Compositional technologies (syllabus)

September 25, 2006

Formerly called “electronic music” this course has morphed into a class preparing the composer to learn about the technical process of composing music for motion pictures. We will study and work in LOGIC PRO.

Music 176/226C: Compositional Technologies
Wednesdays, 3 – 5:50; fall 2006
Professor Roger Bourland


• Wednesday, Oct. 4 , 2006: Bach chorale orchestration (in class demo)
Asst. 1: orchestrate a Bach chorale using Logic Pro. State the chorale three times in three different keys: the first should emulate orchestral instruments as effectively as possible; the 2nd version should be quiet, contrapuntal, utilizing non-western sounds; the 3rd should be climactic. Insert a brief transition between each verse.

• Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2006: Bartok Mikrokosmos orchestration (in class demo)
Asst.2: Orchestrate a piano piece from Mikrokosmos Books 3, 4, 5, or 6. Make it thrilling and not boring. After orchestrating one take, bounce it, and then deconstruct the sound file into chunks.Improvise an accompaniment to this variation. Transpose the third take up an interval of your choice with a larger orchestration.

• Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006: Performances and critiques (crits) of Bach and Bartok orchestrations; discussion and listening to poetry read by poets

• Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2006: Musical accompaniment to poetry (in class demo)
Asst. 3: A collection of famous poets reading their work will be on reserve in the studio. Find one, two, or three that make sense as a collection. Accompany the three using Logic Pro. Do not get in the way of the poetry. You may cut up the read verses to insert interludes.

• Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2006: Crits and repertoire

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006: Underscore (in class demo); Crits and repertoire
Asst. 4: Provide underscore to a given scene (TBA). Your job is to provide soft underscore that stays beneath the dialog and sound effects. The music should be audible, but the best job will be one where the listener barely know there is music. Less is more.

• Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006: Pro Tools demo; Crits and repertoire

• Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006: Opening credits (in class demo); Crits and repertoire
Asst. 5: Provide music to the opening of a provided film (TBA). Use instrumentation that is appropriate to the style of the movie.

• Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006: Crits and repertoire

• Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006: Playback of opening credits cues and underscore.
All work is to be turned in on CD or DVD. Make one copy for yourselves, and leave one copy with Prof Bourland. Your files will be deleted within the academic year. Regular attendance is expected of all participants. You will be asked to comment on each others’ work; civility and constructive criticism are the most valuable offerings.

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