The composition program at the Elder Conservatorium of Music seeks to develop advanced skills in a broad range of stylistic approaches for composing music primarily in the classical tradition.
A comprehensive study of the artistic, theoretical and practical dimensions of music composition is delivered in a variety of modes including individual tuition, lecture and tutorial. Students will study within a traditional framework of music composition including form, harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, notation and text setting, along with studies in aesthetics, contemporary media and music technology. Opportunities are provided for ensemble performance and interdisciplinary experience in the areas of film, dance and theatre.
Attention is given to the practical, vocational aspects of creative music making and the course seeks to develop composers who are technically well equipped in both traditional and modern compositional practice.
The composition program seeks to develop:
- a broad knowledge and appreciation of musical repertoire and an understanding of the essential stylistic features of a diverse range of musical genres focussing on the contemporary “classical” tradition
- insight into contemporary aesthetic issues and an appreciation of the relationship of music to other artforms
- skills in creating original musical works demonstrating command of both traditional compositional craft and contemporary musical techniques and approaches
- a high level of competence in the practical aspects of composition: notation; score presentation; use of instrumental and vocal resources; orchestration and music technology
- an ability to communicate musical intentions clearly and effectively to performers
- a capacity to imaginatively develop musical materials through a comprehensive study of the principles of musical structure, melodic writing, harmonic and rhythmic invention, counterpoint, instrumental colour and texture
- the composer’s personal voice and the ability to project an aesthetic idea clearly to an audience
- understanding of the professional realities and expectations of a career in creative music-making