This course will introduce students to fundamental elements of compositional thought and structure. In a series of weekly assignments, students will create short experimental passages of composed sound focused on isolated parameters of music in order to compare the effect of different strategies. Examples of the basic parameters that students will work with: linear/non-linear, pulse/non-pulse, noise/pitch, register (high/low), timbre (bright/dark), texture (dense/sparse), dynamics, and articulation. Through these experiments, students will experience how different choices affect our perception of time, musical flow and space. The course is designed to be approached by anyone at any level of compositional experience, as indicated by the low course number. The course will benefit musicians with any amount of composition experience.
This is a foundational course for potential composition majors and other interested students which introduces composition techniques in a stylistically open way. It is designed to help students expand their individual writing styles by exploring abstract and non-traditional methods in composition. Students create notated and graphic scores for a variety of scenarios, learn to compose with sound and timbre in creative ways, and develop basic musical ideas into larger forms. Students develop their creative process through weekly writing exercises for solo instrument, chamber music, band, voice, and/or electronic sounds, and collaborate on reading through their scores in class.
This course provides students with a fundamental understanding of harmonic analysis, melody writing and harmonization within a functional tonal context originating from the common practice period, with emphasis on voice leading, melodic writing, and figured bass. The student will understand the musical grammar of tonal composition, and through weekly composition assignments will gain an enhanced understanding of its relation and application to present day styles.
CM-212 is a continuation of Tonal Harmony and Composition 1 (CM-211), with an emphasis on chromatic harmony, chromaticism, modulation and more extended forms of the 19th-century Romantic style. The course provides a variety of source material and students will write short exercises and compositions modeled on the repertoire.
This course introduces repertoire in the Romantic and post-Romantic styles, with an introduction to Impressionist and 20th-century tonal styles. The course provides a variety of source material and facilitates analysis in-class. Students will complete additional homework analysis, write a minimum of three to five diverse compositions modeled on that repertoire, and present at least one of their compositions to the class with analysis.
Intermediate and advanced approach to guitar composition techniques. The course is designed for performers/composers and provides a comprehensive demonstration of the capabilities of the instrument and the most successful ways to compose for it through analysis, live performances, improvisation, and mostly elementary and advanced compositional techniques. Also covers performance techniques, extended compositional approaches (guitar and other instruments), resources and technologies of basic composition techniques, and mainly guitar music of the 20th century and beyond.
During this course the students will explore and master the technique of modulation to the keys both closely related and distant. Using the concepts of three degrees of kinship between keys and the major-minor (minor-major) systems, the students will acquire the skill of gradual modulation as well as sudden modulation. This practical/theoretical approach will both contrast and complement current methods of handling this more advanced area of harmony, and will thus bring about for the student additional practical applications of these concepts.
This course provides students with foundational knowledge for professionally orchestrating and notating chamber and orchestral scores. Specific topics include: score and part layout; instrumental ranges and characteristics; specific playing techniques and limitations; phrasing and bowing considerations; use of slurs, articulation marks, dynamics, tempo variation, and other devices for indicating expressive nuance; and creating a professional score and parts.
This course is a continuation of CM-251. Students explore more in-depth concepts, including advanced traditional harmony and intermediate compositional procedures, as well as seventh chords, altered chords, and modulation.
An introduction for the non-pianist to the fundamentals of composing music that is suited to acoustic instruments. Emphasis is placed on writing melodies and chords that fit the hand comfortably. In addition, importance will be given to creating keyboard figuration that suggests the continuation of melodic lines. The student learns how to elaborate a chordal style of keyboard writing to one that is more expansive and florid with a wide variety of figurations.
Through a lecture-workshop format, this course focuses on composing music with selected techniques of 20th century composition (with a focus on the first half of the century). Techniques such as non-functional harmony, polytonality, free atonality, 12-tone, additive rhythm, changing meter, polyrhythm, nontraditional forms, and other techniques will be discussed through diverse repertoire and sources. Weekly composition projects related to each of these techniques will be assigned, and may be read by a chamber music ensemble.