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Introduction to Composition I

Course Code: MUSC 1113
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Music
Credits: 2.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

Introduction to Composition I focuses on the fundamentals of composition. It is designed to enhance students’ understanding and development of compositional systems, processes and techniques through written exercises and assignments.

Course Content

  1. Development of Compositional Resources
    • modes/scales
    • chords/harmonies
    • motives/themes
    • texture
    • formal schemes
    • orchestration
  2. Documentation
    • editing, proof reading
    • score layout, copying of scores and parts
    • recording/archiving material
    • program notes, biographical notes
  3. Performance Issues
    • finding performers
    • organizing and leading rehearsals
    • levels of difficulty, performance ability
  4. Practical and Aesthetic Considerations
    • program music, interdisciplinary music
    • working with text
    • copyright, plagiarism, borrowing material
  5. Repertoire
    • listening component designed to expose students to a wide range of styles, techniques and genres of modern music

Methods of Instruction

Students will receive 2 hours a week of class time.

Means of Assessment

Writing 2 short compositions (2 x 15%) 30%
Performance of 1 composition 10%
5 short assignments (5 x 8%) 40%
Listening test 10%
Class participation 10%

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion the student should be able to demonstrate a solid theoretical and practical experience of the compositional process, including the development of the student’s compositional voice within selected idioms.

course prerequisites

Open to any music student in the 2nd year of the UT Music Program.  It is also open to any student in 1st year UT or Basic Musicianship Program by permission of instructor.  Criteria for permission of instructor will include an interview and a demonstration of ability and or potential.

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.