Are you looking for a career in the Music Industry as a composer, orchestrator, sound designer, film and media composer, performer, song writer, music producer or game audio professional? Then this music composition course is for you. Box Hill Institute will provide you with the skills and experiences you need to excel in these areas.
Real life industry experiences and facilities include:
The Bachelor of Applied Music: Composition is specifically designed to support emerging composers with a combination of highly-trained teachers, extraordinary opportunities and unique experiences that create a bridge to industry.
You will learn with, and be mentored by, industry experts in an environment that supports and encourages you to achieve a combination of high level musicianship business acumen and creativity, so you graduate ready to thrive. This is done by integrating real-life industry experiences in a supportive atmosphere. This fusion of education and industry is reflected in our teachers who, as well as teaching, currently work as music professionals at the top of their fields.
As a Composition student, you will work closely with the Music Business, Production and Performance students to create cross-discipline projects in an exciting and talent-rich environment. You'll also work on real film and game projects with students from Deakin and Swinburne Universities. This means projects are already underway and gaining traction when you graduate. There are many examples of a successful career already beginning while still studying.
“Box Hill Institute was an amazing place to complete my music degree. It provided the students with fantastic facilities and studios, personalised learning, and opportunities to enter and experience the music industry. I feel that Box Hill Institute has equipped me with the skills I need, and the pathways to use them.” Marlon Grunden.
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Free Online Music Theory MOOC Course
This Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) program is designed to assist those wishing to develop their music theory skills as a musician and also to prepare for entrance tests for accredited music courses. For further information go to: Online Music Theory Studies.
16 Aug 2019 at 02:00PM AEST
Full time: 3 years (classes take place on weekdays)
Mode of delivery is face to face.
After completing this course, you may wish to apply for a range of employment opportunities in the music (and related) industries. The range of roles in these industries are many and varied, and may include:
Related industries may include recording industry, music publishing, live performance, music retail, advertising, radio, film, video and television, music therapy, music education and music media.
Graduates will be able to:
International students must have completed an Australian Year 12 or international equivalent with a pass.
Folio requirements: a folio of compositions to present. This is any combination of presented scores, live performed original songs and produced music files (MP3s, CDs, etc)
Musicianship test : completion of a supervised musicianship test (will be sent upon receipt of student’s application).
Interview : you will be asked a series of questions relating to your suitability for the course. You should demonstrate a clear understanding of career goals and an aptitude for the course of study, including any relevant industry experience.
PLEASE NOTE: Box Hill Institute only accept enrolments from International students who are 18 years of age or above at the time of course commencement.
A minimum IELTS overall score of 6.0 (Academic) with no band less than 5.5. A minimum TOEFL score of 550 for paper examination; 213 for computer based and 79 for Internet based, or approved equivalent.
For other accepted tests, please visit the English Language Requirements page.
Successful completion will enable you to apply for entry to:
This course is accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the qualification is aligned with the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 7 and Box Hill Institute Graduate Attributes.
|Tuition Fee Type||Estimated Annual Fee|
|Service Fees||Estimated Annual Fees|
|Service & Amenities*||$155.00|
|Core Skills Support**||$75.00|
|Annual Material Fees||No materials fee applies|
|Retain Course Items***||No fee applies|
You will be required to study the following units:
Composition Studies 1 is the first of six composition studies subjects. The composition studies stream focusses on developing, applying and refining techniques, skills and devices pertinent to contemporary composers.
Composition Studies 1 aims to equip students with a thorough understanding of the melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, textural and structural elements of music and the ability to apply this knowledge in composition. Through a variety of ongoing exercises in analysis and composition students will acquire and consolidate knowledge of technical and aesthetic aspects of composing. Particular attention will be paid to learning the principles of the motivic and rhythmic development. Assessments will include composing melodies to given chordal progressions and following the conventions of specific musical styles.
The weekly forum provides an opportunity for students to interact with their peers, as well as other students from the Music Department in an open and flexible format.Contact hours are 4 hours each week for 12 weeks.
Composition Studies 2 is the second of six composition studies subjects. The composition studies stream focusses on developing, applying and refining techniques, skills and devices pertinent to contemporary composers.
Composition Studies 2 continues to develop students’ understanding of the melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, textural and structural elements of music and ability to apply this knowledge in composition. This class introduces students to the fundamentals of orchestration and the concepts of music arranging. Students will apply the principles of counterpoint and harmonisation, motivic development, extension of themes, development of rhythmic and textural devices and creation of convincing musical forms in their creative work. Through a variety of ongoing exercises in analysis and composition, students will consolidate knowledge of technical and aesthetic aspects of composition and continue to develop a vocabulary of compositional techniques and ideas.
