Composition and Improvisation | College of Arts

Composition and Improvisation

Music students have many opportunities to compose and improvise in our program:
in Musicianship, Materials, Ensembles, Creating Music on the Computer, and more.

There is also a sequence of courses available, once you have completed Musicianship II. MUSC 2410—Applied Composition and Improvisation I, meets once a week in Fall semester, as a group and with regular opportunities to meet individually with the instructor. The course explores different topics, such as drones, modes, melodic organization, harmony, and rhythm. Students will research aspects of these topics, listen to a variety of music of different styles and historical periods, and study related music scores. Then, you will improvise on your instrument(s) with the others in the class exploring related concepts and techniques. As a follow-up, you will create a short composition, again exploring related concepts and techniques. The scores will be performed in class, by you and your colleagues, and occasionally with invited guests. You will gain experience conducting the group, and guiding rehearsals.

If you are interested in pursuing Composition and Improvisation further, you can take MUSC 2420 (Winter), then MUSC 3410 and 3420 the following year. Here, you will work on assignments as before, but also individual projects in consultation with the instructor.

You can even choose to do the Honours Music Recital (MUSC 4460/4470) in Composition and Improvisation, where you will create the music for your recital, and work with your colleagues to present and perform your music. If you are also taking Applied Music to work on performance on your instrument, you may combine Composition/Improvisation with Performance for your Honours Recital.

For further information or any questions, please contact Prof. Jim Harley


MUSC*2410 Applied Composition and Improvisation I F (3-0) [0.50]

This course offers class instruction in the technical and aesthetic aspects of music composition and improvisation.
Prerequisite(s):    MUSC*2180
Restriction(s):    Registration in a Music Program (Honours major or minor, General).
Department(s):    School of Fine Art and Music

MUSC*2420 Applied Composition and Improvisation II W (3-0) [0.50]

This course is a continuation of MUSC*2410.
Prerequisite(s):    A minimum grade of 70% in MUSC*2410.
Restriction(s):    Registration in a Music Program (Honours major or minor, General).
Department(s):    School of Fine Art and Music