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Composition Folio (major) - MUS00135H

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. John Stringer
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23 to Summer Term 2022-23

Module aims

The module allows students to explore issues in contemporary compositional practice, and to demonstrate their engagement with and control of compositional techniques through completion of an independent folio of substantial pieces of music.

Writing 20-30 minutes of music is a significant undertaking. A student undertaking a 40-credit portfolio will have demonstrated the potential for exceptional accomplishment in previous compositional work.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the project the students should:

  • demonstrate assurance with, an individual approach to, and a sophisticated control of, techniques of composition appropriate to realisation of their chosen outputs;
  • demonstrate understanding of compositional techniques employed by 20th and 21st-century composers;
  • have developed their presentation skills to a professional level;
  • have acquired an focussed awareness of the fundamental issues of composition such as clarity of expression, coherence, unity and diversity within the overall formal structure;
  • by applying these principles and techniques in their compositions, have begun to discover and develop the potential of their own creative voice.

Module content

If you choose this option, you must have already taken a Composition Module and will need the approval of your supervisor and composition tutor. You must attend regular tutorials (at least two a term) and are required to attend the CMRC Seminars (16.00-17.30, some Tuesdays, some Fridays – they will appear on your timetable).

You will work on this unit consistently across the full academic year, and you are encouraged to begin the work during the summer that precedes your final year. The portfolio is therefore expected to be substantial: it is likely to contain at least three pieces with a total duration of at least 20 minutes. A folio containing a large-scale work, such as a theatre piece or work for large ensemble, may consist of only two works; in such a case the minimum duration of the total portfolio remains the same. The Composition Folio must be submitted with a short commentary (at least 1,000 words), which should elucidate your purposes in writing the works, discuss technical aspects of each composition, and briefly discuss antecedents or comparable work by other composers. If good-quality performances or realisations of the compositions have been documented, audio or video recordings may, if you wish, be included. When a portfolio includes works that are improvised, theatrical, or site-specific (such as installations), the inclusion of full performance documentation is strongly recommended.


Task Length % of module mark
Portfolio of compositions with commentary
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Portfolio of compositions of 20-30 minutes duration, with short commentary of at least 1000 words.


Task Length % of module mark
Portfolio of compositions with commentary
N/A 100

Module feedback

Report form, with marks to student no later than 20 working days from submission of assessment.

Indicative reading

These will vary according to the project.

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.