Composition (N0215A310038)

Type of programme Mode of study Profile of the programme Standard study length Language Instruction Department
Continuing Master's Programme full-time academically oriented 2 years English Composition Department

Guarantor of study programme

Slavomír HOŘÍNKA

Programme objectives

The study of the Composition programme at the Master's level is primarily aimed at supporting the development of students' creative individuality, the formation of their own distinctive artistic style and musical opinions. Emphasis is placed on understanding the current situation of the field and one's own position within it. Technical exercises are more narrowly focused on specific solutions to students' distinctive creative intentions. Groups of compulsory elective subjects then allow students individual profiling across three basic areas which are inherent in the current state of the field: composition for acoustic instruments, electroacoustic music, film music and their intersections. This is also related to further deepening education in the field of working with modern technologies in various phases of compositional activity. The programme also deepens theoretical education and the ability of students to use their knowledge in critical reflection on artistic practice.

Profile of a programme graduate

The graduate of the continuing Master's programme in Composition is a distinctive and creative individual. He/she is well versed in contemporary music and is capable of independent compositional work. His/her work has distinct and stylistic features. Their responsiveness, technical assurance, responsibility in the submission of work, orientation in the present currents of contemporary music, as well as ability to see them in a broader historical and cultural context predestines the student for professional work in the field of contemporary music, as well as in a number of related areas.

Expertise

The graduate of the programme is familiar with and responds creatively to a wide range of contemporary music. He or she is familiar with and able to participate actively in music and cultural activities in general.

They are capable of highly relevant argumentation in relation to current musical theoretical and creative discourses.

Professional skills

The graduate of the programme is capable of independent compositional work, and his/her work has distinct stylistic characteristics. He/she is able to work independently and creatively with modern technologies, including softwares for sound editing and processing or notation. He/she is capable of creating a notographically professional and stylistically appropriate graphic form of the score. He/she is capable of teamwork and initiating it, such as in the production of musical performances, the creation of interdisciplinary works, etc.

General competencies

The graduate of the programme has proficient analytical and procedural skills and the ability to follow them independently and consistently. He/she demonstrates a strong capacity for self-motivation and self-discipline, including the ability for self-study in preparation for continuous future learning with a view to a sustainable career path. They can use a variety of technical resources in their own music making and to promote their professional profile. They act as confident and trustworthy personalities and communicate effectively. He/she is able to use current information technologies for professional communication and presentation.

Rules and requirements for creating study plans

The basic framework for the conception of study programmes at AMU is created by the AMU Rules of Quality Assurance System, specifying the basic principles of accreditation processes. The current practice is further formally anchored by the AMU Accreditation Rules. These set the parameters common to all study programmes taught at AMU and also transfer part of the responsibility for subject specifications (theatre, music, dance, film/television) to the faculties.

The curricula are drawn up in accordance with the AMU Attendance and Examination Regulations. On the basis of the specificities of higher artistic education, this document defines within the typology of subjects the required main subject (PH): this is a key artistic (or talent-based) core course, for which the assessment is always carried out on a commission basis and which does not allow for re-attestation. Another specificity of the curricula is the flexibility allowed in the distribution of credits (60 ECTS per academic year) between the winter and summer semesters, based on the greater workload associated with the completion of artistic outputs in the summer semester in some disciplines.

The theoretical and historical background of the field is a compulsory part of all study programmes; these are compulsory core courses co-determining the profile of the graduate and forming part of the state final examination. Each study plan also includes compulsory completion of discipline-specific English language instruction, with a minimum of 6 ECTS per study cycle.

Courses completed by examination are graded on a scale from A to E (F = fail), while „pass/fail“ grades are used for other courses; a combination of the two types of assessment is not possible.

The standard length of a lesson is 45 minutes. The basic organisational forms of teaching are lecture, seminar, exercise, workshop, the last three forms of teaching involving the creation of artistic outputs to varying degrees. Teaching takes place either on a weekly basis or in the form of intensive blocks or workshops.

The curriculum automatically assumes prerequisites in the form of sequences of courses, indicated by an ascending number after the course title. This type of prerequisite is not specifically mentioned in Part BIII for individual courses. If a course has a non-sequential prerequisite, it is explicitly listed in Part BIII for the course. In the same sense, we do not list prerequisites; these are determined by the mandatory inclusion of the course in a particular year and semester along with other courses.

