The composition classes
are divided into two sections: an individual lesson of 1 hour every two
days and a seminar in English every other day.
The content of the one-to-one lessons will vary according to the student's
level and will be aimed at creating a new composition during the course, to
be performed at the final concert (performers and time permitting).
techniques will be studied according to the student's aesthetic preferences
from traditional tonal harmony to more elaborate musical expression.
Students will learn
about musical scripting software, particularly using Sibelius notation
The seminars will study in some detail the most significant influences on
contemporary music including
The development by
19th-century composers of a musical style that would express the
characteristics of their own country. They did this by including tunes from
their nation’s folk music, and taking scenes from their country’s
history, legends, and folk tales, as a basis for their compositions. Nationalism
was encouraged by governments in the early 20th century for propaganda
purposes in times of war and political tension.
Composers of nationalist music
include Jean Sibelius, Edvard Grieg, Antonin Dvorak Carl Nielsen, Zoltán Kodály, Aaron Copland, Edward Elgar, Dmitri
Shostakovich, and Stephen Foster.
As its name
implies, Neo-Classicism was a kind of "new classicism".
It combined musical elements from the Classical Period with the newer trends that
were emerging early in the twentieth century. These classical elements
included tonal centers, clarity of form, and melodic shape. To these (and
many other) classical elements, neo-classicists added such modern
flavourings such as quirky rhythms, spiky dissonances, and large amounts
neoclassical movement was fairly widespread, with many composers from all
over Europe (and the U.S.) contributing to the sub-genre. Some of the
more recognized neoclassical composers are Igor Stravinsky, Paul
Hindemith, Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, and Aaron Copland, to
name only a few. The motivation for the neoclassicism was simple: the
heavy musical experimentation of the early part of the century left some
composers wanting to "reconnect" with musical tradition. They
did this, but at the same time held on to musical aspects that they had
been developing during the Modern Period. The aim was not to revive old
musical idioms but to simply acknowledge tradition.
was a reaction against the chaotic musical period from 1910 to 1920, so
too was Arnold Schoenberg's new twelve-tone method. Both tried to bring
control over the previously wild music of the 20th century. The
difference is that the twelve-tone method did this by creating an
entirely new musical language, while neoclassicism did it by revisiting
tried-and-true musical heritage.
French movement in the late 19th and early 20th cent. It was begun by
Debussy in reaction to the dramatic and dynamic emotionalism of romantic
music, especially that of Wagner. Reflecting the impressionist schools of
French painting and letters, Debussy developed a style in which
atmosphere and mood take the place of strong emotion or of the story in program
music. He used new chord combinations, whole-tone chords, chromatics, and
exotic rhythms and scales. In place of the usual harmonic progression, he
developed a style in which chords are valued for their individual
sonorities rather than for their relations to one another, and
dissonances are unprepared and unresolved. Although conceived in reaction
to romanticism, musical impressionism seems today the culmination of
romanticism. Its influence was widespread and is evident in the music of
Ravel, Dukas, Respighi, Albéniz, de Falla, Delius, C. T. Griffes, and J.
technique or dodecaphony.
Twelve-tone technique is a system of musical composition
devised by Arnold Schoenberg. Music using the technique is called
twelve-tone music. Josef Matthias Hauer also developed a similar system
using unordered hexachords, or tropes, at the exact same time and
country but with no connection to Schoenberg.
himself described the system as a "method of composing with 12 notes
which are related only to one another". Schoenberg
invented the twelve-tone techniques, which is a method of composition based
on a fixed order of the twelve chromatic tones (Benward, 303). It is a
system in which the twelve pitch classes are placed in a specific order,
forming a set that then become a compositional tool (Sadie, 286). It was
developed around 1920 as a means of providing a coherent basis for complete
The basic difficulty in
composing in atonal idiom is intelligent control of melodic and harmonic
forces. "There are ways of harnessing these forces by contrapuntal and
harmonic means that are similar to those used in the early development of
Western polyphony" (Marquis, 185). However, these ways are much more
complex than the tradition Western polyphony. Therefore, Schoenberg
invented the matrix system to help composing.
In music, the minimalist movement was, like minimal
art, a reaction against a then-current form, with composers rejecting many
of the dry intellectual complexities and the emotional sterility of serial music
and other modern forms. Generally, minimalist compositions tend to
emphasize simplicity in melodic line and harmonic progression, to stress
repetition and rhythmic patterns, and to reduce historical or expressive
reference. The use of electronic instruments is common in minimalist music,
as are influences from Asia and Africa. Among prominent minimalist
composers are Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, La Monte Young, and
Musical analysis and listening will also be an important aspect of the
course, stimulating debates and encouraging students towards their own