When & Where

Quick Facts

  • Availability Late starts accepted
  • Course Code W23CCLI01C
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

What you will learn

Composition Workshop C is a course which will enable students to build pieces of music through a mixture of taught techniques and utilisation of students' own musical ideas. Students will be given stimuli and frameworks to write pieces and there will be continuous tutor feedback and class discussion of the works as they build up. Performances of pieces may happen in class, or by Morley groups that students write for, or for external opportunities. This is a course for composers and music-makers of all kinds. Most composers in the group use western notation to compose but feel free to join the course if you use text scores, improvisation or computer technologies as part of your practice. You do not have to have done Composition Workshop A or B to attend this class.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Feel empowered to move your composition practice onto the next level
  • Understand the formal and orchestrational aspects of writing for mixed ensembles
  • Analyse existing pieces of music to see various techniques being used
  • Develop your own projects with feedback from the class
  • Understand a number of important considerations in writing for chamber groups and large mixed ensembles
  • Write a piece for Morley's Advanced Chamber group for a workshop performance at the end of term.


  • Full fee
  • Concession fee
  • Class format and activities

    Classes will mix the analysis of existing repertoire with feedback on the development of student pieces in a roughly 30/70 ratio. Students will be guided on the rhythmic, melodic, harmonic, formal, conceptual and contextual aspects of their work in order to produce a piece suitable for consideration by performers. Study pieces for this term include Secret Theatre by Harrison Birtwistle, O Zomer! and Traveller's Song by Cassandra Miller, Let Me Tell You by Hans Abrahamsen and Octet by Mendelssohn.

    Entry requirements

    Fluent reading and writing of standard music notation is ideal but not essential. The ability to perform on an instrument/voice in any idiom is ideal but not essential. The ability to use notation and composition softwares (Sibelius, Logic, Max/MSP, Reaper, Ableton, Audacity) is very positive but not essential.

    What you need to know before you enrol

    Time will need to be spent out of class in inventing and developing musical idea to make pieces. You will need to complete homework on a regular basis. At the start of the course you will have an opportunity to discuss these with your tutor and set your own personal targets, linked to your learning outcomes and future goals. Excellent attendance and punctuality is required from all students. This course requires study/completion of activities outside of class time. The course is designed to encourage/kick-start/structure/develop an independent composition practice.

    What you need

    Notebook, manuscript paper, data stick. During the first session, you will receive guidance from your tutor about how to access the online course material, such as recordings and sheet music.

    What you can do next

    You may want to repeat the same course starting in September. You may also be interested in the 'Orchestration and Arranging' course, the 'ABRSM Grade 8 Music Theory & Musicianship' course or any instrumental course Morley offers.