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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Postgraduate Course: Compositional Practice (MUSI11064)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a practice-led course where you will be guided towards the submission of a portfolio of original compositions. Written work will contextualise, describe, and reflect upon the compositional work you submit in your portfolio. This course is supported by the Ensemble in Residence at the Reid School of Music.
Course description Through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, and supported by individual and group-based creative work, Compositional Practice offers the opportunity for you to develop your own creative practice in music composition. In lectures we will study and discuss compositional techniques, ideas, and current discourse in the field of acoustic composition. While the focus of lectures will be on creating music for voices and instruments, portfolios that include an electronic, mixed media component along with live instruments will be accepted.

Each lecture examines a particular concept or technique, and concludes with a related composition task that allows you to creatively explore the ideas discussed in the lecture. These tasks include both individual and collaborative work, to be prepared for presentation, discussion and feedback in the following week's seminar. One specific compositional task will be developed into a work that will be rehearsed and performed by the Ensemble in Residence in a public workshop.

Creating two Artistic Statements, one developmental and one reflective, will help you to hone and articulate your creative ideas, and to document your progress as an emerging composer.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  13
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, External Visit Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 167 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment will consist of three components:

Component 1 (10% of course mark): Developmental Artistic Statement
Submitted mid semester, this statement will be assessed on its effectiveness to shed light on the aims, ideas, processes, cultural context, and plans for your ongoing compositional portfolio. Assessment will be based on moderated marking.

Component 2 (80% of course mark): Portfolio
Submitted at the end of the course, the portfolio is quite flexible in its contents, and can include written scores, audio recordings, mixed media work, instructional materials and any other documentation consistent with the consequent production of a musical work. The musical material will be assessed on the basis of its effectiveness, the extent to which it realises the potential of its premises, and its technical presentation. Assessment will be based on moderated marking.

Component 3 (10% of course mark): Reflective Artistic Statement
Submitted alongside the Portfolio at the end of the course, this statement will be assessed on its effectiveness in reflecting upon the ideas, methodology and concepts that are contained within the Portfolio. Assessment will be based on moderated marking.
Feedback Formative feedback will be provided verbally at each seminar as student-led tasks are presented and discussed, and also at the workshop with the Ensemble in Residence, where student works will be rehearsed and performed.

Written feedback will be provided on all three of the summative Components of Assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Define and extend their own creative practice in musical composition.
  2. Collaborate and communicate effectively with peers and professional musicians, and assess the effectiveness of these collaborations.
  3. Prepare and present work at a professional standard.
  4. Describe and reflect upon their work in an illustrative and illuminative way.
  5. Translate the ideas encountered in lectures and creative practice into a critical understanding of the creative and cultural context of musical composition.
Reading List
Ligeti, G. And Varnai,P (1983) Ligeti in Conversation. Eulenburg Books
Oliveros, P. (2005) Deep Listening : A Composer's Sound Practice. iUniverse
Gould, E (2011)- Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation. Faber Music Ltd
Varga, B.A. (2015) Three Questions for Sixty-Five Composers. University of Rochester Press
Rutherford-Johnson, T. 2017. Music after the Fall: Modern Composition and Culture since1989. Oakland: University of California Press
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Students will expand and fulfil their potential as creative artists, finding new ways to investigate and solve problems in their practice.

- Through opportunities for collaboration (with composition staff, peers, and professional musicians) students will develop and enhance their communication skills in rehearsal and performance situations, and in their writing.

- Students will develop the passion and confidence to engage locally and globally with industry professionals and other creative practitioners.
Keywordscomposition,creative practice,cultural context,aesthetics,sound art
Course organiserDr Thomas Butler
Course secretaryMrs Carrie Parker
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422
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