Craft of tonal composition
Run by School of Arts, Culture and Language
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr John Cunningham
Overall aims and purpose
This module seeks to build on the skills developed in WXM/WXC 1004. It covers a range of music and styles from the common practice era and beyond. At each stage stylistic norms are identified through analysis; these concepts are also demonstrated through structured replication according to sets of criteria.
This module builds on and develops the basic analytical and (pastiche) compositional skills acquired in WXM/WXC 1004. It will explore in detail a variety of vocal and instrumental music, and compositional practices and techniques from the common practice era and beyond, with a particular focus on music of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; students will be introduced to a range of music from analytical and compositional perspectives. The module will focus on particular genres (such as piano sonata, string quartet) and forms (such as sonata- form exposition, rondo). It will also introduce students to advanced chromaticism and modulation in a range of contexts; these aspects will also be discussed in relation to historical development.
A- to A** (70-100%) Work which demonstrates a thorough grasp of the subject, both musically and intellectually, with evidence of further study and deeper conceptual thought, some originality of musical approach, expressed in a convincing and notationally flawless manner.
B- to B+ (60-69%) Work which shows a strong grasp of the subject, both intellectually and technically, with good conceptual thought, evidence of musical and intellectual acumen, expressed clearly in either music notation or, when required, in prose.
D- to D+ (40-49%) Work which demonstrates a limited knowledge and technical command of the subject, with a restricted ability at musical thought, little evidence of a musical approach, but nevertheless expressed in an understandable way.
C- to C+
C- to C+ (50-59%) Work which shows a competent grasp of the subject, both intellectually and technically, with basic conceptual thought, evidence of musical and intellectual acumen, intelligibly expressed in either music notation or, when required, in prose.
On successful completion of the module, students will be able to synthesise different analytical methodologies and apply them to unfamiliar pieces of music within a comprehensive critical evaluation
On successful completion of the module, students will be able to critically evaluate through analysis the compositional structure and other defined elements of specific musical works, or sections thereof, composed c.1700–1830, using appropriate techniques / methodologies as taught on the module (e.g. tonal counterpoint, prolongation and cadence, figured roman notation, formal functions, reduction)
On successful completion of the module, students will be able to critically evaluate the use of chromaticism (linear and functional) and / or demonstrate an understanding of it in a ‘pastiche’ composition
On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate advanced skills in ‘pastiche’ composition (i.e. a practical application of the analytical principles taught on the module, within the grammar of a particular style/period, c.1700–1830)
Teaching and Learning Strategy
You are expected to work (unsupervised) with other students in the group, meeting for up to one hour each week to work on unassessed tasks. Each week students should take turns in leading the discussion, thus allowing you to build your leadership skills as well as skills of working in a team.
You are expected to listen to examples and do reading etc. in advance of classes. This time also includes time spent working on assignments.
One 2-hour lecture each week of term.
Two seminar hours each week of term (typically with a gap between the two seminars, rather than a two-hour class).
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- Musicianship skills – recognition, classification, contextualisation, reconstruction, exploration
- Intellectual skills specific to Music – contextual knowledge, cultural awareness, critical understanding, repertoire knowledge, curiosity, analytical demonstration
- Intellectual skills shared with other disciplines – research and exploration, reasoning and logic, understanding, critical judgement, assimilation and application
- Skills of communication and interaction – oral and written communication, public presentation, team-working and collaboration, awareness of professional protocols, sensitivity, ICT skills, etc.
- Skills of personal management – self-motivation, self-critical awareness, independence, entrepreneurship and employment skills, time management and reliability, organisation, etc.
- Enhanced powers of imagination and creativity (4.17)
Resource implications for students
None. Students will be provided with a bound book of course notes (written by the tutor) at the start of the module; this is to supplement the lectures.
Pre- and Co-requisite Modules
Courses including this module
Optional in courses:
- W3P3: BA Astudiaethau'r Cyfr & Cherdd year 3 (BA/ACC)
- WW93: BA Creative Studies and Music year 3 (BA/CSTMUS)
- 32N6: BA English Literature and Music year 3 (BA/ELM)
- 32N7: BA English Literature & Music with International Experience year 3 (BA/ELMIE)
- VW23: BA Hanes Cymru a Cherddoriaeth year 3 (BA/HCAC)
- VW13: BA History and Music year 3 (BA/HMU)
- VW14: BA History and Music with International Experience year 3 (BA/HMUIE)
- WW39: BA Music and Creative Writing with International Experience year 3 (BA/MCWIE)
- W3H6: BA Music and Electronic Engineering year 3 (BA/MEE)
- WV33: Music & Hist & Welsh Hist (IE) year 4 (BA/MHIE)
- W303: BA Music (with International Experience) year 3 (BA/MIE)
- PW33: BA Media Studies and Music year 3 (BA/MSMUS)
- RW13: BA Music/French year 4 (BA/MUFR)
- WR32: BA Music/German year 4 (BA/MUGE)
- WR33: BA Music/Italian year 4 (BA/MUIT)
- W300: BA Music year 3 (BA/MUS)
- W30F: BA Music [with Foundation Year] year 3 (BA/MUSF)
- WW36: BA Music and Film Studies year 3 (BA/MUSFS)
- W3R8: BA Music and Modern Languages year 4 (BA/MUSML)
- WR34: BA Music/Spanish year 4 (BA/MUSP)
- VVW3: BA Philosophy and Religion and Music year 3 (BA/PRM)
- VW2H: BA Welsh History and Music year (BA/WHMU)
- QW53: BA Cymraeg/Music year 3 (BA/WMU)
- W304: BMus Music (with International Experience) year 3 (BMUS/MIE)
- W302: BMUS Music year 3 (BMUS/MUS)
- W32F: BMus Music [with Foundation Year] year 3 (BMUS/MUSF)
- H6W3: BSc Electronic Engineering and Music year 3 (BSC/EEM)