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MUSI131 Composition 1

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 and film music. 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.

Paper title Composition 1
Paper code MUSI131
Subject Music
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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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

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 10:00-10:50 20
Tuesday 16:00-16:50 20


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 10:00-10:50 9-14, 16-19, 21-22
Tuesday 16:00-16:50 9-14, 16, 18-19, 21-22
B1 Monday 16:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41
Tuesday 16:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41