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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Postgraduate Course: Composers' Seminar A (MUSI11060)

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
SummaryMusic composition requires extensive understanding not just of the technicalities of inventing and notating musical materials, and the effective use of performance resources, but also of the intellectual, social, artistic and organizational contexts within which music operates. This weekly series of research seminars will concentrate on a wide range of topics related to aspects of music creation. These topics will include: creative methodologies; discussion of the theoretical and philosophical contexts of music practice; reports on recent developments in the field; and similar contextual studies. The topics will be guided both by contemporary concerns, and by the interests of the group. There will also be some practical workshops on aspects of music performance, allowing for the performance of student works.
Course description Aims of the Course
To give a practical and theoretical background for creative work in music, including techniques of composition; instrumentation and audio technologies; principles for scholarly investigation, including accounts of recent research; the presentation and discussion of new work; the discussion of matters of technical, practical and aesthetic interest, in order:
- to illuminate and analyse the context of contemporary music making.
- to improve knowledge and understanding of the techniques of music creation, including influences from other disciplines.
- to develop skills of oral presentation and discussion.

One two-hour seminar each week.

This seminar will aim to survey current research in the field of creative work in music, in an inter-disciplinary context. Within that, three key components will be addressed:

1) aesthetic theory e.g.
the impact of recent developments in philosophy; the implications of the dissolving of the boundaries between genres and art-forms; the influence on music of discussions in anthropology and the social sciences.
2) creative techniques, based on the analysis of existing works e.g.
pitch and formal analysis of key 20th century scores; the development of analytical techniques for recent music; the investigation of key compositional elements, such as space, or instrumentation.
3) practical issues of contemporary music performance e.g.
new playing techniques for instrumental performance; the use of new media; developing collaborations with performers and other artists.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, 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 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment will consist of two components: a written essay of not more than 3000 words and an oral presentation. Both components will be independently double marked. The essay will investigate and discuss one topic related to the seminar materials. It will take the form of a position paper defining a topic, reviewing and discussing the available literature, and presenting a position in relation to that literature. The essay will be judged on the basis of its focus, thoroughness, scholarly approach and the originality of its conclusion. Criteria for assessment may include some or all of the following:

- Breadth of literature survey
- Sophistication of the review and discussion
- Literary style
- Originality of the position taken in respect of the topics

The oral presentation will focus on the student's own creative work. It will test the ability to present convincingly in a public forum, and to analyse and discuss practical, theoretical and/or philosophical issues related to the student's own creative work in a clear and communicative fashion. Criteria for assessment may include some or all of the following:

- Clarity and effectiveness of presentation style
- Use of visual and/or audio materials
- Focus of the material
- Ability to engage with an audience
- Clarity and sophistication of the discussion

Learning Outcomes Assessed

You will demonstrate the ability to present, analyse and critically evaluate practical, theoretical and philosophical issues related to artistic creation in the form of a written essay. 80%
You will demonstrate the ability to give a convincing oral presentation, that analyses and discusses practical, theoretical and/or philosophical issues related to your own creative work. 20%
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the context of contemporary music making in an interdisciplinary environment.
  2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the practical techniques necessary for music creation.
  3. Analyse, present and discuss practical, theoretical and philosophical issues related to artistic creation.
Reading List
Harper-Scott, J.P.E. and J. Samson. 2009. An Introduction to Music Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Howell, T. (ed.) 2014. Musical Narratives: Studies in Time and Motion. Contemporary Music Review, 33 (4).
Ap Sin, P. and L. Redhead (eds). 2014. Musical Borrowing and Quotation in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries. Contemporary Music Review, 33 (2).

Current issues of the journals:
Contemporary Music Review
Computer Music Journal
Leonardo Music
The Wire
Organised Sound
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Presentation skills.
Discussion and collaboration.
The adducing of a theoretical position from practical examples.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Gareth Williams
Tel: (0131 6)50 2429
Course secretaryMiss Remi Jankeviciute
Tel: (0131 6)51 5773
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