MUSA221-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Composition 2A

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


This course aims to further develop the skills of creating and notating contemporary art music for live performance.

MUSA221 builds on the foundational skills taught in MUSA121 and MUSA122. Students study developmental techniques in depth, with an emphasis on musical fluency and the ability to quickly generate and evaluate musical ideas in many different musical contexts. During the semester students will have the opportunity to compose for a variety of instrumental ensembles, and will hear readings of their compositions-in-progress in a workshop setting.
Throughout the semester these draft compositions will develop into a more substantial portfolio. Weekly composition workshops also provide an opportunity for students to hone their skills in commentary and criticism.

Learning Outcomes

  • Skills and knowledge of advanced developmental techniques across a range of musical contexts
  • Skills in analysis of contemporary notated music
  • Organisational skills through meeting regular deadlines for submission of draft and completed scores and parts
  • Skill development in goal-setting and planning
  • Analytical understanding of the student's own work in relation to the established canon of repertoire
  • Skills development in instrumental combinations

    Transferable skills:
  • The ability to work in a disciplined and persistent way on an individual project;
  • Peer review skills;
  • The ability to criticise one’s own work.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


MUSA122, or
MUSA120 and MUSA101, and permission of the Head of New Music required.



Timetable Note

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Student workload (150 hours) will be allocated to:
• 24 hours attending lectures
• 18 hours attending composition workshops
• 6 hours attending small group tutorials
• 20 hours completing analytical exercises
• 82 hours drafting and writing (and possibly recording) portfolio content

It is expected that all students enrolled in this course will attend all the Composition workshops.

Course Coordinator

Reuben de Lautour


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Analysis Assignment 1 10%
Composition no 1 draft 10%
Analysis Assignment 2 10%
Workshop Commentary 10%
Portfolio 60%

Students produce a portfolio of not fewer than three compositions, along with two analysis assignments, and a Workshop Diary. They will present at least two draft compositions in a Composition Workshop. Dates for these presentations will be disclosed at the beginning of semester, and students must attend and participate in order to be assessed. The Workshop Commentary is a brief written discussion of the student’s experience of the workshop situation.

All assessments must be submitted through LEARN on the specified date. Work not submitted via LEARN will not be assessed. Late work will be accepted up to one week after the deadline with a 10% penalty.

Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $877.00

International fee $4,200.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts .

All MUSA221 Occurrences

  • MUSA221-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021