Advanced Graduate Composition

Syllabus - Syllabus - Fall 2010 (preliminary)

Composition for large instrumental, vocal, or electroacoustic resources.

Required Texts:


Material Required:

    Music Manuscript Paper
    Soft Lead Pencils
    (1) 4GB Flash Drive (for data backup)

Course Goal:

    The student will be able to compose one or more extended length work for large acoustic or electroacoustic resources exhibiting an orignal musical expression and appropriate craft.


    10% Attendance
    10% Listening
    20% Weekly Assigned Exercises
    50% Compositions (completed and in-progress)
    10% Jury Presentation (average of the faculty grades from end of semester jury)

    Each project will be assessed and given a grade based upon criteria established for each project assigned during the semester. Areas considered will include but not be limited to: 1) new and individual expression of an aesthetic, 2) craftmanship in composition, 3) idomatic writing for ensemble, 4) presentation of work through computer based music notation, and 5) presentation through either a reading or public performance.

Office: Office 304/Lab 147/Studio 340

Office Phone No.: 273-3176/

Office Hours: see schedule

Professor: Dr. James Paul Sain [email]

Listserv (closed):


1) All listening selections are from the Music Library Listening Area; please plan your time accordingly. A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on the part of the library support staff.

2) Late work is not accepted.

3) Attendance is required at all lessons. Should a class be missed, it is the student's responsibility to contact the professor and see that any work assigned is completed by their return (a class list will be supplied to help facilitate this policy). After two (2) lesson absences your grade will be lowered one grade increment for each absence after two (ie A to B+, or C to D+). Your grade will be lowered one grade increment for each Unbalanced Connection concert missed. Eached missed concert, presentation, or work assignment during the 11th Annual Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival will also result in a reduction in your grade by one increment.

4) Those working on electroacoustic music composition will have studio time reserved. Additional time is possible by sign-up every two weeks. Each studio user has a five minute grace period after which the studio will revert to open use; the open use time will be available on a first come, first served basis.

5) Sign-in/out is required when using either the lab or studio. You must return the studio to the normal condition after each use or your use privileges will be removed.

6) Plan early for your final project...things have a way of happening at the last minute.

7) The requirements, emphasis, and timing of this course may be changed or adjusted to meet the specific needs of the class as determined by the instructor.

8) All students of The University of Florida are expected to conduct themselves in a reasonable and professional manner at all times as described in the Student Honor Code; please refer to The Code for specifics.

9) UF Software Copyright Policy: All faculty, staff and students of the University of Florida are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against the University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.

10) UF Counseling Services - Resources are available on-campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance.

    These resources include:

      1.University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575, personal and career counseling;
      2.Student Mental Health, Student Health Care Center, 392-1171, personal counseling;
      3.Sexual Assault Recovery Services (SARS), Student Health Care Center, 392-1161, sexual assault counseling;
      4.Career Resource Center, Reitz Union, 392-1601, career development assistance and counseling.

11) Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office in Peabody Hall. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

12) My office door is always open; please feel free to drop by to discuss class issues as the need arises.

Grading Scale:



(look here for assignment handouts as the semester progresses)

LISTENING REPORTS(3): A written critique of compositions on each listening list. These typed reports should contain ample and objective prose describing the works on the listening list. These descriptions should demonstrate an understanding of the techniques used to produce the work as well as the aesthetic of the composition.

COMPOSITIONS: Creative work to demonstrate understanding and application of principles discussed and experienced during the course of the semester as well as the aesthetics of contemporary electroacoustic art music. Those compositions completed in a timely fashion should be performed in concert via convocation, SCI Student Chapter Concert or Unbalanced Connection concert as appropriate. One copy of each composition completed during the semester will be given to the instructor; these compositions will be retained/archived. Do not hand in your only copy.

COMPOSITION JURY: Each student studying composition shall present their work before a jury of the composition faculty at the end of each semester. This presentation will be graded by each member of the jury on quality and quantity of compositional output, progress, and presentation. The jury grades will be averaged and account for 10% of the semester's grade. Therefore, a poor presentation could result in a grade reduction of up to one full letter grade.

SAFETY HINT: Always keep several back-up copies of your work CD-R media or flash media; if you have a personal Macintosh you may wish to keep one copy on your personal hard-drive. Do not use the lab's/studio's hard-drives as personal storage devices. Doing so will most likely result in the loss of your work. All drives are regularly cleaned of all unauthorized software, files, and documents. Do not reorganize any software on the platforms in either the Computer Aided Music Instruction Lab (MUB 147) or the Electroacoustic Music Studio (MUB 340). Please sign in and out each time you use the studio or lab.

HEARING SAFETY: It is very important that the students working in electroacoustic music, or with amplified acoustic instruments, be aware of the listening environment in which they are working. The studio environment can, if used improperly, subject the listeners ears to unhealthy sound pressure levels. For more information and links to web sites about hearing health click here .

- last update 17 August 2017 -