Music 1: Composing Music

Course Level: 1 (HE4) | HE Credits: 40 | Approx. Duration: 12 months at 8hrs/week


The Open course is accompanied by a set of audio files and links to music on the web. The language of music (notation, speed, dynamics, expression, style, form, melody, harmony, score writing, etc.) and the techniques of composition (musical ideas, how to come by them, how to develop them, how to build a substantial whole piece of music, etc.) are presented progressively throughout the course. The music of established composers is presented throughout the Open course with the aim of developing your ability to hear music by looking at what is written in a musical score.


This course aims to:

  • A1 Introduce the common as well as the less familiar forms of musical composition.
  • A2 Develop your ability to compose both melodic and percussion pieces.
  • A3 Enhance your ability to write counterpoint in two and three parts.
  • A4 Present the music of established composers and enhance your ability to read and hear written music
  • A5 Develop your reflective skills.


On successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  • LO1. Demonstrate an understanding of the common and less familiar forms of music composition.
  • LO2. Compose both melodic and percussion pieces.
  • LO3. Write counterpoint in two or three parts.
  • LO4. Demonstrate an ability to read and hear the work of established composers in written form.
  • LO5. Reflect upon your own learning experience

Course content

  • Exploring rhythm
  • Exploring melody and scale
  • Rounds, descants, polyphony
  • Exploring counterpoint
  • Exploring harmony

This course also includes a key text, included in the cost of the course: The AB Guide to Music Theory Part 1 by Eric Taylor