• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Topic: Music composition in London - any advice ?

  1. #1

    Music composition in London - any advice ?

    Inspired and intrigued by Jamie (Skysaw)'s thread on music theory, and fed up with knowing less than I want to about writing music, I googled myself to Birkbeck (University of London)'s Musical Techniques and Composition part-time course and really liked what I saw. Have any of you been on this course, or do you have any knowledge of it -- or any others in the UK that are similar ?

    If you're interested, the Birkbeck link is at http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/ce/music/...-UEDMUSTC.html

    All advice appreciated. I'm after something academic that concentrates on composition, but my only music-based qualifications are Assoc Board grades I to VIII piano, Grade V theory, and Music O-level (nowadays GCSE).

    Thanks !

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Salisbury, UK

    Re: Music composition in London - any advice ?

    I would be surprised if the Associated Board Grade 8 piano, Grade 5 theory plus Music GCSE did not gain an exemption to the first year,the basis of which will anyway be recapitualted in the second year. Extended extra-mural courses are prone to high drop out rates, partly because some cannot keep up, but mainly because others may be bored rigid by the time it is taking to cover very elementary stuff.

  3. #3

    Re: Music composition in London - any advice ?

    That's a really good point - thank you ! It's often very difficult to gauge from a course-outline how much or how little knowledge is required. I'll phone them in the New Year.

  4. #4

    Re: Music composition in London - any advice ?

    The website doesnt give any real info on what is taught in each module so that doesnt help....Does it say what minimum application requirements are?

    If it is like a normal music degree in standard (but only focusing on the composition element of it) then Im sorry to say that grade 8 piano and grade 5 theory, would NOT exempt from the first year. That would be minimum requirements. Definitely for a London course....however i might be completely wrong if the nature of the course is different. What sort of degree do you end with? Dip? Bmus?

    Just ring them up and visit them. Tis the only way to know for sure (or at least more sure than now...!)

  5. #5

    Re: Music composition in London - any advice ?

    Hi editor,,,,I mean Viv:
    I'm not at all sure that an on line theory/composition course will do what you are looking for. I was fortunate to study with some masters in person during my time spent in Universities. I have elementary harmony and advanced harmony books by Robert W. Ottman that I refer to on a regular basis. If you decide to buy these books,,,,BEWARE!!!!!,,, any published after the third edition are lousey with errors due to the editors taking liberties and confusing what Ottman had to say. They also sell work books to go along with these texts,,,I don't know how good or bad they are. Most of the assignments in the texts reinforce the craft of part writing and chord structure/connection, and chord progression. I have looked at a number of "composition websites" from various colleges and universities,,,,,,,none of them seemed particularly important or useful to me.. Good luck and Merry Christmas,

  6. #6

    Re: Music composition in London - any advice ?

    Another option would be to hire a composition teacher or grad student to give you one-on-one instruction. The same way you would take piano lessons.

    Music teachers and especially grad students will jump at the chance to earn some extra money.

    Look up the head of the music composition department at a local university and give them a call. If they aren't interested, ask them if they know of anyone who might be. If that doesn't work, stick up signs in various music departments.

    I'll take one-on-one instruction over class instruction any day of the week.
    "An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have, but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them."

    - Andy Warhol

  7. #7

    Re: Music composition in London - any advice ?

    Wow - some great advice here. The Birkbeck course doesn't lead to a bachelor degree: it's more like a foundation course (hence lower requirements - in fact they don't seem to have any firm requirements other than being able to read and possibly play music) - but I take all the hints about it possibly not being what I'm looking for. I'll have to think out some searching lines of questioning for the New Year, and really hunt around. Thanks to you all.

Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts