Print Version

Effective: Summer 2017

Advisory: Advisory: Not open to students with credit in MUS 56.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • A successful student will write original songs and compositions using manuscript software at a MIDI/audio workstation.
  • A successful student will create original arrangements of contemporary classical and popular music.
Description -
Beginning composing and arranging with Avid Sibelius notation software. Integrate Sibelius with Pro Tools, MIDI virtual instruments and Reason. Traditional and contemporary orchestration techniques with MIDI score editing. Analyze scores from a variety of styles including classical, pop, jazz, R&B and hip hop. Learn to write basic lead sheets with lyrics using either notation or guitar tab. Compose arrangements for small ensembles all the way to large orchestral scores. Recommended for anyone considering a career in music, or songwriters who want to publish their music. Prior musical training is not required and there are no stylistic restrictions.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Compare and contrast the basic principles of music notation.
  2. Write original songs and compositions using manuscript software at a MIDI/audio workstation.
  3. Define and discuss the aesthetic qualities of music using contemporary media.
  4. Create original arrangements of contemporary classical and popular music.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. When taught on campus:
    1. 30 Macintosh computers with MIDI keyboards.
    2. Video projector and screen.
    3. 30 Pro Tools software installs.
    4. 30 Reason software installs.
    5. 30 Sibelius software installs
  2. When taught via Foothill Global Access:
    1. on-going access to computer with Email software and capabilities.
    2. Email address.
    3. Java-script enabled internet browsing software.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Study and analysis of notational techniques and instrumentation
    1. Input of notes, rests, rhythms; use of multi-voices; lyrics; chord symbols, etc. (Lec)
    2. Introduction to basic principles of acoustic instruments and families of the traditional orchestra, transpositions. (Lec)
    3. The use of multitimbral synthesizers and samples to reference orchestral instruments and ideas. (Lec)
  2. The basics of musical composition and arranging and their application in various styles and genres.
    1. Contemporary classical music (post - Stravinsky). (Lec)
    2. Traditional classical music (pre - Stravinsky). (Lec)
    3. Contemporary and traditional jazz. (Lec)
    4. Salsa and latin jazz styles and concepts. (Lec)
  3. Arranging and composing for different size ensembles with varying orchestrations. (Lec)
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Written musical assignments that compare/contrast compositional techniques using digital notation.
  2. Preparing original compositions and/or arrangements using digital notation.
  3. Graded lab assignments that demonstrate defined skills in the operation of digital notation software.
Representative Text(s) -
Amaya, Jenny. Sibelius 101, MA: Avid, 2014.

Disciplines -
Commercial Music
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture presentations and classroom discussion of the techniques for composing and arranging music with Sibelius.
  2. In-class viewing of historically significant scores followed by instructor-guided interpretation and analysis.
  3. Presentations of major orchestral recordings followed by in-class discussion and evaluation.
  4. Demonstration of techniques for printing scores that meet industry standards.
Lab Content -
Lab content includes font selection, dynamic placement, print formatting as well as data and sample rate encoding for audio and video, web design for promotion, logo design, copyright registration, service mark searches, sample clearance searches, .mp3 tag editing, creating sample podcasts, etc.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Written critiques and analyses of musical compositions.
  2. Compare and contrast musical notation from different styles and eras.