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Curricular Unit: Fundamentals of Composition and Orchestral Production IV
Code: LPI036
Cientific area: Performance Practices

Learning outcomes

This curricular unit aims to provide students with the knowledge to compose within the late 19th century common-practice harmonic language, as well as orchestrate effectively and professionally according to the many trends of the period in question. It also aims for the students to compose two or three -part inventions in the 18th century’s late baroque and pre-classical styles. Upon successful completion of this curricular unit, students will be able to:
– Harmonize a vocal melody and complete its accompaniment in the style of R. Strauss’s Lieder, or compose a lied in the same style.
– Write two or three-part inventions in the style of 18th century, Late Baroque and Pre-Classical imitative counterpoint.
– Outline the main techniques of Theme and Variations.
Orchestrate in the style of P. I. Tchaikovsky.
– Know the fundamentals of the orchestra as accompaniment to solo voice and choir.
– Clearly outline the principles of G. Mahler’s orchestration technique.


– Characteristics of R. Strauss’s Lied (modulations by thirds, tonal outline, chromaticism).
– Principles of writing two-part inventions (motivic cells, meter and balance, reversible counterpoint)
– Principles of orchestral style in P. I. Tchaikovsky.
– Orchestral accompaniment in late romantic and post-romantic repertoire
– Technical principles of using the orchestra as solo voice or choir accompaniment.

Teaching methodologies

Each semester consists of 15 two and a half hour sessions. In each class is provided the theoretical and practical knowledge that will be worked out by the students, by means of in-class and homework assignments of which steady and weekly feedback is provided by the professor. Classes are usually divided into 2 blocks (1.30h allocated for composition and 1h for orchestral production).


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BELKIN, Alan. (2018). Musical Composition, Art and Craft. New Haven & Londres, Yale University Press.
BLACK, Dave, & GEROU, Tom. (2009). Essentials of Orchestration, Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.
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BUKOFZER, Manfred. (1947). Music in the Baroque Era. Nova Iorque, W. W. Norton & Company.
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LA RUE, Jan. (1970). Guidelines for Style Analysis. Nova Iorque, W. W. Norton & Company.
MOORE, Douglas. (1992). Guide to Musical Styles: From Madrigal to Modern Music (Ed. Rev.). Nova Iorque, W. W. Norton & Company.
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SCHOENBERG, Arnold. (1970). Fundamentals of Musical Composition. Londres – Boston, Faber and Faber.
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SOLOMON, Samuel. Z. (2002). How to Write for Percussion. Oxford University Press.
TARUSKIN, Richard. (2010). Music in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. The Oxford History of Western Music. OUP.

Teaching Staff
Nuno Dario (regent)