MUSC 525 Advanced Contemporary Arranging Techniques

This course is designed to teach and develop advanced skills of arranging for music education vocal and instrumental ensembles. Arranging techniques relevant to standard contemporary concert bands, orchestras, and choirs will be explored, analyzed, and applied. Extended techniques in arranging may be applied to special ensembles such as chamber ensembles, flex-ensembles, Orff ensembles, jazz ensembles, and others.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Course Guide

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There is a growing need for worship leaders and pastors of worship to write and arrange songs strategically for the unique needs of their congregations. These worship arrangers need an understanding of the principles of arranging as well as significant “hands on” experience in contemporary worship music styles, including vocal, choral, and instrumental groups. These creative arrangers need to write for large and small ensemble groups.

Readings and lecture presentations

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Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words. For each discussion, the student must demonstrate course-related knowledge using at least one scholarly source in addition to the Bible. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years.

Transcription Assignment

The student will create a score with one staff for the instrument of his choosing, and transcribe an 11-bar solo, based on a provided audio file.

The student will choose a popular melody and prepare an Orff Ensemble Arrangement that is achievable by a 5th grade Orff Ensemble. The arrangement will be a minimum of 24 measures.

The student will create an A Cappella Arrangement for a hymn or song of his choosing. The student’s score must contain separate SATB staves, and be between 24-40 measures.

The student will arrange George Gershwin’s, “Someone to Watch Over Me,” for performance by a high school level group. The student will write the arrangement for an ensemble of their choosing, from the following list: Brass Quintet, String Quartet, Percussion Ensemble, Saxophone Quartet, Clarinet Choir, Mixed Instrumental Ensemble. The arrangement must be at least 32 measures.

The student will arrange a melody for 4 horns, piano, bass, and a drum set, using a provided composition. The arrangement should be created for performance by an advanced high school or university. The assignment is 12 bars long.

The student will select a song from the public domain to use in his Final Project Assignment. The student will use the provided template to provide all required information for the selected song.

The student will arrange the well-known melody, O” Sole Mio!, originally arranged by Harry Small. The student will consider the original score as a model, but will not copy Small’s work. The student will incorporate specific instrumentation, as laid out in the Rescore O’ Sole Mio! Assignment Instructions. The arrangement should be between 36-48 measures.

The student will analyze a provided score for use by a Marching Band. The student will complete a template as well as provide analysis of the provided score.

Final Project Assignment

The student will create a full-length arrangement of a song or work in the public domain, including appropriate vocal, rhythm, and orchestral parts. The length of the arrangement will depend on the size of the group by which the arrangement is intended to be performed.

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