Contemporary Writing and Production
An introduction to writing and production techniques in hip-hop styles. Topics include the social and cultural aspects of hip-hop music as it pertains to the music's origins and early pioneers, the analysis of stylistic and musical characteristics, and instruction in the use of sequencing software in hip-hop production.
Expanding on the material introduced in Arranging 1, this course focuses on a more in-depth study of stylistic approaches of creating and writing grooves for the rhythm section (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, and percussion) and how different styles work together and influence each other. Original techniques and practical approaches to creating grooves will be presented through listening analysis, original writing techniques, as well as methods used to create hybrid grooves. Styles to be covered include: funk, rock, soul, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, electronic, and Brazilian, which includes some selected Caribbean styles. Some production analysis will be included to identify soundscapes and instrumentation as they relate to style.
The course covers the necessary tools, techniques, and applications of MIDI sequencing and digital audio for writing and production. Main topics include the MIDI standard and its applications, set up and use of digital audio workstations (DAWs), integration of MIDI and audio tracks/sources, use of software synthesizers, basic mixing techniques, audio theory, equipment, and techniques. Through practical examples, activities, and projects the student will learn how to effectively use a DAW to write and produce music. Emphasis is on technological needs of the contemporary writer.
Building on the content of AR-203, this course provides in-depth study of the capabilities of the software program Finale. Course content includes using Metatools, Hyperscribe, Shape Designer, a broader range of editing tools, and practical shortcuts to efficiently create scores and parts of professional quality. Instruction and project work is accomplished in the Professional Writing Division MIDI Lab.
Instruction in advanced small group writing concepts that encompasses sophisticated rhythm section scoring and groove writing, including writing for auxiliary percussion; an introduction to writing for voices and strings; background writing for horns, strings, and voices; manipulation of elements of large-scale form and structure; creation of complex, layered textures; and hybrid writing techniques involving sequencing and live players. In addition, the course will focus heavily on score and part preparation.
This class focuses on the musical analysis and writing techniques of many of the most important contemporary recording/performing artists and composers in South America. Using a map of South America and the Caribbean, this course virtually travels through the continent visiting each country (except Brazil), to explore their traditional and contemporary music. Scores, recordings, literature, and video material explains how South American music was born, evolved, and transformed by absorbing the encounter between indigenous, African, and European traditional music in the "New World." Using classical and modern musical forms, including: orchestral, chamber, jazz, rock, pop, flamenco, and African music examples, students learn about the wide, and yet relatively unexplored, spectrum of South American music and how to apply these elements into their own compositions. Through analysis, transcriptions, and scored music material provided by the instructor, students learn various rhythmic and harmonic patterns from different countries of South America and the Caribbean, such as: Colombia, Argentina, Perú, Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, Trinidad, and others. Students also discuss the historical and social process of South American culture in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the multicultural and multiracial roots of contemporary South American music.
Conceptualizing, writing, and producing vocals; contemporary writing and production techniques for vocal groups of different sizes; working with vocals in live situations versus the recording studio environment; writing background vocals above a band versus a cappella vocal writing. Creating vocal band effects will also be explored. Range considerations, timbre, vocal production, and notation for various size vocal groups; writing and production techniques and considerations for recording studio situations.
This course examines the folkloric music from Latin America that informs today's contemporary music. Topics include traditional musical styles, forms, instrumentation, arranging techniques, melody, and harmony. Folkloric music from the following countries is studied: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. The course focuses on applications of these styles in contemporary arranging and composition.
Composition of music for radio and television commercials. Emphasis on means of creating suitable product image. Working with, and alteration of, given lyrics. Some lyric writing. Determining proper instrumentations. Timing considerations.
A study of rhythmic styles of contemporary salsa music, including characteristics of instrumentation and the unique clave rhythmic pattern. Specific rhythmic styles analyzed will include mambo, son montuno, guajiro, bomba, merengue, and songo, among others. Musical scores of Eddie Palmieri, Juan Luis Guerra, Oscar D'León, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D'Rivera, and many others will be analyzed. Students will create melodies as well as piano, guitar, bass, and percussion rhythmic patterns; they will write brass instrumental sections using the clave rhythmic pattern.
This course examines the concepts and techniques of writing flamenco music, which is a vital and growing genre in contemporary music. The course covers the origins of the various styles of flamenco, their individual influences, primary composers of flamenco, overview of popular lyrics, and common composition and arranging techniques in flamenco styles. Students will investigate the various aspects of writing flamenco music: use of improvised structure; binary, ternary, and polyrhythm rhythmic styles; traditional harmonic approaches and concepts; melodic approaches; and the use of microtones. A variety of compositions, arrangements, and orchestrations will be analyzed, including examples of contemporary compositions and new stylistic variations in flamenco that feature the use of electronics and flamenco without guitar. Students will create compositions and/or arrangements for a flamenco music ensemble.
Survey of the mallet, membrane, and accessory groups of the percussion instrument family. Demonstration and discussion of notation, range, techniques, and effects. Scores from Broadway shows and studio, orchestral, chamber, and solo pieces.