Composition Syllabus


MUS215, 415, 515, 615   (3 hours credit)     Private lessons TBA

    for MUS 215: Harmony II, Sight Singing and Dication II, Class Piano II
    for MUS 415: MUS 202, 211, 215 and MUP202
    for MUS 515: Mus415, prior experience with computer aided scoring and sequencing
      --or graduate standing in music. Permission of instructor.
    for MUS 615: Graduate Standing in Music

NATURE OF COURSE: This is a private studio course in which students receive critiques and assistance on their composition projects. The course may be repeated for credit. See the Undergraduate Catalog for particulars.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Each student meets one hour weekly with the instructor in the Digital Music Studio (PFA 157) to receive critiques and discuss progress. Students are expected to make significant progress on their projects between lessons. Students set their own goals and work in styles of their own preference. Periodic goal setting sessions will be held between each student and the instructor. Three or four seminars will be scheduled during the second half of the semester to enable students to hear each other's work, make comments on this work and discuss technique together.


  1. to set goals with respect to style, composition techniques, media and structure
  2. to develop computer aided music scoring and sequencing technique
  3. to develop music synthesis and recording technique
  4. to explore composition for electronic media
  5. to define and set personal style
  6. to investigate and experiment with a wide range of compositional techniques
  7. to consolidate new compositional techniques in one's personal vocabulary
  8. to extend one's sense of structure and demonstrate this in one's work
  9. to use the Internet to discover resources and exchange ideas

APPROACH: The student meets one hour weekly with the instructor according to the posted schedule. Course objectives will be realized by working at computer stations, listening to and discussing other students' work. Each student will develop a semester project to be presented to the other students at the end of the term.


INSTRUCTOR: Kenneth R. Rumery   Office CCA165   ph. 3-3850   Office hours: TBA

SEMESTER SCHEDULE (click on a course number below)

    for MUS 215
    for MUS 415
    for MUS 515
    for MUS 615


GRADING: Letter grades are assigned as follows; A = 90-100%, B = 80-89%, C = 70-79%, D = 60-69%, F = less than 60%. Attendance and evidence of productivity are important elements of grading. A quarterly assessment of individual progress will be made. The semester project is 25% of the grade.


Composition requires frequent use of the Computer Media Center both during and outside of class time. A access fee of $25.00 required and is collected through course fees. This is a one-time charge regardless of the number of class that require CMC access fees. If you are charged this lab access fee for another music course, we will notify the Student Business Office so you can be reimbursed. We recommend you have a MCEC account to cover your printing charges in CMC.



NAU's Safe Working and Learning Environment Policy seeks to prohibit discrimination and promote the safety of all individuals within the university. The goal of this policy is to prevent the occurrence of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status and to prevent sexual harassment, sexual assault, or retaliation by anyone at this university.

You may obtain a copy of this policy from the college dean's office. If you have concerns about this policy, it is important that you contact the departmental chair, dean's office, the Office of Student Life (523-5181), the academic ombudsperson (523-9368), or NAU's Office of Affirmative Action (523-3312).


If you have a learning and/or physical disability, you are encouraged to make arrangements for class assignments/exams so your academic performance will not suffer because of the disability or handicap. If you have questions about special provisions for students with disabilities, contact the Counseling and Testing Center (523-2261).

It is your responsibility to register with the Counseling and Testing Center. Application for services should be made at least eight weeks before the start of the semester.

If the Counseling and Testing Center verifies your eligibility for special services, you should consult with your instructor during the first week in the semester so appropriate arrangements can be made. Concerns related to noncompliance with appropriate provisions should be directed to the Disability Support Services coordinator in the Counseling and Testing Center.


Any study involving observation of or interaction with human subjects that originates at NAUĐincluding a course project, report, or research paperĐmust be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the protection of human subjects in research and research-related activities.

The IRB meets once each month. Proposals must be submitted for review at least fifteen working days before the monthly meeting. You should consult with your course instructor early in the course to ascertain if your project needs to be reviewed by the IRB and/or to secure information or appropriate forms and procedures for the IRB review. Your instructor and department chair or college dean must sign the application for approval by the IRB. The IRB categorizes projects into three levels depending on the nature of the project: exempt from further review, expedited review, or full board review. If the IRB certifies that a project is exempt from further review, you need not resubmit the project for continuing IRB review as long as there are no modifications in the exempted procedures.

A copy of the IRB Policy and Procedures Manual is available in each department's administrative office and each college dean's office. If you have questions, contact Carey Conover, Office of Grant and Contract Services, at 523-4889.


The university takes an extremely serious view of violations of academic integrity. As members of the academic community, NAU's administration, faculty, staff, and students are dedicated to promoting an atmosphere of honesty and are committed to maintaining the academic integrity essential to the educational process. Inherent in this commitment is the belief that academic dishonesty in all forms violates the basic principles of integrity and impedes learning.

It is the responsibility of individual faculty members to identify instances of academic dishonesty and recommend penalties to the department chair or college dean in keeping with the severity of the violation. Penalties may range from verbal chastisement to a failing grade in the course. The complete policy on academic integrity is in Appendix F of NAU's Student Handbook.

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