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Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition
Escuela de artes TAI
Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition

Study Plan
Bachelor's degree in Music Composition

  • ECTS – European Credit Transfer System
  • OB – Obligatorio
  • FB – Formación básica
  • FBC – Formación Básica Común
  • FBR – Formación básica de rama
  • PE – Prácticas Externas
  • RAC – Reconocimiento de Créditos
  • TFG – Trabajo Fin de Grado

Year 1

Music composition I

This course provides the foundation for individual music creation through the use of traditional and current tonal tools. It builds towards the final composition of a concert piece for trio, to be performed in the Projects course.

  • Credits: 12
  • Character: FBR

Projects I

Strategies of collaborative work. Defence and feasibility of a project. Concept of the work. Form and structure. Basic formal and harmonic resources. Music composition techniques. Search for sonorities. Originality vs. novelty. Styles and broadening of aesthetic horizons. Analysis and reflection on the music discourse from the perspective of the composer.

  • Credits: 9
  • Character: FBR

Survey of classical music

Understanding of the fundamental references in music to develop a career as a composer. Development of creative thinking by encouraging an active interest in music from different environments and in different compositional styles. Melodic, harmonic and formal analysis of the languages of different periods, schools, artists, and cultures. Music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicism, Romanticism, 20th and 21st centuries.

  • Credits: 6
  • Character: FBC

Piano harmony I

Progress in the understanding and piano interpretation of the various elements of tonal music, through different exercises and the study of a suitable instrumental repertory. Development of piano technique from a contemporary jazz perspective.

  • Credits: 9
  • Character: OB

Instrumental and vocal practice

This course explores different techniques and ways to approach voice music and to use the body as a music tool in different contexts and styles.

  • Credits: 6
  • Character: OB

Ear training I

Ear training techniques, exercises and othe knowledge to develop and use this skill in musical activity. Listening processes and connection of internal-external hearing through voice: natural major and minor scale notes. Rhythms and beats. Regular rhythmic figures, duplets and triplets.

  • Credits: 4,5
  • Character: OB

Orchestration and mockups I

Technical possibilities and characteristics (acoustic and timbre) of the instruments in a symphony orchestra: string, woodwind, brass, percussion, plucked string and keyboard instruments. Introduction to sound libraries and working with digital sound.

  • Credits: 4,5
  • Character: OB

Digital editing of notation and scores

Advanced use of Sibelius music notation software. Tools, notation editing, automatic and personalised settings, xml, mid, pdf, aiff/wav and video files based on own projects. Writing for solo instruments, templates, plugins, shortcuts, lead sheet, score, arrangements for jazz/rock/pop combos, writing for chamber groups and creation of different learning materials.

  • Credits: 3
  • Character: OB

Music production I

Basics of sound and acoustics. Microphones. Template planning and production. The audio chain. Mixing tables. Sound design. MIDI integration. Sound mixing automation and image-sound synchronization.

  • Credits: 6
  • Character: FBC

Year 2

Music composition II

Applied harmony. Composition and style: Romantic and 20th-century music, polyphony, jazz, style imitation and early avant-gardes. Introduction to free writing and development of the creative personality.

  • Credits: 12
  • Character: FBR

Projects II

Project: managing a team and budget, distribution and management. Composition: individual proposal. Personality and creativity: influences absorption, intertertextual techniques, group originality. Defense: reflection and analysis on a musical discourse from the perspective of the composer, diction and argumentation, advanced music editing.

  • Credits: 9
  • Character: OB

Culture and creative thought

Creative systems: tension throughout history. Motif and melodic development in various musical genres. Structure: talea and color, isorhythm and Ars Nova, past and present form. Rhythm and non-western creative processes: Indian music, Igor Stravinsky, Alban Berg, Olivier Messiaen, John Cage and George Crumb, cyclical techniques in jazz. Evolution of texture: Gyorgy Ligeti and his influence. Harmonic evolution in different world music. Evolution of jazz and voice leading in the 20th century.

