21M.065 Introduction to Musical Composition

Fall 2005

Words like thermovoltaic cell set to a rhythm pattern.

Some examples of using speech patterns to generate additive rhythms and mixed meters, from Assignment 5. (Examples by Prof. Brian Robison.)

Course Highlights

This course features an extensive list of listening assignments and recordings of final composition projects.

Course Description

Through a progressive series of composition projects, this course investigates the sonic organization of musical works and performances, focusing on fundamental questions of unity and variety. Aesthetic issues are considered in the pragmatic context of the instructions that composers provide to achieve a desired musical result, whether these instructions are notated in prose, as graphic images, or in symbolic notation. No formal training is required. Weekly listening, reading, and composition assignments draw on a broad range of musical styles and intellectual traditions, from various cultures and historical periods.

Special Features

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .mp3 and .rm.

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Prof. Brian Robison

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session