Harmony II: Techniques for Composing Contemporary Music

MUSC X 403.53
Deepen your understanding of harmony with an exploration of contemporary music starting with the French Impressionists of the 19th century and ending with current composers. In this course, you will create your own compositions informed by the lessons learned from great composers.
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What you can learn.

  • Cover the masters of contemporary scoring such as Stravinsky, Glass, Adams, and more
  • Delve into complex harmonic topics such as modality, tonal ambiguity, serialism, modern scales, and more
  • Work on your own compositions utilizing these concepts
  • Expand on your previous harmonic training to explore the deviations and complexities of modern harmony

About this course:

In this course you learn the techniques of 20th/21st century harmony while also applying the theoretical concepts to your own compositions. You are exposed to a wide variety of modern-era harmonic practices starting with an introduction to the French Impressionists of the late 19th century and then moving forward to current trends of today. Instruction consists of three stages: establishing a foundation in contemporary harmonic techniques, studying the music scores of the great masters who demonstrate these techniques, and creating your own compositions by emulating what you have learned. Harmonic concepts include: modality and tonal ambiguity of the impressionists, total chromaticism, free atonality, serialism, bitonality, modern scales, pandiatonicism, tone clusters and sound mass, minimalism, neo-romanticism, and more. Scores studied include works by Debussy, Ravel, Schoenberg, Webern, Stravinsky, Ligeti, Penderecki, Reich, Adams, Glass, Part, and Whitacre. Utilizing many of the concepts learned, you work on your own compositions and study scores that use many of these harmonic techniques.
Suggested Prerequisites

It is advisable that you complete the following (or equivalent) since they are prerequisites for Harmony II: Techniques for Composing Contemporary Music.

X 403.52 Harmony I: Crash Course in Composing for Tonal Music or consent of the instructor.

Contact Us

Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.

This course applies towards the following certificates & specializations…

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