Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    A paper in creative music that caters for students with previous experience in composition. Students work towards producing a portfolio of notated compositions, including modules on vocal composition. The ability to notate music accurately is essential for this paper.

    This paper in creative writing caters for both those with previous experience and the first-time composer. Through a number of set assignments, it encourages the student to express themselves through the language of music. You will work on pieces for solo instrument, duos, trios and ensembles, and there will also be modules on song writing, writing for choir and film music. Composition must be notated fully, and use of notation software such as Sibelius is encouraged.

    About this paper

    Paper title Composition 1
    Subject Music
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    Before enrolling in MUSI 131, students are strongly advised to have taken MUSI 191 or have an equivalent music background.

    Teaching staff

    Paper Co-ordinator: Professor Anthony Ritchie
    Teaching Staff: Professor Anthony Ritchie
    Professor Peter Adams
    The Mozart Fellow has often had some teaching input in this paper.

    Paper Structure

    This paper covers Composition, New Music and Instrumentation.

    Teaching Arrangements
    Two 1-hour lectures, or one 1-hour lecture and one tutorial per week.

    Reference material:

    • Leon Dallin. Twentieth Century Composition. Brown Co, Iowa, 1974.
    • Samuel Adler. The Study of Orchestration. Norton & Co, 2002. Book and CDs. (CDs are available at the AV desk on second floor of the library).
    • Margaret Lucy Wilkins. Creative Music Composition. Routledge, 2006.
    Course outline

    Please contact the School of Performing Arts for a copy of the most recent paper profile.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Successful student outcomes are:

    • To develop techniques
    • To expand the students' self-expression
    • To broaden the students' musical language through exposure to a variety of musical styles and techniques
    • To encourage an ability to communicate musical ideas with clarity and conciseness
    • To explore composing for different instruments and voices
    • To explore composing for specific requirements, including composing for film
    • To encourage a professional attitude towards preparation and presentation of composition
    • To provide an environment for the sharing of ideas and workshopping of compositions
    • To meet deadlines and encourage effective time management


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system

    Computer Lab

    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 32


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 16:00-16:50 29-35, 37-42
    Tuesday 16:00-16:50 29-35, 37-42
    Wednesday 11:00-11:50 29-31, 33-35, 37-42
    Back to top