MUS2050 : Composition and Arrangement in Folk and Modal Musics

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


•       To further develop the student’s understanding, confidence and practical ability in arranging, composing and songwriting within and beyond folk and traditional genres.
•       To further build upon and apply the student’s theoretical knowledge and music writing skills, and so develop both a musically intelligent practice and a practical musical intelligence through the medium of composition and arrangement.
•       To explore the crafts of musical composition and arrangement in the folk genre through practical engagement with a range of creative methods and techniques selected from a plurality of repertoires.
To facilitate independent, student-led creative practice.

Outline Of Syllabus

An optional module which will further develop and apply skills in the use of musical notation systems, harmony, arrangement and composition and the use of IT as a support tool in these activities.

This module continues the line of development started in stage one theory and composition modules and will provide the bridge between theoretical understanding and creative application of the skills developed through composition and arrangement. The teaching will be responsive to particular areas of interest, and is intended to enable a fluid interaction between written, aural and practical approaches.
This module will look at a range of approaches taken to composition, arrangement and songwriting by musicians working within folk and traditional music and using folk repertoire as inspiration for original composition. This course will involve lectures, seminars, practical workshops and tutorials from staff and visiting practitioners within the field.
A range of case studies and practical creative techniques will be studied and ideas applied to the students’ own work via regular assignments that will contribute to their portfolio. These regular assignments will be prepared in private study time, and discussed and explored in group sessions. Independent study time may also involve gaining additional practice in software such as Sibelius, the knowledge of which is required for this module. The final portfolio will combine shorter notated arrangements of traditional songs and instrumental pieces and a range of short composition briefs along with a larger composition in the students chosen area of interest, which will apply techniques acquired in the module.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture162:0032:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching71:007:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching20:301:00Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1160:00160:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and workshops outline and illustrate techniques and approaches to composition and arrangement. Seminars provide students with the opportunity to work in smaller groups and give lecturers the chance to monitor students’ progress and understanding. Independent study is integral to the development of artistic practice.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1A40Portfolio of 3 shorter set assignments showcasing arrangement of traditional vocal and instrumental music, to be submitted as scores
Portfolio2A60Portfolio consisting of 1 composition assignment (40%) supporting written commentary (10%) and additional portfolio material (10%)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Portfolio1Massignments and tasks
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment methods allow tutors to track skills development and monitor
learning, making possible responsive teaching. This module also extends learning into areas of
Interim formative assessment - Portfolio of assignments and tasks done throughout the first semester. Final portfolio submissions in semester 2

Reading Lists