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Be creative, but use good craft!

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Theory II Composition Assignment

Guidelines for setting a text to music (song)

The assignment is to set a couple of stanzas of text (poem) to music in the style of Mozart, Haydn, or Beethoven. The more your piece sounds like Mozart, Haydn, or Beethoven the better (without actually stealing their ideas!). Therefore, please refer to the examples in the book or those handed out in class as you craft your piece. You should use the following checklist as you complete your work:

  • The composition must be performed in class. Contact performers early and rehearse!
  • Notate your composition using Notepad or other notation software. Notepad can be downloaded for free at:
  • Provide an analysis of your piece. Include all of the unsual:
    • key
    • cadences
    • roman numerals
      • types of 6/4 chord
      • identify variant chords where appropriate
    • non-chord tones
    • phrases/periods
    • formal design (binary/rounded binary)

Grading will be based on the following:

  • 10 points - pre-approval of chord progression or draft of melodic ideas
  • 10 points - notated with computer software
  • 25 points - correct use of classical style features.
  • 20 points - quality of performance.
  • 10 ponts - overall effect! (creativity?)
  • 25 points - analysis.


Don't have one yet. Find a voice major and see if they have a song or two you could look at........