Graduate Composition Seminar
This graduate seminar in composition will consist primarily of
a a series of 1-week
assignments, each focussing on a specific mode of composition. We
will listen to all this work in class, and discuss it as a group.
addition, there will also be a series of guests, talking about their
work. We will spend time discussing other people's work, and ideas
Class Schedule (subject to
(This schedule will be updated and filled in week-by-week
in response to the class' direction)
tuesday, march 27
- Five pieces assignment made.
- listening to some other people's work
- each member of the class selects a piece, talks about it
- ways of talking about music? ways of analysing music?
- how do these modes of talking relate to how we (might go
about) composing music?
- what questions can we ask about a piece, about its composers
- for who/what context might it have been intended?
- time period/how much listening-knowledge might the composer
intend/desire/hope for vis a vis the piece?
- what does it assume from the listener (style departure?
knowledge of reference?)
thursday, march 29
- thoughts and discussion on some of the readings from tuesday
- listening to selected pieces older pieces of e-a music (lp)
- commonalities? relationships to technology? answering specifc
questions or raising specific questions?
- what relevance does history have to our listening? to
different temporal contexts?
- in what ways have approaches, problems, relationships to
technology changed since the early days of this "form", in what ways
have they not?
- Oliveros; Koenig; Brun; Gaburo; Cage (pieces by each, and
their writings about general and specific ideas of composition)
- one interesting historical example of a more general
proposition for composition
- assignment: for next thursday, pick one piece that you feel
be brought in to class, discussed, as an exemplar of "something"
tuesday, april 3
- Listen to five pieces (as many as
- Give second assignment, make a piece with Katia's "spatial
(in coordination with Katia's thesis)
thursday, april 5
- give analysis assignment (based on pieces selected by students)
- Ed Carroll visit to class, talking
about writing for trumpet in preparation for visit by Montreal trumpet
players later in the term.
tuesday, april 10
- Composer Ron
Nagorcka visit to class
- Third assignment: 2-3 minute tape piece, based on "natural" sounds
- Brief analysis assignment: identify one "important" piece (for
thursday) to be analysed, and give a 1-2 minute reason you think this
piece should be discussed
thursday, april 12
- Listen to the results of Katia-pieces
tuesday, april 17: In class analysis
(wednesday: april 18th, vaughan
recital, Keith Rowe)
thursday, april 19
- Ron Nagorcka back in class, listen to 2-3 minute tape piece
tuesday, april 24: listen to all the
pieces we haven't gotten a chance to listen to!
thursday, april 26: more of the above, and larry: more on repertoire,
(friday, april 27: Brandeis Concert by grad. students)
Week 6 (New Music Festival)
tuesday, may 1: Barton Workshop visit
thursday, may 3: (New Music Festival)
tuesday, may 8: Paul Tai, New World
thursday, may 10: TBA
tuesday, may 15: Dennis Kitsz,
visitor (talking about his music, yearlong commissioning project)
thursday, may 17: TBA
tuesday, may 22: TBA
thursday, may 24: Trumpet players here from Montreal to work with grad
students (the next day, they're in Kui Dong's Music 19 class)
(they stay to the 25th)
tuesday, may 29: TBA
after class ends
(thursday, june 28th: performance of trumpet pieces at Chosen Vale
Trumpet Seminar, Enfield, New Hampshire)
a link to class pieces