MUS 424 Music Composition William Wieland
Northern State University, Every Spring Semester, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:00 9:50, Spafford Hall Room 304
Instructor: Dr. William Wieland
Office: Spafford Hall Room 304
Phone: 626-2499
Office Hours: Please refer to my Class Schedule.
E-mail Address:
Course Description: The composition of vocal and instrumental music for solo and small ensembles as well as the analysis of contemporary music.
Prerequisite: MUS 111
Materials: Pencil and staff paper. Music notation software is desirable. (MuseScore is free.)
Activities: Composition, listening, reading, discussion and lecture.
Objectives: To compose music and study the creative process. To listen to and learn about new music. To premiere and record an original work.
Practice: According to the NSU Music Major Handbook, "For every applied lesson students are expected to practice five hours per week." Please budget five hours per week for composition activities.
Grades: Evaluating the merit of a music composition is highly subjective and I want you to find your own voice. I do not want you to spend the semester asking yourself, "What does Dr. Wieland want to hear?" Therefore, your grade is based upon completing assignments (mostly composing) and attending class.
Grades are weighted as follows:
    80% Weekly Assignments ( credit for late work)
    20% Daily Participation (100 points per class day.)
    5 minutes late is a 75.
    A half hour late is a 50.

I will calculate your grade early in the semester, at midterm, and at the end of the semester.
A 90 and above
B 80 to 90
C 70 to 80
D 60 to 70
F Below 60
Though I grade quantity rather than quality, excellence is more important than productivity. In fact, appraising or evaluating your work is as important and as difficult as creating it. (See the new Bloom's Taxonomy.) After you compose, ask yourself the following two questions: 1) Is it good? 2) Is it new? Being a teacher, I grade my sketches A through F. I try to be strict.
Academic Honesty: Please refer to the Student Disciplinary Code of the NSU Student Handbook.
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Caveat: This syllabus is subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.