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This course aims to give students a set of approaches for composition in the style of Classical and
Romantic era European art music. The principles and skills in this course engage one as much as
possible in the thinking of composers from those eras, providing a foundation for compositional
freedoms that composers of that era enjoyed. The issues of harmonic progression, voice leading, and
texture are addressed in addition to relevant compositional concepts such as common tones, leading
tones, repetition, variation, and elaboration.
The course offers presentations, demonstrations, and exercises for self- evaluation. Self-assessment
involves a variety of short compositions in common textures found during the 18th and 19th centuries.
These resources provide the bulk of the learning. Starting in Week 2, there are optional quizzes for
those hoping to receive a Statement of Accomplishment. There is also a final project required for the
Statement of Accomplishment, but open to all students who would like to get feedback on their
musical creations.
This course assumes that the student has had exposure to the basic principles of tonal harmony,
musicianship, and/or some similar music theory introductory course. Students should be fairly
comfortable with roman numeral analysis or, at least, chord symbols and common harmonic
progressions. This course is not aimed exclusively at musicians with a classical music background.
Rock, pop, and jazz musicians might find this course interesting as a stylistic contrast to the genres
they usually work in.
Weekly Overview
Week 1
Topics: Chords in Classical Music, Voicing Chords, Basic Harmony Progressions, Voice Leading,
Introduction to Texture
Week 2
Basic Progressions with Inversions, Voice Leading 2, Keyboard Voicing, Creating Accompaniment,
Textural Reduction
Week 3
Topics: Sequential Progressions, Non-chord Tones
Week 4
Topics: Diatonic chord substitution, Cadences, Parallel Period Form, Melodic Writing Techniques
Week 5
Topics: Chromatic Substitution, 2-voice counterpoint
Week 6
Topics: Progressions within Progressions, Alberti Bass, Rounded Binary Form
Peer Assessed Project, Due: Wednesday, February 19 at 11:59pm EST

Grading Policy:
To receive a Statement of Accomplishment, one needs to complete the Final Project. The Final
Project includes both the writing of the project and the peer assessment of 4-5 peer projects. More
detailed explanations of how to execute peer assessment will be given along with the project
description. A rubric for assessing these peer projects will be given to aid both grader and "gradee".
The peer assessed project, unfortunately, cannot be submitted late. This really is unfortunate, I'm not
just writing that. I know that some of you might get sick, need to travel for business or holiday, or
have a busy schedules with your children to attend to right around the time the project is due. But in
order for the peer assessing system to work, all projects need to be submitted on time.
This final project will count for all of your grade. You will need to get a 65% or above on the project. I
don't like the all or nothing situation that this creates, so I will make sure that getting a 65% is
something achievable by a beginner who has given effort towards learning the material.

Created Mon 25 Jun 2012 10:48 AM PDT

Last Modified Thu 2 Jan 2014 2:06 AM PST