For students new to composing, these courses provide the fundamentals of the craft. Students learn basic counterpoint, melodic construction, motivic development, and elementary instrumentation. Students typically write 2-3 short works using principles learned in class. [Junior Composition is for younger students; those in the pre-college program should enroll in Composition A.]
For students with previous compositional experience, this course establishes good techniques in melodic and contrapuntal writing, phrase construction and development, and formal coherence. Students typically write short pieces for solo or chamber forces to be performed by other academy students.
Prerequisites: Music Theory I (or equivalent) and Junior Composition/Composition A. Students must also submit a composition portfolio of 1-2 short works for faculty evaluation.
This course further develops the skills established in Composition I: students expand into larger forms, more sophisticated instrumentation, and techniques and styles unique to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Composers normally produce 1-2 works of larger scope to be performed by Academy students and/or faculty during the performance workshop.
Prerequisites: Music Theory II and Composition I, or instructor’s permission.
Composers demonstrating substantial preparation and experience engage in freer projects of larger scope than in previous years in this course. Students will be mentored in finding their own singular voice. At this level, students often participate in competitions and composition workshops (such as the Seattle Symphony’s Merriman Family Young Composer’s Workshop), and frequently go on to pursue composition studies at major universities or conservatories.