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Unit information: Composition - Acoustic in 2015/16

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Unit name Composition - Acoustic
Unit code MUSI10057
Credit points 10
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Keegan-Bole
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The acoustic composition component (weeks 13-24) will work in parallel with other first year classes, helping students to develop their listening skills and an appreciation and awareness of many instrumental and vocal combinations, as well as many styles of music. Students will create short compositions and arrangements, developing their musical ideas and objectives, and perhaps even their own individual compositional voice.


This unit aims to provide a thorough grounding in compositional techniques through detailed study of structural models in Western music from medieval times to the present. Practical guidance is given in the production and notation of scores.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. compose short pieces on a variety of structural bases
  2. produce musically intelligible, neat and practicable scores
  3. react constructively to workshop performances of their own compositions
  4. react constructively and critically to performances of compositions by other students
  5. discuss musical objectives and make constructive use of advice and experience

Teaching Information

Weekly lecture (1 hr) and follow-up seminars.

Assessment Information

  • 40% continuous assessment i.e. contributions to workshops Successful attainment of learning outcomes (3) and (4) will enable the student to achieve (5)
  • 60% submission of three best performed scores totalling c.8 mins. of music for approved ensembles. Successful attainment of learning outcome (5) will enable the student to achieve (1) and (2).

Reading and References

  • Cope, D., Techniques of the Contemporary Composer (New York, 2000).
  • Adler, S., The Study of Orchestration 3rd. ed (New York, 2002)

Selected CD recordings to be determined by individual project areas