Musical Composition OpenCourseWare: A Free Undergraduate Musical Composition Course by MIT

Published Jan 26, 2009

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Want to be the next Philip Glass or Thom Yorke? 'Introduction to Musical Composition' is a free OpenCourseWare that teaches the basic theories and tools used to write music. This free course from MIT is designed for B.A. students in a Music degree program, though no experience with musical instruments or music composition is required.

Introduction to Musical Composition: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes Yes

Introduction to Musical Composition: Course Description

While students might not be transformed into Beethovens or Thelonious Monks, this free musical composition class gives students a background in the theory and practice of composing music. This OpenCourseWare uses composition assignments, readings on music theory and active listening to give students a deeper understanding of writing music. The class schedule began with the basics of musical scores and then focused on rhythm, melody and harmony individually before moving on to higher-level special topics in musical composition. The final project required students to compose a three-minute piece, which was performed at the end of the class by fellow students. The OpenCourseWare includes recordings of past class performances. Professor Brian Robison taught this lecture and workshop format course. While formal training with an instrument will help students immensely, prior

experience playing or writing music is not required. This class is part of an undergraduate Music degree program.

This OpenCourseWare includes a list of musical works, a list of course readings, student compositions from past classes, project guidelines, quizzes and a final exam review. If you have ever wanted to compose music, visit the 'I want to learn to write music' course page.

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