Music 312 Fall 2015

Music 312, Composition Seminar I:

Music 312 provides experience in original and creative musical composition, either acoustic or technological, or in combination. All seminarians will convene during the semester both together as an extended group with the graduate composers of the School of Music, and separately as the undergraduate composers group. Guest composers will include professional composers of a wide variety of aesthetic views, style and stature, as well as faculty composers of the Department of Music and the School of Music.


Those students in Music 312 must complete a series of portfolio exercises each semester as prescribed, a series of composition lessons with a course TF, an ‘In-Person’ Midterm Meeting and an ‘In-Person’ Final Meeting, both with Dr. A, AND complete between 3-8 minutes of an originally designed composition project requisite to an individual’s level of experience. The portfolio exercises in Music 312 are:

Portfolio Exercise #1, Part A: exercises in cell motives, phrase structures, modes/scales – submit in YOUR DROPBOX as directed:

Dorian on F melody: DUE Friday, 9/25, 5 p.m.
Lydian-Mixolydian melody on G: DUE Monday, 10/5, 11:59 p.m.

Portfolio Exercise #1, Part B: pandiatonic small ternary form – submit in YOUR DROPBOX as directed:

PE #1, Part B1 – Pre-Compositional Planning: DUE Friday, 10/9, 11:59 p.m.
PE #1, Part B2 – Pandiatonic Small Ternary Form: DUE Friday, 10/30, 11:59 p.m.

Portfolio Exercise #2: exercises in vocal/piano duo writing, text setting, harmonic colors/textures and small harmonic structures – submit in YOUR DROPBOX as directed:

PE #2, Part A – Pre-Compositional Planning: DUE Monday, 11/9, 11:59 p.m.
PE #2, Part B – Art Song Fragment: DUE Friday, 11/20, 11:59 p.m.

Portfolio Exercise #3, Part A: exercise in canonic writing – submit in YOUR DROPBOX as directed.
PE #3, Part A – Octatonic Canon on A: DUE Monday, 12/7, 11:59 p.m.

Portfolio Exercise #3, Part B: scoring in East/West – submit in YOUR DROPBOX as directed.
PE #3, Part B – Scoring in East/West: DUE Wednesday, 12/16, 11:59 p.m.


Additionally, students must take a total of ten or more weekly lessons per semester, scheduled on a regular basis.  Lessons will be with Katie Balch and Natalie Dietterich. Every student must present their work at one class each semester.

Students are required to attend the Yale College Composers Concerts and encouraged to attend the New Music New Haven concerts, as well as any other concerts on which they and their peers present their works.

Grading for Each Semester:

Class and concert attendance/participation/attitude — 10%
—(Note: three or more combined absences from classes and/or concerts may forfeit this 5%)
Lesson preparation/attendance/attitude — 10%
—(Note: three or more combined absences from lessons may forfeit this 10%)
Portfolio Exercises — 45%
Oral Midterm Meeting — 2.5%
Oral Final Meeting — 2.5%
Original Composition Project — 30%
—(Note: Original Composition Project is comprised of 24% weekly lesson submission, 6% final evaluation)

Weekly Lesson Submission Guidelines:

In addition to the seminar assignments, students will be graded on the work from their weekly lessons.  Students must make a minimum of 8 submissions over the following dates:
(no submission after fall break)
Fridays, at 11:59 p.m.

At least 4 of the 8 submissions must be before fall break, and all submissions beginning on 10/15 must reflect work on the submitted final project.   All submissions are time-stamped when they are uploaded to the classesV2 dropbox, and late submissions will not receive credit.

Grading Criteria:

Students are expected to show advancement in their compositional skills to earn the following grades:

A = Exceptional improvement in development of compositional techniques, syntax, and form
B = Demonstrable improvement in development of compositional techniques, syntax, and form
C = No change in use of compositional techniques, syntax, and form
D = Regression in use of compositional techniques, syntax, and form

Preparation and attendance/participation for course work classes and lessons, the class presentation, and individual composition work – are the responsibility of the student. The professors and teaching assistant are NOT obligated to make-up classes and lessons students miss.

Texts on Reserve:

Adler, Samuel The Study of Orchestration, 3rd edition. (W. W. Norton & Company) ISBN: 0-393-97572-X

Blatter. Alfred Instrumentation and Orchestration, 2nd edition. (Schirmer) ISBN: 0-534-25187-0

Persichetti, Vincent Twentieth-Century Harmony: Creative Aspects and Practice, 1st edition. (W. W. Norton & Company) ISBN: 0-393-09539-8

Potter, John The Cambridge companion to singing, 1st edition. (Cambridge University Press) ISBN: 0521622255

Read, Gardner Music Notation, 2nd edition. (Taplinger Publishing Company) ISBN: 0-800-85453-5

Solomon, Samuel How to Write for Percussion, 1st edition. (SZSolomon) ISBN: 0-9744721-0-7

Stone, Kurt Music Notation in the Twentieth Century: A Practical Guidebook, 1st edition. (W. W. Norton & Company) ISBN: 0-393-95053-0

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