What is the course about?
This course is based on the analysis of composition techniques and listening and analysis of contemporary and experimental repertoire. You will be encouraged to try out different techniques and incorporate them into your existing composition practice. This term will focus on harmonic principles.
What will we cover?
- tonal harmony: the basic principles - Bach
- harmony as colour
- extended harmony
- dissonant and atonal harmony (12 tone and beyond)
- microtonal harmony.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Analyse harmony music in various systems of pitch organisation
- Understand how harmony contributes to shape and direction in music
- Understand how harmony relates to rhythm and texture
- Write effective harmonic progressions in a variety of styles and pitch organisation systems.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You need good knowledge of music theory, including harmony, and fluent music reading and notation skills, as well as experience on an instrument or voice. Composers who use Logic, Ableton, Sibelius, MAX/MSP or pencil are accepted.
Please note: this course is for people who make music already and want to explore new things. It is suitable for students preparing to study composition at conservatoire level in future and for those wish simply wish to develop their skills and enjoy participating in a regular composition workshop.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- group discussion and feedback
- guided analytical listening, score study, discussion and playing/singing of examples
- class and individual exercises in writing using the techniques studied
- playing / singing of exercises
- playing through and critiquing student exercises and compositions
- presenting your compositions/exercises to the group in performance or via recording/Sibelius files etc….
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Manuscript paper, pencil and eraser. Other musical materials will be supplied by the tutor.
You may need to bring your instrument to class to play the exercises and compositions.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Composition Techniques runs every term, and different topics are studied in each course.
You may also be interested in songwriting courses, music theory or practical musicianship (ear training, sight-singing, Kodaly, Dalcroze etc.)
You may also be interested in our wide range of music appreciation courses, covering all periods and styles of Western music from Medieval to modern.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details