Course Syllabus

Music 212, Winter 2006
Wednesday 3:00-5:50
Music and Media Building, Room 316
University of California, Irvine

Professor Christopher Dobrian
Music and Media 211, x7288

Office hours by appointment.

Course Description:
Structured projects in composition for string quartet, focusing on instrument exploration, counterpoint, harmony and chord voicing, timbre, and texture.

Course Requirements:
Completion of several short technical studies as assigned. Completion of analyses of selected string quartet masterworks of the 20th century as assigned. Completion of one substantial composition for string quartet. Performances or rehearsed readings of completed works.


  1. Studies in harmony, counterpoint, instrumentation, and style, in the medium of the string quartet.
  2. Analysis and "resynthesis"--observing characteristics of an existing musical model, deriving generative rules from those characteristics, and producing a new example from that generative hypothesis.
  3. Development of innovative concepts and approaches for string quartet composition.

Grading for the course will be based on timely completion of all the course requirements. Since every assignment is considered a vital part of the educational experience of the course, serious and high quality work is expected at all times. Grading will be based on:

  1. Assigned exercises and analyses to learn specific composing concepts and techniques (40%),
  2. Final string quartet composition project (40%), and
  3. Participation in class work and rehearsals (20%).

Regarding Academic Integrity:
Collaboration between students in this course is strongly encouraged. Students are urged to exchange ideas, opinions, and information constantly, and to help each other with the composition and performance of their technical exercises and creative projects. Plagiarism of any kind is in direct violation of University policy on Academic Honesty, and penalties for plagiarism can be severe. In this class you will be expected to attribute due credit to the originator of any ideas, words, or music that you incorporate into your own work.

Christopher Dobrian
December 5, 2005