What is the course about?
In this workshop you will learn techniques of writing effectively for voice(s),using a range of singing techniques and notation styles. We will listen to, analyse and sing through examples of vocal music composed since c.1900, exploring a range of styles and techniques.
You will develop your own musical ideas into a completed short piece for solo voice or small vocal ensemble.
What will we cover?
* range and tessitura of voice types
* chord voicing and spacing
* solo versus choral writing
* text setting: vowels, diphthongs, consonants, word underlay, syllabic versus melismatic setting, vocables
* how to structure musical ideas into an effective short piece.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
* understand better the mechanism of voices
* write idiomatic melodic and chordal music for voice(s)
* set text effectively for voice(s)
* use simple special effects.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You need fluent music reading and notation skills, and good knowledge of music theory including basic diatonic harmony, scale forms, time signatures (at least Grade 5 ABRSM standard recommended). You also need practical skills on an instrument or voice.
It is useful, but not essential, to be able to use a music notation program such as Sibelius. If you are notating your score by hand, it will need to be legible to the pianist.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
* Guided analytical listening, score study, discussion and singing of examples
* Tutor explanation and demonstration of vocal techniques
* student exploration of vocal technique
* Vocal writing exercises in class, with tutor and peer feedback
* How to notate your music clearly and legibly, including words
* In the final session we will aim to perform all pieces composed.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring manscript paper, pencil and eraser.
You may have a text that you are interested in setting. This must be in one of the following languages (English, German, French, Italian, Latin) OR nonsense words/vocables.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may be interested in taking Composition techniques during the main academic year. Each term focusses on a different set of topics, developing your skills in original composition and arranging, in a variety of styles, techniques and media.
You may also be interested in Songwriting, or Music Technology courses, e.g. learnimg to notate using Sibelius, creative courses such as Sonic Arts and Arduino, and Music production courses on how to record, mix and master music.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details