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Com­pos­i­tion for Ensembles

  • Year of study: 2 semesters, fall and spring.
  • Preliminary schedule: Wednesdays 09:00 – 11:30.
  • Final assessment: Portfolio assessment.
  • Prerequisites: Submission of work samples: sheet music and/or recordings.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian or English.

Course description

The course deals with composition as a creative activity explored from a genre-free position. Students will compose for four ensemble types: lately, these have been brass (quintet), saxophone (quartet), strings (quartet) and one or more projects for the instruments of the class orchestra.

The course is open for students in all musical genres. Participation is granted on the basis of the submitted material (scores and/or audio).

The material must be submitted by e-mail to by the deadline April 10th.

Course instructors: Helge Sunde (brass), Eivind Buene (strings), Morten Halle (saxophone) and Erlend Skomsvoll (class orchestra).

Learning objectives

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to

  • have acquired tools for the compositional adaptation of their own musical material, and relevant arrangement and instrumentation techniques.
  • have acquired knowledge of composing for various ensembles.
  • have gained knowledge of the composer's situation in society, how he/she can meet the job market.


  • Aesthetics and form studies which are relevant to all musical genres, and in part also to other art forms.
  • Arranging/instrumentation.
  • The relationship between various kinds of improvisation and composition.
  • Work with one's own artistic projects.
  • Copyright and employment opportunities.


The course is taught for 90 minutes a week for 24 weeks. In addition, there will be tuition in smaller groups and 10 hours of guidance per student. The guidance takes place partly in groups, and parts individually.

Course requirements

Participation is mandatory when performing one's own work and the works of fellow students.

Final assessment

All course requirements must be approved prior to obtaining a final assessment.

Assessment is based on learning objectives. The final assessment is given as a pass/fail mark, which is determined by two internal examiners based on the exam portfolio.

Exam portfolio

Students will submit an exam portfolio including scores and recordings of pieces for the 4 ensemble types they have composed for. If the student chooses not to make recordings of ensembles organised by the Academy, then they are responsible for providing a recording themselves.

Deadline: Three copies of the exam portfolio must be submitted to the Exams office by 20 May.

New assessment

In the case of re-assessment, the same procedures apply.

Study component

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Feb 9, 2021