Composition Studies

Composition Studies

1. Students undertaking the Bachelor of Music (Composition) must complete:
(a) 36 credit points of Composition Studies electives
2. Students undertaking the Music Education Stream must complete:
(a) 12 credit points of Composition Studies electives
3. Students undertaking one of the following Bachelor of Music Programs must complete:
(a) Composition for Creative Industries: 12 credit points of Composition Studies electives
(b) Digital Music and Media: 18 credit points of Composition Studies electives
CMPN1000 Composition Through Improvisation 1

Credit points: 3 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Kevin Hunt Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1hr workshop/wk Assessment: Weekly assignments (70%), final recorded composition (30%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit aims, through performance, to help students develop vital aural and improvisational skills which will significantly enhance their compositional process.
CMPN1003 Composition Through Improvisation 2

Credit points: 3 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Kevin Hunt Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1hr workshop/wk Prerequisites: CMPN1000 Assessment: Weekly assignments (70%), final recorded composition (30%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit continues to develop through performance and investigation into experimental modes of presentation, to help students develop vital aural and improvisational skills which will significantly enhance their compositional process.
CMPN1010 Vocal Composition Workshop

Credit points: 3 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Paul Stanhope Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 2 hr seminar per week; All day workshop of composition ideas in Special Projects Week; Extra rehearsal time outside class in preparation for performance of student works; composition time (2 hours per week); score study and listening (1 hour per week). Prerequisites: CMPN1331 or CMPN1601 Assumed knowledge: Sight singing; basic choral skills required; familiarity with music notation and music notation software. Assessment: Composition for vocal ensemble (50%); Performance and rehearsal, professional participation (15%); Two short compositions (35%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: if prerequisite not met, you may request special permission
Music for the voice is found across a range of styles from the ancient sounds of plainsong through to the music of Icelandic pop star, Bjork. Creative Vocal Ensemble provides the opportunity to workshop new compositions for groups of voices. Students analyse compositions from an eclectic range of styles that are covered in lecture/seminars in order to inform the creation of new works. Students taking this course will comprise a 'resident ensemble' in which the studied works may lead to the creation of new musical languages in student compositions.
CMPN1014 Sound Recording Fundamentals

Credit points: 3 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Ivan Zavada Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 hr lect/wk, 1 hr lab class/wk Prohibitions: CMPN2006 Assessment: Stereo Recording (60%), Online Quiz (30%), Participation (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
In this unit of study students will be introduced to a range of audio technologies and gain a basic proficiency in sound recording, editing and mixing. Students will experience working in the Conservatorium sound studios, and learn how to make good quality recordings with portable recording devices. This unit of study also examines microphone design, stereo microphone techniques and digital audio recording. Students will experience prac-based recording sessions to gain a comprehensive understanding of the recording technology on offer at the Sydney Conservatorium.
CMPN1310 Percussion Composition Workshop

Credit points: 3 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Damien Ricketson Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2hr seminar/week Assessment: Series of composition exercises for solo and ensemble percussion (100%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: if prerequisite not met, you may apply for special permission
Percussion Composer Workshop is designed to develop compositional practice via hands-on performance-oriented curricula. This Unit of Study is will provide composition students with insights into playing and composing for percussion instruments. A basic and tactile understanding of percussion sounds and playing techniques, together with ensemble experience is an essential foundation for successful composition in this creative medium. After successfully completing this unit of study, students will be able to: demonstrate rudimentary percussion playing techniques; increase their understanding and ability to accurately conceptualise and perform complex rhythms; have performed in a percussion ensemble on a variety of percussion instruments; have composed works exploring the colour and rhythmic potential of the percussion medium.
CMPN1611 Instrumentation and Orchestration

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Carl Vine Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2 hour seminar/wk Assessment: short orchestration exercises (45%), score analysis presentation (20%), large ensemble arrangement (35%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Instrumentation and Orchestration, enhances students' knowledge of the modern orchestra while reinforcing core musicianship skills. Instrumentation study investigates the technical limitations and expressive potential of individual instruments. Orchestration examines a range of instrumental combinations in diverse styles and ensemble contexts, and requires that students learn best typographic practice and current conventions of notation and score layout. In examining instrumental characteristics the unit will also cover the fundamentals of acoustics and timbre perception, and will demand a thorough grasp of the harmonic series and its broader musical implications. Throughout the course students will be required to present their own arrangements and transcriptions.
CMPN1612 New Music, New Thinking

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Damien Ricketson Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 1hr lecture/week, 1 x 1hr tutorial/week Assessment: Three assessment items: (1) essay (50%); weekly engagement in discussion and creative exercises (30%) and; (3) portfolio of three small creative works (20%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
New Music, New Thinking is designed to challenge the way in which students understand the music of our time. Through analyses of recent music and artistic themes, discussion and creative tasks, students will be exposed to a variety of compositional techniques, concepts and aesthetics. The content and assessment of this subject will enable students to further develop critical thinking concerning their future contribution to the world of new music be it in composition, performance, musicology or education.
CMPN2320 Music Notation and Publishing

