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5 Sessions (adaptive)
Audit (Free)
Certificate (Incl. w/ Premium)
University College Cork
Music, Music Composition
Skill Level
Video Transcripts
Repetition, Ableton, Sampling, Analysis, Compositional Form
Course Description

A course examining the art of moving while standing still, and traveling far without moving. This will be approached through a study of form and variation techniques used in music. Students will be asked to make more from less while maintaining musical interest in their compositions.

Compositional techniques and styles studied include minimalism, ambient, alternative, musique concréte, popular, independent, experimental and sample based music. Assessment will consist of short composition assignments (1-2 min) rooted in class discussion and readings. These will be turned in as audio files. A single composition of 5-10 minutes will act as the final project.

By the end of this course students will be able to:

· Compose an engaging piece of music using a minimum amount of musical material.

· Critically engage with a piece of music through aural analysis.

· Analyze or break down music compositions to determine structural form and construction.

· Adapt compositional principles to their own music.

· Discover new approaches to music composition.


This course is in adaptive mode and is open for enrollment. Learn more about adaptive courses here.

Session 1: Critical Listening, Analysis and Repetition
In this session we will learn how to critically listen to a piece of music, break it down and analyze how it was made. We will also learn why we are so attracted to repetition in music.
Session 2: Building blocks of music composition, Strategies for Architecture I - Building a form brick by brick
This session is all about getting the most out of your musical idea. You will learn how to transform and extend that small musical phrase bouncing around in your head into a magnitude of related musical materials.
Session 3: Strategies For Architecture II (Losing Yourself in Time)
Ever lose your sense of time while listening to a piece of music? In this session we will look at ambient music and other longer forms to discover how they play with our sense of time.
Session 4: Repetitive structures, Sources and Inspiration: Strategies for Sample-Based Works & Understanding EQ
This session looks at music made from repetitive structures. You will also learn how to creatively adopt materials and build sample-based compositions. This is followed by a discussion of EQ to make sure you get a better mix.
Session 5: Composition Case Studies. What can you do if you get stuck?
We will discover some important case studies of contemporary artists working with repetitive musical structures and interesting materials. You will also learn some good strategies for what to do when you get stuck and can’t finish a work.
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Learning Outcomes

Below you will find an overview of the Learning Outcomes you will achieve as you complete this course.

Instructors & Guests
What You Need to Take This Course
  • Equipment: Computer, high quality headphones or Monitors
  • Digital Audio Workstation (Reaper, ProTools, Logic, etc.)
  • Recommended Software:
Additional Information

Please note: Taking part in a Kadenze course as a Premium Member, does not affirm that the student has been enrolled or accepted for enrollment by University College Cork. 

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Please understand that posts which violate this Code of Conduct harm our community and may be deleted or made invisible to other students by course moderators. Students who repeatedly break these rules may be removed from the course and/or may lose access to Kadenze.

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