The curriculum includes the following groups of required elective subjects:

Required elective subjects A – Orchestration: Orchestration II.1, 2, Scoring for Film Music 1, 2.The student must obtain a minimum of 6 credits from this group of required elective subjects during his/her studies.

Required elective subjects A – Compositional Techniques: Advanced Techniques of Contemporary Composition 1, 2, Advanced Methods of Music Programming, Synthesis and Live Electronics 1, 2. The student must earn a minimum of 6 credits from this group of required elective subjects during the course of study.

Required elective subjects B – Vocational Courses for the Composition programme: Studies in Historical Composition 7-10, Introduction to Conducting 1 and 2, Music Notation Seminar, Improvisation and Performance, Piano Training, Instrumental Training, Aural Training for Composers, Studio N, Introduction to MAX Programming, Introduction to Studio Recording. Students must earn a minimum of 8 credits from this group of required elective subjects during their studies. These credits may also be earned by taking Required elective subjects A – Orchestration/Compositional Techniques beyond the required 6 credits.

The curriculum includes elective subjects: the Department of Composition offers modular learning courses during the year, as needed. This consists of creative workshops (e.g. in Poněšice), lectures by Ph.D. students and teachers on their artistic research and guest teaching. Physical and Relaxation Training and other elective subjects offered by AMU. Students must earn a minimum of 18 credits in elective subjects during their studies.

General information about admission process

There is a fee for studying in English. The amount of tuition fee for each study programme (including specialisations) is set by the Dean's Decree, which is published in the relevant section of the faculty website in English.

The admission procedure is divided into two rounds: first by correspondence, second in-person. In the correspondence round, the applicant must demonstrate a consistent and professional level of his/her work as a composer. In the second round, in addition to the audition examination, the applicant is subjected to an evaluation of technical knowledge, abilities and prerequisites at the level of a graduate of the Bachelor's degree programme in Composition at HAMU. Candidates will present relevant outputs from previous studies or prepare short studies in the field of historical and modern compositional techniques and electroacoustic music. During a discussion with the admissions committee, the level of their theoretical knowledge and general cultural and historical overview is also examined.

Structure of the admission procedure:

1st round – by correspondence

Within 7 working days after the deadline for submitting the application form, the applicant for the Master's programme is obliged to send a portfolio of work from the last 3 years via email to: prijimacky_k.skladby@hamu.cz. Materials should include a selection of representative scores in electronic form (.pdf) and recordings, if any (.wav, .mp3) or functional internet links to them. In case of questions or other uncertainties regarding the required documents, the responsible staff of the Department of Composition can be contacted by e-mail sekretariat.k101@hamu.cz.

The Admissions Committee will review and evaluate these materials and decide by vote (pass/fail) on the applicants' progress to the next round of the admissions process. In the case of a „fail“ decision, the admission procedure is terminated. In the case of a 'pass' decision, the applicant will be invited by the Department to attend the second part of the admission procedure in-person.

Documents sent after the deadline will not be included in the admission procedure. Failure to submit documents by the deadline will be considered as failure to meet the conditions of round 1 and the admission procedure will be terminated.

Round 2 – in person

This round will take place on one or two consecutive days, depending on the number of applicants. It consists of two parts – evaluation and interview. The scoring of both parts will take place after the second part.

Part 1 - evaluation

Verification of knowledge, abilities and prerequisites at the level of a graduate of the Bachelor's degree programme in Composition at HAMU according to the following assignment:

  1. Examples of short studies in historical composition styles (G. P. da Palestrina, J. S. Bach) and dodecaphony (series, quaternion and dodecaphonic invention from this material in the style of the Second Viennese School).

2) Creation of a short sound composition (approx. 1 minute) on his/her own computer or in the EA Music Department's Composition Lab (ProTools, Cubase, Reaper, other platforms, subject to individual agreement) from audio material provided to the candidate. Technical parameters for the work can be specified upon request.

The candidate can send the materials for the evaluation in advance (in electronic form) or prepare them at the HAMU campus using the technical equipment of the department on the day of the evaluation. The Committee will evaluate the materials and, on the basis of the materials, will accept or not accept the individual points (1-2) of the written part of the attendance procedure as fulfilled.