The weekly forum provides an opportunity for students to interact with their peers, as well as other students from the Music Department in an open and flexible format.Contact hours are 4 hours each week for 12 weeks.
Songwriting 1 is the first in a sequence of four songwriting subjects. Students undertaking Songwriting 1 will analyse many of the musical devices and conventions that exist in popular and jazz song genres and then apply this knowledge to their own compositional endeavours, at an introductory level. The content of 'Principles of Songwriting' is iterative. Although each level has a particular focus, the songwriter's creative building blocks of melody, harmony, lyric, form, groove and style or character are revisited and explored with increasing sophistication in all four levels of the subject. The delivery style of all four levels includes the same four basic components. 1. Composing independently. 2. Collaboration i.e. working with others to compose and develop songs. 3. Presentation/Publishing (the word 'Publishing' is used loosely to mean the issuing of a copy or copies and includes a broad focus on contemporary technology). 4. Performance (which takes many forms and includes attempts to reach out to the community in which the course operates). Songwriting 1 is delivered at an introductory level, presenting students with basic concepts on which to develop their individual voice in songwriting.
Assessment: Collaborative song writing project 40% Song Composition, equivalent to 750 words 60%
Songwriting 2 is the second in a sequence of four songwriting subjects. In Songwriting 2, students will analyse many of the musical devices and conventions that exist in popular and jazz song genres and then apply this knowledge to their own compositional endeavours. Songwriting 2 will primarily deal with lyric writing and form, with some focus on groove, style and character. This subject includes four basic components: 1) independent composition, 2) collaborative composition, 3) presentation/publishing, and 4) performance. The term 'publishing' is used loosely in the context of this subject, focusing on contemporary technology and meaning the issuing of one or more copies. Performance may take many forms and includes ‘reach out’ events in the community in which the course operates. Songwriting 2 is delivered at an intermediate level, building on concepts explored in Songwriting 1. Students will continue to develop a sense of personal style in songwriting, and gain a deeper insight into structures and techniques in contemporary song writing.
Prerequisites: Songwriting 1
Assessment: Reflective Journal - incorporating song drafts and task (equivalent 1000 words) 30% Class participation/song draft presentation (equivalent 500 words) 10% Song Composition (equivalent 1500 words) 60%
Composition A1: Introduction to Film Scoring 1 is the first of six film and media subjects designed to equip students with the necessary introductory skills and knowledge required to identify, describe, compose and arrange music for film cues. Through the historical study and introduction to theoretical analysis of film music, students will develop an understanding of the aesthetic role and function of music in the film context. Students will consider film scores with reference to established compositional techniques and their applications in defined social, historical and commercial contexts. Using these aesthetic and musical concepts as the foundation, students will develop compositional skills pertinent to film music.
Assessment: Essay on an historical aspect of music for film (1000 words) 40% Analysis and Essay (1000 words) on use of music in assigned films 40% Scoring Assignment, equivalent to 500 words 20%
Composition A2: Introduction to film scoring II is the second of six film and media subjects designed to equip students with the necessary developing skills and knowledge required to identify, describe, compose and arrange music for film cues. Through the historical study and introduction to theoretical analysis of the various genres of post-1950s film music, students will further develop understanding of the aesthetic role and function of music in the film context. Students will consider film scores with reference to established compositional techniques and their applications in defined social, historical and commercial contexts. Using these aesthetic and musical concepts as the foundation, students will continue to develop compositional skills pertinent to film music.
Prerequisites: Filmscoring 1
Assessment: Class exercises 40% Swinburne University collaboration or alternative - compose, edit and synchronise music to a short movie extract (equivalent 750 words) 60%
Composition Studies 3 is the third of six composition studies subjects. The composition studies stream focusses on developing, applying and refining techniques, skills and devices pertinent to contemporary composers.
In Composition Studies 3, students continue to develop compositional techniques that include motivic development, extension of themes, development of rhythmic devices, texture as a compositional determinant and creation of convincing musical forms. Students will concentrate on composing for the orchestra, learning ranges of the instruments, specifics of the playing techniques and transposition. Knowledge and skill in the use of appropriate voicing and timbre combinations, and the practical application of contrapuntal writing in the Baroque style are central elements of this study. Students will develop more extensive compositional resources to support their developing conceptual and expressive palette. Students will aim to develop considerable fluency in stylistic part writing and part ‘interlocking’ as a foundation for the orchestral cue construction. Through a variety of ongoing exercises in analysis and composition, students will consolidate knowledge of technical and aesthetic aspects of composing and continue to develop a vocabulary of compositional techniques and ideas.
