Module title: Composition 1

SCQF level: 07:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: MUS07137
Module leader: Ken Dempster
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Humanities and Culture

There are no pre-requisites for this module to be added

2019/0, Trimester 1, Face-to-Face,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Ken Dempster
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning & Teaching Methods (including their alignment to Learning Outcomes)
At the start of the module (weeks 3 & 5), two practical classes on aural skills will develop and refine your abilities to recognise, identify, and reproduce specific musical elements (LO2).
This will be followed by a series of composition lectures in two blocks (weeks 9 and 11, 18 and 20) each of which will be related to a specific brief (LO1) for a group composition employing a specific form of notation (which may include either graphic or text elements) (LO4). You will be assigned to a small collaborative composition group, and these lectures are supported by workshops for each composing group (weeks 12, 22) which will allow you to experiment and refine your compositional strategies and their performance (LO3,5).
A final composition lecture and workshop (weeks 26 and 27) will bring together the work of the entire module and develop your formative assessments for their final summative performance.
Alongside these practical and performative tasks, ten one-hour workshops on the use of notation software will enhance your ability to notate traditional staff-based notation for use in composition and arranging (LO4,6), as well as for musical examples embedded in essays.

Formative Assessment:
There will be an initial formative assessment of the aural skills covered in the first five weeks of the module which will focus on your awareness of specific musical elements.
Twice during the module and in the context of an informal class-based session, each of the composing groups will perform their composition, following which they will receive verbal feedback from their peers and the class tutor, and written feedback from the class tutor. These sessions will be videoed or the sound recorded and shared with the composing group for further formative development as appropriate.
At the end of the first trimester, you will submit a portfolio of assignments set during the workshops on notation software. The feedback provided on this portfolio will not only enable you to revise and refine them for summative submission at the end of the module, but also provide insight into ways in which your use of the software and attention to detail can be improved.

Summative Assessment:
In the final teaching week, each of the composing groups will perform their work in front of peers and the class tutor. This will be a refined version of the compositions developed throughout the module and assessed formatively.
A final portfolio of exercises in using the notation software will also be submitted which will comprise revised elements from the formative submission as well as additional exercises set during the second trimester.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 14
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 10
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 70
Independent Learning Guided independent study 103
Face To Face Seminar 3
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Project - Practical 60 1, 2,3 4, 5 28 HOURS= 2, WORDS= 0
Portfolio 40 4, 6 29 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

In this module you will take a performative and experimental approach to musical composition. By focusing principally on creativity manifested through alternative notations such as graphic and text scores, you will focus on musical expression and its relationship to gesture and instruction in a very direct way. The performative and creative aspects of this module have clear application to the wider practical music making you will engage in throughout the programme, and the compositional aspects lay the groundwork for further study of music composition and the analytical study of music. Sessions on musical notation software will improve your technical skills in laying out scores, parts, and musical examples.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: respond creatively to a brief employing your musical imagination;
LO2: demonstrate an appreciation of specific musical elements (including pitch, line, harmony, sonority, rhythm, and texture);
LO3: recognise structural shapes that demonstrate effective musical pacing;
LO4: relate notational decisions to musical expression;
LO5: duplicate appropriate idiomatic and genre-based strategies;
LO6: reproduce standard classical musical notation.

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

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