Composition Year 1
Run by School of Music and Media
20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Dr Guto Puw
Overall aims and purpose
To teach students how to compose in a structured and guided way, using examples from early twentieth century as a guide.
To illustrate how the main compositional principles of harmony, rhythm, motivic development and structure evolved during the early part of the twentieth century and to show their relevance to composition in the twenty-first century.
To present students with tools of composition to use as they wish.
To teach students the basics of instrumentation and orchestration, and to look at vocal writing.
To discuss issues of score layout and presentation, whether processed or hand-written.
This course will introduce students to some of the compositional techniques used in the twentieth and twenty first centuries and show how harmony, rhythm, structure, instrumentation and pitch have evolved, presenting students with the basic tools for composition. The first half of the course will look at these techniques in relation to a number of important musical styles that evolved during the twentieth century. The course will also consider individual instruments and their particular characteristics, in addition to vocal writing. Students are then encouraged to try out these techniques in exercises and assignments, which will be set throughout the course..
To compose showing some use of basic twentieth-century harmonic, rhythmic and structural elements, and an understanding of instruments and layout.
To compose showing a clear understanding of twentieth-century harmonic, rhythmic and structural elements, and to be able to write practically for the instruments used and lay out scores correctly.
To compose showing imaginative and innovative use of twentieth-century harmonic, rhythmic and structural elements, and to be able to write practically and idiomatically for the instruments used, laying out scores according to publishing principles.
Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to develop an individual compositional style, based on twentieth-century models;
Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to acquire an understanding of basic concepts of instrumentation/orchestration, by writing idiomatically for particular instruments/voices;
Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to confidently develop musical ideas and material to form a coherent, consistent and imaginative composition.
Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to acquire an awareness of specific twentieth-century repertoire and should be able to show differentiation of different idioms of style and genre from this period.
|CLASS TEST||Class Test 1||
Repertoire Test that involves the various composition techniques and music examples that have been discussed during the lectures and seminars in Semester 1.
EXACT DATE TBC
|COURSEWORK||Main Assignment 1||
Compose a piece of around 4 minutes' duration for a Wind Quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon).
Full details will be issued within the Module Handbook.
|CLASS TEST||Class test 2||
Repertoire Test that involves the various composition techniques and music examples that have been discussed during the lectures and seminars in Semester 2.
EXACT DATE TBC
|COURSEWORK||Main Assignment 2||
Compose a piece of around 5 minutes in duration, for between eight and ten performers from a given list.
Full details are given within the Module Handbook.
Compose a piece of up to 1.30–2 min for solo piano.
Full details incuded within the Module Handbook.
Compose a short piece (ca. 1-2 minutes in length) for flute, viola and harp OR flute, vibraphone and harp.
Full details incuded within the Module Handbook.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
22 lectures (1 hour each), held weekly throughout the year
10 seminars (1 hour each), held fortnightly throughout the year
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- 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
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- 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.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- 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
- Creative skills – conception, elaboration, adaptation, presentation, collaboration, preservation
- Intellectual skills specific to Music – contextual knowledge, cultural awareness, critical understanding, repertoire knowledge, curiosity, analytical demonstration
- Technological skills – digital capture, digital expression, digital innovation
- 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)
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/wxk-1011.html
Pre- and Co-requisite Modules
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- W302: BMUS Music year 1 (BMUS/MUS)
Optional in courses:
- W3P3: BA Astudiaethau'r Cyfr & Cherdd year 1 (BA/ACC)
- QW5H: Cymraeg Creadigol gyda Cherddoriaeth Boblogaidd year 1 (BA/CCYCB)
- WW93: BA Creative Studies and Music year 1 (BA/CSTMUS)
- 32N6: BA English Literature and Music year 1 (BA/ELM)
- VW23: BA Hanes Cymru a Cherddoriaeth year 1 (BA/HCAC)
- VW13: BA History and Music year 1 (BA/HMU)
- W3H6: BA Music and Electronic Engineering year 1 (BA/MEE)
- WV33: Music & Hist & Welsh Hist (IE) year 1 (BA/MHIE)
- W303: BA Music (with International Experience) year 1 (BA/MIE)
- PW33: BA Media Studies and Music year 1 (BA/MSMUS)
- RW13: BA Music/French year 1 (BA/MUFR)
- WR32: BA Music/German year 1 (BA/MUGE)
- WR33: BA Music/Italian year 1 (BA/MUIT)
- W300: BA Music year 1 (BA/MUS)
- WW38: BA Music and Creative Writing year 1 (BA/MUSCW)
- WW36: BA Music and Film Studies year 1 (BA/MUSFS)
- WR34: BA Music/Spanish year 1 (BA/MUSP)
- VVW3: BA Philosophy and Religion and Music year 1 (BA/PRM)
- QW53: BA Cymraeg/Music year 1 (BA/WMU)
- W304: BMus Music (with International Experience) year 1 (BMUS/MIE)
- H6W3: BSc Electronic Engineering and Music year 1 (BSC/EEM)