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My name is Sam Sun. I'm doing Physics Major Bachelor of Science and Concurrent Diploma in Music....


I learned this subject in Semester 1, 2020. ⏎ This is a pretty subject overall. During lectures, the lecturer introduces some compositional techniques, which are encouraged for student to use in their composition assignments although the implementation thereof is not at all essential from a marking perspective. ⏎ It is worth pointing out that although some compositional techniques are introduced in the lecture, this subject is not at all a music theory subject. There is no complex harmony or counterpoint being taught in this subject. ⏎ There are three assignments in this subject, all of which are compositional. Assignment 1 is for a solo instrument. The choice of which solo instrument you can choose from is dependent on what instruments your classmate in your tutorial group can play, because in week 4, you submit your piece and one of your classmate will sight-read your piece for you. Note that you cannot choose the instrument that you know how to play, and you can't choose piano or guitar either for first assignment.⏎ Assignment 2 is for a dual (two instruments). Each of the tutorial group will have a pair of specialist performers come to their tutorial on week 8. Thus, the instrumentation of your second composition assignment will be determined by the instrument that the specialist performer can play, but usually, one of the instrument is piano. Since this composition will be performed by specialists rather than students, you can write slightly more virtuoso, as they are pretty good sight-readers.⏎ Assignment 3 is for a quartet (four instruments). This will be performed by your classmates in your tutorial group in week 12. So instrumentation is again limited by the instrument available amongst your fellow classmates just like in assignment 1. This time though, the instrumentation can include your own instrument.⏎ Those three compositional assignments are the only assessments of this subject. No exam, no quiz, no test. 👍 Though, if you don't play an instrument, or if you don't want to participate in sight-reading other students' composition, then you need to write a concert review, which is a supplement for your participation mark.⏎ There is no stylistic limitation for your composition in this subject. You can choose to write in classical style, modern style, avant-garde style or whatever, but the teachers will encourage you to write in your original style. If your piece sounds like a particular composer's style, then your teacher probably won't like it so much. So they want you to be more innovative. And don't worry too much about voice-leading issues (e.g. parallel 5th/8th etc), as those are not taking into consideration when teacher marks your work, because you can easily argue that that is part of your style.⏎ You should spend at least a whole day on score cleaning and music engraving, because from my experience, if you don't notate your score properly, the teacher will deduce a lot of marks, even for things as tiny as the beam of two staffs clashing to each others. So be very careful when you notate your score! Make your score as beautiful as possible.⏎ The other thing is your should be precise about your music. There must be some sort of indication for the performer to know the dynamics, tempo, articulation, phrasing, pedalling, breathing, bowing etc at all point in the music. The most often made mistake is to not put any dynamic marking or tempo at the first bar of the music. You can choose to marking your performance instruction either in fancy Italian or just simple English as long as your performers can understand.⏎ You can attend every consultation hour of every tutors, including tutors who don't teach you. And I strongly encourage you attend consultation hour at very least once every fortnight. I myself almost attend once per week. And in the final week, I attended every single consultation hour in that week. In the first week of a module, you should go to your tutor's consultation hour and ask their general advice on that particular instrumentation. In the final or penultimate week of a module, you should take your semi-completed composition to one of the consultation hour and ask them what can be improved. These consultation hours can be very helpful.⏎ I got 93% in this subject, and I think it is a relatively easy subject for me. Though, if you don't notate your score properly, you might not be able to get a high score.⏎ In semester 1, 2020, we did this subject online for almost the entirety of the semester except the for few weeks. I have to say, it is not very worth my money doing this subject online, as our compositions won't be played by more than one person simultaneously due to internet delay.⏎ Boyi

Anonymous, Semester 1, 2020

An awesome subject if you've got a bit of the composition drive. It helps to tease out the fundamentals of composition and allows you to put this into practice. An enjoyable subject and well taught.

Anonymous, Semester 2, 2013