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr James Humberstone Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1 x 2hr seminar in computer lab/week Assessment: 1 x portfolio of series of exercises (60%), 1 x score presentation (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Music Notation and Publishing builds student capacity to notate music at a professional industry standard. Through study of published scores and text books on music notation, students learn what the standards of music notation are, and how to approach complex or difficult notation problems. Students gain experience in all of the main professional notation software titles with experts in their use, with the aim to develop workflows that will save thousands of hours over their careers. A series of short challenges develops skills in key areas of music publishing, such as the preparation of scores and parts, piano reductions, film score standards, and much more. The final assessment project allows the class to work as a professional music preparation service, engraving a first edition of an important Australian work as a team.
Textbooks
Behind Bars by Elaine Gould.
CMPN2510 Scoring and Arranging for the Screen

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Damien Ricketon Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 2hr lecture/week, 1 x 1hr lab/week Assessment: weekly lab tasks (20%), 1 x spotting, conceptualising and sketching assignment (20%), 1 x score reduction assignment (20%), 1 x full score (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
An application of various musical skills and disciplines pertinent to today's music industry, this unit of study explores fundamental aspects of composing, arranging and orchestrating for the screen. Theoretical principles are drawn from dramaturgy and cinematography, and applied to concerns of form, aesthetics, orchestration and technology to inform the various practical processes of preparing a music score from its inception to the delivery of parts for a recording session. Scoring and Arranging for the Screen offers a pragmatic approach to negotiating the pressing demands faced by screen composers in today's film and television industry.
CMPN2613 Comp Techniques: Number and Process

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Michael Smetanin Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2 hour seminar/week Prerequisites: CMPN1612 Assessment: Two analytical essays of set works, combined with short compositional tasks: 3,000 words each (2x50%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Strong music theory and notation skills are essential in this unit of study
This unit of study looks at classic techniques and processes in composition which emerged during the middle to the later part of the twentieth century. The focus is on key works of this period by composers such as Stockhausen, Xenakis and Ligeti and others. The material covered will enable the student to strengthen their own repertoire of compositional techniques and allow them to understand their own work in a clear historical context.
CMPN2614 Comp Techniques: Tonality and Process

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Michael Smetanin Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2 hour seminar/week Prerequisites: CMPN2613 or CMPN2011 Assessment: Two analytical essays of set work combined with short compositional tasks: 3,000 words each (2x50%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Strong music theory and notation skills are essential in this unit of study
This unit of study looks at techniques and processes in tonal and minimalist composition which emerged during the later part of the twentieth century. The focus is on key works of this period by composers such as Andriessen, Reich, Adams and others. The material covered will enable the student to strengthen their own repertoire of compositional technique and allow them to understand their work in a clear historical context.
CMPN2633 Computer Music Advanced

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Ivan Zavada Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1 x 2 hour lecture per week Prerequisites: CMPN1632 Assumed knowledge: computer programming in Max/MSP or similar software for sound and media. Assessment: research and concept presentation 10%, two minute progress soundtrack for the project 30%, final project 60% Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit will focus on interactive and generative composition within the digital audio domain and the application of sound synthesis to live electronic music performances in which sound is generated and transformed for video projection and live performance. This unit of study explores various strategies to create musical compositions with computers and electronics and extend the creative possibilities of real-time digital signal processing for creative industries applications.
CMPN3620 Advanced Instrumentation/Orchestration

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc. Prof Michael Smetanin Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1 hr seminar and 1 hr tutorial/week Prerequisites: CMPN1611 Assumed knowledge: Students should be competent in score writing and fundamental knowledge of instruments and orchestration while also having composition experience. Assessment: 2 Short instrument tasks 25% each, 1 major orchestration assignment 50% Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The study of advanced orchestration and instrumentation techniques of the 20th and 21stcenturies and application of these to orchestration Task and a major orchestration assignment.
CMPN3634 Interactive Media and Sound Installations

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Benjamin Carey Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2 hr lect/wk Prerequisites: CMPN1013 OR MUSC2653 Corequisites: CMPN2631 OR CMPN2632 Assessment: Sound Apparatus Project Presentation (25%), Relation Agents Group Project Presentation (25%), Final Project Public Presentation/Performance (50%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: The unit makes use of interactive programming techniques and other technical skills taught in CMPN2631/2632. Enrolling concurrently in one of these subjects alongside CMPN3634 is recommended.
This unit will focus on electronic music composition involving new paradigms brought about by real-time performance, installations, network technology, human computer interaction, gestural control and integration with visual arts and video animations. This unit of study will also investigate the available literature on topics such as multimedia, interactive and installation work in the context of contemporary sound art practice.
CMPN3635 Writing Music for the Moving Image

