• Offered by School of Music
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Music
  • Areas of interest Music
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Christopher Sainsbury
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

This course addresses skills required to compose music for small standard combinations including: choir, piano plus two, and for saxophone quartet, contemporary rock and jazz groups. Working with these standard combinations focuses on the development of essential four-part writing technique (homophonic and polyphonic). Related to these creative tasks students will be guided in analysis of pieces from a range of genres, styles and cultures with reference to: scales and series, harmony and form, counterpoint and texture, orchestration – composing with colours.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1.  Understand compositional and orchestration techniques involved in writing for four independent voices (i.e. linear instrumental or vocal parts);
  2.  Analyse compositions using four independent voices;
  3.  Create original compositions for four independent voices; and
  4.  Communicate key decisions taken during the creative process through an exegesis.

Indicative Assessment

2 group tutorial presentations –first is 5 minutes, 5%; and second is 10 minutes, 10% (total 15%) [LO 1]
3 Analysis/Orchestration assignments, 5% each, maximum 32 bars each (total 15%) [LO 1, 2]
Portfolio of works totalling 14 minutes in duration, 20% folio, 10% exegesis of 500 words (total 30%) [LO 3,4]
Commission Project of 6 minutes, for chamber music ensemble (set instrumentation provided), 30% score/recording, 10% exegesis of 500 words (total 40%). To reflect the real-world environment of commissions, late submissions will not be accepted, and will receive a mark of 0 [LO 3,4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities; and,
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed MUSI1112, or with permission of the convenor.

Preliminary Reading

Adler, Samuel. The Study of Orchestration. 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2002.
Baker, David, Arranging & Composing for the small ensemble: jazz/r&b/jazz-rock. Bloomington, Indiana: Frangipani Press, 1985.
Brant, Henry. Textures and Timbres: An Orchestrator’s Handbook. New York: Carl Fischer Music, 2009.
Burkhart, Charles. Anthology for Musical Analysis. 7th ed. New York: Schirmer, 2011.
Cassella, Alfredo and Virgilio Mortari. The Technique of Contemporary Orchestration. 2nd ed. Milan: Ricordi, 2004.
Dobbins, Bill. Jazz Arranging and Composing: A Linear Approach. Rottenburg. Germany: Advance Music, 1986.
Gould, Elaine. Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation. London: Faber and Faber, 2011.
LaRue, Jan. Guidelines for Style Analysis. 2nd ed. Sterling Heights, Michigan: Harmonie Park Press, 2011.
Schoenberg, Arnold. Fundamentals of Musical Composition. New. ed. London: Faber and Faber, 1967.
Wright, Rayburn. Inside the Score. Delevan, New York: Kendor Music, 1982.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3000
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $4560
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3709 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 In Person View

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