Composition Workshop A
What you will learn
A course which will enable students to build completed pieces of music through a mixture of taught techniques and utilisation of students' own musical ideas. Students will be given frameworks in which to write pieces and there will be continuous tutor feedback and class discussion of the works as they build up. Performances of pieces may happen in class, or with Morley groups that composers write for.
By the end of the course you will be able to
- Understand the fundamental parameters of writing for the piano
- Understand some special techniques and considerations in piano writing
- Analyse existing pieces of piano music to see various techniques being used
- Build on the above by including a solo instrument with piano
- Build pieces for solo piano and/or piano with one solo instrument
Class format and activities
Classes will mix the analysis of demonstrated material with the development of student pieces, in a roughly 30/70 ratio.
Students will be guided on the rhythmic, melodic, harmonic and formal aspects of their work in order to produce a piece suitable for performance.
Study pieces for this term: Debussy - The Engulfed Cathedral; Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition (excerpts); Martinu - Variations on a Theme of Rossini H290;
Poulenc - Clarinet Sonata
In order to ensure that you make the best possible progress on your course, you will have regular feedback from your tutor, in a constructive and supportive environment.
A solid theoretical background (ABRSM 6+ or equivalent), fluent reading and writing of standard music notation, the ability to produce musical ideas for further development.
What you need to know before you enrol
Time will need to be spent out of class in inventing and developing musical idea to make pieces.
You will need to follow and contribute to discussions in English.
Music Study can include the use of digital resources such as listening to recordings, watching videos online, using appropriate mobile applications and following Moodle -Morley's virtual learning environment- to enhance your learning inside and outside the classroom.
Music study also offers a range of benefits including being an enjoyable way to enhance wellbeing. Music practice at Morley can also serve to enhance skills relevant for employment including developing creativity, developing high-concentration levels, building self-confidence, working to deadlines, being able to control nerves and working as part of a team.
What you will need for your class
Notebook, manuscript paper, data stick.
What you can do next
This course continues next term as 'Composition Workshop B'. You may also be interested in the 'Orchestration and Arranging' course and in any 'Listener's Guide to Music' courses, such as 'The History of the Piano', 'The History of Opera' or 'The Brief Guide to Western Music'.