The weekly forum provides an opportunity for students to interact with their peers, as well as other students from the Music Department in an open and flexible format.Contact hours are 4 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Composition Studies 4 is the fourth of six composition studies subjects. The composition studies stream focusses on developing, applying and refining techniques, skills and devices pertinent to contemporary composers.
In Composition Studies 4 students will focus on the concepts of arranging and orchestration with particular emphasis on writing for large ensembles. Concepts will include instrumental colour, layering and balance, inventiveness and applications of compositional techniques and devices to arranging skills. Composition exercises may include writing for traditional and unconventional instrumental groups, and using advanced compositional and orchestration techniques to create appropriate but interesting variations of foundation motifs and melodies arrangements. Students will acquire more extensive compositional resources to support their developing conceptual and expressive palettes, motivic and melodic development, extension of themes, development of rhythmic devices, use of texture as a compositional determinant and creation of convincing musical forms.
Composition B3: Media Technology is designed to equip students with the technological skills expected of those working at a professional level in the modern music industry. Students will engage in advanced MIDI projects and undertake advanced exercises using the latest sequencing software. Students will record and edit sound waves, and apply appropriate effects in order to modify and enhance various sounds, and create non-traditional soundscapes in virtual environments. Through a series of explorative aural exercises, students will learn to differentiate between various sounds and make artistic judgment while synthesising new timbres. Ideas of Shafer will be introduced in this class and explored through discussions and practical exercises. Students will further develop the skill of active listening through learning to identify a variety of sounds and sound variations occurring in given environments and use this knowledge when creating their own soundscapes. In a major class project, students will replicate a given musical example, trying to achieve the exact sound of the original.Contact hours are 2 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Composition B4: Media Technology is designed to further develop students’ technological skills needed for working at a professional level in the modern music industry. Students will engage in advanced MIDI and audio projects and undertake advanced exercises using the latest sequencing software. As a preparatory step toward creating more complex virtual environments, students will learn to construct timelines specifying the occurrence of sonic events, applying and enhancing their active listening skills and knowledge acquired during the previous semester. Students will work with visual material, synchronising audio events with visual cues. Students will create sound tracks that realistically reproduce the entire sound palette that would naturally occur in the given video clips. During such projects students will use their creative judgment to craft aesthetically advanced synthesised and recorded sounds with appropriate effects.Contact hours are 2 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Composition A3: Scoring for Media 1 focuses on composing for documentaries and corporate videos. Students will encounter practical aspects of carrying out film composition projects including budgeting, scheduling, calculating SMPTE, developing scoring concepts and using technology for recording and timing music. This subject aims to give students a thorough understanding of the application of contrapuntal composition to film composition. Students will study compositional techniques employed by various film composers, and apply their knowledge in scoring a series of short musical excerpts to accompany film sequences. Up-to-date technology will be used in this class to synchronise music scores to film. Students will further their ability to evoke an emotional response and reflect/enhance dramatic action in the film with music. The analysis of the film industry structure will enable students to perform in accord with the defined industry roles. Students will create scoring exercises throughout the semester, one of which will include a cueing exercise using a Yamaha Synclavier.Contact hours are 2 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Scoring for Media 2 focuses on composing for film, TV and multi-media. Through various investigative and analytical activities, students will examine the requirements and standards set in place by the industry, and will compose music that reflects their understanding and ability to follow the standards whilst demonstrating creativity and independent thinking. Students will gain knowledge of the latest software geared toward composing for media and employ the appropriate software in their class projects. Students will continue to view and analyse existing, exemplary applications of the concepts studied in class in commercial music.Contact hours are 2 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Contemporary Composition Techniques will focus on the applications of compositional developments in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to the composition of concert music, and film and media scores. The aesthetic differences between composing functional music and concert music will be examined. The focus will be on compositional processes, particularly algorithmic compositional processes as they have been applied to the organisation of various musical parameters, but especially pitch and rhythmic organisation. Complex musical structures of seminal works will be studied and analysed. The concepts of integer notation, pitch-class, interval-class, interval vector, common tone theorems, set symmetry and pitch-class set relationships will be examined. Students will be required to compose works utilising set theory and related theories. The application of mathematics to composition in the works of various composers will be examined. Extended instrumental techniques and unconventional music notations will be examined and utilised in students’ composition assignments. The emancipation of dissonance, instrument exploration, new notations, indeterminacy, microtonality, micropolyphony and stochastics will be studied and applied in students’ works.Contact hours are 4hrs each week for 12 weeks.
