Putting things together

Putting things together: Assessment criteria of music composition
Goran Folkestad, Lund University
Anders Hultqvist, University of Gothenburg

Previous studies on musical creativity and composition reveal a difference between the criteria by which professional composers, students, and music teachers assess compositions. The study reported in this article - professional composers assessments criteria - is part of an overarching project investigating the assessment criteria of composition.
The method in this qualitative in-depth interview study of ten professional composers was as follows: A sample of nine compositions made by 15-16 year old adolescents was selected. In the interviews, the participants were asked to describe/argue in favour of why each of these was an example of what they considered as either a good or a bad composition, respectively. The results show that the assessment criteria has bearing on either (i) the subjective/intuitive aspects of the composition process, or (ii) the craftsmanship skills of composition.
Taking the point of departure in the subjective/intuitive aspects is a result of a holistic approach, whereas a focus in the craftsmanship aspects might be a result of an atomistic approach.
In conclusion, taking the subjective/intuitive aspects or the craftsmanship aspects as a point of departure for the assessment might lead to, even the same person, judging the same composition as either good or bad.
Key words: Composition, assessment, assessment criteria

Göteborg 2008



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