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Music Composition

Students must complete a minimum of 125 units with a Pacific cumulative and program grade point average of 2.0 in order to earn the bachelor of music degree with a major in music composition.

Bachelor of Music Major in Music Composition

Students must complete a minimum of 125 units with a Pacific cumulative and program grade point average of 2.0 in order to earn the bachelor of music degree with a major in music composition.

I. General Education Requirements

Minimum 30 units and 9 courses, including:

PACS 001What is a Good Society4
PACS 002Topical Seminar on a Good Society4
PACS 003What is an Ethical Life?3


Note: 1) Pacific Seminars cannot be taken for Pass/No Credit. 2) Transfer students with 28 or more transfer units complete 2 additional General Education elective courses from categories I and II not chosen below in place of taking PACS 001 and PACS 002. PACS 003 is required for transfer students.

One course from each subdivision below:

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Two courses from the following:
Arts and Humanities
Two courses from the following:
Natural Sciences and Mathematics


Note: 1) No more than 2 courses from a single discipline may be applied to meet the requirements of the general education program.

II. Diversity Requirement

Students must complete one diversity course (3-4 units)


Note: 1) Transfer students with 28 units or more transfer units prior to fall 2011 are encouraged but not required to complete a designated course prior to graduation. 2) Courses may be used also to meet general education and/or major/minor requirements.

III. Fundamental Skills

Students must demonstrate competence in:

Writing
Quantitative analysis

IV. Major Requirements

Foundation Courses
MAPP 001DClass Piano *2
MCOM 009Introduction to Music Technology1
MCOM 032Diatonic Harmony3
MCOM 033Chromatic Harmony3
MCOM 042Musicianship I1
MCOM 043Musicianship II1
MHIS 006Music of the World's People3
MHIS 011Survey of Music History I3
MHIS 012Survey of Music History II3
Eight units from the following courses:8
Jazz Ensemble
University Symphony Orchestra
Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Concert Band
Opera Production
The Oriana Choir (Women's Chorus)
University Chorus
Pacific Singers
MPER 054Dean's Seminar1
MAPP 010 Applied Music **8
Major Requirements
MCOM 014Introduction to Orchestration2
MCOM 024Composition (Lower Division, 4 Semesters)8
MCOM 026New Resources in Pitch1
MCOM 027New Resources in Rhythm1
MCOM 029The Analog-Digital Studio3
MCOM 034Advanced Chromaticism and Analysis3
MCOM 03520/21 Century Music Theory3
MCOM 109Advanced Orchestration3
MCOM 124Composition, Upper-Division (2 Semesters)4
MCOM 126New Performance Techniques1
MCOM 127Music, Sound, and Film2
MCOM 128New Approaches to Form1
MCOM 129Non-Western Composing Techniques1
MCOM 134Composition: Senior Project6
MCOM 194Composition Senior Recital0
MPER 151Principles of Conducting2
Select 20 units of the following: ***20
Counterpoint
Composition- Computer Music
Advanced Analysis
Music and Video Technology: Performance
Jazz Arranging and Composition
Jazz Composition for the Large Ensemble
*

This is not required for piano students.

**

 Students repeat MAPP 010 in order to have a total of 8 units from this one course.

***

Up to 12 units of free electives with consultation from advisor.

An end-of-the-year advisory portfolio review is required of all composition majors. Admission to the upper division is based on a review of the student’s work at the end of the second year.

A senior composition project is required in the senior year.

Music Composition Courses

MCOM 002. Music Fundamentals. 3 Units.

This course is an introduction to the rudiments of music: Pitch, major and minor scales, rhythm, simple and compound meter, key signature, intervals, major, minor, diminished, and augmented chords. The class incorporates two components: theory and ear training. (GE2C)

MCOM 003. Musicianship Fundamentals. 1 Unit.

Students will gain or improve basic singing, listening and writing skills in the areas of melody, rhythm, intervals, and identification of pitches, scales, and chords, in various genres of music including but not limited to classical, jazz, and popular music.

MCOM 009. Introduction to Music Technology. 1 Unit.

A basic introductory course to the use of computer technology for musicians. The course is divided into modules that cover music notation, MIDI, digital audio workstation, and synthesizer/sampler plugins, multi-track recording and editing, and web design and construction. Discussion cover aspects of copyright, content ownership, and online resources for publishing and music distribution.

MCOM 010. Music Theory and Aural Perception I. 4 Units.

Students study primary concepts of music such as rhythm, meter, pitch, scale degree, triads, seventh chords and their inversions, tonal function, and diatonic chord progression through harmonic expansions that are accomplished through the development of aural and sight singing skills, and the completion of written exercises.

MCOM 012. Music Theory III: Chromaticism. 2 Units.

