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Paper 3: Applied Tonal Skills

Aims and objectives 

This course, examined by submission, is intended to build on the tonal skills taught in Part IA of the Music Tripos. It will allow students to develop the ability to conceive and sustain a musical argument over an extended time-scale. In addition to developing competence in handling certain forms and genres (see below) and in employing tonality as a structural determinant, undergraduates will need to get to grips with basic compositional principles, such as finding an appropriate balance between unity and diversity, developing a sense of coherence and completeness, and exploiting effectively the technical capabilities of instruments. In addition, those who wish to do so will have the opportunity to explore techniques of orchestration and of composing music to moving images. 

Description of the course 

There will be four lectures in Michaelmas Term, covering topics such as invention, elaboration, development, variation, structures, and notation. Aspects of instrumentation and texture will also be addressed, and it is expected that all students, regardless of the choices they ultimately make, will attend this part of the lecture course. Students are also strongly encouraged to attend the lectures on Fugue. The most important component of the teaching for this course is regular supervision in tonal composition; this will normally take place either individually or in a group of two. Undergraduates should expect to produce a substantial piece of work for every supervision: this is the only way to make progress. It is recommended that students gain experience in composing in a variety of styles, forms and textures in Michaelmas Term before starting work early in Lent Term on the pieces that they intend to submit. 

Lecturers: Tim Watts (Style Composition); Silas Wollston (Fugue); Mark Gotham (Orchestration); Vasco Hexel (Film Score)

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