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MUSC8009 - Composition 1

Title:Composition 1
Long Title:Composition 1
Module Code:MUSC8009
Duration:1 Semester
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Advanced
Field of Study: Music & Performing Arts
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2021/22 ( September 2021 )
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Coordinator: MARIA JUDGE
Module Author: MARIA JUDGE
Module Description: This module intends to equip the learner to explore their own compositional style in terms of 21st century composition. It will introduce the learner to the techniques required to compose for solo performer and for fixed media. The learner will also study contemporary music repertory and literature from the 20th and 21st centuries by means of analysis and discussion. Important aspects of the module are the development of novel ideas and the exploration of extended techniques, while building on an existing knowledge of harmony, timbre and counterpoint.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 Represent their own musical thought and language through musical notation.
LO2 Demonstrate familiarity with 20th and 21st century music
LO3 Compose for solo instrument; solo instrument and electronics or accompaniment; solo electronics.
LO4 Communicate musical ideas effectively through the use of clear structure and imaginative harmonic content
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named MTU module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).

Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module. You may not earn additional credit for the same learning and therefore you may not enrol in this module if you have successfully completed any modules in the incompatible list.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed. You may not enrol on this module if you have not acquired the learning specified in this section.

Evidence of prior compositional activity in the form of a short portfolio of works

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Score Reading
Exploration of post-1945 music with particular emphasis on electronic music and music for solo performer with accompaniment and/or electronics to inform the composition portfolio. Basic analysis in terms of the development of musical ideas through structure, pitch, dramaturgy and timbre.
Exploring extended instrumental and vocal techniques, non-conventional notation and performance practices, form in the late 20th and 21st centuries and harmonic language
Introducing the role of the composer-performer, performing works with electronics, and the influence of related disciplines such as theatre, performance art and dance
Portfolio presentation techniques, advanced music notation software skills, the writing of analytical commentaries to accompany the composition portfolio
Workshops may be organised and recorded
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work100.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Practical/Skills Evaluation Continuous Assessment 2,3,4 30.0 Every Week
Project Portfolio of at least 10 minutes of original material in not less than 2 contrasting works 2,3,4 70.0 Sem End
No End of Module Formal Examination
Reassessment Requirement
Coursework Only
This module is reassessed solely on the basis of re-submitted coursework. There is no repeat written examination.

The institute reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lab Class and practical based instruction 1.0 Every Week 1.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Independent study of scores consulted and work on portfolio 6.0 Every Week 6.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 1.00
This module has no Part Time workload.

Module Resources

Recommended Book Resources
  • Bruce Cole 1996, The composer's handbook [ISBN: 9780946535804]
  • Arnold Schoenberg 1967, Fundamentals of musical composition [ISBN: 9780571196586]
  • Michael Nyman 1999, Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond [ISBN: 9780521653831]
  • Thom Holmes 2002, Electronic and Experimental Music: Foundations of New Music and New Listening [ISBN: 9780415936439]
  • Walter Piston 1980, Orchestration [ISBN: 9780393097405]
  • Dave Black and Tom Gerou 1998, Essential dictionary of orchestration : ranges, general characteristics, technical considerations, scoring tips : the most practical and comprehensive resource for composers, arrangers & orchestrators [ISBN: 9780739000212]
  • Russell Hartenberger (ed) 2020, The Cambridge Companion to Rhythm [ISBN: 9781108631730]
  • Jean-Michel Reveillac 2019, Electronic Music Machines: The New Musical Instruments [ISBN: 9781786303257]
Supplementary Book Resources
  • John Cage 1968, Silence: Lectures and Writings [ISBN: 9780714505268]
  • Jennie Gottschalk 2016, Experimental Music Since 1970 [ISBN: 9781628922493]
  • Andrew Hamilton 2014, a, (score online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozj7i20XrLs&ab_channel=ScoreFollower)
  • Jennifer Walshe 2000, as mo cheann, (score online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC28dv7gyUo&ab_channel=incipitsify)
  • Jennifer Walshe 2004, This is why people O.D. on pills, (score online: https://www.cmc.ie/music/why-people-od-pillsand-jump-golden-gate-bridge)
  • Luciano Berio, Sequenzas (I–XIV), scores
  • Laurie Anderson 1982, O Superman, recording
  • Alvin Lucier 1969, I am sitting in a room, recording
  • Matthias Rebstock (ed) 2020, Independent Music Theatre in Europe [ISBN: 9783837652260]
Supplementary Article/Paper Resources
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CR_GMUSC_8 Bachelor of Music (Honours) 5 Elective
CR_GMUSC_8 Bachelor of Music (Honours) 7 Elective

Cork Institute of Technology
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