Introduction to Musical Composition

Words like thermovoltaic cell set to a rhythm pattern.

Some examples of using speech patterns to generate additive rhythms and mixed meters, from Assignment 5. (Examples by Prof. Brian Robison.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2005



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Course Features

Course Description

Through a progressive series of composition projects, this course investigates the sonic organization of musical works and performances, focusing on fundamental questions of unity and variety. Aesthetic issues are considered in the pragmatic context of the instructions that composers provide to achieve a desired musical result, whether these instructions are notated in prose, as graphic images, or in symbolic notation. No formal training is required. Weekly listening, reading, and composition assignments draw on a broad range of musical styles and intellectual traditions, from various cultures and historical periods.

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Brian Robison. 21M.065 Introduction to Musical Composition, Fall 2005. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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