Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module MUSI3312: Portfolio of Compositions (double)

Department: Music

MUSI3312: Portfolio of Compositions (double)

Type Tied Level 3 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to QRV0
Tied to QRVA
Tied to LA01
Tied to LA02
Tied to W300


  • For 100% Acoustic Portfolio: MUSI2311 Composition2: New Directions in Art Music. For 100% Electroacoustic Portfolio: MUSI2641 Creative Music Technology. for Combination Portfolio MUSI2311 Composition2: New Directions in Art Music AND MUSI2641 Creative Music Technology.


  • <If other modules, please enter module code using 'Right Click, Insert module_code' or enter module title>

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • MUSI3071 Portfolio of Compositions (single), MUSI3332 Dissertation (double) and MUSI3672 Performance 3: Public Performance Project (double)


  • To provide an opportunity for students to express their creativity at an advanced level, through the production of a suitably differentiated folio of musical compositions, using compositional techniques to facilitate a competent and individual compositional voice, capable of demonstrating versatility in terms of musical expression and context.
  • In so doing they will need to demonstrate that they are receptive to the work of other creative artists and yet have the confidence and authority to develop their own ideas within the chosen medium, whether acoustic (vocal and/or instrumental) and/or electroacoustic.


  • The production of a composition portfolio employing the techniques of instrumental and/or electroacoustic compositions that may include or consist wholly of electroacoustic compositions.
  • The format and content of the portfolio is agreed with the module tutor, subject to the approval of the module director.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will become familiar with a range of compositional techniques that are available for the creation of new music, and be able to demonstrate how these may be used creatively and effectively to establish a distinctive compositional repertory of their own.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • In so doing they will acquire the skills necessary to compose with maturity, authority and originality.
  • They will prepare the ground for compositional studies at a more advanced level and also via workshops and/or other presentational environments both formal and informal, engage directly the practicalities of creative communication via the medium of music composition.
  • These experiences will build directly on the aesthetic considerations and compositional techniques they have encountered in their studies at Levels 1 and 2.
Key Skills:
  • Compositional techniques used in an appropriate way to articulate each student's musical ideas.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Tutorials enable the students to express their own creativity and develop their own compositional voice in response to a range of ideas associated with the development of new music.
  • Through tutorials students acquire additional skills to those obtained at lower levels of study and learn how to articulate their musical ideas clearly and authoritatively, preparing score and parts and/or electroacoustic materials to a professional standard.
  • Opportunities will arise for works or extracts thereof to be performed in the context of workshops and/or equivalent auditory environments such as listening sessions.
  • These experiences will facilitate suitably critical, reflective and research aware appraisals of what has been achieved and provide important guidance as to how such creative outputs may be improved both technically and musically, and how different approaches may be used to extend the nature and scope of their musical language.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Composition workshops 3 1 in Michaelmas Term and 2 in Epiphany Term 30 minutes 1.5
Tutorials 21 During term 1 (10 tutorials), term 2 (9 tutorials) and term 3 (2 tutorials) 30 minutes 10.5
Preparation and Reading 388

Summative Assessment

Component: Portfolio of Compositions Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Portfolio of Compositions (18-20 minutes) with accompanying 2000 word critical commentary. The portfolio of works will be acoustic and/or electroacoustic based on the student's path of composition study. 18-20 minutes 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Weekly tutorials where work on the composition portfolio is assessed and discussed. Individual comments on materials (text, notation, structure etc.) submitted by students for tutorial sessions.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University