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Thursday
Nov132014

Composition from Essential Intervals

Due Monday, November 6

1. Reduction to essential intervals: Reduce a double-period, or other long sentence, of your “favorite melody” to its essential treble-bass framework. The melody should be a sentence from a composition from the 19th century. Your reduction should clarify a “Kaupfton” (that’s the main melodic note being prolonged), intermediary, and cadential melody, but for purposes of this assignment, it should also include melodic notes for approximately every bar of music, and each melodic note should either be consonant with a bass note, or it should involve an interval such as a seventh or a tritone that resolves clearly to a consonance in the next bar. Turn this in.

(2. Then, form a “precompositional plan” by transposing the essential interval structure into a different key, and write it lightly over a spacious portion of your notebook. Feel free to add digressions—for example, could a predominant harmony be extended for a few measures? Could a deceptive cadence be added to delay the conclusion? Don’t turn this in — bring it for discussion in class.)

Due Wednesday, November 15

3. Composition Draft (turn this in): Using different NCTs, rhythms, and motives than those found in the original, draft a new melody over your precompositional plan. Be flexibledo not retain the same notes and intervals “on the beat” that your reduction (step 1) shows. (No good composition in this style is without accented NCTs!)

— Note: for part 2, you will be graded according to your understanding of the difference between NCTs or other digressions and the fundamental notes that they spring from. Review our week 2 reading from Kent Kennan if you are unsure of how any NCTs work, and make sure to consider adding other (short) elaborations like arpeggiations, voice exchanges, and unfoldings.

— Note: for part 3, you will be graded according to Kennan’s Ch 2 & 4 guidelines, so proof your work. You may knowingly violate the “step-skip” guidelines in this assignment, if you mark all such instances in your draft with an asterisk.

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