Course Syllabus

University of California, Irvine
Fall 2014

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.

Course Description:

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.

Course Requirements:



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 concepts and techniques (20%),
  2. Midterm duo composition project, including score, performance, and recording (30%),
  3. Final chamber music composition project, including score, performance, and recording (30%), and
  4. Productive participation in class discussions, presentations, and rehearsals (20%).

Important Dates:

Important Events:

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.

Christopher Dobrian
October 1, 2014