Bachelor of Music - Composition Major Year 3 Unit Outline

Unit of Study - Composition Major

The following applies to Year Three Bachelor of Music students.

Unit Outlines

Unit Name

COMPOSITION & ARRANGING MAJOR

Unit Code

COMPMA 303

Unit Duration

Year long unit over 4 terms

Year Level         

Three (Major)

Module

Composition & Arranging Major

Module Codes per semester

ORCHMA3001

ORCHMA3002

Year Coordinator

Greta Grybaitis

Unit Coordinator

Glen Carter-Varney

Teaching Staff

Lecturer:      Leonie Wobking
Sessionals: Dr Ern Knoop, Mary Ann Mangion-Needham

Core/Elective

Elective major

Pre/Co-requisites

Year One and Two

Credit Points

13 per term; 52 for third year
Course total = 52

Mode of Delivery

x Face to face
x Online
x Distance/independent learning (un-timetabled)
x Full-time
x Part-time
x External

Delivery/ Contact Hours

Lecture 2 hours
Personal Study recommended - 13 hours

Award(s)

Bachelor of Music

Resource Requirements

  • Software
  • Computing resource requirements
  • Technical Help

             

Unit Aims

This unit aims to achieve a high level of understanding in students towards writing full arrangements and compositions applying advanced knowledge and techniques in a range of styles using a variety of instrumentation.  Students will apply instrumentation, composition and arranging knowledge to create original works synchronised to movie scenes for a variety of moods incorporating music technology and visual media.  Students will compose a major work for a large orchestral arrangement at a professional level by the end of the course. 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate confidence and strong compositional techniques of a high standard for both individual and professional purposes.
  2. Evaluate and explore compositional and technical aspects, aesthetics, and interpretation of film content and apply compositional principles and techniques to scoring music to film.  This includes creativity of a musical soundtrack and knowledge of skills in synchronization, recording, spotting, compositional application and editing.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of socio-cultural influences on various genres of music, musical language and stylistic origins.
  4. Display critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills through creativity in arrangements and compositions to a professional standard using advanced techniques and skills in orchestration. 
 

Teaching Outline

Year 3

Term One

  • Discuss common problems of orchestration (lessons 1a and 1b)
  • Review arranging techniques by Russell Garcia (Book 1 and 2)
  • Analyse pre-composed film soundtracks. (Music Behind the Scenes – episode “Love and seduction”)
  • Discuss tools of composition, technical scoring requirements, themes and melody writing
  • Plan towards major work

Term Two

  • Discuss common problems of orchestration (lessons 1c to 1d)
  • Review arranging techniques by Russell Garcia (Book 3 and 4)
  • Analyse pre-composed film soundtracks. (Music Behind the Scenes – episodes “Suspense” and “Heroics”)
  • Discuss arranging techniques, instrumentation, musical expression, articulation, dynamics and harmony
  • Review progress of major work

Term Three

  • Discuss common problems of orchestration (lessons 2a and 2h)
  • Review arranging techniques by Russell Garcia (Book 5 and 6)
  • Analyse pre-composed film soundtracks. (Music Behind the Scenes – episodes “Humour” and “The Chase”)
  • Discuss form, structure, timbre, colour, modulation, repeats and transposition
  • Review progress towards major work

Term Four

  • Discuss common problems of orchestration (lessons 3a and 3e)
  • Review arranging techniques by Russell Garcia (revision)
  • Analyse pre-composed film soundtracks. (Music Behind the Scenes – episode “The Independents”)
  • Create a major composition, 100 bar minimum expressing the emotion and effects needed expressed in a movie scene utilizing MIDI, sequencing and notating software.
  • Discuss orchestration, genre, embellishments, movement, colour, musical peak and balance.
  • Plan towards major work


Prescribed and recommended readings:

Required textbook(s)

  • Online Books and Video (MOODLE)
  • AGME – Orchestration Textbook
  • AGME – Theory Textbook
  • AGME – Finale/Sibelius Textbooks
  • AGME – Arranging by Jeff Wood
  • AGME – Arranging by Glen Carter Varney
  • Assignment Guidelines (4)
  • Lecture notes from your lecturer relating to Orchestration for extra reading material.
  • Oxford Music Online, a subscription to Grove Music Online includes The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians 2/e, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, the new Grove Dictionary of Jazz 2/e, The Oxford Companion to Music and The Oxford Dictionary of Music 2/e, plus updated content bibliographies, specially-commissioned articles only available online, and new and revised entries from the forthcoming The Grove Dictionary of American Music.
  • JSTOR Journals and book subscriptions
  • Lynda.com video tutorials

Reference Materials
Online streaming videos available of live tutorials.
Additional material on DVD if requested are given/posted to students in groups, upon completion of viewing students are required to return DVDs and then they will be supplied the next group of DVD’s.

