Introduction to Composition for Honours MUSIC4011

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

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


12x1hr lectures; 7x1hr workshop sessions; 11 x1hr seminars as scheduled in MyCampus. 

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Music, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

Introduction to Composition (MUSIC2005)




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

Composition 1 (3 minutes) - 25%

Composition 2 (6-8 minutes) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

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 and an array of musical perspectives to create clear and stylistic identity in compositions, reflecting engagement with the content of the course sessions;

■ Negotiate effectively 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 that is realisable for 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.