MUSIC215-19A (HAM)

Composition 2

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts
Music

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: anne.ferrier-watson@waikato.ac.nz

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Paper Description

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This paper is designed to enlarge and deepen students' technical skills in composition and encourage musical development. Teaching materials for the course are drawn mainly from the Western art music tradition from the Baroque to twentieth century styles, especially the era of common harmonic practice. Material from the late twentieth and the twenty first centuries, including popular music, also will be examined.

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Paper Structure

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This paper is taught through lecture-seminars which include listening, score reading, analysis, historical and stylistic contextualisation, discussion and practical creative exercises; and through exercises aimed at helping students to develop individual research skills.

The course has three components:

  1. Composition studies

A series of studies investigating techniques in composition based on the central repertoire of Western art music and popular music written between 1600 and the present, writing for mixed ensembles, and integrating digital technology with traditional composition skills.

  1. Short exercises

Students will be required to hand in completed short exercises approximately once per fortnight. These will be based on compositional techniques being studied in lectures. Students may choose which exercises to do, but at least five are required (totalling 20% of the course mark). If more than five exercises are submitted, the best five marks will be used to produce the aggregate mark.

  1. Creating your own music

In addition to the short exercises, students are required to complete two original larger works.

These pieces will develop over a period of time and will be assessed in two parts: (i) a detailed plan, and (ii) the completed composition in full score (or fully mastered audio and/or video if appropriate). This process permits discussion of the developing work with the lecturer and maybe other class members before final submission. The final composition for assessment may be a conjoint project with another student and/or may involve digital technology. Such a project must be approved by the course lecturer before it is undertaken.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Creative Music Development

    Demonstrate enlarged and deepened technical skills in composition and musical development. Elements to be addressed include harmony, counterpoint, form, texture, historical and repertoire awareness. Expertise in using appropriate technology is also required, such as music notation software. Other computer applications such as sequencers and interactive programmes are expected to be learned as the artistic development of individual students demands.

    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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This course is internally assessed. Marks are allocated as follows:

Composition Project I — theme and variations ora song cycle or a set of 4 popular songs 30%

Composition Project II — ensemble or orchestral piece or a multimedia or an electronic work 30%

Short exercises (best five marks counted) 20%

Repertoire (2 short listening tests in class) 10%

Participation in class discussions 10%

TOTAL: 100%

COMPOSITION PROJECTS

One of the two Composition Projects may be a conjoint project. If you wish to take up this opportunity, please discuss your proposal with the course lecturer and gain approval before starting work. Electroacoustic or multimedia elements may be used in either or both projects. Once again, please discuss this aspect your proposal with the course lecturer and gain approval before starting work.

Assessment of each of the Composition Projects is broken into two parts. The first part is a composition plan worth 10%; the second part is the composition itself worth 20%. Marking sheets for both parts will be provided on Moodle.

First Composition Project

(i) PLAN to be uploaded to Moodle by Friday 8th March (10% of final grade)

(ii) COMPLETED SCORE to be uploaded to Moodle as a Sibelius file by Friday 5th April and a hard copy handed in to the Music Administrator (20% of final grade).

Note: if a notation program other than Sibelius is used, then a separate audio file and a pdf of the score must uploaded.

This composition is to be one of the following:

EITHER: a theme and variations for piano (or for other instrument or ensemble by agreement with the lecturer)

  1. The musical theme will be supplied
  2. There should be four variations
  3. The composition should show:
  • a command of variation techniques
  • a clear sense of overall shape and direction
  • a sense of variety within unity
  1. The style in which the variations are written is up to each student, but the style must be consistent throughout each complete work.

OR: a song cycle ­­­or choral work

  1. The student will select suitable texts and arrange copyright clearance if necessary.
  2. There should be at least three concise, contrasting songs (in any style) or a longer single choral work.
  3. The composition should show:
  • skill in composing for voice
  • a balanced relationship between voice and accompaniment
  • (a capella choral writing is permitted)
  • a creative response to the words set
  • a sense of formal control overall

In either case, music notation must be clear and accurate.

Second Composition Project

(i) PLAN to be uploaded to Moodle by Friday 26th April (10% of final grade)

(ii) COMPLETED SCORE to be uploaded to Moodle as a Sibelius file by Friday 24th May and a hard copy handed in to the Music Administrator (20% of final grade).

Note: if a notation program other than Sibelius is used, then a separate audio file and a pdf of the score must uploaded.(20% of final grade)

This composition is to be one of the following:

EITHER: An ensemble piece for at least four melodic instruments.

  1. More instruments and voices may be used if desired.
  2. The choice of instrumentation is up to each student, but care should be taken to choose forces for which players are available to make the required performance of the piece.
  3. Computer or other technology may used if desired, including multi-media components.
  4. The piece preferably should utilise structural principles from the Classical, Romantic or twentieth century or contemporary periods but may be in any style.
  5. It should be in one or more movements or sections lasting up to six minutes total.
  6. The composition should show:
  • a command of part writing
  • a clear sense of overall shape and direction
  • a sense of contrast and unity
  • control of harmonic and contrapuntal procedures
  • an ability to develop motives or themes if appropriate
    1. A full score using appropriate notation is required for this assignment as well as a performance. Music notation must be clear and accurate.