  • Music Behind the Scenes – 6 episodes (DVD series)

Reading List
(All available for download on the internet AGME Moodle site)

  • Structure Your Music by Professor Terry Dwyer
  • Practical Principles of Harmony
  • Principles of Counterpoint by A Belkin
  • A practical guide to musical composition by A Belkin
  • The Professional Arranger Composer by Russell Garcia Book I - VI

Available in most book stores, Kindle and/or libraries

  • Melodies and their Treatment: A.J. Leckie
  • Chords Scales and Simple Improvisation: Books 1+2. by Michael Furstner
  • Blues Basics for Beginners by Michael Furstner
  • Scales and Arpeggios for the Jazz Pianist by Michael Furstner
  • A Guide to Rock and Pop
  • A complete idiot’s guide to arranging and orchestration by Michael Miller
  • Teaching popular music by Peter Dunbar-Hall
  • The Craft of Lyric Writing by Sheila Davis
  • Rock, Jazz & Pop Arranging by Daryl Runswick
  • Writing music for hit songs by Jai Josefs
  • Jazz Improvisation 1 – Tonal and Rhythmic Principles by John Mehegan
  • Melody in Songwriting by Jack Perricone (Berkelee Press)
  • Harmony by Mark Sarnecki

Malcolm Boyd. "Arrangement." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. <http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/01332>.
Whittall, Arnold. "arrangement." The Oxford Companion to Music. Ed. Alison Latham. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. <http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t114/e410>.
Kenneth Kreitner, et al. "Instrumentation and orchestration." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. <http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/20404>.
Mervyn Cooke. "Film music." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 22 Sep. 2014. <http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/09647>.
William Lichtenwanger and Mary Wallace Davidson. "Copyright." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 22 Sep. 2014. <http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/A2258807>.

 

Student assessment 

Assessment Type

When assessed

Weighting
(% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1a
Type: Arranging - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Common problems of orchestration
Students are to view and score the example in Lesson 1A, parts present should be solo oboe, and write a string part. 

Term 1 Week 9

2.5%

1, 3, 4

Assessment 1b
Type: Arranging - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Russell Garcia – The professional arranger
Write 1 short melody, 16 bars, submitted using Sibelius/Finale and saved in native format (.mus/.sib). 
Students are to write an 8 bar pop tune, 4 part block style harmony using notating software Finale/Sibelius. 

Term 1 Week 9

7.5%

1, 3, 4

Assessment 1c
Type: Composition - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Music behind the scenes – Love and seduction
Students are to select a scene in the episode “Love and seduction” from Music behind the scenes DVD series, and compose a 1 minute composition for at least 2 instrumental parts that will accompany the video file.  Video and composition is to be synchronized and submitted in presentation in notational file format and movie format. 

Term 1 Week 9

10%

1, 2, 3, 4

Assessment 2a
Type: Arranging - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Common problems of orchestration
Students are to view the example in Lesson 1C, identify and fix the problems present and try another version of the string orchestra part to present for , submission.  This should accompany and complement the oboe melody part (5 string parts required) and should not stray too far away from the given original parts.

Term 2
Week 9

2.5%

1, 3, 4

Assessment 2b
Type: Arranging - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Russell Garcia – The professional arranger
Write a 3 part harmony for the saxophone, (Alto 1, 3, Tenor 2, 4), 8 bars minimum.
This should be submitted using Sibelius/Finale and saved in native format (.mus/.sib). 
Write a 3 part harmony for trumpet 1 - 3 & trombone, 8 bars minimum, submitted using Sibelius/Finale and saved in native format (.mus/.sib). 
Write an arrangement for a vocal group, 4 part harmony choral form, 16 bars minimum, submitted using Sibelius/Finale and saved in native format (.mus/.sib). 

Term 2
Week 9

7.5%

1, 3, 4

Assessment 2c
Type: Arranging - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Music behind the scenes – Suspense & Heroics
Students are to select a scene in one of the following episodes “Suspense” and “Heroics” from Music behind the scenes DVD series and compose a 1 ½ - 2 minute composition for one scene with at least 2 instrumental parts that will accompany the video file.  Video and composition is to be synchronized and submitted in presentation in notational file format and movie format. 

