CCOG for MUS 240A Spring 2024

Course Number:
MUS 240A
Course Title:
Music Composition
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces music composition with focus on 20th and 21st century compositional techniques and materials. Includes composition of chamber and concert works with the goal of compiling a portfolio of original works. Prerequisites: MUS 111. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  • Utilize basic contemporary music composition techniques to create basic musical works.
  • Compose basic musical works using one’s continually developing personal music language.
  • Begin to foster the creative exchange of musical ideas through basic compositional skills.

Course Activities and Design

  • Score and part preparation and proofing
  • Completing a work from conception to performance
  • Improvisation as means of generating of musical ideas
  • Analysis of masterworks in variety of genres and styles (esempii classici)
  • Transcription and/or arranging of preexisting works
  • Balancing unity, variety and form

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Develop a portfolio of professionally prepared original scores for a variety of instrumental combinations including voice(s).
  • Reading sessions of original works by peers, faculty, and semi-professional or professional performers.
  • One-on-one instructor/student conferences
  • Participation in written and oral peer review and evaluation
  • Written quantitative/qualitative examination

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Conventional and contemporary music notation practices

  • Variation techniques
  • Tonality, modality and atonality
  • Intervallic cell-based composition and serialism as alternative means of melodic/harmonic organization
  • Basic orchestration and idiomatic instrumental/vocal writing
  • Melodic transformation and development technique
  • Polyphony – contrapuntal and imitative procedures
  • Non-tertian harmony and synthetic melodic materials
  • Writing for the voice - selecting and setting text
  • Indeterminancy in performance and music composition
  • Graphic notation and scores
  • Extended instrumental and vocal technique