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Monash University

Master of Arts (Music Composition)

Course code: 3063 ~ Course abbreviation: MA (Mus Composition) ~ 1.5 years full-time, 3 years part-time ~ Managing faculty: Arts

Study mode and course location

On-campus (Clayton)

Course description

This course is by 100 per cent research and is designed for composers interested in developing a distinctive compositional voice, and to research and acquire a range of compositional techniques. Through regular work in the School of Music - Conservatorium's music studios, candidates will acquire knowledge of music technology and an understanding of music technology as a compositional tool. Full-time candidates are expected to allocate 48 hours per week to compositional activities and meet with their supervisor(s) on a regular basis. Full-time candidates are required to attend a minimum of 10 of the school's postgraduate seminars during each year of their candidature. Part-time candidates are required to attend a minimum of five seminars per year. Candidates are required to present at least one postgraduate seminar during the course of their candidature.

The minimum period of study for this degree is one year.

Grades for the award of a research masters degree

The minimum pass grade for a masters by research is 60 C (credit). The Faculty of Arts gives an overall grade to each successful research masters candidate. There are three qualifying grades: honours 2B (60-69), honours 2A (70-79) and honours 1 (80-100).

Course structure

Course requirements

In close consultation with their supervisor, candidates develop a composition folio consisting of both musical scores and sound recordings that demonstrates their ability to work in various media, including traditional, electro-acoustic, and contemporary solo and chamber combinations. The overall duration of the submitted music would normally be between 30 to 45 minutes. Depending on the complexity of the submitted music, however, the overall duration may deviate considerably from the given range. Together with the folio of compositions, candidates are required to write a critical commentary of between 10,000 and 15,000 words. The critical commentary must be scholarly in character and, at a minimum, address the following: (1) explication of aesthetic arguments that provide a conceptual basis for the submitted compositions, (2) compositional approach, process, and techniques, (3) aesthetic placement and stylistic predecessors, (4) sonic realisation and performance context.

Contact details

Refer to discipline entry in the `Areas of study' section.

Course coordinator

Dr Thomas Reiner