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Daniel Blinkhorn Session: Semester 1 Classes: 6 x 1 hour lectures for the first six weeks; 6 x 2 hour tutorials thereafter Prerequisites: MUED1002 or CMPN1013 or MUSC2653 or MUED4002 Assessment: Written paper (20%), Presentation (30%), Final Music (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The unit provides a practical introduction into the creation of, and aesthetics for music and
moving image. Topics for discussion will include, but are not be limited to: relationships
between image and sound, diegetic and non-diegetic sound, thematic development,
partnerships between composers, directors and other such collaborations within the creative
sector, sound design, music for games and animation, and non-commercial applications of
music for image (audiovisual art, cymatics etc). The unit seeks to enable
students the ability to develop a skillset within their own studio spaces for the creation and
dissemination of their projects; both at a sector ready, as well as a technically proficient level.
Importantly, students will be presented with a variety of possible projects and collaborations
with industry partners across differing creative sectors.
CMPN3636 Live Electronic Music Performance

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Benjamin Carey Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1 x 1hr lecture per week, 1 x 2hr tutorial per week Prerequisites: (CMPN1013 or MUSC2653) and (CMPN1631 or CMPN1632) Assumed knowledge: Students enrolling in this Unit of Study are expected to have previous experience with music technology, including recording and music creation software. Students will be expected to perform. Assessment: 1 x 1500 word essay (30%), 1 x Group Performance (30%), 1 x Solo Performance and Reflective Diary (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Live Electronic Music Performance is an innovative and diverse area of contemporary performance practice. Posing significant and exciting challenges for the rendering of music using digital technology, Live Electronic Music Performance requires genuine interdisciplinary skills such as technical development and problem solving, improvisation, musical composition, live sound reinforcement and ensemble communication. This area of performance employs a wide range of technologies, musical styles and performance methodologies. This unit aims to give students the skills necessary to navigate the various tools and techniques available in order to create innovative live performances using electronic and digital technologies.
CMPN3000 Composer Performer Workshop 1

Credit points: 3 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Michael Smetanin Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 2hr workshop/wk Assessment: For composers: Professional approach in workshops (60%) and CPW concert attendance, submission of program notes and 2 copies of each score to be played, concert management duties such as stage managing and preparation of programs and publicity (40%). For performers: Professional approach in workshops (50%), Performance at the CPW concerts (30%), Classroom presentation of instrumental techniques (20%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The Composer Performer Workshop provides both composers and performers with the opportunity to work together in the performance of new and experimental works.
CMPN3001 Composer Performer Workshop 2

Credit points: 3 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Michael Smetanin Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 2hr workshop/wk Prerequisites: CMPN3000 Assessment: For composers: Professional approach in workshops (60%) and CPW concert attendance, submission of program notes and 2 copies of each score to be played, concert management duties such as stage managing and preparation of programs and publicity (40%). For performers: Professional approach in workshops (50%), Performance at the CPW concerts (30%), Classroom presentation of instrumental techniques (20%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The Composer Performer Workshop provides both composers and performers with the opportunity to work together in the performance of new and experimental works.
CMPN4000 Composer Performer Workshop 3

Credit points: 3 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Michael Smetanin Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 2hr workshop/wk Prerequisites: CMPN3001 Assessment: For composers: Professional approach in workshops (60%) and CPW concert attendance, submission of program notes and 2 copies of each score to be played, concert management duties such as stage managing and preparation of programs and publicity (40%). For performers: Professional approach in workshops (50%), Performance at the CPW concerts (30%), Classroom presentation of instrumental techniques (20%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The Composer Performer Workshop provides both composers and performers with the opportunity to work together in the performance of new and experimental works.
CMPN4001 Composer Performer Workshop 4

Credit points: 3 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Michael Smetanin Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 2hr workshop/wk Prerequisites: CMPN4000 Assessment: For composers: Professional approach in workshops (60%) and CPW concert attendance, submission of program notes and 2 copies of each score to be played, concert management duties such as stage managing and preparation of programs and publicity (40%). For performers: Professional approach in workshops (50%), Performance at the CPW concerts (30%), Classroom presentation of instrumental techniques (20%). Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The Composer Performer Workshop provides both composers and performers with the opportunity to work together in the performance of new and experimental works.
MUSC2614 Composition Workshop

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr. Amanda Cole Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2 hour workshop per week Assessment: Contribution in classes and concerts (20%), composition portfolio and process diary (70%), aural and/or written presentations (10%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: 18 credit points of 1000-level units from any discipline or faculty.
An opportunity to create a new composition in a supported environment. Students will hear their works rehearsed and performed, usually by other participating students. The outcome is a performance in a public concert at the end of the semester. The workshops may be themed around particular genres and musical techniques such as music theatre, drone-based composition, song-writing, sound and rhythm, creating a sound space and media composition.