Composition Studies 6: Senior Concert can be considered to be the capstone experience for composition students at Box Hill Institute. Students will work closely with a faculty mentor, either in small groups or individually, to compose, prepare and present a concert of their own works. The intent of this subject is to bring the previous composition studies subjects together to create a representative folio of works of the graduating student. It is anticipated that senior concerts will be presented during the final weeks of semester, with performances involving collaboration with both performance and audio students.Contact hours are 4 hours each week for 12 weeks.
Composition B5: Sound Design will introduce students to the history of sound design, various sound design platforms and MIDI orchestration in relation to the production of sound design. This subject will explore industry roles and skills of a contemporary sound designer. Students will be introduced to Foley, diegetic and non-diegetic sounds for film and games, and the affective relationship between sound and image. Students will be required to produce sound designs for moving images within short time frames, thereby emulating real conditions in the film and game audio industries.Contact hours are 2 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Composition B6: Sound Design aims to further develop students’ skills and abilities to compose music and sound design for film and games using appropriate design and composition platforms. Students will further develop their understanding of the history of film, and game sound design and music, methods and techniques of creating sound designs, and the roles and approaches of various film composers and sound designers. They will also explore and use various technologies for composition and sound design, and develop their understanding of affective relationship between sound and image to an advanced level. Students will be required to produce high quality sound designs for moving images within short time frames, thereby emulating real conditions in the film and game audio industries.Contact hours are 2 hours each week for 12 weeks.
Composition A5: Advanced Film Scoring 1 is the fifth of six film and media subjects designed to advance students’ ability to analyse, evaluate, compose and arrange music for various media. This subject builds on the theoretical knowledge acquired in the previous semesters, but takes a more practical approach to learning composition and scoring techniques in composing music for film. In Advanced Film Scoring 1, students will consolidate and synthesise their knowledge of music scoring techniques by creating music for a range of film projects for in-house and/or external clients. The projects will simulate the film industry and the processes in which composers work with directors and producers. In collaboration with clients, students will create the music from thematic design through to musical arrangement and final recorded soundtrack.Contact hours are 2 hours each week for 12 weeks.
Composition A6: Advanced Film Scoring 2
This is the last of six film and media subjects designed to advance students’ ability to analyse, evaluate, compose and arrange music for various media. This subject builds on the theoretical knowledge acquired in the previous semesters, but takes a more practical approach to developing composition and scoring techniques in composing music for media. The concepts introduced in the previous semester will be reinforced and developed through lectures and practical composition exercises.Contact hours are 2 hours each week for 12 weeks.
In game audio 1, students will be introduced to the world of game audio and look at the varied roils and tools used by those in the game industry. This unit focuses on the collection, creation, management, and delivery of sounds for games, as well as gaining an understanding on how programmers intergrade sounds within games. Students will create preproduction documents, prepare scripts, record sound effects and dialogue, source music, and apply all sound elements within a game level, using the game audio program Wwise.
Assessment: Assessment 1: Analyse Game Sound Design and presentation 15% Assessment 2: Sound Design document and Assets List 15% Assessment 3: Asset Library delivery 30% Assessment 4: Mixed Sound Design for Game Level 40%
In Game Audio 2, students complete a major project involving the development and creation of sound assets, and the integration of these sound assets within a game level. To emulate the development of a game students will go through the following four stages:
Students will use industry standard tools such as Unity3D and Wwise, as well as a looking at a variety of tools for occlusion and spatial audio mixing. For the latter, the focus will be on concepts, as tools in this part of the industry are evolving rapidly.Students will be preparing for entrance into the industry, networking with fellow students at other institutions, and constructing their online presence, and folio, in preparation for local and online industry events
Through performing in ensembles, you acquire theoretical knowledge and practical skills in music performance, which complement and broaden the knowledge that you receive through your specialised disciplines. You may elect to concentrate on an instrument that is not your primary focus (guitar workshop, percussion workshop or keyboard workshop), or to participate in an ensemble that augments your study on your primary instrument (Afrobeat collective, Soul Lab, Choir, Percussion Workshop or Jazz Ensemble).
Assessment: Assessment 1: Mid-semester performance assessment (15 minutes) 30% Assessment 2: Ongoing assessment tasks (may be written, or practical, or a combination) (equivalent to 500 words) 20% Assessment 3: End-of-semester performance (20 minutes) 50%
Through performing in ensembles, you acquire theoretical knowledge and practical skills in music performance, which complement and broaden the knowledge that you receive through your specialised disciplines. Ideally, you will take the same subject/ensemble for a full academic year, ensuring consistency and stability of performance groups. You may elect to concentrate on an instrument that is not your primary focus (guitar workshop, percussion workshop or keyboard workshop), or to participate in an ensemble that augments your study on your primary instrument (Afrobeat collective, Soul Lab, Choir, Percussion Workshop or Jazz Ensemble).
