2015 FINAL COMPOSITION PROJECT
Select one of the listed formats and compose a piece in the style of your choice. If you want to use different instrumentation, let me know what you have in mind. It must meet the Grading Criteria. Minimum length is 3 minutes, maximum 5. Provide a dramatic, thematic, harmonic and formal analysis. This is a composition assignment: no arrangements/orchestrations of anyone else's work. However, I encourage you to base your composition on a "famous" composer's style and concept for a given piece. You are not restricted to Common Practice Period styles.
- Dramatic – what moods or atmospheres are you conveying.
- Thematic – what are your main melodies and how they relate to each other and to the form of the piece to support the drama.
- Harmonic – what chords, non-chords or harmonic patterns support and enhance your themes and drama.
- Formal means "structural," how your piece is constructed from the smallest motif to phrases and themes and sections to the entire piece.
QUALITY: Make it something you are proud of, because it will be on Youtube! It doesn't have to be complicated, just cool. Listen to movie and TV themes and background music. Most of them are simplistic when compared to the music we've been studying. (If you want to feel really smart, listen to Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga.)
The most interesting possibility: Find a video from Youtube or other video sources (family vacation?), delete (or just mute) the audio and create a soundtrack that supports and enhances the video. This can be done in Sibelius.
Another fun option: if you have friends who can perform your piece "live," we can record it rather than using the Sibelius sounds.
- Concert Band
- Marching Band
- Choral piece in SATB form, with or without acct. MUST HAVE LYRICS. (Language of your choice.)
- Vocal Ensemble in four or more voices WITH accompaniment. MUST HAVE LYRICS. (Language of your choice.)
- Woodwind Quintet
- Mixed Woodwind Quartet
- Woodwind Choir
- Saxophone Quintet or Quartet using Sop., Al., Ten. and Bari
- Brass Quintet
- Mixed Brass Quartet
- Brass Choir
- Jazz Ensemble
- Concert Band
- String Quartet
- String Orchestra
- Full Orchestra
- Pop group: instrumental – must have at least trumpet, sax, trombone, piano, guitar, bass, drums.
- Pop group: vocal – must have at least 4 harmonized vocal parts, piano, guitar, bass, drums.
Planning Your Composition
(more or less in order:)
- http://www.artistshousemusic.org/videos/the+process+of+composing – Frank Ticheli Interview
If you've completed your Sibelius project – email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Is your project ready for youtube?
- In Sibelius, export your file as "Audio" (wav format)
- Open Windows Live Movie Maker from "Start" menu
- Select and upload a video or series of photos for your composition
- Choose from various presentation templates
- Add your composition ("music")
- Enter "credits"
- Save in WMA or other youtube compatible format
- Download to my flashdrive. I will upload to the AP Music Theory channel.
Final date for submission of composition performance (live or Sibelius/Noteflight)
score with detailed written analysis and description.
If you have completed ALL the above….
- Option – Begin a second project using the "film score" template in Sibelius. This can be an "arrangement" or an original composition. If you cannot find a piece, I will assign one to you. (You'll want to find your own.)
- Option 2 – Perform a complete analysis of one of your favorite pieces of music (any style). See the top of the page for analysis components.
- Option 3 – If you have nothing to do, I will find a major analysis assignment for you.
- June 2-3: Review for Final Exam
- June 4-5: Final Exam
Assignment Due Dates
All due dates count as classwork, homework and project grades.
I am severely worried about a few students who are trying to "compose" without knowing the story they are trying to write and who do not look at the resources below to learn to craft a composition. "Trial and Error" is inevitable, but being clear on establishing your moods, atmospheres and dramatic content will eliminate a significant amount of error.
- May 15: Detailed written description of your “game plan,” what your planning to do, (this will change as you develop your composition), which can be emailed or paper, including but not limited to:
- Form, or "Structure"- Click for examples:
- Symbols for Formal and Motivic Analysis
- If you are doing "game music," film or tv scoring, a DCI or contemporary band piece, your form probably won't fit into Baroque or Classical structures, but it WILL have sections large and small sections you can label: Symbols for Formal and Motivic Analysis
- Tempi, or "tempos" if you're from East Texas
- tessitura (look it up)
May 22: Submit your ideas for drama, motifs, themes, sections, rhythmic patterns and harmonic resources. This is going to be your 2nd design draft. Make sure your piece is "epic" in scope even if only 4 minutes long. Your "draft" score (sketch score) should be "epic" as well, including specific details from above and the Grading Criteria page.
- Hailey had a great idea, so do this:
Print-out your entire piece (you should know by now about how long it will be and how you're going to end the story)
- Label what you've already written
- Pencil-in what you anticipate happening next (a sketch score, or this sketch score, or "guide score")
- Label the drama, motifs, themes, sections, rhythmic patterns and harmonic resources you plan to use for the rest of your composition. CHECK YOUR COMPOSITION FOR THE 15 ELEMENTS ON THE Grading Criteria page.
- EMAIL YOUR SIBELIUS FILE TO ME.
- Remember: Failing to plan is….sing along – you know the rest.
- FINAL EXAM – Get username and password from me.
- Check-in Benward book ASAP!
- Complete youtube project asap!
- Test Review
- How to Extend or Develop Musical Materials
- Form, analysis, motivic development