Composition and Sonic Art A
Composition and Sonic Art A 2023-24
School Of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - Semester 1
The module will focus on a wide variety of specific creative, technical and practical approaches:
Creative approaches (for example, Impressionism, Neoclassicism, Minimalism, Serialism, Acousmatic music, Gitch, Plunderphonics, Soundscape composition, live electronics)
Technical approaches (for example, harmony, rhythm, melody, form, texture, recording, editing, sound transformation)
Practical approaches (focusing on specific instruments, voices and technologies).
-threshold -(Grade D- to D+) The crucial element is the creation of musical ideas. Factors which may limit a mark to this level include: a simplistic or over-complex global structure not supportive of or supported by the material of which it consists; musical argument only intermittently discernible with only limited exploration of materials; musical ideas few and/or of questionable value; an imbalance in unity and diversity at the expense of sustained interest (especially through uncritical repetition of material verbatim); variability in the appropriateness of the use of instrumental, vocal, sonic and/or technological resources; technique restricted to a rather basic level; some basic, though not always successful, attempts to achieve musical shaping and control phrases, gestures, pacing, tempo, dynamics, sonorities and textures; mostly adequate presentation, though with some significant lapse, and materials that may need some revision to be of practical use in performance.
-another level-(Grade C- to C+) The main quality meriting a mark in this category is the creation and technical realisation of musical ideas to achieve an effective overall outcome. Factors which may limit a mark to this level include: a global structure not always fully supportive of or supported by the material of which it consists; intermittent lapses in the cogency of musical argument; some aspects of musical ideas left unexplored or under-developed; invention present but limited; mixed success in the effective juxtaposition and relationship of ideas and materials; some imbalance in unity and diversity (especially though overuse of material without development); occasional inappropriate use of instrumental, vocal, sonic and/or technological resources; technique solid but not always assured and fluent; intermittent and limited musical shaping and control of phrases, gestures, pacing, tempo, dynamics, sonorities and textures; some presentational lapses, with some limitations as to the practicability of materials in performance.
-good -(Grades B- to B+) The distinguishing quality is the creation, technical realisation and organisation of imaginative musical ideas to create an aesthetically convincing overall outcome. The composition exhibits a majority of the following: a well articulated and effective global structure; a clearly discernible musical argument, constructed through the exploration and development of musical ideas and materials; imaginatively conceived and articulated musical ideas; unity and diversity well balanced, such that the composition achieves a good degree of interest and coherence; appropriate and effective use of instrumental, vocal, sonic and/or technological resources contributing to creative ends; assured use of appropriate technical means; good sensitivity to the shaping of phrases, gestures, pacing, tempo, dynamics, sonorities and textures, showing an appreciation of their overall effect on the musical outcome; presentation of a good standard, with good attention to detail and some evident consideration of the practicability of performing materials.
-excellent -(Grades A- and above) The distinguishing quality is the creation of a compelling, engaging and aesthetically satisfying overall outcome through sustained musical imagination and technical command. The composition exhibits a majority of the following: a coherent, tightly constructed global structure; a cogent, convincing and sustained musical argument, constructed through the exploration and development of the full potential of musical ideas and materials; musical ideas conceived and articulated with evident flair and imagination, and some degree of originality; an entirely appropriate (but not necessarily equal) balance of unity and diversity, such that interest and coherence are sustained throughout; distinctive, creative and idiomatic use of instrumental, vocal, sonic and/or technological resources; confident, fluent and discerning use of appropriate technical means; evidence of acute sensitivity to the effectiveness of, and assured control over, the shaping of phrases and gestures, pacing, tempo, dynamics, sonorities and textures, and the combination, juxtaposition and relationship of ideas and materials; impressive presentation, with excellent attention to detail and full consideration of the practicability of performing materials (whether for live performance or the realisation of electroacoustic presentation).
- Apply a basic understanding of instrumentation/orchestration and music-technology tools to the creation of music and sonic art
- Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of a variety of art-music and sonic art genres
- Demonstrate competence and confidence in the use of instrumental/vocal resources
- Demonstrate competence and confidence in using music technological resources and tools
- Produce coherent, consistent and imaginative creative outcomes through the development of musical and sonic ideas and materials
Coursework 1 Compose a piece of up to 2 minutes duration (around 50 bars’ length) for either a) a solo instrument of your choice, or b) up to three instruments of your choice, that demonstrates a specific harmonic or melodic technique. Further details obtained in the Module Booklet.
Coursework 2 Record, edit and produce a recording of live musicians playing in one of the following styles: popular music; classical music (including new music); jazz; world music; hybrid/fusion. The music may be original, or pre-existing. Up to 3-4 minutes in duration. Further details obtained from the Module Booklet.
Main Assignment Compose a piece from one of the follwoing 3 options: 1 - a short piece (of around 2-4 minutes in length) in ABA form in a neoclassical style 2 - a short piece (of around 2-4 minutes in length) for wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon) that employs the rhythmic pedal - similar to what Messiaen used in the Quartet to the End of Time. 3 - a short piece of 2-3 minutes duration, which illustrates some of the principles and approaches of Acousmatic Music. Further information obtained from the Module Booklet.