Term 2
Week 9

10%

1, 2, 3, 4

Assessment 2d
Type: Arranging - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic:  Major Work – draft only
Students are to submit part of their major work to demonstrate that work has started towards the major composition work for final end of year submission of 100 bars and 7 instruments minimum.  Students should have at least 50 bars and 3 instruments attempted for this stage of the year in draft format to present to the lecturer for review.

Term 2
Week 9

n/a

1, 3, 4

Assessment 3a
Type: Arranging - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Common problems of orchestration
Students are to view and score the example in Lesson 2A, then write a complementing chorale for woodwinds (this can contain any selection of 4 woodwind instruments).  Aim for a blended sound.

Term 3
Week 9

2.5%

1, 3, 4

Assessment 3b
Type: Arranging - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Russell Garcia – The professional arranger
Write an arrangement for a big band, in Jazz or Contemporary style, 10 – 17 instrumental parts and 32 bars minimum, submitted using Sibelius/Finale and saved in native format (.mus/.sib). 

Term 3
Week 9

7.5%

1, 3, 4

Assessment 3c
Type: Arranging - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Music behind the scenes – Humour & The Chase
Students are to select a scene in the episode “Humour” and “The Chase” from Music behind the scenes DVD series and compose a 1 ½ - 2 minutes composition for one scene with at least 2 instrumental parts that will accompany the video file.  Video and composition are to be synchronized and submitted in presentation in notational file format and movie format.  

Term 3
Week 9

10%

1, 2, 3, 4

Assessment 4a
Type: Arranging - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Common problems of orchestration
Students are to view and score the example in Lesson 3A, orchestrate the sketch in Lesson 3A for a small classical orchestra: winds by 2, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani + one other percussion instrument (if desired), and strings. Notice that each phrase includes a crescendo. Try to ORCHESTRATE the crescendo; don't just write in the dynamics.

Term 4 Week 9

2.5%

1, 3, 4

Assessment 4b
Type: Arranging - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Russell Garcia – The professional arranger
Orchestrate and write a musical theme suitable for one of the following forms “Variations or a French suite” for this arrangement, with 32 bars, into Piano style. This should be submitted using Sibelius/Finale and saved in native format (.mus/.sib). 

Term 4 Week 9

7.5%

1, 3, 4

Assessment 4c
Type: Composition - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Music behind the scenes – The independents
Students are to select a scene in the episode “The Independents” from Music behind the scenes DVD series and compose a 1 ½ - 2 minute composition for one scene with at least 2 instrumental parts that will accompany the video file.  Video and composition is to be synchronized and submitted in presentation in notational file format and movie format. 

Term 4 Week 9

10%

1, 2, 3, 4

Assessment 4d
Type: Composition - Practical
Word length: n/a
Topic: Major Work
Students are to submit their final copy of the Major work composed throughout the year (100 bars minimum and 7 instrumental minimum).   

Term 4 Week 9

20%

1, 3, 4

 

Graduate Attributes

Successfully completing this unit will contribute to the recognition of attainment of the following graduate attributes.


A. Research, critical thinking and inquiry

Learning Outcomes

A1. adjust knowledge to new circumstances to problem solve creatively and with imagination in public performance/professional practice

1, 2, 3

A2. research, analyse, evaluate, think critically, organize evidence clearly and logically in a range of circumstances, including written work, performance and professional practice

 2, 4

B. Knowledge and Skills

 

B1. knowledge of music technologies required in performance/professional practice

2, 4

B2. advanced knowledge of music theory, aural, and performance/professional practice in either solo or group settings

2, 3

C. Communication

 

C1. communicate effectively in a variety of audiences using oral,  written, audio and visual applications to extend learning, (including while directing ensemble groups, instrumental tutoring,  other professional practice), and utilising  assessment, negotiation and understanding

3, 4

C2. ability to contribute to teams and resolve conflicts whilst supervising group tasks, performing or other professional practice

 

D. Independent Learning

 

D1. independent learning in a self-directed manner while being able to reflect on and evaluate work practices and performance to achieve goals

1, 2, 3

E. Creative and Professional Understanding

 

E1. demonstrate professional understanding and respect for standards of current music knowledge, pedagogy, performance/professional practice.

1, 2, 4

E2. open to innovative concepts, procedures and philosophies in performance/professional practice and application of creativity.

3