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MU5008: VOCALSTRATION (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

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.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Phillip Cooke

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of Master of Music (Studied) or Master of Music in Vocal Music (Studied) or Master of Music in Sonic Arts
  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Teaching will be by means of a series of practical seminars and workshops examining the orchestrational aspects of major choral works from Bach to Ligeti and beyond. We will also examine aspects of world music, folk music and popular music and consider how these genres have affected contemporary choral composers and the way in which choral writing has developed. Running concurrently, seminar-based classes will provide an historical overview of choral orchestration that utilises the choir. The theme of each seminar, focused each week around a different aspect of the voice and choir ‘machine’, will provide the theoretical, philosophical, and aesthetic basis for practical applications. Drawing from readings, close analysis and listening of key choral works, we will assess particular aesthetic issues that concern choral orchestration today.

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University week s 7 - 11, 13 - 17

More Information about Week Numbers

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

First attempt: in-class participation and practical exercises (30%); final compositional project (70%). Resit: students resit any failed element of assessment.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.



Course Learning Outcomes


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