Module title: Composition 2

SCQF level: 08:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: MUS08149
Module leader: Ken Dempster
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Humanities and Culture

Composition Studies: Originating Popular Music (MUS07139)

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:
Teaching on this module is made up of lectures, workshops, and MIDI lab sessions. In the lectures, you will be introduced to a series of ideas and strategies relevant to the instrumental/vocal lineup for the brief. This will include creative strategies (LO1), general considerations regarding the basic musical parameters (LO2), and specific instrumental and vocal specifications (LO5). Workshops will allow you to hear your ideas in progress, rooting your notational practice firmly in your listening practice (LO2), and enabling direct suggestions from the tutor on our creative process (LO1). This will also enable you to assess the effectiveness of your notational practice (LO4) and idiomatic writing for the forces (LO5). Listening to your work will also develop your understanding of structure and pacing in a very direct way (LO3).
The MIDI lab sessions will take a direct approach to your notation, providing feedback and assistance as you prepare your scores and performing materials to a professional standard (LO4).

Formative Assessment:
Six workshops will give you the opportunity to have your sketches reviewed by the tutor and by instrumentalists and vocalists. Feedback you receive from these sessions will enable you to enhance your sketches into a final score.

Summative Assessment:
The first brief will be to write a short piece (approx. 2 - 4mins.) for either solo piano or SATB choir. The second brief will be to write a short piece (approx. 2 - 4mins.) for either a trio or a quartet of instruments drawn from the Edinburgh Napier University Contemporary Ensemble.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 12
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 12
Face To Face Supervised time in studio/workshop 10
Independent Learning Guided independent study 166
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Project - Practical 50 1,2,3,4,5 13
Project - Practical 50 1,2,3,4,5 31
Component 1 subtotal: 50
Component 2 subtotal: 50
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

In this module you will learn to write for specific instrumental and vocal combinations which may include choir, solo piano, and trios/quartets. These pieces will be performed and workshopped through the course of the module to give you the direct experience of hearing what you are writing. Performers (including both staff and students) will offer feedback which will at once give you vital advice on writing and scoring, and enhance your professional skills as a composer. Specific sessions on musical notation will enable you to express yourself clearly and effectively.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Explore creative strategies in order to extend your musical imagination;

LO2: Examine and exemplify specific applications of musical elements (pitch, line, harmony, sonority, rhythm, texture, etc.);

LO3: Develop insight into structure and pacing as they relate to musical expression;

LO4: Utilise a problem-solving approach to notational challenges;

LO5: Differentiate between different instruments and idioms;

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

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