Part 2 - interview

  1. Presentation of a set of compositions composed within the last three years.
  2. Submission of a study in the music theory field (approximately 20 pages, this may be an undergraduate written supplementary thesis).

The admissions committee will conduct a professional discussion with the applicant on a wide range of issues related to composition, music theory, and general music historical perspectives. The length of the candidate's presentation should not exceed 30 minutes (including introductions and commentary on the compositions), and the total length of the presentation and interview should not exceed 60 minutes.

The Admissions Committee will evaluate the applicant with an overall grade that takes into account: assessment of significant compositional talent, developed general musical ability, convincing mastery of compositional techniques, in-depth knowledge of music-theoretical disciplines, and general cultural insight, all at least at the level of a graduate of the Bachelor's degree programme in composition at HAMU.

The conditions of the admission procedure, including the determination of the method of scoring and its range, are regulated for each academic year by the relevant decree of the Dean, which is subject to approval by the Academic Senate of the Faculty.

Applicability to other types of academic programmes

The continuing Master's programme in Composition at HAMU builds on the three-year Bachelor's programme in Composition at HAMU, but completion of this Bachelor's programme is not a prerequisite. Therefore the technical knowledge, skills and requirements at the level of a graduate of the Bachelor's degree programme in Composition at HAMU are tested during the admission procedure.

Graduates of the continuingMaster's programme in Composition have the opportunity to apply for the Ph.D. programme in Composition and Theory of Composition at HAMU or other related programmes at other faculties of AMU in Prague or at other art schools in the Czech Republic and abroad.

Parts of the state final examination and their contents

University Qualifying Work consists of two parts:

  1. The composition, which in its difficulty and scope (approximately 15-20 minutes) corresponds to a substantial composition for symphony orchestra. However, it may also be a different score, e.g. a major work for a large chamber ensemble, a concertante work, a work with a vocal component, a work supported by digital technology etc., or a set of such works. The specific assignment, compositional technique, score, and other specifics are determined by the department on an individual basis, taking into account the student's focus.
  2. The Master´s thesis, which forms an integral and important supplement to the submitted composition and is usually related to it in terms of content. Its minimum length is 40 standard pages (1800 characters per page) of text.

The state final examination consists of three parts:

  1. Oral defence of the composition. The main criterion is the artistic and compositional technical level of the submitted composition(s). Additional criteria are the graphic realisation and informative level of the submitted score(s), as well as the ability to defend one's creative intentions, to discuss and argue in an informed manner.
  2. Oral defence of the thesis. The depth of the research on the given problem, the ability to formulate one's own conclusions, the orientation in the chosen topic both in the local and international context, one's own contribution to the topic and the share of authentic (not plagiarised) ideas and conclusions in the text, as well as the ability to defend one's theoretical postulates, to discuss and argue in an informed manner are evaluated.

Relevant courses of the profiling basis: Composition, Orchestration II, Scoring for Film Music, Advanced Techniques of Contemporary Composition, Advanced Methods of Music Programming, Synthesis and Live Electronics, Composition Seminar, Thesis Preparation Seminar II.

  1. Theoretical oral examination. During the exam, two questions are asked – the first from thematic areas based on the material covered in the course Theory of Composition, the second relating this material to the context of the diploma assignment, especially to its theoretical written part.

Relevant courses profiling the foundation: Theory of Composition, Composition, Thesis Preparation Seminar II.

Thematic areas of the theoretical oral examination, examples:

Compositional use of chance

Non-teleological forms

Harmonic series as a basis of compositional method

Perceptual limitations of the listener

Other academic duties

Participation in events organised by the department, especially concerts and other performances. Consistent interest in contemporary music and active search for new knowledge.

Characterisation of professional practice

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Anticipated job placement for graduates (typical employment)

Graduates of the Master of Fine Arts in Composition programme find employment in a variety of positions. In addition to freelance work (autonomous commissioned work, work for theatre, radio, film and television), they can also find employment in editorial, production, dramaturgy (publishing houses, radio, television, orchestras and festivals).

Accreditation validity

Study programme valid from Study programme valid to
2022-03-24 2032-03-24