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The New School

Beginning Composition

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Overview / Abstract:

Have you ever wondered how great music was written---was it pure magic effortlessly spun from the minds of genius? Or just plain old nose to the grindstone hard work …perspiration over inspiration so to speak.

Beginning Composition seeks to demystify the “magic” behind that most abstract, complex and arguably most beautiful and highest of all art forms. Starting with the premise that music can be defined as Sound Organized in Time; the course will familiarize you with the basic techniques of music composition, from the construction of simple melodies to more harmonically complex forms and structure. Assignments focusing on a specific compositional situation are given each week to be written, and then performed and discussed at the next week’s class. The assignments progress each week in complexity, and illustrations from primarily 20th and 21st century repertoire will be presented and studied as examples.

The last few sessions of the course will focus on a special project where each student will set a text such as a poem for voice and piano or small ensemble.

After taking this course you should come away with the ability to create what hopefully will come across as “magic,” having learned some very practical real world tools to make it happen!

Requirements: Ability to read and notate in treble and bass clefs; Basic Theory or its equivalent; beginning Ear Training or its equivalent.


Dec 26, 2020


Education (Higher Ed) , Education (K-12)


Live / Seminar



Keywords / Search Terms

The New School Seminar CE CME

LIVE Activity Location Details


Mannes College

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