COMPOSITION A - 2018/9

Module code: MUSM042

Module Overview

This module seeks to advance individual compositional practice beyond the scope of undergraduate study in the area.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

MERMIKIDES MJ Dr (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: W300

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Being accepted onto the composition pathway of the MMus or by approval from relevant heads of department.       

Module content

The following is an indication of the likely content of the module:

·         A series of seminars covering a wide range of musical practices.

·         Presentation of a number of compositional/practice-based challenges (e.g. commissions, applied contexts, etc. from which you will be required to select three).

·         Content related to student work.

·         Presentation and discussion of student work.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment COMPOSITIONAL EXERCISE TO BE SUBMITTED IN WEEK 4 25
Coursework 1500 WORD COMMENTARY 25
Practical based assessment COMPOSITION FOR A SMALL ENSEMBLE 50

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop their compositional skills through engagement with contemporary compositional techniques, theories and awareness of relevant creative practice.

The formative assessment and feedback for this module consists of:


Weekly compositional exercises exploring particular techniques
Feedback from performers in workshops


Summative assessment for this module includes


A compositional exercise (worth 25% of the final grade) exploring particular compositional concepts, showing specific theoretical understanding and creative application. (Learning outcomes 1-8)
An essay (worth 25% of the final grade) no longer than 1500, detailing the student’s compositional approach, critical reflection and contextual awareness of relevant contemporary practice. (Learning outcomes 3-9)
A composition for small ensemble (worth 50% of the final grade) with a total duration 4-10 minutes), with scores and audio realisation. The composition is assessed on the idiomatic, imaginative and effective musical application of module concepts, score presentation and idiomatic realization of the works (Learning outcomes 1-8). The portfolio is worth 50% of the final grade.


Detailed feedback on the compositional exercise, ensemble composition and essay are given (with a breakdown of strengths and weaknesses) in order to enhance continuing compositional practice. 

Module aims

  • The aims of this module are to develop compositional practice to a postgraduate and professional level through improved technical, idiomatic, theoretical creative and research skills.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Create compositions of a professional standard P
2 Produce idiomatic work across a variety of styles and/or contexts PT
3 Show awareness of relevant compositional practice and contextualize your work accordingly KC
4 Carry out research and analysis in support of creative practice KCT
5 Have an improved understanding of theoretical concepts relating to compositional practice KCP
6 Have an improved set of instrumental, technological and production skills PT
7 Improve your listening skills, and the understanding and appreciation of a wide range of musical styles PT
8 Develop a critical attitude towards the sources of knowledge you draw on during your studies and learn how to manage the information they contain in order to meet the demands of your assignments CT
9 Develop the ability to communicate pertinent aspects in the field PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Lecture Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

·         Weekly composition seminars.

·         Tutorials.

·         Workshops.

·         Guided reading and listening.

·         Responding to questions in class.

·         Preparing and giving class presentations.

·         Producing two items of individual compositional work (one with formative assessment, one summative assessment).

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for COMPOSITION A : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/musm042

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music (Conducting) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Music (Creative Practice) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Music (Performance) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Music (Composition) MMus 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Music (Musicology) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.