Composition Studies

Subject MUSI20122 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 two-hour workshop per week
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours


740122 Music Language 1: the Diatonic World or AMEB theory grade 5 or permission of the coordinator



Recommended Background Knowledge:

Ability to read and write musical notation and general understanding of music theory terminology is assumed.

Non Allowed Subjects:

Not available concurrently to BMus composition majors.

Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Contact Centre
T: 13 MELB (6352)

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and MCM Student Centre

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students without previous composition tuition to strategies for thinking about and constructing original music. Students will write chamber music based on instruments available within the class. The subject will be divided into three 4-week modules, each beginning with a process of sketching and culminating in a short completed project to be performed in class.


On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Develop practical strategies for writing original music.
  • Develop an ability to structure self-imposed guidelines for composing new work.
  • Communicate clearly to performers through professionally presented music notation.
  • Rehearse and perform new music in a group context
  • Respond critically and creatively to new music by others

Assessment will be not only on the basis of the completed projects, but also on the process of work.

Project 1: solo – due Week 4 (25% = sketches (5%) + project (20%))
Project 2: duo – due Week 8 (30% = sketches (5%) + project (25%))
Project 3: quartet – due Week 12 (35% = sketches (5%) + project (30%))
Engagement (10%) – consisting of EITHER
participation in tutorial readings of students’ projects as required OR
attendance at and 300-word written review of one School of Music composers’ concert

Students are required to attempt each component in order to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have developed:

  • The ability to expand small ideas into larger realities.
  • The ability to absorb new ideas and respond to them in a thoughtful and personal way.
  • The ability to communicate effectively.
  • The ability to be resourceful and creative.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Diploma and Certificate Elective subjects
Music Studies Electives
Related Breadth Track(s): Studies in music composition and music language

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