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MUS2660 - Composition Techniques: Structure, Pitch and Space

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Peter McIlwain


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


The unit will cover three topics related to compositional technique. The first topic will explore basic concepts behind musical structures from both the listener's and composer's perspective and methods for analysis of musical structures in notated works. The second topic covers the formation and organisation of pitch in terms of tuning, scales and. The third topic, called post-production techniques, explores compositional technique specific to the recording studio and computer technology. Included will be an investigation of a number of techniques for organising sounds in virtual spaces (such as the stereo space) and related aesthetic issues.


Students completing this unit will be able to; incorporate a range of structural strategies into their compositions or improvisations, perform structural analysis of notated works to a basic level, have developed listening skills in relation to pitch organisation, compose musical ideas using a range of approaches to scale and mode, and be able to analyse and criticise music created in recording studios from the perspective of post-production technique.


Structure Assignment (2000 words) : 40%
Modal Exercise (1500 word equivalent) : 35%
Post-production Exercise (1000 word equivalent) : 25%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour lecture) per week


MUS1100, MUS1110