Theory I Composition Assignment
The assignment is to write a short piece in the style of a Mozart, Haydn,
Beethoven sonata for solo instrument and piano. 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:
- Your piece will consist of at least two, eight measure periods in
binary or rounded binary form.
- Use only instructor-approved harmonic progressions. You may use sample
progressions found in the textbook or construct your own. Chords are
limited to primary chords only.
- You may use inversions to provide shape and direction in your
bass line, but do so carefully!
- Make sure your progression includes appropriate cadences.
- Write an suitable keyboard accompaniment.
- Observe examples found in your anthology for possible accompaniment
- Check with me for approval!
- Write a melody to fit your chord progression.
- Use non-chord tones only in the ways we have learned in class!
- Make sure the rhythmic basis of your melody is logical and that
rhythmic cadences coordinate with harmonic ones.
- Be attentive to providing your melodic line with a nice contour/shape.
Common shapes include the arch, the inverted arch, ascending, and
- Don't write anything that you couldn't sing! Use your ears when
you write, not your eyes!
- Notate your composition using Notepad or other notation software.
Notepad can be downloaded for free at: www.codamusic.com
- Provide an analysis of your piece. Include all of the unsual:
- roman numerals
- non-chord tones
- formal design (binary/rounded binary)
- Composition is due on Wednesday, 12/4, none will be accepted after
this date. Don't procrastinate. Entry into the Sweet 16 Composition
Competition is limited to the first 16 compositions received no later
Grading will be based on the following:
- 10 points - pre-approval of chord progression.
- 10 points - notated with computer software
- 30points - correct use of classical style features.
- 20 ponts - overall effect! (creativity?)
- 30 points - analysis.
Study the following sample for the correct setup for your instruments
(your pieces will only use 1 solo instrument, not 2 as shown here), style
of analysis, and basic style and complexity of writing. This example is
actually representative of 2nd semester materials so ignore the clarinet
part and any chords we haven't yet studied. If you want to experiment
with more advanced harmonies, go ahead - just make sure you get my approval
before completing your piece.