(timings are tentative)

Spring 1997


January 21.Get acquainted. Write in class a short rhythmic piece, free. Sound parameters - list them. Divisionary and Aksak rhythms.

January 28. Use of rests. Maximum diversity/complexity and complex subdivisions. Motoric rhythm and minimalism. Juxtaposition of short and long durations.

February 4. Comment on Boulez article. Sieves, mod. m; Rhythmic sieves. Proportional notation. Messiaen on rhythm.


February 11. Write a short melody in class (free style). Basic principles for writing a melodic line. Particular styles and general concepts. Small cell generating longer lines/songs.

February 18. Modes: church, octatonic, East European/Bartok, Messian's modes with limited transpositions. What is a mode ?

February 25. Fractal melodies. Pitch sieves. Random melodies. Lines with undetermined or not strictly determined pitch.

March 4. Show-and-tell session.


March 11. Write a short piece in class making good use of dynamics. Antiphony. Concerto grosso, pinoforte - Baroque contrasts. Romantic use of cresc/decresc.

March 18. Whole pieces using one dynamic level only. Maximum variety and structural dynamics.



April 1. Write a short piece in class where timbre/color is the most important element. Redundancy between timbre and form. Orchestral colors. Mixed timbres.

April 8. Extended techniques and special effects.

April 15. Prepared piano. Klagfarbenmelodie. Structural use of timbre.


April 22. Composition as an organizing activity: puting it all together. Integrating sound parameters (complex dynamic systems). Possible systems for composing in the present.

April 29. The necessity of pre-compositional work. More on systems: Musique spectrale. Discuss Stockhausen's article. Discuss final projects.

May 5 Show-and-tell: final projects. The composer's world view. Composer's responsibilities.

May 13, 1:30 - 4:30 Final: Projects presented, performed, and discussed.

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