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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Postgraduate Course: Compositional Practice A (MUSI11054)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryCompositional Practice A will help you to develop your own creative work in music composition. There are no stylistic restrictions. Within an expanding cultural context, where music composition must situate itself within a broad range of artistic needs, this course will introduce key concepts and practical techniques to equip you with the means to challenge and develop your own compositional practice.

Course description Aims of the course:

To challenge and inform existing creative practice, including techniques of composition, instrumentation and audio technologies, in order:
- to support the development of an individual creative purpose.
- to develop a critical understanding of the techniques and context of music composition.
- to develop skills of preparation and presentation of performance materials.
- to foster an understanding of the process of collaboration with instrumental performers.

A fortnightly series of individual tutorials will help you to experiment, and also to focus your own creative purpose. It will also give you a secure technique for dealing with musical materials, musical structure, the cultural context of your work, and the practicalities of preparing materials for performance and dissemination.

These tutorials support creative activity in music composition, through individual guidance. They will be steered by individual aesthetic choices. Four key components will be addressed:

- the exploration and critical evaluation of available compositional resources
- the cultural context of music composition
- the exploration of appropriate creative techniques
- the preparation of performance materials

One 45 minute tutorial every two weeks for 11 weeks = 4.5hrs contact time. Additional supervision will be provided on request.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 4.5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 191 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework.

Assessment will be by independent double marking of a submitted portfolio of music compositions. The portfolio is flexible in its contents, and can include written scores, audio recordings, instructional materials and any other documentation consistent with the consequent production of a musical work. The portfolio should normally contain at least TWO separate items. The material will be judged on the basis of its effectiveness, the extent to which it realises the potential of its premises, and its technical presentation. Criteria for assessment may include some or all of the following:

- Originality
- Awareness of cultural context
- Appropriate, expressive and economic use of compositional materials
- Appropriate use of instruments and/or other material resources
- Content and presentation of score and/or other instructions for performance

Learning Outcomes Assessed:

1. An informed creative technique showing a critical awareness of musical materials, evident in the composition of one or more substantial music compositions. 80%
2. The ability to prepare and present music materials in a professional manner 20%
Feedback Formative feedback will be provided at each tutorial on work in progress. Written feedback will be provided on the final submission.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Define and extend individual creative abilities in music.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge and competency in a variety of compositional techniques.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to prepare and present work in a professional manner, and to communicate well with co-creators.
  4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the creative and cultural context of musical composition.
Reading List
As discussed with individual students, but including the following:
Del Mar, Norman. 1981. Anatomy of the Orchestra. Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Mâche, Francois-Bernard. 1992. Music, Myth and Nature. Chur: Harwood.
Richter, Gerhard (ed. H-U. Obrist; trans. D. Britt.) 1995. Gerhard Richter: the daily practice of painting : writings and interviews 1962-1993. London: Thames and Hudson; Anthony d'Offay Gallery.
Schick, Steven. 2006. The Percussionist¿s Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams. Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press.
Tarkovsky, Andrey (trans. K. Hunter-Blair). 1986. Sculpting in Time. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Varga, Bálint András. 2011. Three Questions for Sixty-Five Composers. Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press.
Whittall, Arnold. 2003. Exploring Twentieth Century Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Creative problem solving
Dealing effectively with collaborators
Preparation of print and other physical materials to a high quality
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Peter Nelson
Tel: (0131 6)50 2428
Course secretaryMiss Emma Binks
Tel: (0131 6)51 5740
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