Analysis as Composition - Composition as Analysis - MUS00085C

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Daniel March
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module summary

This module will explore the ways in which analysis can be a creative activity, how it can inform and inflect compositional responses to existing music, and how those responses might themselves be analytical.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Summer Term 2018-19

Module aims

Musical analysis has sometimes been considered a somewhat dry, uncreative activity which produces charts, diagrams and words which have little resonance with the sound of the music that they are supposed to be reflecting. However, the word 'analysis', coming from Greek, literally means to loosen up and in this project we are going to undertake a number of such loosenings, exploring the ways in which analysis can be a creative activity, how it can inform and inflect compositional responses to existing music, and how those responses might themselves be analytical. The project will take as its starting point a number of works from the western classical tradition which we will investigate in detail through processes of analysis and recomposition, in particular through the development of voice-leading approaches, through applications of semiotic analysis, and through investigation of transformative processes applied to non-tonal repertoire. These will include piano sonata movements by Mozart and Schubert, Beethoven’s String Quartet Op.130, music by Schoenberg and Stockhausen, and investigation of individual works by Bach, Gershwin and Debussy.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the taught part of the project all students should:

  • have developed their familiarity with and experience of using a variety of musical-analytical techniques;
  • have extended and deepened their engagement with and understanding of a number of musical works from different periods and in different styles;
  • be familiar with questions surrounding the status of musical analytical texts;
  • have developed creative and imaginative response to compositional and analytical challenges;
  • have developed techniques of composition and arrangement appropriate to the project.

First years: On completion of the module, in their independent work, students should demonstrate Learning Outcomes A1-6 & A9-10.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Folio of Exercises
N/A 50
Essay/coursework
Written Analysis or Compositio
N/A 50

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

Assessment will be through a folio consisting of a number of exercises worked on through the project sessions (50%) along with a larger piece of analytical writing / arrangement / composition of a work agreed in tutorial (50%).

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Folio of Exercises
N/A 50
Essay/coursework
Written Analysis or Compositio
N/A 50

Module feedback

Report form, with marks to student no later than 6 weeks from submission of assessment

Indicative reading

Agawu, Kofi. Music as Discourse: Semiotic Adventures in Romantic Music. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009.

Bent, Ian. Analysis, New Grove Handbooks in Music, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1987.

Cadwallader, Allen, and David Gagné. Analysis of Tonal Music: A Schenkerian Approach. 3rd edn. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010.

Cook, Nicholas. A Guide to Musical Analysis. London: Dent, 1987.

Cook, Nicholas. Analysing Musical Multimedia. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2001.

Dunsby, Jonathan & Whittall, Arnold. Music Analysis in Theory & Practice, London: Faber, 1987.

Dunsby, Jonathan, ed. Early Twentieth-Century Music: Models of Analysis, Oxford: Blackwell, 1993..

Forte, Allen. The Structure of Atonal Music. London: Yale UP, 1973.

Forte, Allen, and Steven Gilbert. An Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis. London: Dent, 1982.

Lewin, David. Musical Form and Transformation: Four Analytic Essays. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007.

Nattiez, Jean-Jacques. Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1990.

Pankhurst, Tom. The SchenkerGUIDE: A Brief Handbook and Website for Schenkerian Analysis. London: Routledge, 2008



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.