OR: A short work for orchestra

  1. The piece may be in any style. It should be of about 5 minutes’ duration.
  2. The composition should show:
  • a command of orchestral writing
  • a clear sense of overall shape and direction
  • a sense of contrast and unity
  • control of harmonic, contrapuntal and timbral resources
  • an ability to develop musical ideas economically

OR: A short work for electronics, multimedia or other forces

  1. The piece may be in any style. It should be of about 5 minutes’ duration.
  2. The composition should show:
  • a command of the instruments being written for
  • a clear sense of shape and direction
  • a sense of contrast and unity
  • control of harmonic, contrapuntal, textural, timbral and other compositional resources as appropriate for the genre and medium
  • an ability to develop musical ideas economically

3. A full score using appropriate notation is required for this assignment as well as a performance, if an acoustic option is chosen. Music notation must be clear and accurate, and must be completed using a computer notation programme, preferably Sibelius. The score should be of a professional standard. Its quality will affect the mark given for the work. In the case of an electronic or multimedia work, a fully mastered version of the complete work must be provided. For such a work the quality of finished audio will be reflected in the mark.

Note: A live performance of orchestral compositions is obviously not always feasible in the time available, though it is certainly desirable. It is recommended that students score for standard symphonic forces with a view to submitting the piece for the orchestral reading workshops held each year by the NZSO and Auckland Philharmonia.

Note: You are responsible for keeping hard copies and digital copies where appropriate of all submitted work, in case of a replacement copy being required.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Composition Project 1 - plan
8 Mar 2019
No set time
10
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Composition Project 1 - completed score 1
5 Apr 2019
No set time
20
  • Hand-in: Department Office
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Composition Project 2 - plan
26 Apr 2019
No set time
10
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Composition Project 1 - completed score 2
24 May 2019
No set time
20
  • Hand-in: Department Office
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Short exercises
31 May 2019
No set time
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
6. Short technical test
10
  • In Class: In Lecture
7. Repertoire tests
10
  • In Class: In Lecture
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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See the readings specified for each lecture under the listed 'Topics'
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Recommended Readings

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Recommended reference book

Merryman, M., The Music Theory Handbook

Recommended Reading

Adler, S., The Study of Orchestration (2nd ed)

Blatter, A., Instrumentation and Orchestration

Cook, N., A very short introduction to music

Cope, D., New directions in music

Cope, D., Techniques of the contemporary composer

Smith Brindle, R., Musical Composition

Del Mar, N., Anatomy of the Orchestra

Gould, E. Behind Bars: the Definitive Guide to Music Notation

Kennan, K., Counterpoint (4th edition)

Kennan, K., and D. Grantham. Orchestration (6th edition)

Maconie, R., The Way of Music

Nyman, M., Experimental Music

Persichetti, V., Twentieth Century Harmony

Piston, W., Counterpoint

Piston, W., Orchestration

Piston, W. and Mark DeVoto, Harmony (revised edition)

Reger, M. Modulation

Rimsky-Korsakov, N., Principles of Orchestration

Rosen, C., The Classical Style

Ross, A., The rest is noise: listening to the twentieth century

Salzer, Felix and Carl Schachter, Counterpoint in composition

Stone, K., Music Notation in the Twentieth Century

Tchaikovsky, Peter. Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony

Of General Use

• Oxford Music Online <www.oxfordmusiconline.com>. The world’s most authoritative encyclopaedia of music, published online by Oxford University Press. The famous dictionary Grove Music is part of the subscription and is accessed through the same Oxford Music Online database. The University maintains a full access subscription.

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Other Resources

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Naxos Music Library - Playlist for MUSI215

Grove Music Online encyclopaedia, accessed through the library subscription to <oxfordmusiconline.com>

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Online Support

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Moodle
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Workload

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All students are encouraged to become responsible for their own learning. Only some of the learning experience can be expected to take place in the limited time available for lectures. It is imperative that students read, listen, think, discuss and explore ideas and materials relevant to the course beyond the lecture times. It is recommended that for every contact hour (lectures, seminars, etc) at least an equivalent time should be spent by the student in self-directed learning.Therefore it is expected that a minimum of four hours per week of independent reading, listening and composing should be done for this paper. Information pertaining to this course will be posted onto the Moodle website which all enrolled students in MUSI215 automatically have access to.

Most of the prescribed and recommended listening can be done online using the Naxos Music Library, available through the University’s subscription to this service. As an enrolled student you have access to this. Go to <naxosmusiclibrary.com> and login with username <WaikatoMM>. The password will be advised in class. Go to ‘Playlists’ and enter ‘Waikato University Playlists’. You will see the folder for MUSI215 Composition 2 there, with items named for the appropriate lectures arranged in lecture order. Listen to the set works before the lecture, ideally with a score.

Most of the readings are from the online music encyclopaedia Grove Music Online. Access Grove Music Online through the website <oxfordmusiconline.com> to which the University holds a paid subscription. Some additional readings may be uploaded to the Moodle page for this course, as noted in the lecture schedule below.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite(s)

Prerequisite papers: MUSIC115

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: MUSI215

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