Students study chromatic harmony and its use through written and analytical exercises that encompass secondary dominants, modulation, borrowed chords, chords of the augmented 6th, the Neapolitan 6th, and extended chromaticism through enharmonic reinterpretation. Prerequisite: MCOM 011. Prerequisites may be taken concurrently: MCOM 013 and MCOM 014.

MCOM 013. Aural Perception III. 1 Unit.

This course trains students in musicianship skills that relate to the chromatic harmony studied in MCOM 012. Topics include the development of expertise through the dictation of 3 part exercises, harmonic progressions, and extended rhythmic lines. Prerequisite: MCOM 011. Prerequisites may be taken concurrently: MCOM 012 and MCOM 014.

MCOM 014. Introduction to Orchestration. 2 Units.

Students are introduced to the fundamentals of orchestration that include characteristics of instruments, transposition and score layout. Orchestral analysis with definition of material in terms of Foreground- Middleground-Background is also studied. Prerequisite: MCOM 011. Prerequisites may be taken concurrently: MCOM 012 and MCOM 014.

MCOM 016. Aural Perception IV. 1 Unit.

This course trains students in musicianship skills that relate to the further study of chromatic harmony. Topics include the development of expertise through the diction of 4 part exercises, harmonic progression, and extended rhythmic exercises. Prerequisite: MCOM 012, 013 and 014. Prerequisites may be taken concurrently: MCOM 015 and MCOM 017.

MCOM 017. Form and Process in Music. 2 Units.

Students study how music moves through time. Students explore structural levels from motive to macro-rhythm, components of design, basic forms and concepts of analysis. Prerequisites: MCOM 012, 013 and 014. Prerequisites may be taken concurrently: MCOM 015 and MCOM 016.

MCOM 019. Music and Computer Technology. 3 Units.

This in-depth course of study examines the use of the digital audio workstation Logic Studio Pro as a tool for creative composition. Topics include basic sequencing and MIDI recording, the manipulation of MIDI using the Environment Window, use of digital audio in a MIDI environment, MIDI controller manipulation, sampling and digital synthesis, and plug-in effects and instruments. This project oriented study requires that students complete several compositions during the process of the course. Prerequisite: MCOM 009. (FILM)

MCOM 024. Composition. 2 Units.

Composition involves the writing of original works under the guidance of faculty composers. Non-music majors require permission of instructor.

MCOM 026. New Resources in Pitch. 1 Unit.

Students study the late 20th/early 21st Century pitch organization techniques of Polymodality, Synthetic scales and Clusters, as well as mathematical manipulations, and spectral techniques. Prerequisite: MCOM 012.

MCOM 027. New Resources in Rhythm. 1 Unit.

Students study the late 20th/early 21st Century rhythmic techniques of Rhytmic characters, Time Signature, Multi-layers, Polyrhythm, Metric Modulation and Complex ratio. Prerequisite: MCOM 011.

MCOM 029. The Analog-Digital Studio. 3 Units.

Using the Pacific Analog/Digital Hybrid Studio, this course will focus on the integration of analog modular and digital based music systems for the composition and performance of music technology based works. A Buchla 200/200e modular system will provide the core technology for analog synthesis, processing, and performance. Ableton LIVE will provide the core software for multi-track digital recording, processing, and performance.

MCOM 032. Diatonic Harmony. 3 Units.

This class will emphasize the study of diatonic harmony through a combination of written exercises and analysis of music from different genres, including but not limited to classical, jazz, and popular music. Prerequisite: MCOM 002.

MCOM 033. Chromatic Harmony. 3 Units.

This class will emphasize the study of chromatic harmony through a combination of written exercises and analysis of music from different genres, including but not limited to classical, jazz, and popular music. Prerequisite: MCOM 042.

MCOM 034. Advanced Chromaticism and Analysis. 3 Units.

A continuation of the study of music theory begun in MCOM 032, Diatonic Harmony, and followed by MCOM 033, Chromatic Harmony. This course will extend the discussion of chromatic progression further into the music of the 19th and 20th centuries while it also explores the larger structures of rondo and sonata allegro. Prerequisite: MCOM 033.

MCOM 035. 20/21 Century Music Theory. 3 Units.

This course will focus on a study of new approaches used by composers for organizing music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries including new approaches to pitch, rhythm, and timbre; the rise of SOUND as musical material; the place of technology in music; the use of chance operations and probability; and non-western influences. Prerequisite: MCOM 033.

MCOM 042. Musicianship I. 1 Unit.

Students will gain or improve singing, listening and writing skills in the areas of melody, rhythm, intervals, chord progressions and identification of pitches, scales, chords, non-harmonic tones, cadences, and 7th chords, in various genres of music including but not limited to classical, jazz, and popular music. Prerequisite: Musicianship Fundamentals.

