• Class Number 2501
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Alexander Hunter
    • Alexander Hunter
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

Composition, Arranging, and Sound Design 1 addresses fundamental skills of music composition. In this course students will study and learn techniques of: melodic construction, harmonic structures/chord progressions, formal structures, and orchestration. Students will become proficient in industry standard music notation software and common Digital Audio Workstations (e.g. Logic, ProTools, Reaper, etc.). These fundamentals will be examined through a combination of analysis and independent supervised composition. Students will develop a portfolio of short compositions utilising these techniques while developing their own unique compositional style.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. compose original works which reflect the students individual musical interests and goals;
  2. present scores and realisations (recordings and/or MIDI) of a proficient standard using both correct notation techniques (e.g. Sibelius or Finale software) and realisation software (e.g. Logic, ProTools, Reaper, etc.);
  3. describe composition and orchestration issues in aesthetic and technical terms; and
  4. communicate and articulate their creative decisions.

Field Trips

Students will be encouraged to attend concerts, art galleries, and other performances, as well as to move around in their homes and neighbourhoods to experience and think about new sonic events.

Required Resources

A small notebook (fits in your pocket); a large notebook (ideally graph paper); pens and pencils; a computer with: notation software (Sibelius, Musescore, Finale) and Digital Audio Workstation software (Reaper, Logic, Protools, Ableton, etc.); a MIDI keyboard; headphones; a field recorder (or app and windscreen for your mobile phone)

Students are encouraged to seek out recorded and notated musics in the library and via the internet throughout the course, as well as articles, books, interviews, etc.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments (via Wattle and Teams)
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Intro to workflows and composition as a set of concepts; how do composers work? Composing a single phrase/short idea
2 Combining phrases and filling boxes - building structures for your ideas Taking the previous or new idea and building a form for it
3 Loops, repetition, and dynamic video game music - getting the most out of your ideas Writing a piece utilising loops, drones, repetition, etc. in a video game-inspired context
4 Control and randomisation - developing new ideas from your own material Writing a piece utilising serial and/or chance operations; In-class presentations (crits) on your works-in-progress
5 Musique concrète and sampling - diverse sound sources, working with microphones Writing a new piece using only sounds you've recorded; In-class presentations (crits) on your works-in-progress
6 Electronic and electroacoustic musics - working with Digital Audio Workstations and synthesis Writing a piece using only electronic sounds you've built or sculpted; In-class presentations (crits) on your works-in-progress
7 1-on-1 conferences 1-on-1 conferences
8 1-on-1 conferences 1-on-1 conferences
9 Orchestration seminar: topic TBC In-class presentations (crits) on your works-in-progress
10 Orchestration seminar: topic TBC In-class presentations (crits) on your works-in-progress
11 Orchestration seminar: topic TBC In-class presentations (crits) on your works-in-progress
12 In-class presentations (crits) on your works-in-progress In-class presentations (crits) on your works-in-progress

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial sign-up sheets are available on the course Wattle site.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
First crit and crit response (10%) 10 % 1,2,3,4
Mid-semester 1-to-1 conference (15%) 15 % 1,2,3,4
Project summary (20%) 20 % 3,4
Final project (40%) 40 % 1,2
End of semester 1-to-1 conference (15%) 15 % 3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are expected to be present at all course activities - lectures, tutorials, 1-to-1 meetings, as well as to comment and support their peers in these and online activities.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

First crit and crit response (10%)

In your tutorial in weeks 4-6 you will be asked to give a 5min presentation on your plans for the final project. Given how early in the semester this is, you are not expected to have a complete plan yet (and are encouraged to develop and change your plan after this presentation), but we ask you to talk us through your thinking and plans at this time. This will be followed by ~5min of questions from your peers and the lecturer. You will also be asked to post your materials on the course Teams platform for additional comments, and will be required to give constructive feedback on at least two other students' work.

Assessments submission:

  • 5min in-class presentation with relevant media (media files, scores, sketches, etc.)
  • Posted materials (audio and PDF files) on Teams
  • At least two comments on other students' works via Teams

Assessment criteria:

  • Clear and well-organised in-class presentation with appropriate materials (media files, scores, sketches, etc.)
  • Demonstration of relevant research and considered plans for future work
  • Materials (audio and PDF files) posted on Teams the week of your crit presentation
  • Active in-person participation during crits, and constructive feedback on at least two of your classmates' work via Teams

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Mid-semester 1-to-1 conference (15%)

In your tutorial in either week 7 or 8 you will be meet with the course convenor for a 10-15min conference to check-in and see how you're going. You will be asked to bring a number of materials to this informal meeting for discussion (also submitted in a folder via Wattle). You will also be asked to complete a conference checklist before attending the meeting outlining the work you've done so far and how you feel you're going with the materials and the projects.

