Music Composition Assignments for 3.9.2018

Music Composition Assignments for 3.9.2018

Compositions scholars, your submissions to class last week were wonderful to hear. Great job! That’s a lot of hard work that you presented, and I’m proud of your work.

This next month we’re heading into a new big project: collaboration with colleagues! Next week you’ll divide into two groups (two in one group and three in another) and peruse some art and poetry that will serve as the basis for your next composition. Based on whatever art or poetry you choose, you will decide with your team the genre, instrumentation, key, etc. The finished composition will be due April 6th in class, and must be at least 32 measures long.

Collaboration is no joke, and it’s likely to be the hardest thing you’ll be working on all year so far. (Yay! Fun!!) It’s not easy to figure out how to talk creatively with people. Compromises must be made. Having a clear plan and knowing precisely what each team member needs to do before you meet again is essential.

I’m going to give you a lot of latitude to determine how your team will work best. Mr. Bush will be in class to help ask questions to get you past sticking points, but ultimately, there isn’t one right way to collaborate, so it’s up to you to make it work. I expect you’ll need to do some communicating outside of class time, so be sure you have each team member’s email or text info. I suspect the first week is going to be the toughest. After you have something written, hopefully it will be a little easier to talk about it.

Here are my suggestions for things to think about as you get started:

What notation software are we going to use? (Musescore, Noteflight, Finale, etc.)

Key, instrumentation, tempo, etc.

What general mood are we aiming for?

I would highly suggest that you try to work on an outline or a road map of the piece to help guide you especially when you are working individually. Perhaps map out every four measures, i.e., m1-4 (intro in tonic key), m5-8, (crescendo to half cadence), m9-12 (second voices enters), m.13-16 (modulate to dominant key), etc., etc.

Then, after you get those details worked out, or at least partially decided upon, make a clear plan for who will do what. Maybe one person will write the first 8 measures and somebody else the next 8. Or perhaps one person will take a few days and write out a melody and pass it off to someone else to write the harmony. Getting started here will also be difficult, most likely, but keep trying.

Remember you will not have class on March 16th, so after this Friday you won’t see your colleagues until March 23rd. I would highly recommend that you do not wait until the 23rd to talk again about your works! Make plans to check in every few days or so to keep things moving.

Some links about working collaboratively:

TV and film composers

Types of working together  Check out his definitions about halfway down

Finally, my musical happy moment this week left me mesmerized. I seriously could not stop watching¬†this video. Have a great March, and I’ll see you on April 6th!