Avant-garde Composition Theory Things   William Wieland
The avant-garde are artists who create, produce, or apply new, original, or experimental ideas, designs, and techniques.
First Assignment – Compose an avant-garde composition.
  1. Open PrintMusic! (It's on the desktop.)
  2. Click on the SETUP WIZARD.
  3. Click Next > past the first window. You will not use a common ensemble.
  4. Choose at least 8 completely different instruments. You will be able to write myriad solos, duets, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, septets and octets.
  5. Invent a completely original title.
  6. Click Next > past the time signatures and key signatures. You will add accidentals and experiment with novel rhythms.
  7. Compose
    1. novel rhythms,
    2. unique melodies,
    3. distinct tessituras,
    4. unusual chords,
    5. interesting dynamics, and
    6. constrasting articulations.
  8. Consider the overall structure. Will your composition feature verses and refrains, an ABA form, theme and variations, or something else?
  9. Take advantage of Copy and Paste.

Save frequently as you work. When you are finished, save as a MIDI file and post your MIDI file online for the class to hear as follows:

  • Go to D2L > MUS 110 > Communications > Discuss > Avant-garde Compositions > Start a New Thread
  • Subject: Title (of your composition)
  • Message: Program notes – Type three sentences that describe or explain your piece and/or your compositional process. You might cite the timbres, textures, articulations, dynamics, rhythms, pitches and/or structures you chose and how they contribute to your work. You might explain how you created the piece.
  • To attach a file, click on the Add a File button > Upload to find your file and click Open and Add.
  • Finally, click Post.
After most of the compositions are posted in D2L, you may begin the second assignment.
Second Assignment – Critique 3 or more of the compositions as follows:
  • Open a web browser. Go to D2L > MUS 110 > Communications > Discuss > Avant-garde Compositions
  • If possible, please critique at least one composition which no one else has critiqued.
  • To listen to a composition, click on the title (under Subject) and open the attachment. If you get any weird alert windows, click No or Cancel.
  • To critique the composition, return to your web browser and click Reply. I deleted the original message from my reply. Comment upon two musical features you thought had artistic merit and why. Offer the composer constructive criticism (one suggestion). Finally, click Post in the lower right.
  • Write down the names of any composers who wrote outstanding new and original music on the Spafford 313 whiteboard.
  • Later I will ask you to vote for the best avant-garde composition. My family will scour our home for a prize.