In this course, students explore the musical concepts of melody, rhythm, harmony and form as applied to the principles and techniques of writing and arranging for the rhythm section (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, basic percussion) and a lead-line in a solo instrument, two horns (trumpet, alto or tenor sax) or voice. Students learn about the conceptualization process of combining individual components to create a musically satisfying arrangement. Students also learn various contemporary musical styles and the musical concepts that comprise them, including writing from the bottom up (groove-driven) and top down (working with a melody in a lead instrument or voice). Students will complete writing assignments that incorporate combinations of acoustic, electronic, and/or MIDI instruments.
Functional tonal harmony analyzed and composed in various musical textures. Emphasis on voice leading, melodic writing, and figured bass.
Continuation of CM-211. Advanced tonal harmony and intermediate compositional procedures. Emphasis on harmonies with sevenths, other upper extensions, chromatic alterations as well as modulation.
Specific techniques of traditional tonal composition. Conclusive and nonconclusive phrases; antecedent-consequent phrase relationships; open-ended phrase relationships; sequencing; modulation; large-scale tonal relationships; thematic variation and development. Application of these techniques in writing, using models from the classical period.
During this course the students will explore and master the technique of modulation to the keys both closely related and distant. Using the concepts of three degrees of kinship between keys and the major-minor (minor-major) systems, the students will acquire the skill of gradual modulation as well as sudden modulation, as it was taught in Russia. This practical/theoretical approach will both contrast and complement current methods of handling this more advanced area of harmony, and will thus bring about for the student additional practical applications of these concepts.
The technical aspects involved in creating finished, professional scores. Score layout; instrumental/vocal ranges and performance characteristics; special playing techniques and limitations; breath and bowing considerations; choice of key, meter, beat, and subdivision values; use of slurs, articulation marks, dynamics, tempo variation, and other devices for indicating expressive nuance; proper underlaying of vocal text; calligraphy; creating a practical piano reduction; and extracting parts.
Diatonic harmonic analysis in various musical textures. Melody writing. Harmonization of melodies in various musical textures.
Continuation of CM-251. Advanced traditional harmony and intermediate compositional procedures. Seventh chords, altered chords, modulation.
Specific techniques of traditional 20th-century composition. Technical devices such as quartal harmony, serial writing, polytonality, and contrapuntal techniques. Assignments are directly related to each of these aspects of composition and are performed in class.
The continuation of CM-311 with concentration on the employment of serial approaches to composition. Various composition assignments and a final project are required.
The workshop provides opportunities for student composers to hear performances of their own work, and for student performers to gain public performing experience of original student works and works written within the last 60 years. Important works of the 20th century are explored. It is advisable, but not required, for students to have taken MHIS-261 prior to enrolling in this course. This course can be repeated for credit.
Discussion of string instruments, their special effects, and proper notation. Principles of string orchestration and voicing techniques.