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Postgraduate Music 2016-2017

MU5003: MUSIC RESEARCH SKILLS

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This course provides students with a thorough grounding in advanced research skills relevant to all three sub-disciplines (i.e., composition, performance and musicology) and highlights the interrelationships between them.  Students will acquire the skills which will underpin work done for the Extended Project and which will also relate to the Music Research Seminar course. The function and purpose of research proposals will also be addressed and students will submit (as assessment for this course) a proposal which relates directly to their specialism.

MU5004: MUSIC RESEARCH SEMINAR SERIES

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This course provides students with an applied understanding of advanced research skills relevant to all three sub-disciplines (i.e., composition, performance and musicology) and highlights the interrelationships between them.  Students will engage directly with current issues in music research, experiencing different methods of dissemination of research through attendance at Research Seminars. These seminars are a forum for both external and internal speakers to present aspects of recent research undertaken. Students will carry out research for their own seminar (with accompanying written paper), based on a topic of interest to them. 

MU5005: EXTENDED PROJECT MODULE A

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

An early exit route from the taught MMus course.

MU5006: EXTENDED PROJECT MODULE B

60 credits

Level 5

Both Sessions

This course enables students to be creative in developing their own independent and individual ideas through an extended research project in musicology and/or composition and/or performance resulting in a substantial piece of original work. They will acquire a range of skills, techniques and understanding enabling them to become effective researchers. The project outcome will be a dissertation and/or portfolio of compositions and/or a performance recital demonstrating original research. The exact nature of the project is the result of negotiation between supervisor (or supervisory team) and student, subject to the approval of the programme coordinator. 

MU5007: RENAISSANCE COUNTERPOINT

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This course is intended both for those interested in Renaissance music and for composition students who wish to explore the many possibilities of musical invention within a very controlled compositional environment. To acquire the basic tools of Renaissance composition, students progress through counterpoint exercises in two and three voices. Through more advanced exercises in motivic placement, canon, invertible counterpoint, and the fundamentals of improvised counterpoint, students learn to structure a complete composition, culminating in a motet for three voices. In addition, works are studied through analysis of compositions.

MU5008: VOCALSTRATION

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This course is designed to encourage composers and performers to engage with the ‘orchestrational’ aspects of composing for choir, with particular emphasis upon each section of the choir, its characteristics, compass and blend, and how each part relates to the whole; creating chords that utilise the choir fully, blending choral chords, voice-leading, structuring choral music; the joys and problems when composing for choir with accompaniment (piano, organ & orchestra) and arranging for the voice.

MU5011: COMPOSING WITH SOUND

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

Students will be expected to listen to, analyse and critique a prescribed list of electroacoustic compositions as well as demonstrating how this informs their own practice in one to one composition tutorials. Bi-weekly composition seminars will allow students to discuss their own work within the context of that of pioneers and established composers in a variety of genres drawn from electroacoustic music and sound art.

MU50EP: EXTENDED PROJECT

120 credits

Level 5

Both Sessions

This course enables students to be creative in developing their own independent and individual ideas through an extended research project in musicology and/or composition and/or performance resulting in a substantial piece of original work. They will acquire a range of skills, techniques and understanding enabling them to become effective researchers. The project outcome will be a dissertation and/or portfolio of compositions and/or a performance recital demonstrating original research. The exact nature of the project is the result of negotiation between supervisor (or supervisory team) and student, subject to the approval of the programme coordinator. 

MU5503: WORDS AND MUSIC

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This course aims to explore the link between words and music and how composers set various texts through many and varied genres, including eastern music, western music and popular music, and nonsense texts. Intended primarily for composers, this course would also be of interest to singers, conductors and musicologists with an interest in text-setting. Word-painting, structural design and poetic understanding will all be explored. 

MU5504: CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN OPERA

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

In the mid-twentieth century, it seemed that opera was a dying art form, surviving at best on the back of a canon of great historical works. While its future prospects looked bleak, the composition of over 150 new operas in the period between 1978 and 2003 marked a perhaps unexpected renaissance of the genre. Students on this course will study the factors which led to the resurgence of operatic/music theatre composition in Europe. A range of key operatic/music theatre works by composers from France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom will be considered from a number of points of view. 

MU5506: ELECTROACOUSTIC COMPOSITION: THE VOICE AND THE MACHINE

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

Seminar-based classes will provide an historical overview of electroacoustic music that utilises the voice as sound object. The theme of each seminar, focused each week around a different aspect of the voice and technology, will provide the theoretical, philosophical, and aesthetic basis for practical applications, focusing on particular cultural and aesthetic issues that concern the mediated voice in recorded sound. Running concurrently, practical, studio-based classes will provide a technical overview of software applications and of sound recording techniques, particularly looking at the way the voice is rendered, represented or transposed through the electronic medium.

MU5509: SOUND DESIGN FOR NEW MEDIA

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This course will explore theoretical and practical aspects of sound design in a wide range of film and media, particularly focusing on new media, such as games and interactive platforms.

MU5901: RESEARCH PROJECT IN SONIC ARTS

60 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

The course will be delivered through one-to-one supervisory meetings held at fortnightly intervals during the second semester. Following successful review of the progress of the proposed research project, the students will continue working on the project until the final performance in September. There will also be a full-day introductory session in January where students will pitch their research proposal to the teaching staff and students. There will be another day in September, which will incorporate a final performance.

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