Composition Studies

Subject MUSI20122 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 two-hour workshop per week
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours


Music Language 1 OR by permission of the co-ordinator.

First year students interested in the Composition Specialisation are encouraged to take this subject and should contact the subject co-ordinator during Orientation Week.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Summer Term, Semester 2


Recommended Background Knowledge:

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

Non Allowed Subjects:
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.


Dr Katy Abbott



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.

Learning Outcomes:

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
Performance/ Composition/ Musicology/ Ethnomusicology Specialisation (B-MUS Version 5 only)
Related Breadth Track(s): Studies in music composition and music language

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