Music 209, Fall 2014
Tuesday 2:00-4:50 pm
Music and Media Building, Room 316
University of California, Irvine
Professor Christopher Dobrian
Music and Media 211, x7288
Office hours by appointment.
This is the first trimester of the core first-year seminar required for graduate students in the Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology emphasis of the M.F.A. program in Music. The goal is to develop effective personal technique and methodology in producing new musical work, while establishing a process of creative experimentation.
In this course we will examine both traditional and innovative approaches to structuring works of music, with particular attention to the integration of composition, improvisation, diverse genres, and new technologies. We will study and analyze existing works, and will devise new works to be performed at the end of the quarter.
Work will include analysis of scores and recordings, completion of small composition studies using specific techniques, definition and explication of one's own aesthetic aims, and the composition and rehearsal of at least one substantial new piece for performance.
- Active and informed participation in class sessions. No more than one absence is permitted.
- Completion of readings, listenings, analyses, and presentations as assigned.
- Completion of short technical composition studies as assigned.
Completion of one movement, approximately three to four minutes in duration, for violin and piano or cello and piano, with a score produced by midterm and a recording produced by the end of the term.
- Completion of one movement, approximately five minutes in duration, for chamber ensemble (three or more players), with a score and recording produced by the end of the term.
- Studies in techniques and practices of music composition and improvisation.
- Analysis and "resynthesis": observing characteristics of existing musical models, deriving generative rules from those characteristics, and producing a new example from that generative hypothesis.
- Composing with graphic or nonstandard notation, and translating the graphic notation into effective player's notation.
- Planning/designing both the macroscopic and the microscopic formal structure.
- Consideration of separate musical parameters as a multi-dimensional temporal progression.
- 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:
- Assigned exercises and analyses to learn specific concepts and techniques (20%),
- Midterm duo composition project, including score, performance, and recording (30%),
- Final chamber music composition project, including score, performance, and recording (30%), and
- Productive participation in class discussions, presentations, and rehearsals (20%).
- Tuesday, November 4 - Week 5 class session; Duo composition project due.
- Tuesday, December 9 - Week 10 session; Final composition project due.
- Friday, December 12 - MM 218, 8:00 p.m.; Performance of all final projects.
- Thursday, October 2, 3:00 p.m.: Sakurai Makiko, Japanese Buddhist chant; Nixon Theatre, free.
- Monday, October 6, 8:00 p.m.: Andrzej Jagodziński Trio, jazz and Chopin; Winifred Smtih Hall, free.
- Friday, October 10, 8:00 p.m.: Trio Céleste; Winifred Smith Hall, $5 students.
- Friday, October 17, 2:00 p.m.: Shane Shanahan, Arabic, Turkish, and Indian rhythmic improvisation; MM 220, free.
- Saturday, October 18, 8:00 p.m.: (Cycles): Kojiro Umezaki and Friends, Faculty Chamber Series concert; Winfred Smith Hall, $5 students.
- Thursday, October 23, 11:00 a.m.: Neil Rolnick, guest composer, discussing his compositions; MM 316.
- Friday, October 24, 4:30 p.m.: Neil Rolnick, presentation by the composer; Winifred Smith Hall, free.
- Friday, October 24, 8:00 p.m.: Hammer and Hair: The Music of Neil Rolnick, concert; Winifred Smith Hall, free.
- Thursday, November 20, 11:00 a.m.: Michael Dessen, faculty composer, discussing his compositions; MM 316.
- Friday, November 21, 8:00 p.m.: The Isles, UCI Symphony; Irvine Barclay Theatre, $5 students.
- Saturday, November 22, 4:00 p.m.: Michael Dessen Trio, improvisation/composition workshop; Winifred Smith Hall, free.
- Saturday, November 22, 8:00 p.m.: Adventures in New Music: Michael Dessen Trio, Faculty Chamber Series concert; Winifred Smith Hall, $5 students.
- Tuesday, December 2, 2:00 p.m.: Lei Liang, guest composer, discussing his compositions; MM 316.
- Friday, December 12, 8:00 p.m.: Music 209 class concert of new composition and improvisation; MM 218, free.
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.
If you have a disability that inhibits you from performing any of the stated requirements of this course, as approved and documented by the UCI Disability Services Center, please ensure that the professor is thoroughly aware of the matter as early in the term as possible.
October 1, 2014