MCOM 043. Musicianship II. 1 Unit.

The purpose of this course is to increase students’ singing, listening and writing skills in the areas of melody, rhythm, chord progressions including 7th chords, modes, and binary and ternary forms in various genres of music including but not limited to classical, jazz, and popular music. Prerequisite: MCOM 042.

MCOM 044. Musicianship III. 1 Unit.

The purpose of this course is to increase students’ singing, listening and writing skills in the areas of modulating melody, rhythm, chromatic chord progressions including 7th chords, modes, and binary and ternary forms in various genres of music including but not limited to classical, jazz, and popular music. Prerequisite: MCOM 043.

MCOM 108. Counterpoint. 3 Units.

This course focuses on the study of counterpoint through the ages: the linear modal counterpoint from the Renaissance with an emphasis on Palestrina and Lassus’ music and the vertical implications of tonal counterpoint with an emphasis on J.S. Bach’s Two and Three parts Inventions. Prerequisite: MCOM 033.

MCOM 109. Advanced Orchestration. 3 Units.

This course focuses on orchestration techniques from the first half of the 20th Century, and new performance practices. This is accomplished through orchestra analysis and writing exercises that include a reading session with the orchestra. Prerequisites: MCOM 010-017.

MCOM 112. Composition- Computer Music. 2 Units.

Students study private composition in computer music within the Conservatory Computer Studio for Music Composition.

MCOM 113. Advanced Analysis. 3 Units.

Students explore advanced topics in music analysis that includes extensive study of Schenkerian analysis. Prerequisites: MCOM 010-017.

MCOM 118. Music and Video Technology: Performance. 3 Units.

This course will focus on the creation of video and interactive computer music environments for the live performance of technology based music and video. Max/MSP/Jitter serves as the primary software for the construction of performance environments. Prerequisite: MCOM 018.

MCOM 124. Composition, Upper-Division. 2 Units.

This course is guided composition for experienced students that leads to the creation of several compositions for instruments and voices. This course may be repeated for credit. The course is for music composition majors, and admission to this upper division course is based on review of students' work at the end of the second year. Prerequisite: MCOM 024 or permission of instructor.

MCOM 126. New Performance Techniques. 1 Unit.

This class focuses on the study of extended acoustical techniques for voice, keyboard, string, woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments. Specific techniques and appropriate notation are discussed and compositions that utilize these techniques are studied. Prerequisite: MCOM 015.

MCOM 127. Music, Sound, and Film. 2 Units.

In any visual experience from real-life to commercial cinema to sound/image installation, sound plays a significant role in defining the expressive and relational content of the experience. This course explores the use of sound/music in film and experimental art with an emphasis on understanding the complex role sound plays in our experience. Through readings, film viewing, discussion, and analysis, students delve into the thinking of current sound designers, sound artists, and composers. Prerequisite: MCOM 018. (FILM)

MCOM 128. New Approaches to Form. 1 Unit.

In the 20th Century, composers have found it necessary to explore new formal structures that allow them to unify their compositions at all levels. These approaches vary greatly from technical to conceptual. This course pursues the study of formal approaches to compositional organization with an emphasis on the unique problems each one confronts musically. Prerequisite: MCOM 017.

MCOM 129. Non-Western Composing Techniques. 1 Unit.

This course examines the expansion of melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, and timbral composition techniques through the study of music from the Republic of Central Africa, Japan, India and Bali. Prerequisite: MCOM 015.

MCOM 134. Composition: Senior Project. 3 Units.

This course is private instruction/mentoring for the completion of a senior project in music composition. Prerequisite: MCOM 124.

MCOM 191. Independent Study. 1-2 Units.

MCOM 194. Composition Senior Recital. 0 Units.

This is a half-recital (+30-45 minutes of music) required for degree completion, organized, managed, and promoted by a Senior composition student, featuring a selection from the works he/she composed during his/her/ tenure in the composition program. Prerequisites: MCOM 124 with a "D" or better. Senior standing.

Technical Knowledge

1. Developing and implementing basic concepts.
2. Controlling new compositional techniques.
3. Producing a new composition from concept to finished product.

Fluency

1. Organizing, conducting, and rehearsing of a new work.
2. Analytical skills.
3. New technologies related to the field.
4. Coherently expressing ideas and concepts in spoken and written languages.

Opportunities

1. To hear fully realized performances of student’s original composition.
2. To go beyond the boundaries of Western music.
3. For experiential learning.

Ability

1. Produce new compositions.
2. Set artistic goals.
3. Solve compositional problems independently.
4. Demonstrate significant technical mastery.