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Prerequisites and application requirements:

  1. MUSI 2601, 2602, 3602
  2. A minimum grade (not average) of A- in all composition courses taken in the program
  3. A minimum average grade of B+ (GPA: 9.0) in all Music courses
  4. Endorsement of the proposal by the MUSI 4906 review committee and requested faculty supervisor (i.e., subject to faculty availability)

This full-credit course is run on the basis of periodic private tutorials to be scheduled by mutual agreement between student and instructor. The period of study is two consecutive terms, at least one of which must be a Fall or Winter semester.

Proposal Submission Procedure and Deadlines:

By the first day of classes in the term in which they wish to begin the project, students will submit to the Supervisor of Undergraduate Studies a one to two-page proposal outlining their plans for the Composition Portfolio. The proposal should describe the project’s main area(s) of focus, as well as the compositional methodology/methodologies, notational system(s), and anticipated outcomes of the project including the anticipated duration of the piece, instrumentation, etc. Students should also include one or two representative samples of their compositional output to date, preferably in a style most resembling the project on which they want to work if possible. The proposal will be evaluated for both the potential and feasibility of the project.

A faculty committee will meet during the first week of classes to review MUSI 4906 proposals and to assign a faculty supervisor to successful candidates. Students will be advised of the committee’s decisions before the last day for course registration and course changes. Seeing as there is no guarantee that proposals will be approved, students should know what course(s) they would take to make up the credit and how those classes would fit into their schedule, should their proposal be rejected.

Once the proposal has been accepted, students are expected to arrange a meeting with their supervisor early in the semester in order to discuss a mutually satisfactory work schedule. Maintaining contact with the supervisor and arranging regular meetings is the responsibility of the student.

The course requirements comprise:

  1. Attendance at scheduled tutorials with work prepared.
  2. The   completion of an original (preferably ensemble) work of substantial proportions, in full printed score.  The score will generally be prepared using a recognized professional computer notation software program (unless an alternative professionally acceptable notational format is approved by the faculty supervisor). The stylistic orientation of the composition portfolio will be left to the discretion of the student in consultation with the faculty supervisor. However, the project should be centred on the creation of a large-scale original work rather than a series of smaller compositions.
  3. The preparation of an accompanying analytical paper, at least 8 to 10 double-spaced pages in length (but no more than 20), that situates the work among broader musical trends and discusses the intentions, methodologies, and musical discoveries involved in the creative process.
  4. Upon completion of the project, a CD copy of both the score and paper must be permanently deposited with the Music Office, in PDF-format.

Final assessment will be based upon the following criteria as appropriate (to be clarified by the instructor during the initial meetings):

  1. A sense of originality and creativity in the composition.
  2. Adherence to professional standards in the presentation of the final score.
  3. Quality of vocal/instrumental writing, as shown by evidence of:

(a) a knowledge of the full performing potential of the resources employed

(b) an understanding of idiomatic and expressive qualities particular to the resources employed

(c) an ear to effective ensemble resources and textures

  1. An ability to manage large structures in a coherent and aesthetically satisfying manner.
  2. Adherence to accepted academic standards in the writing and presentation of the analytical paper.
  3. Attitude to work: evidence of a sustained and disciplined work ethic through substantial progress in both quantity and quality of material presented during tutorial sessions.

Completion date:
The Honours Portfolio in Composition is due on the last day of the student’s second term of study.