Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Introduction to Composition MUSIC2005

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is designed to introduce students to a range of compositional skills, through exploration of repertoire and techniques based on contemporary and 20th century approaches to composition.


12x1hr lectures (Fridays 1pm); 7x1hr workshop; 11 x1hr seminars as scheduled in MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Grade D3 or above in Listening Through Analysis (MUSIC1021) or Musicianship (MUSIC1003)

Excluded Courses

Introduction to Composition (MUSIC4011)


Performance workshop with critical reflection (700 words) - 25%

Composition 1 (2 minutes) - 25%

Composition 2 (4-6 minutes) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ Explore core techniques used in 20th century and contemporary music composition;

■ Enable students to adapt practices that are typical in the creation of music compositions;

■ Promote aesthetic awareness and critical listening skills through the pursuit of written compositions and devising workshops;

■ Develop students' ability to utilise a wide range of practical tools in composition.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Apply a range of technical means to create compositions;

■ Apply aesthetic judgment to create clear and stylistic identity in compositions, reflecting engagement with the content of the course sessions;

■ Consider issues such as harmony, melodic structure, form, texture, and timbre; as well as the effective and accurate use of notation, in writing compositions;

■ Collaborate with peers in devising original musical performances;

■ Write music with an understanding of the chosen media

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.