  • Credits: 6
  • Character: FBR

Piano harmony II

Tonal harmony: basic modulating progressions; augmented chords. Modal harmony: chords freedom, tension and resolution. Intermediate-level repertoire and sight-reading techniques. Voice accompaniment. Improvisation.

  • Credits: 9
  • Character: OB

Ear training II

Melody: natural, melodic and harmonic major and minor key chromaticism; Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian modes; two-voice dictation. Harmony: major scale degrees and modal interchange. Rhythm: precise sensation of the division of pulse into 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 parts; equivalencies in changes in beat.

  • Credits: 4,5
  • Character: OB

Orchestration and mockups II

Orchestration for string instruments. Orchestration for woodwinds and combinations of woodwinds and brass instruments. Orchestration for woodwinds and combination of string, wood and brass instruments. Piano transcription to the symphonic orchestra.

  • Credits: 4,5
  • Character: OB

Intellectual property law

Introduction to intellectual property law. Image rights. Intellectual property and the internet. Collective management organizations. (AIE, SGAE, DAMA, AGEDI). Transfer of rights. Licenses.

  • Credits: 3
  • Character: OB

Modern language

Listening: students will hear short recorded conversations in Spanish, with a total of 100 questions to be answered in a maximum of 45 minutes. Reading of a variety of materials, with 100 questions to be answered in a maximum if 75 minutes.

  • Credits: 6
  • Character: FBC

Professional ethics and equality

Deontology and rules-based ethics. Art social group and its main characteristics. Diachrony. Synchrony. Communication in art. My aptitudes and attitudes. Create, grow and believe. Teamwork. From group to team. The Maslow Pyramid.

  • Credits: 6
  • Character: FBC

Year 3

Music composition III

Harmony: Modal harmony and non-tonal harmony; atonal systems; chord as non-functional sonority; mixed interval chords. Rhythm: written vs. perceived rhythm, advanced systems of rhythmic notation. Broadening of the concept of melody. New types of formal discourse. Compositional techniques and notation systems of 20th and 21st century music. Use of new technologies. Advanced free writing. Personality and technique.

  • Credits: 12
  • Character: OB

Projects III

Project: presentation, defense, viability and team; collaborative strategies, execution of personal project. Composition: use of new technologies; use of the chamber orchestra as a means of expression; defense and rehearsal of a work; trends in post-war and 21st century music; intertextuality and eclecticism; new instrumental techniques. Inclusion of multi-referential compositional mechanisms. Personality and creativity: search for originality. Defense: reflection and analysis on a musical discourse from the perspective of the composer.

  • Credits: 9
  • Character: OB

Music composition for audiovisual media I

Korngold and audiovisual post-romanticism. Silent films. Percussion and extended techniques for effect. Texture and image: Ligeti and Kubrick, texture and void as tension, creating space through music. Theater and experimental film: Beckett. Neo-symphonic music: Wagner, John Williams.

  • Credits: 6
  • Character: OB

Piano harmony III

Tonal Harmony: modulating progressions, chromatic harmony, diminished chords, enharmonic modulations. Modal harmony: Debussy and Satie, jazz fusion, dominants by extension, flamenco and bimodalism. Chord and chord extension: fourth and fifth chords, parallel chord, polychords, sound blocks, fingering. Advanced sight-reading techniques, voice accompaniment and improvisation.

  • Credits: 9
  • Character: OB

Ear training III

Reading: syllable solfège with and w/o intonation; regular and irregular beats; tuplets; polyrhythm and ostinato; metric modulation and transposition. Scales: tonal, modal, synthetic and exotic scales. Rhythmic and melodic materials from the non-European tradition (Asia, Africa, Middle East and America). Micro intervals. Advanced chords. “Secondary” parameters of music: articulation, ornamentation, dynamics, pitch, texture and tempo, and their relationship to the formal structure. Structure: auditory analysis; macro-structure and micro-structure; generators of micro-strucutre (cell, motif, half-phrase, phrase, theme, period etc.) New forms of listening: music procedures predating and post-dating.