Assessments submission (bring to the meeting and submit via Wattle):

  • Completed conference checklist
  • Journal entries (from weeks 1-6 and the teaching break) from both OneNote and a physical notebook (these do not need to be submitted)
  • Composition exercises from weeks 1-6 (media, PDF and other files)
  • Final project plan with notes in the final project notebook

Assessment criteria:

  • Attendance at the scheduled 1-to-1 meeting and online submission of materials
  • Demonstration of engagement with the weekly materials through the completion of exercises which follow the relevant composition brief
  • Demonstration of research and the forming of connections between journal entries, course content and the final project plan
  • Organisation and presentation of composition exercises (quality and neatness of audio and score files)

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

Project summary (20%)

At the end of week 12 you will be asked to submit (via Wattle) a short funding proposal-style summary of your final project (100 words or a 2min video). This is in the context of trying to explain to a funding body (including some artists who are not musicians) what your project is and why it's exciting (and worth funding).

You are also asked to submit an academic-style annotated bibliography with at least 15 sources that you investigated during your research this semester. There should be a mix of sources which may include: interviews, scores, recordings, articles, album reviews, blog posts, etc. Each entry should contain the formatted citation and a brief (1) discussion of the relevance of the sources and content to your research, and (2) an evaluation of its (and the author's) credibility.

Assessment submission:

  • Word document submitted via Wattle with the 100-word summary at the top of the page (or a YouTube or Vimeo hyperlink to your 2min pitch video), followed by the annotated bibliography

Assessment criteria:

  • Demonstrated ability to succinctly explain your project
  • Demonstrated ability to make use of appropriate resources in the collection of relevant sources
  • Demonstrated understanding of appropriate formatting of a Chicago Style bibliography
  • Demonstrated ability to critique the relevance and credibility of listed sources.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Final project (40%)

Due at the start of the exam period, this assessment calls for a completely unconstrained original work which should show the culmination of your skills and experiences this semester. The scale and duration of this work should be approved by the Course Convenor before submission (projects are usually 4-6min in duration and for 1-4 musicians, and may include visual media). It is recommended that you focus on clarity of ideas and techniques, rather than duration and complexity. You are completely free to find and use your unique compositional voice. There are absolutely no stylistic guidelines.

You will also be asked to give a 5-10min presentation (with 5-10min of questions) in a crit in weeks 9-12, post your materials online, and provide constructive and supportive feedback to your classmates in the crit and on Teams. (Exact duration of presentation and question time will depend on student numbers.)

The program note (AKA artist's statement) should be ~200 words in length and can include any information you think the audience might want access to (remember that you're writing for a non-expert audience).

The performance note should provide performers with additional information about both the preparations needed for performance and the interpretation of your score.

Assessment submission:

  • Uncompressed or lossless audio file (no MP3s) or HD video, as appropriate
  • PDF document including: Title page, program note, performance note, score (and parts as appropriate)
  • Presentation in a crit in weeks 9-12, and your materials posted on Teams during the week of your presentation
  • Constructive and supportive participation in all crits (including via Teams)

Assessment criteria:

  • Technique and approach: : appropriate use of instruments and technology – utilising techniques drawn from the course materials
  • Creativity: the ability of the piece to stand on its own, as a self-contained work of a unique and developing compositional voice (e.g. this doesn’t feel like one of the composition exercises from weeks 1-6)
  • Clear and well-formatted score (as appropriate)
  • Well-mixed audio file (or video, if working to visual media)
  • Presentation in a crit in weeks 9-12 and constructive and supportive participation in all crits (including via Teams)

Assessment Task 5

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

End of semester 1-to-1 conference (15%)

During the exam period you will be meet with the course convenor for a 15min conference to check-in and see how you're going. You will be asked to bring your journal notebooks (small and large) as well as any digital notes (e.g. OneNote). Before the meeting you will be asked to complete a reflection form which will encourage you to think about how you feel you went with the materials and the projects.

Assessments submission (bring to the meeting and submit via Wattle):

  • Journal entries (from weeks 1-12 and the teaching break) from both OneNote and a physical notebook (these do not need to be submitted)
  • Completed reflection form

Assessment criteria:

  • Attendance at the scheduled 1-to-1 meeting and online submission of the completed form
  • Demonstration of engagement with the weekly materials through notes on class materials throughout the semester
  • Demonstration of research and the forming of connections between journal entries, course content and the final project
  • Clarity and relevance of the reflection

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Feedback and marks will be provided within two weeks of assessment submission.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

As composition and reflection are ongoing processes, students are always encouraged to consider and discuss the potential for the re-submission of assessments. Please get in touch ASAP to chat about this if you think you would like to resubmit anything.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Alexander Hunter

Research Interests

Open/Non-linear Music (especially mobile moment form); Open Music Notation (graphic, prose, game pieces, etc.); Spectralism ; Acoustic Ecology; Generative, Interactive and Dynamic Music; Intersectional Feminism in musical composition and performance; Anarchism in musical composition and performance; Improvisation Ensembles; nêhiyaw/Métis culture

Alexander Hunter

Wednesday 11:00 13:00
Wednesday 11:00 13:00
Alexander Hunter

Research Interests

Alexander Hunter

Wednesday 11:00 13:00
Wednesday 11:00 13:00

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