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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Advanced Harmony and Counterpoint
Module Code MC309
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Sean Doherty
Semester 2: Sean Doherty
Autumn: Sean Doherty
Module TeachersSean Doherty
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

Students will learn advanced concepts in harmony and counterpoint through composition exercises, listening tasks, and performance. This is achieved through the completion of weekly exercises in contemporary a cappella arrangement. The student will consider the importance of extended chords and their voicings in 5 parts, advanced modulation, non-functional harmony and vocal emulation of instrumental timbres. Additionally, the module develops students’ aural perception skills and facilitates further experience of appropriate technology resources, as well as providing demonstration and discussion of appropriate use of content and techniques in teaching and research.

Learning Outcomes

1. Develop an understanding and appreciation of harmony and counterpoint in the contemporary a cappella style.
2. Acquire literacy, performance and compositional skills using the harmonic and contrapuntal resources of contemporary a cappella repertoire.
3. Apply the accepted conventions in the notation of choral music to a professional standard.
4. Present compositional exercises using appropriate notational software
5. Adapt the acquired compositional, technological and literacy skills to the contexts of teaching and research.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Lectures on course content, including practical demonstration and participation through vocal performance.
Assignment Completion48Weekly exercises in prescribed areas of course work.
Independent Study53Music listening and score reading related to course content
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Arranging contemporary a cappella
Lead sheets, Rhythmic Counterpoint between melody and bass functions, Notation and Editing, Emulation, Backing Vocals, Vocal Percussion, Choral Reduction, Front Matter

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Music Compositionn/a20%n/a
Music Compositionn/a20%n/a
Music Compositionn/a60%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Sharon, Deke; Bell, Dylan,: 2012, A cappella arranging, Hal Leonard, Milwaukee, WI,
Other Resources

50295, 0, Spotify, www.spotify.com, 50296, 0, MuseScore Resources, www.musescore.org, 50298, Course Lecturer, 0, Specially designed resources,
Programme or List of Programmes
BRMBachelor of Religious Education & Music

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