  • Credits: 4,5
  • Character: OB

Contemporary techniques in music composition

Tradition and modernity: Neo-Romanticism, Post-Minimalism, Fusion, Mystic minimalism, Revitalization of orchestral music, Post-Spectral harmonic concepts. Noise as function. Decontextualized instruments. Gesture as motif. Silence and music. Popular music and vanguards: inclusion and dialogue, Fausto Romitelli, rock and experimental avant-gardes, electronic music and the orchestral, Osvaldo Golijov, Gabriela Ortiz and Arturo Márquez. New discipline: the body as instrument, theater and music.

  • Credits: 6
  • Character: OB

Trends in urban music I

Origins of urban music. Jazz and its development: blues, bebop, cool jazz, John Coltrane. Rock and its development: origins, rock & roll, hard rock, punk, heavy metal. Flamenco. Electronic music.

  • Credits: 6
  • Character: OB

Orchestration and mockups III

Techniques: tutti; unison octave tutti; distribution in the orchestra of primary, secondary and tertiary elements. Textures: orchestration of a melody or primary gesture; types of instrumental mix; orchestral balance and blend in the instrumental mix; use of orchestral techniques such as split, dovetailing, and coupling. Importance of the structure of a piece in relation to orchestral chances. Reduction and transcription:
general score; various conventional instrumental combinations; transcription from piano to symphonic orchestra. New media: high density chord orchestration techniques.; contemporary orchestral techniques; sound libraries; studio and mockup mastering techniques.

  • Credits: 4,5
  • Character: OB

Music production II

History of recording. Analog vs. Digital. Most common recording techniques: ambient stereo, premixing stereo, multitrack recording. Multitrack record production phases: planning, recording, mixing, mastering, authoring. Pro studio vs Home studio. Specific equipment: in-line tables, split tables. Pre-hardware: sound cards for direct monitoring. Recording studio: multitrack, mixing, bounce and mastering.

  • Credits: 3
  • Character: OB

Year 4

Music composition IV

Style and composition: textural music, the orchestra as instrument, 20th and 21st-century compositional techniques and notation systems, new simplicity and new complexity, spectralism. New technologies: use and expansion of sound and mixed music. Free form and original development.

  • Credits: 6
  • Character: OB

Projects IV

Composition: development of personal aesthetic; new avenues of melodic expression; textures, melody as axis; new instrumental techniques; the body as instrument; handling the orchestra. Project: concept and development, search for financing, direction and follow-up. Rehearsal technics and defense. Search for originality, towards personal expression.

  • Credits: 4,5
  • Character: OB

Music composition for audiovisual media II

Zarzuela and audiovisual opera. Music for post-dramatic theater. Leitmotiv and musical characterization. Orchestral symphonic and electronic music.

  • Credits: 3
  • Character: OB

Trends in urban music II

Relationship between styles leading to fusion. Intertext and hypertext in popular urban music. Construction and structures. Jazz and its development: free jazz, fusion jazz, hard bop, acid jazz. Rock and its development: progressive rock, symphonic rock, power metal, trash and evolution, power chords. Flamenco: fusion, Paco de Lucía and Camarón, Enrique Morente, Mauricio Sotelo. Hip hop: rap culture, trap, reggaeton and latin mainstream.

  • Credits: 4,5
  • Character: OB

Industry, business and career development

The workings of the music industry. Uses of music content. The musician as entrepreneur. Marketing in music. Current state of the music industry. Business initiative. Strategic planning and definition of business opportunities. How to put together a business plan.

  • Credits: 6
  • Character: OB

External internship

The purpose of business internships is to obtain practical experience that helps towards insertion in the labor market and raises the future employability of students, contributing to their full education and training, and providing them with knowledge of the work methodologies in the field of music and improving the development of technical, methodological, personal and participatory methodologies.

  • Credits: 21
  • Character: PE

Academic recognition of credits

Attendance to artistic, cultural, student and cooperation events of the school, and artistic entrepreneurship.

  • Credits: 6
  • Character: RAC

Undergraduate thesis project

In the undergraduate thesis project, students produce an individual, original, and autonomous work under the guidance of a professor, in which they apply and development the knowledge and skills they have acquired in their Degree.

  • Credits: 9
  • Character: TFG