop is a performance-based class and full attendance is expected.
Composition Folio guidelines (Composition Major ONLY):
First Year: total duration 20’ – content as agreed in consultation with your teacher - to include a set of short piano pieces; a song for voice and piano; a string quartet; a chamber work for small mixed ensemble.
Second Year: total duration 25’ – content as agreed in consultation with your teacher - to include a small scale mixed chamber work; a choral work; a string quartet; an orchestration of one of your previous piano works (or similar).
Third Year: total duration 30’ – content as agreed in consultation with your teacher - to include a work for chamber ensemble; a string quartet; an orchestral piece; a short collaborative/cross-artform piece (theatre, dance, film, multimedia).
The above guidelines indicate the minimum expectations for a folio. In addition to the minimum specifications outlined above you are expected to work on any composition activities that may present themselves during the year – i.e. opportunities to compose for film, theatre and dance projects. ALL students are expected to submit work for these projects and include their submissions in their final folio.
Technical Studies Assignments:
Assignment 1: A written musical analysis of a short solo or chamber work by a French composer active during the period 1870 – 2010 (selected by the student). Your analysis should include a detailed, systematically annotated score. Do not include any biographical - or excessive background - information on the work, concentrate on the music: thematic material, developmental techniques, harmonic language, rhythmic features, formal structure and stylistic language. (800 words and copy of an annotated score)
Assignment 2: A written musical analysis of a set of variations (or part of a set (approx. 5 variations) to be selected by the student. Your analysis should include a detailed, systematically annotated score. Do not include any biographical - or excessive background - information on the work, concentrate on the music: analyse the original thematic material and variation techniques employed by the composer. (800 words and copy of an annotated score))
Assignment 3: An essay profiling the music of a Latin-American composer of the student’s choice. Students will provide brief biographical details – no more than 200 words – and concentrate the bulk of the assignment on the stylistic and technical features of the composer’s music. The assignment should include discussion and musical examples from at least one representative work by the composer. (1200 words)
Assignment 4: Set a text (one of three to be provided at a later date) to music. Compose the work for either solo voice and accompaniment or unaccompanied choir. Duration approximately 5 minutes. Provide a recording. (live recording, MIDI or sampled playback submitted by email or on CD or USB Stick)
Assessment is based on attendance, participation and a series of short composition assignments set throughout the year. Refer to the separate Composer’s Workshop Course Outline provided by Mr David Harris. In mid-Semester 2 students will be expected to submit 3 audio sketches for the annual collaboration with AC Arts Film and Television School.
SubmissionAs indicated above.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
NOG (No Grade Associated) Grade Description CN Continuing
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.
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