Music Performance 361, Fall 2005: Introduction to Composition
Final project: due Wednesday, December 14, 2005
(sign-up for in-class presentations on Monday, December 12, and Wednesday, December 14)

Preparation (short proposal via email due Friday, December 2nd):

Begin your final project by developing a concept for your composition. Your piece should be about some issue or idea. Just as earlier assignments for this course have set some kind of compositional challenge, create a challenge for yourself. Anything is fair game: you might articulate a particular kind of relationship between a soloist and an ensemble, present a theatrical scenario, present a specific formal concept, or explore a particular musical parameter in detail. Whatever you choose, be specific! A clear and focused concept is much easier to communicate to your audience than a vague one; it's also easier to compose.

Please email me by December 2nd with a short description (one or more paragraphs) of your concept.

Project (due in class, Wednesday, December 14):

Once you've established your concept, compose it! Keep the piece as tightly focused as you can, and relate as many aspects of it as possible to your initial idea. Ideally a listener with no advance preparation should be able to figure out what challenge your piece is addressing.

Instrumentation and duration are left to your choice (though given the extra time that you have, this should be a more ambitious project than your weekly assignments). You are welcome to make an electronic, instrumental, or vocal work, or to combine these possibilities into a single piece.

Presentation (in class, on Monday, December 12, and Wednesday, December 14):

Your presentation should be just under ten minutes in length; you may perform the piece live, play a recording, or present the piece to the class by sharing copies of the score with us. Whether or not we listen to the work, please be prepared to speak about your compositional concept, and about the way you realized that concept in your piece. Plan ahead for your presentation -- speaking articulately about your project and composing your project with clarity and focus are sides of the same coin.

Good luck and have fun --