Course Syllabus

Music 212, Fall 2005
Tuesday and Thursday 1:00-2:20
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 instrumental composition based on studies using specific compositional techniques. The goal is to develop effective personal technique and methodology in composition, while establishing a focused pattern of creative experimentation.

Course Requirements:
Completion of several short technical studies as assigned. Completion of one movement for ensemble of four or more instruments. Performances or rehearsed readings of completed works.


  1. Studies in harmony, counterpoint, instrumentation, and style.
  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. Composing in graphic notation and translating the graphic notation into player's notation.
  4. Composing from the macroscopic to the microscopic formal structure.
  5. Composing separate parameters as a multi-dimensional temporal progression.
  6. Conceiving algorithms for generating new musical structures.

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 to learn specific composing concepts and techniques (50%),
  2. Final chamber music composition project (30%), 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
September 13, 2005