Music 123B: Undergraduate Composition
This course is a continuation of undergraduate composition, essentially the technique of composition. Good composers with great musical ideas are born: all I can do is explain what compositional technique is and how to work more efficiently.
The course meets on Monday from 10:00 until 11:50 and Wednesday from 11:00 PM until 11:50. Wednesdays will consist of a demonstration
lecture which poses a problem that the student will take home and solve in
his/her own style and return on Monday. The following Wednesday will give
more examples and following Monday will be devoted to the rewrites. There
will be three projects and a final project, and they must be completed by the end of
the quarter. All musical examples will be from the vocal literature, and all texts,
whether selected by students or studied, will be in English.
Examples in the xerox packet:
Each student will select three texts: one which could be set as a song, one which could
be used in a choral treatment, and one which could be an operatic scene (fragment). Since
it is possible that different students will be working on different kinds of settings at the
same time, no due dates will be enforced.
A packet of xeroxed materials must be purchased from University Reader Printing Service. This
packet has all of the vocal examples mentioned below. In addition, other materials will be
distributed in class. If you lose this syllabus, check in at the Reale-Rydell Website,
http://www.minotaurz.com/minotaur under Educational Resources for this document online.
Monday (1/12) Introduction: Problems of writing for the voice.
Wednesday (1/14): Read Edward T. Cone, The Composer's Voice, Chapter 4 (first
example in xerox packet).
M (1/19): Holiday. There will be individual appointments on selection of texts on Thursday from 1:00-2:00.
W (1/21): Analysis of the differences between opera, song, and choral texts, as well as
in differences in the nature of the accompaniment. This study
will continue on successive Wednesdays for the first six weeks.
M (2/16): Holiday. Individual conferences on Thursday from 1:00-3:00.
W (2/25): The cast of Sondheim's "Into the Woods" will ilustrate excerpts
from that piece. John Hall will moderate.
M (3/9): Noon concert of student works. No class on Monday or Wednesday. Individual
conferences on Thursday from 1:00-3:00.
The remainder of the sessions will be devoted to rewriting the vocal and choral assignments with a possibility of choral readings (TBA).