Prerequisites: Instrument Studies 1
Assessment: Assessment 1: Attendance/Participation and weekly preparation 30% Assessment 2: Mid Semester Assessment 30% Assessment 3: End-of-semester Performance 40%
The beat cypher elective will help students refine their compositional and production practices whilst learning about working within an artist collective project. Students are tasked with creating original electronic music projects each week using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), adhering to certain restrictions. The subject aims to engage students in a process or rapid iteration to enforce good habits for effective DAW work flow practices and confident creative execution. Through presentation, peer review and self reflection students will develop their composition and production techniques. The subject also has students take ownership or completing a collected work, with input from all stakeholders, using practical project management skills mirroring artist collectives and formalized industry bodies.
Assessment: Assessment 1: Beat Cypher tasks 60% Assessment 2: Create a short peer review of another students work 20% Assessment 3: Create a peer review of another students work and self-reflection of the students own development 30%
Students continue to refine their composition and production skills by using a Digital Audio Workstation to complete a new series of compositions. Further practice and repetition will continue to assist students in refining an efficient work regimen and ability to respond to deadlines. In Beat Cypher 2, students are also tasked to explore new and unfamiliar creative processes through a gamified challenge system. Each student is given the responsibility to control their set of restrictions and encouraged to explore new techniques and expand their repertoire. There is also a greater level of control and responsibility in the student’s hands to influence the creative direction of the whole group, including the development of shared resources. Throughout this process students explore collaboration and a greater involvement in the creation of their multiple collected works mirroring artist collectives and formalised industry bodies. Students will receive constant feedback on their progress, through a variety of methods, to assist their development. Through presentation, peer review and self reflection students will continue to refine their critical analysis skills and appropriate vocabulary across topics such as the creative process, musical composition and production techniques.
Prerequisites: Beat Cypher 1
Assessment: Assessment 1: Beat Cypher tasks 60% Assessment 2: Create a short peer review of another students work 10% Assessment 3: Create a peer review of another students work and self-reflection of the students own development 30%
Studio Teaching 1 aims to provide students with the basic principles and practical applications of teaching the beginning instrumental or voice student in the studio setting. Through the study of learning theories and perspectives in pedagogical approaches, students will develop a foundation for teaching beginning instrumental or vocal students. Students will analyse curriculum design and implementation to engender a musically creative and expressive teaching and learning environment. The study of interpersonal and communication skills in relation to effective teaching practices will enable students to create positive teacher-student relationships. At the completion of the unit, students will have created lesson plans, repertoire lists, strategies for overcoming common technical issues, and a pedagogical toolbox to draw upon when commencing teaching.
Assessment: Presentation: 5-minute lesson - 'Introduction to rhythm reading'. 20% Two lesson observation reports 20% Pedagogy Portfolio: The Beginning Student 60%
Building on concepts learned in Studio Teaching 1, students will undertake lesson observations and a teaching practicum of five lessons. Ongoing reflection and refinement in their practicum teaching will enable students to develop personal philosophies as a basis for their pedagogical approach. Students will undertake a survey of teaching methods related to their instrument and examine recent pedagogical research, including strategies for motivating students. Music examination curricula, with a focus on VCE Music Performance, will provide students with knowledge and skills required to satisfy these assessment requirements. The responsibilities, processes and logistics for setting up a studio will be investigated, culminating in the creation of a music studio plan. At the completion of this unit, students will be prepared to commence teaching in their studio or in a school setting, with a collection of pedagogical tools and ideas to teach a diverse range of learners. The importance of undertaking ongoing professional learning will be reinforced through the various learning tasks in this unit.
Prerequisites: Studio Teaching 1
Assessment: VCE Music Assignment, recital preparation and technical SAC preparation 45% Lesson Video:a)Lesson plan, b) Lesson video: 30 minutes, and c) lesson reflection 55%
|Semester one / Full year intake - 2019|
Number of students
% of all students
(A) Higher education study (includes a bridging or enabling course)
(B) Vocational education and training (VET) study
(C) Work and life experience (admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
(D) Recent secondary education:
Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR (regardless of whether this includes the consideration of adjustment factors such as equity or subject bonus points)
Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were considered (e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)
Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR was not a factor (e.g. special consideration, audition alone, schools recommendation scheme with no minimum ATAR requirement)
We expect to enrol between 25 and 60 students.
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