Fall 2019 - CA 249 D100

Selected Topics in Music I (3)

Composer-Performer Ensemble Self-Designed Inst

Class Number: 9872

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Tue, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    CA (or FPA) 140 and/or prior approval.



A specific topic in music which is not otherwise covered in-depth in regular courses. The work may be practical, theoretical or a combination of the two, depending on the particular topic in a given term. May repeat for credit. Students with credit for FPA 249 may not take this course for further credit.


This studio course investigates the rich history and current practice of composing outside the world of standard instruments. This can involve writing for sounding objects, homemade instruments, re-purposed instruments, sound sculptures, and interactive sets. Practices of notation and scoring for such forces will be actively explored. Weekly listening and response writing will be part of this class in addition to creative projects. All students will work extensively as both composers and performers. Pieces will be developed both individually and collaboratively and many will be performed live as part of the term-end Music + Sound Festival.

NOTE: Integrating electronics and/or amplification is welcome and encouraged in this class, however practical focus will not be devoted to developing electronic instruments.


  • Active participation and critical engagement 15%
  • Listening journal and weekly assignments 40%
  • Miniature composition 10%
  • Project A - Composition + Performance 15%
  • Project B - Composition + Performance 15%
  • Project C - Composition + Performance 15%




- Offer thoughtful contributions to in-class discussions
- Engage actively with others’ work and working process
- Prepare thoroughly for rehearsals + workshops (this will require practicing outside of class, as with any instrumental performance practice)


- Attendance is mandatory and arriving late is grade-deducted: 3 late arrivals of more than 5 minutes equals one absence.

- Each un-excused absence lowers your grade by a full degree (A becomes A-).


- Growth over the course of the term
- Originality / creativity
- Dimensionality (attention to multiple facets of a work such as time, form, colour, density, pacing, concept, pitch, rhythm, texture, combinations, or other aspects unique to the work)
- Attention to detail (both creative and practical)
- Scoring (functionality of score and parts to achieve desired outcomes)


- Evident preparation and practice
- Evident investment in the piece being performed
- Accuracy in representing the notated score
- Creative engagement with the development of the piece and its performance


- Required events:
Music + Sound Festival (December 2, 3, 4)
3 Live Events (Instructor suggested and/or approved

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html